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Topic: Adobe reader 6.0 problem with FDFs
Conf: (P-PDF) Acrobat 6.0, Msg: 95406
From: pvandyck
Date: 8/29/2003 12:21 AM

I recently upgraded to Adobe Reader 6.0, and discovered that some of the high-res proofs in our stationery system didn't open and display properly. Reader's splash screen would load up, but Adobe Reader wouldn't display, and the browser window remained blank. For low-res proofs, however, it worked fine.

The differences between our low-res and high-res proofs are that low-res proofs combine a FDF from the web server and a PDF from the web server. The high-res proofs combine a FDF from the web server and a PDF from a network drive (the S: drive).

After some research, I believe I understand what's going on. Here are the steps:

1. The web application creates an FDF file, and sends it to the client web browser, along with the MIME type of "application/vnd.fdf".

2. The client web browser (Explorer) sees the FDF, and the MIME type, and says, "Ok, great, I'll launch Adobe Reader".

3. Adobe Reader starts up, and "realizes" that it's being opened by a browser, and hides itself from the taskbar as an "invisible" application. (I deduced this by watching how Adobe Reader opens with different kinds of requests. If you open PDF files over the web for display inside the browser, Reader Launches but stays hidden, if you launch PDF files from a network drive using windows explorer, Reader displays itself)

4. Reader takes the FDF file, and checks a setting to see if it is supposed to display PDFs (and FDFs) in the browser that made the request, or if it's supposed to show the PDF in Reader. By default, PDFs are displayed in the browser, not in Reader.

5. Reader looks at the FDF file, determines that the PDF it is supposed to combine with this FDF file is at a network drive location "S:\filename".

6. Here's where I'm not sure, but I think Reader decides that since the PDF file is not over the Internet via a URL, but is on a network drive, it will open the PDF itself. Earlier versions of Reader displayed our high-res proofs in Reader, NOT in the browser. I believe 6.0 is doing the same thing, but it also is "hiding" itself, because it was originally opened from a browser.

7. Reader loads the PDF, and fills in the FDF data, but remains hidden. So it appears the browser window just sits there blank, and nothing happens other than Reader's splash screen opened.

8. In the background, acroread32 is running, and I you launch Reader manually (via Start-Programs), it suddenly pops up with the high-res proof showing.

The solution that will work for us is to no longer have any PDFs stored at a network drive location, but have them all on the web server. The FDF will reference them from the web server, and Reader 6.0 will open all FDF proofs in the web browser, instead of trying to open some in Reader alone. Either this, or someone from Adobe realizes that their Reader is not working properly with FDF referencing PDFs from a local network, and fixes Reader.

Here are some links that helped in my research, if you are curious:;en-us;305153

Paul Van Dyck

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