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Viewing PDF Documents In MAC OS X Using Firefox

Are you using MAC OS X and Firefox and would like to view PDF documents directly through Firefox? Then this article is for you.

In order to do that using Firefox, we need an extra “Add-on” for Firefox, since this feature does not come built-in with your Firefox installation.

So, what “Add-on” do we need here?

The “Add-on” that we need for this task is called: Firefox PDF Plugin for Mac OS X 1.1.3.

Let us now go ahead and see how to get this “Add-on”, install it, and use it in Firefox.

1- Fire up your Firefox browser.

2- Go to this web page: https://addons.mozilla.org

3- In the search for add-ons text box, copy the following sentence: Firefox PDF Plugin for Mac OS X 1.1.3, which is the name of the add-on, and paste it in the text box.

4- Leave the second text box all add-ons as is, and click the green button that has a white triangle inside it.

5- You will get a new search results page with one result displayed in it. Look at figure (1).

Figure (1): The Search Results Page

6- Click at the Firefox PDF Plugin for MAC OS X link, in which case, the download page such as the one shown in figure (2) below should appear.

Figure (2): The Firefox PDF Plugin for Mac OS X 1.1.3 Download Page

7- Before going ahead and adding the “Add-on”, check first that the “Add-on” is compatible with the version of the Firefox installation you have.

If you look under the green Add to Firefox (MacOSX) button, and beside Works with, you will notice the following written: Firefox: 3.6b1pre – 3.6.*, which represents the Firefox versions the current release of the “Add-on” works with.

If you don’t have suitable version of Firefox the add-on works with, you can update your Firefox version by going to Help -> Check for Updates…, or, if you want to keep your older version of Firefox, you can check if there are other older releases of the “add-on” that work with your version of Firefox by clicking the View All Versions link at the bottom of the “Add-on” download page. Look at figure (2).

8- When you are ready for adding the “Add-on”, simply click at the green Add to Firefox (MacOSX) button, in which case, a dialog box appears as shown in figure (3).

Figure (3): The Install Add-on Dialog Box

9- Click the Install Now button.

10- When the “Add-on” is being downloaded, click on the Restart Firefox button in order to complete your changes. Look at figure (4).

Figure (4): Firefox PDF Plugin For Mac OS X 1.1.3 Installed And Restarting Firefox Required For Changes To Take Place

11- After installing and restarting Firefox, let us check if the “Add-on” was installed successfully. In order to do that, and in the Firefox menu bar, click on Tools and then choose Add-ons.

If your “Add-on” was installed successfully, you should see a message saying: 1 new add-on has been installed with an orange background. Look at figure (5).

Figure (5): Firefox PDF Plugin For Mac OS X 1.1.3 Installed Successfully

And, thus, should have the Firefox PDF Plugin For Mac OS X available in the Add-ons list. Look at figure (6).

Figure (6): Firefox PDF Plugin For Mac OS X Available in the Add-ons List

Having installed the “Add-on” successfully, let us see now how we can use it.
a- Go to: http://www.google.com
b- Click on the Advanced Search link.
c- Under  Find web pages that have… and beside the all these words: field, type Software Engineering or whatever you like.
d- Under Need more tools? and beside the File type: field, choose Adobe Acrobat PDF (.pdf). Look at figure (7).

Figure (7): Google Advanced Search

e- Click the Advanced Search button.

f- In the results page, choose whatever link you like. Say we chose Process Models in Software Engineering.
Notice that instead of being prompted to choose a PDF viewer you use in order to open the PDF file, or save it and view it using any PDF viewer you use, and this was the case before installing this “Add-on”, you can view the PDF file directly from within your Firefox browser.

So, if you hadn’t had the Firefox PDF Plugin for Mac OS X, you will have as shown in figure (8).

Figure (8): The Way Of Viewing PDF Files Without The Firefox PDF Plugin for Mac OS X

But, when you are having the Firefox PDF Plugin for Mac OS X, and thus the ability of viewing the PDF files within your Firefox browser, you should have something like shown in figure (9) after clicking on the PDF file link.

Figure (9): The Way Of Viewing PDF Files Through The Firefox PDF Plugin for Mac OS X

Voila!

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