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How to Create a Link to a PDF File that Opens in a Web Browser

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This member asks how to create a link that opens up a PDF file in the viewer’s web browser. I demonstrate how to use the Insert Media function of the Media Library to insert the PDF file link. We then discuss reasons why this may not always work and look at the settings within the Adobe Reader browser add-on.

Video Transcript

Rick: Yes, Perry is here. Perry, I’m going to turn your microphone on there. Okay, are you with us?

Perry: I am.

Rick: Perfect. So tell me about your question.

Perry: What’s happening is, on my site, I’ve developed a lot of instructional PDFs for people to be able to download and also, I’m trying to put them on squeeze pages and blah blahblah, right? But the problem that I can’t figure out and I have been a good little student and I tried to figure out on my own before I asked you so…

Rick: It’s okay.

Perry: I can’t get them to open automatically. And I know on some places, they just open automatically. All I can get is a link so I’m guessing I just really don’t understand the process.

Rick: So it’s just a question of how to add the PDF file to the page so that instead of downloading, it opens.

Perry: Yeah, instead of sending you to… yeah, instead of a link being right there, yes… it just simply opens.

Rick: Right, okay. So let me see if I understand. If we’re…on the same page, I’m just going to do that. Come down here and let’s see. And so, I’m going to use my Add Media button here under the Upload and Insert and I’m going to select a PDF file to do that with. And let’s see…

Perry: Here we go. Maybe not one you want.

Rick: Yeah, no… actually not… I drew a blank there just for a minute about where I actually have my…

Perry: What Makes a Good Homepage at the bottom? No.

Rick: Actually that’s perfect, why not? What Makes a Good Homepage at the bottom. What Makes a Good Homepage has failed due to an error. This file is empty. Please try another. Okay, let’s try another one. Let’s try this one. You know, let’s try the browser upload. I think me and javascript is flaking out here for a second.

Perry: Okay.

Rick: So now we’re going to choose a file again. I’ve got all kinds of PDFs. We’ll use this one here, upload that, and let’s see. We’re going to insert that to the post just as it is…

Perry: Which is what I did…

Rick: Okay, update it, view the page.

Perry: And is that opening for you?

Rick: I believe it’s opening.

Perry: Because I saw the link. You see mine… all I ever get it… could that be the Adobe settings and not how I did it?

Rick: Well, there most certainly is an Adobe setting.

Perry: Okay.

Rick: So if you open up Adobe reader for a second here… you open up Adobe reader and I think it’s probably in Tools, maybe Edit Preferences. And under Internet, there is this checkbox – display PDF in browser. So you might have that unchecked. Now it comes checked by default, I think. I don’t believe I’ve ever set this. So you know, something may have happened that you unchecked it. Are you using Adobe Reader?

Perry: Yeah, I’m using Adobe Reader but to create them, I’m using Open Office and it seems to me like that might be where my problem is that there is a… well, you can set how things open in Open Office as well.

Rick: Give me a URL. Let me see what happens if I do it.

Perry: Oh dear God in heaven… I’m sorry. I wasn’t ready for that.

Rick: Okay no, that’s fine but that’s probably what you ought to do is you know, you can send me a link later and I can check it and see whether or not it opens automatically for me. I’m not sure that it’s possible for Open Office to put a code and that prevents it from opening automatically but…

Perry: I’m not either but you know, stranger things have happened.

Rick: You know, just email me a link to a page with a link like that and I’ll try it after the sessions are over with and we can just see if there was something… if it doesn’t work.

Perry: Sure, that would be great. I appreciate that.

Rick: But this is how it normally behaves. As long as you’ve got you know, as long as you have it set so that… that is, as long as you have your reader set so that it opens up automatically. Now, you might… and some people actually might not have Adobe Reader for opening. Some people might in fact, have a you know, might have Acrobat set to open instead and Acrobat may have other sets of settings. So it’s not necessarily something you have control over but I’m certainly willing to look at one where you… where it’s not behaving the way you think it should.

Perry: Okay. Thank you very much.

Rick: Okay? You’re welcome.

Perry: Yeah, definitely. Thank you.

Rick: Okay, anything else?

Perry: I don’t think so. I can’t think of anything.

Rick: Okay. Well, thanks for joining me this morning.

Perry: Yep.

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