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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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PDF does not show up in your web browser

If a PDF does not show up in your web browser - it is usually associated with the cache files (temporary files) of your browser (or Adobe Reader has never been started on your computer). The web instructions listed below help with clearing out cache files and other good web browser setting tips.

Adobe Reader Download

Macintosh Mac OS X

Mac web browsers on Intel Macs use Apple's Preview program to see PDFs within the web browser. To have your web browser use Adobe Reader PDF plug-ins to view PDFs within you web browser - install Adobe Reader.

Apple's Preview PDF program will open the PDF in a web browser or if you save it to your computer. It is nice for viewing PDFs and other fancy things, but for form fields and for saving and sending to non-Mac users in particular - the Apple Preview program does not save the text like one would expect - the calculation fields do not work either. You can, if you have typed in text with Apple's Preview program, select Print Menu; then select PDF from the bottom left of the print dialog box drop-down menu; Save as PDF - to save the text entered.

Web Browser Settings


Has a built-in PDF viewer if Adobe Reader is not installed

  • Main tab -
    • Location (type in where you want your default web page)
  • Privacy tab (in addition to what is checked or unchecked by default) -
    • uncheck; Remember visited pages... (0 days),
    • uncheck remember what I enter in forms...
    • uncheck remember what I've downloaded
    • Accecpt cookies from sites; keep until I close Firefox
  • Security tab (in addition to what is checked or unchecked by default) -
    • uncheck remember passwords for sites
  • Advanced tab (in addition to what is checked or unchecked by default) -
    • Network tab
      • cache; use up to 0MB of space...


Has Apple Preview as the default PDF viewer.

Reset Safari or Empty Cache from the Safari menu.

  • Safari Menu; select block pop-up windows
  • Safari Menu; Preferences; General tab (your homepage), Autofill (uncheck all), Tabs (enable), uncheck Open "Safe" files after downloading
  • Also run fromt the Safari menu; Reset Safari and also Empty Cache every so often
  • Security Tab; Database Storage - set to none

Internet Explorer

  • Tools Menu; Internet Options; General Tab
  • Select Settings - set Amount of Disk Space use to 1 MB; Select OK
  • Select Delete Files button (this make take awhile)
  • Select Days to keep pages in History to 0 (unless perhaps you like to review pages from days ago)