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Opening PDFs in Google Chrome

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Google Chrome is fast becoming my browser of choice, but it has a few annoyances which stops me completely dumping the once-excellent but now bloated Firefox.

One of these has been how Chrome handles links to PDFs.  Upon clicking them, the browser displays the PDF in its own  reader.  Whilst this is quick, the in-built reader is feature limited and doesn’t behave in the way I have come to expect a PDF reader to.

You can force Chrome to open PDFs in your default PDF reader (typically Adobe Reader) by following these steps:

  • Click the spanner button and select ‘Options’
  • Go ‘Under the hood’ or ‘Under the bonnet’
  • Select ‘Content Settings’
  • In the ‘Plug-ins’ section, click the ‘Disable individual plug-ins…’ link
  • Look for ‘Chrome PDF Viewer’ in the  list, and ‘Disable’ it.

Next time you click a link to a PDF, it will download the file so you can view it as you would normally 🙂

Cross Browser Compatibility

Monday, November 15th, 2010

ie6-logoRecently Internet Explorer 6 passed the grand age of 9, having first been thrust upon an unsuspecting world in 2001.

When it comes to using software, especially in a rapidly changing industry such as the Web, this is the equivalent of wearing flares and a tight shiny polyester shirt with a flower print even when not attending a 70s revival night, or creating a mixtape of Flock Of Seagulls and Human League tracks, despite the availability of Girls Aloud in high quality MP3 or lossless FLAC formats.

Internet Explorer 6 is a case of 2001: A Browser Oddity.  Despite this, up to a quarter of your web site visitors may still be using this antiquated technology.


New Year (Screen) Resolutions

Friday, January 8th, 2010

new-years-resolutionAlmost inevitably, this time of year brings Web designers to ask “What is your New Year Resolution?“.

1680 by 1050 pixels” is 2010’s typical answer in the Fish.Net office, referring to the screen resolution set for our monitors.  Hilarity ensues.

As well as giving the opportunity to rehash a really bad pun, the new year is a reminder that there is no universal standard screen resolution or system configuration, and of the challenges this brings to Web site designers and owners.


Have you Cleared your Cache?

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

IT technicians watching Channel 4’s The IT Crowd will nod sagely when the support staff in the basement of Reynholm Industries ask their IT-challenged colleagues: “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”.

This now well-known advice has been an in-joke of IT technicians for many years.  Despite this, it does genuinely solve many problems, and it’s often one of the first diagnostic steps carried out when problems arise.

The Web equivalent of this is “Have you cleared your cache?”.  Just as a computer system can occasionally fall over if not restarted on a semi-regular basis, browsers can sometimes  show a Web page incorrectly if they don’t download the very latest version of a file.


An introduction to Open Source

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Last week, we discussed how Internet Explorer 6 – an antiquated proprietary Web browser released 8 years ago – is still causing headaches for the Web industry today.

The browser’s continued proliferation is all the more remarkable given the number of superior products available on the market.  The majority of these are freely available and many of these open source.

Software released under an Open Source license foregoes many of the restrictions placed upon users of closed proprietary licensed software.  Whereas Microsoft Word licenses typically restrict you to the number of installations of the software, for example, open source word processor licenses do not have any such limits.