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Open PDF in Broswer

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I noticed that PDF document content is being indexed (fantastic!), however when opening a PDF from the search results or from within a document library you are required to locally save the document.  It works great for XPS!  :-( 


In SharePoint 2010 you can avoid this by allowing Permissive Broswer File Handling in the Web Application settings.  Any ideas for Online?  Even better, how about associating the file extension with the document type icon?




- Fred.

8 out of 13 people found this post helpful.

Verified Answer
  • Appreciate all the feedback. This is logged in our system as a bug and is being reviewed for remediation. We don't have a timeframe, but do beleive we understand the issue.



All Replies
  • Sam,  I'm with you.  It's really quite silly.  I love this line: "only MSFT would think that the chances of someone uploading an insecure PDF file would be any greater than the chances of someone uploading an insecure Word file"

    If you mean BPOS has the option, well that's not exactly correct.   It's more correct to say BPOS doesn't have the restriction.   BPOS is on SP2007 which doesn't have the added 'security' that comes enabled by default in SP2010 in Office365.  But you're right the result is you can't do in O365 what you are already doing in BPOS.  

    It's a new header option in IE8 which inserts the following:

    X-Download-Options: noopen

    More Info:

    Now don't you feel more secure?  I'm being facetious, sorry....I'm just so tired of this rediculous 'security' stuff interupting my productivity.  It's bad enough that my IE is prompting every time I click anywhere on the web, but now the server is going to override my local settings?  Thanks a lot MSFT!

    At least if they were to explain what the liability is to their servers as mch commented.  Then we'd know why an html file opened in my browser is a risk to their servers. Othewise if it's only a risk to me then I'll go with my local settings and get some work done thank you very much.

    PS..Firefox handles this slightly better than IE.  It still saves instead of opeing in browser, but at least it gives you the option to open the file immediately in Acrobat Reader.

    We'll find out if they add the permissive browser file handling option to O365 Admin pages in GA later this month.

  • There's no restriction on uploading the file anyway-which is the only way there'd be any risk to the MS servers. So if the liability is the auto downloading of pdf and html files to users' computers, that has to be weighed against usability. And I thought that battle was fought long ago.
  • mch, I suppose that one might make the case for security risk of a PDF file that was specially crafted to take advantage of an Adobe Reader flaw; only when the Reader was used on the uploaded PDF file, would it offer access to the server through the Reader software. Since MSFT has no real control over fixing flaws in Adobe's software, the risk would be greater than with their own software....? This could explain why Google went with their own viewer (and why the included Flash in their browser as well).

  • It's not only PDF. There are other tools like Mindjets MindManger which has a SharePoint integration.

    Using Mindmanager 9 the default behavior in Office 365 is "save as". If versioning is turned on and a document has been checked out using the browser, the same document opens in Mindmanager.

    A PDF shows the same behavior.

  • One other issue of course is on the public site where you can't link to an html or aspx file and have it open in the browser. This was a common technique used in OLSB to add code widgets or other content  (or even build a whole site from scratch). Without it, you're stuck with adding code directly in the html module which breaks most javascript.

    We're not talking about server side code here which is of course restricted. As jbooker says, this is client side code that only runs in the browser. 

    Please let us know when the functionality to control what browsers can and can't open is going to be restored to the users of O365.

  • Not being able to view a PDF easily in a browser is a showstopper. For my company with companies  in a number of different countries Sharepoint is in theory the solution to share for example Contracts (over 7000). All of them are PDF and finding them on shared disk with the preview thumbnails in W7 is much liked. 365 should offer similar functionality.

    On a PC at least it is possible to download the document. On an IPad I was not even able to do so!

    Again not being able to use Office 365 on an IPad does away with a unique selling point of the system. With Office 365 a travelling exec would only need an IPad to do virtually all his work.

    I hope the PDFand IPad issue can be solved quickly as otherwise I am stuck in going to the Cloud/365.


  • Is there any update?  Does Microsoft plan to get this fixed?

  • Allan, any update if searching PDF's will be available at GA?

  • Appreciate all the feedback. This is logged in our system as a bug and is being reviewed for remediation. We don't have a timeframe, but do beleive we understand the issue.



  • Anything yet?  I am like others, it is a dealbreaker for me.  I have used sites through Office Live and it was never a problem for folks to view and print a PDF without saving it to their computer, if this can't be fixed for this I have to look somewhere else.

    I am not wanting to buy the product (actually I will be buying 12 at this time) until this is resolved, so hopefully we will know something fairly soon.



  • Can we get a timeframe for this fix?  I am evaluating for a client and this is a showstopper.  If it will be fixed within a month or two ok but we cannot move forward without a date.



  • Hi Mark,

    Very pleased with most of 365 but must echo the above concerns - PDF viewing is vital...any news?

    All the best


  • This is Stein, Norway - pls check below link.

    This is a reopened issue concerning the above!

  • New thread - still not fixed:

  • Safety issue - this is a sales killer for me and Microsoft.

    Sad for me - sad for MS - I will loos big time money on this!