(PDF) Reader vs browser plugin

Hello, everyone,

I’ve got a project that I worked on a few years ago that is in the process of being re-imagined. Trying to bring the site into the 21st century.

One thing that I did on the project, originally, was to create a keyword searchable collection of PDF files. When the list of PDFs that contained the keyword(s) was presented, one could click on a link to said PDF which would open in Reader, and it would highlight all instances of the keyword(s) within the PDF, itself. Quite nice. You could even set the zoom level by a URL parameter value.

Now, the more modern browsers all use browser plugins that open the PDF within the browser. This does not allow the use of URL parameters to automatically open and populate (and execute) the keyword search, or set the zoom. At least, not as far as I can see.

Is there a solution to this? Is there a way to either force the browser to open PDF files in Reader? Or do the browser plugins have a programmatic option for highlighting key words? I’m not seeing any, so far. (Google is my friend.)



Where they open depends on the Content-Disposition header - if that says inline then they try to open in the browser but if that says attachment then it will be downloaded instead and if they select to open rather than save it will open in whatever program PDFs on their computer normally open in.

Hi, @felgall, thanks for your reply.

As of this moment, the link goes directly to the PDF file.

But you are, I guess, indicating that I should create a file for displaying the PDF within, and set the Content-Disposition header? I’ll give that a shot, and report back.



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