Recently I have been working on a project where I need to download a lot of PDFs from a website and then view each one, highlight text, add comments, etc.
In Google Chrome, whenever I click on a PDF file link, it just opens the file inside the browser window.
It’s pretty handy for most people and was fine with it until I started this project. Aside from viewing the PDF file, you really can’t do anything with the file if it’s open in Chrome.
Basically, I clicked the Download button, saved it to my hard drive and then opened it from there. After a while, it became a little annoying and time-consuming.
I used Adobe Acrobat on my PC to make edits to PDFs, so I wanted to use it instead of Chrome. Finally, after playing around with things, I found a good solution.
To prevent Chrome from opening PDF files, I had to disable Chrome’s built-in PDF viewer. Here’s how to do it.
Disable the built-in Chrome PDF viewer
To turn off the PDF viewer in Chrome, you first need to click on the three dots in the upper right corner and then click on Settings.
Then scroll down until you reach the “More” link and click on it.
A long list of advanced Chrome settings will open. Scroll down until you see Content Settings under Privacy & Security.
Finally, scroll down until you see the PDF Documents option.
Now enable the ability to download PDF files instead of customizing them in Chrome.
This is it! The PDF will now download as a regular file and you will need to click on it to open it. Also, you may need to change the default program to open PDF files on your computer.
For example, on my Mac, PDFs opened in preview mode, not in Adobe Acrobat. To change the PDF viewer on Mac, you need to right-click the PDF file and select Get Info.
Then you need to expand the Open With section and change the program to the desired PDF viewer of your choice. Then click the Replace All button to have all PDF files open with this program.
For Windows users, you can see my previous posts about changing the default program to open a file and installing default programs in Windows 7.
Hopefully, if you are one of those who do not need the default PDF viewer in Chrome, you can use the above method to solve the problem. Enjoy!