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I'm with the growing number of people who can see that 365 is of great benefit to many organisations. I too am in the market for an off-site system and 365 appeared to be the perfect answer.


Unfortunatally, like many others, after testing and sharing a few files I became confused when trying to open an uploaded PDF. I couldn't believe that Microsoft would release a system that didn't have that function.


Anyway, after reading various forums it became apparent thet it wasn't just me being rubbish, the fact is 365 doesn't open PDF's unless you save them to your system, which defeats the purpose.


Shame because this seemed like the perfect solution to our business needs but we can't impliment 365 until this issue is resolved.


I note that anyone replying to a thread will not commit to a date or even a timescale as to when we can expect a fix.


Would someone kindly give us some idea of when we can expect this to be sorted out? Please don't come back with a general answer like "when 365 goes global" that really won't help.


Thanks in advance.




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Verified Answer
  • Certain files can script against sites (such as PDF) so we currently opt to force download in lieu of greater security. We are working with Adobe to find a safer, alternative method to view PDFs in browser from a SharePoint Online site. No timeframe to share at this time.

  • Hello,

    This is Jason Burnside from Microsoft Office365 SharePoint Support.

    To open PDFs directly in Adobe Reader from SharePoint Online, please complete the following:


    1. Make sure that you are using Explorer 32-bit Internet Explorer
    2. Make sure that the PDF is located in a SharePoint Online Document Library
    3. Make sure that you have the latest version of Adobe Reader installed


    Please let me know if you have any further questions.

    I will continue to monitor this thread if you have any additional questions.

All Replies
  • Hi Fab,

    As you have undoubtedly already read and found out, this feature is not currently available within Office 365.

    This may be a feature that is enabled in the future, but as of right now, I do not have confirmation whether it will or even a timeline if it is enabled.

  • Did you have any further questions regarding this issue Fab?

  • Have to agree 100% with Mike.... PDF is an open format, you can save from Word 2011 to PDF but can't open them from 365?? It's a very small configuration to allow this so why doesn't MS get the finger out!

    I also wanted to use this for a business app but cannot now

  • mcallisterp,

    It is not that they can't just turn it on, it is a security issue, since PDF files have been known to carry things other than what you see. But if you are creating the document in Word, then just save it as an XPS file, and it will open with no problem, or put them into OneNote files and again no problem, finding a work around to not having to download and save a PDF is not that hard, there are many options.

    BTW even you install Sharepoint in=house on your own server by default it acts that way to protect your server.

  • solution to open PDFs in browser:
  • Certain files can script against sites (such as PDF) so we currently opt to force download in lieu of greater security. We are working with Adobe to find a safer, alternative method to view PDFs in browser from a SharePoint Online site. No timeframe to share at this time.

  • Mark,

    I believe you can open PDF files in the browser in OWA, it appears the WebReady feature of Exchange 2010 is enabled and PDF files are allowed.

    Why not make such a viewer available in sharepoint?


  • Hi Jbooker, again 

    This is just caos by Microsoft and the Office 365 support team.
    If you are opening a document library in Explorer view/mode - The PDF will open stright ahead.
    BUT that is not a solution for 2.000 clients!

    So, we are looking at some strange information from MS and the Office 365 team here.
    PDF, Autocad and all other filetypes are declared unsafe - BUT can be opened in Explorer mode.
    This declares totaly caos by MS and the OFFICE 365 team!

    I'm very corious now!

  • Halleluja - The MS Office 365 team have delivered the goodies!!!!!!!!!

    I can open PDF's directly.


    With sugar on top - THANK YOU!!!!!  :-)

  • This is SO STRANGE!!!

    Sudenly my maine machine is working with IE 9 - Cannot reproduce scenario on other machines.

    (Testet with 2 of my owne and 2 machines with customers)

    I just now opened the PDF file on Office 365 because I thought I f... up.

    But it remains true - I can open PDF's directly from this machine I'm typing this message on.


  • Hi

    I was very happy as soon as tested opening pdf files directly browser just after last sp update. It worked ok for a few days, but now again I cannot open pdf directly. Do they again make some updates or something wrong could be on my side ?  

  • Almost all my web distributed documentation for my customers is in PDF format, including fill-in forms.  This is a nightmare! 


    Can I report abuse on this thred based on the stupidity of Microsoft?


    If the inability to open PDF files in the browser is a new 'security' feature limitation of sharepoint 2010 called 'strict browser file handling' .... HOW DO WE GET THESE IDIOTS TO TURN IT OFF?

  • Cannot argue with that one.

  • i am not happy too, because i thought i can you Microsoft 365 as my world-wide-workplace.. without downloading any program-- and i can t open the PDF Files online.. so for what i can use this 365 Service.. i dont know yet..

  • -- i need microsoft 365.. like a platform i can LogIN and then i have all the thing and programs like my DESKTOP.. then its helpfull for me.. otherwise NOT