Thursday, July 21, 2011 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Disabling Safari 5.1’s PDF Viewer

Pierre Igot:

These utilities still work, but obviously the underlying hidden preference that they give access to no longer works — either it no longer exists or it is ignored by Safari 5.1. And based on this post by Joel Spolsky at AskDifferent, I am not the only one who is encountering this issue and is at a loss as to how to work around it and restore our preferred behaviour.

I’m going to miss this, too.

Update (2012-03-17): It’s back in Safari 5.1.4.

12 Comments

I think I would miss it too, if I had not already gotten used in SL to ctrl/click or option-click on PDF links... I did not know about the hidden prefs :-)

Just a correction: the post was not written by J. Spolsky, only edited by him. My mistake. I've edited my blog post.

http://www.betalogue.com/2011/07/21/safari51-pdf/

Thanks.

Pierre

Guess I must be the only person who absolutely adores Safari's browser PDF support. I love how it's integrated with the browser magnification controls (including "automatically resize") and how clicks on internal PDF links are registered with the browser history, so you can use the back/forward buttons to navigate inside a PDF.

It's one reason I was very glad to be able to switch back to Safari from Chrome with the release of Safari 5.1. Chrome's built-in PDF support is rather lousy (though it has improved over time).

Donald Perreault

I agree with Nicholas, I think the way Safari handles PDF's is brilliant. And if you want a downloaded copy of the PDF, you just select the download button from the PDF palette that appears when you are viewing a PDF file.

"Guess I must be the only person who absolutely adores Safari's browser PDF support. I love how it's integrated with the browser magnification controls (including "automatically resize") and how clicks on internal PDF links are registered with the browser history, so you can use the back/forward buttons to navigate inside a PDF."

I'm not the sure the skill of the implementation of Safari's PDF viewer is the issue here.

The issue (at least for folks like Pierre and me) is that, for whatever reason, we prefer to automatically download the PDF and view it in a dedicated PDF viewer. Maybe folks like us are 15% of the audience. Maybe we're only 5% of the audience. Beats me. But a simple esoteric pref would take care of us at no cost to the mothership. Esoteric prefs are how you take care of the 20% who think different, for whatever reason.

And, as always, thanks for Pester. I happily use it every day.

I ran an update on my 10.6.x Mac last night, and today Safari is not only slower but also open web pages "blink" annoyingly from time to time. Later on I happened to download and read a pdf-file - I thought. Instead I found out it was opened in Safari. I started TinkerTool to check that I still had the pdf viewing disabled, but there the option was grayed out. A little googling found me here. Yes, I am annoyed with this! With all the talk of security issues with pdf-files, I do not want to open automatically in the web browser. Also, at work I read a lot of pdf-files. Now I have to make sure to save them, otherwise I will just miss some of them later on because they were just viewed in Safari and not downloaded. I understand that the average users find it convenient to read pdf's in the web browser, but how hard it is to give users an option to turn it off?

I only use Safari. It is fast, slick, and never crashes. I hope someone finds a way to disable this pdf viewing. I fear that the more OSX and iOS will "merge", we will end up with stuff like this. Apple just change a behavior and then force it on you - without prior warning and without any way to change it.

I feel just like Pierre and downgraded to 5.0.5. And pdf are back where they belong (ok, that's how I just like it), downloaded and in a new Adobe Reader window. Thank you, Apple.

Just wanted to let you know that I found a trick that took care of the two (for me) big stupidities of Safari 5.1: the forced PDF-viewing, and sluggishness due to the constant refreshing of open web pages (with Safari just eating away ridiculous amount of RAM at the same time).

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From the web page:

First, you need to enable the Debug menu in Safari, if you haven’t done so already. Copy the following line and paste it into a Terminal window, then quit and re-open Safari.

defaults write com.apple.Safari IncludeInternalDebugMenu 1

You should now see a Debug menu in Safari, to the right of the Help menu (not to be confused with the Develop menu). In this menu, disable “Use Multi-process Windows” by selecting it (when it’s disabled, it will no longer have a checkmark next to it).

Close all Safari windows. From this point, any new windows or tabs you create will have a title that ends in [SP] (“single process”). Safari will not reload any tabs in a single-process window.

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For some reason this also made the PDFs open in Preview instead of in Safari!

For more info about this (and about the cons of doing this) go to:

http://stormchild.tumblr.com/post/10414883514/how-to-stop-safari-5-from-unexpectedly-reloading-pages

This is absolutely brilliant. Worked perfectly. Thank you!!!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for this fix!!!

Safari was driving me crazy.

Any idea how to directly point to a particular page in the PDF using the webkit PDF plugin. I need to provide a link such as http://www.mypage.com/mypdf.pdf#page=10. This would automatically take me to page 10 in Adobe Plugin. Is this supported in Webkit PDF plugin? If so how to use it?

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