Troubleshooting PDF downloads

Typical problems include the browser window freezing, or the .pdf file opening as a blank page. This problem may occur when downloading large files. The first page may appear blank until the entire document loads. This problem may also be due to the integration of your browser and Adobe Acrobat Reader. The following suggestions may help if you are experiencing these difficulties.

1. Check the version number of Adobe Acrobat Reader you are using. If the version number is lower than Version 7.0, an upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Reader is required and available free of charge from theĀ Adobe Web site. To check the version number of Acrobat Reader:

  • Open Acrobat Reader
  • Select Help > About
  • The version number of Acrobat Reader will display

Check the version number of your browser. If the version number of your browser (Internet Explorer or Netscape) is lower than Version 6.0, an upgrade to the latest browser version is highly recommended. To check the version number of your browser:

  • Open your browser
  • Select Help > About
  • The version number of your browser will display

2. Save the PDF file to your hard drive for later viewing or printing. It will be faster to print an Adobe document if you have downloaded it first.

  • Click the link with the RIGHT mouse button
  • Choose “Save Target As…” (Internet Explorer) OR “Save Link As…” (Netscape)
  • Select an appropriate folder on a local drive to place the downloaded file

3. Disabling Browser Integration by running Acrobat Reader in a separate window from the browser. Opening the document in its own window may facilitate viewing.

  • Open Acrobat Reader
  • Go to File > Preferences > General
  • In the Options section, uncheck the Browser Integration box
  • Click OK, then exit from Acrobat/Acrobat Reader
  • Restart Internet Explorer

4. Change settings for Acrobat Reader to check the security levels. A high security setting may be blocking some content from downloading. If you are working from a school or institutional network, you may also want to check with the system administrator to see if the local network is set to filter and/or block some content.

  • Within your browser menu options, Select Tools > Internet Options
  • Select the Security tab
  • Select a lower Security level than currently selected

5. Problems with Older Versions of Acrobat If you receive the following error: “There was an error processing a page. A font contains a bad CMap/Encoding” while trying to view a PDF file, you will need to upgrade to Adobe Acrobat Reader version 7.0. This error is characteristic of version 3.x. Uninstall any older version of Acrobat Reader prior to installing the updated version. In some instances upgrading to Acrobat Reader 5 without first uninstalling version 3.x has not fixed the problem. You will need to make sure you completely uninstall version 3.x first, reboot, and then install version 7.0 once again. Once this has been done you should be able to view the PDF file with no problems.