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PDF and Office 365

  • Hello folks,

    I've been keeping this thread open because it is clear, from a lot of feedback, that "native" SharePoint .pdf functionality is important to many of our customers.  However, it has also been made clear by Microsoft moderators as well as community contributors that the lack of .pdf permissions in SharePoint is a known engineering issue that we're working on as a priority.  There's been some good discussion in this thread, but also personal attacks, and a lot of rehashing of a known situation.  I'll be pruning inappropriate comments in this thread, but I will not lock the thread if we can keep the comments on a professional level.

  • Not being able to open a PDF in a browser is a problem for me and my associates as well.  If this is a security issue as you say, why is it I can open a PDF in every other site I visit including office live?

  • It is the compliance issue of PDF files as I have stated from the beginning. BPOS and Office Live did not promise HIPAA Compliance, ISO 9000, and other standards varying from place to place. Microsoft does not have control over the PDF standard and that makes it more challenging (but not impossible) to fix. The issue is just a little more time. Meanwhile the most professional thing to do is never over-promise and under-deliver. Always try to under-promise and over-deliver.  A realistic assessment makes for a happier customer. I disclose any and all project risks and delays in advance, and if I am wrong I make sure to tell them immediately. Then if all goes well I can find ways to deliver what they want faster than I could guarantee it.

  • Thanks Chase for cleanng up.

    Could you please either

    confirm that ISO or HIPAA have any relation to opening pdfs in the browser or

    remove the false, misleading and unrelated comments regarding those as a reason for the pdf issue not being fixed.

    I think we were getting somewhere in this discussion regarding inline script execution until the unrelated quality assurance and health privacy explanation reared again.

    Thanks again,


  • It is the possibility of script execution within the browser that would make it not compliant. Other issues are not unrelated, they are the reason that script execution within the browser would not be allowed. Its all about standards.

  • Marty,

    Since you insist, perhaps you can provide the specific language in the Customer Satisfaction\Quality Assurance Standard and/or Health Information Privacy Protection Act which relate to script executing in my web browser.

    While you're researching that, we'll get back to a meaningful discussion of this issue.

    Thanks for your cooperation.


  • Did you have any further questions on this issue

  • Hi Mike,

    Can you tell us whether the multi-tenant architecture chosen was to have more than one tenant per Sharepoint Web Application?

    I suspect that would explain why browser file handling cannot simply be set to permissive per tenant as it would affect all tenants in the respective web app.

    This would be a bummer since allowed inline MIME types are also set at the web app level.  Too bad there isn't a site collection level setting.

    I suppose that means the only options would be to design a secure pdf reader for the browser or set web apps to permissive and default all lists to strict browser file handling.  The latter would allow users to set file handling on a list by list basis.

    But both would take some time to implement and test.  I'm thinking it would help if folks understood the fact that, while the permissive setting is not at the farm level, it is at a level higher than that of a single tenant.



  • Josh,

    there are two easy ways around this whole PDF thing, if the files are ones created by the user, and I know one of the early writers was in that position, then save as XPS instead. If on the other hand, they are files that you get from a third party, say intruction or parts diagrams, then all I do is print them to a onenote package, and put that up onto office 365. Either one is easy, and no security has to be changed. The onenote works real nice, because you can put a related collection of PDF documents into one book, now the user has even less work to do, just one click, then pick a page from the index.

  • Robert,

    I have been regulary watching this and other threads as this issue has raised all sorts of alarm bells for the company I work for. I suspect there are many like me who have been carefully eying out these forums in the hope for a fix soon. I have been advised to shelve the product for the time-being which was always my worst concern.  

    I must say that your recommendations sound very promising and it baffles me as to why no one has raised these yet. I did personally think about rendering PDFs to XPS format at one stage however I found the XPS viewer on a number of computers to be unstable/unreliable. Added to the fact that XPS wont load in Safari -  which unfortunately accounts for a small number of our client base.

    However I didn't consider the prospect of utlising onenote as a suitable alternative. I have just tested this and it seems to work really well on Macs and Windows! One question I would love an answer to and which I suspect might solve my issues entirely is whether or not Office365 or onenote can be configured to restrict users from performing any kind of editing. For example, we want users of our Office365 website to view documents only - no editing or modifications of any kind.

    Is this something that can be configured through Office365 Sharepoint or Onenote by any chance? Ideally, we would simply like users to see the plain document itself with none of the typical menu bars and editing options that appear.

    Your help is greatly appreciated and thanks again for the tips.


  • PDF Solution:

  • YES

    Why not set the proper configuration on the SharePoint server Mike???

  • AND again..Why should this be on us?

    Why not on MS and "a easy to use"??????????????

  • MS - Pls - With suger on TOP - set the apropriate configuration :-)

  • If after this very long conversation where this has been described in very many details, you still have this question then I'm very sorry that you haven't understood what these changes involve.