Article ID: 177321 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q177321
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SYMPTOMS

When you try to view a Portable Document Format (.pdf) file in Internet Explorer, you may see a blank window or frame instead of the .pdf file. This may occur even though you have installed the Adobe Acrobat Reader program, and you are normally able to view .pdf files in that program.

CAUSE

This behavior can be caused by any of the following situations:

  • An updated version of Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to use in-place activation. In-place activation is a function that opens a program file in Internet Explorer and displays the toolbars from the associated program.
  • The security level for this zone is set to High in Internet Explorer 4.0, 4.01, or 5. For information about security zones in Internet Explorer, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    174360 How to Use Security Zones in Internet Explorer 4.0
  • Ratings are enabled in Internet Explorer 3.02, or the safety level is set to High.
  • The .pdf file is being served from an early version of some Web servers (such as Microsoft Internet Information Server version 2.0).
  • This can be related to a slow connection, the server has a high load, or the .pdf file being very large.
  • You are running a version of Internet Explorer earlier than Internet Explorer 5.5.
This issue may be caused by a corrupt ActiveX control. In order for Adobe Acrobat Reader 4 to use in place activation with Internet Explorer, the file Pdf.ocx and Pdf.tlb must be present in the folder x:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 4.0\Acrobat\ActiveX\ where x is the drive letter where Adobe Acrobat Reader was installed. If either of these files are missing, Internet Explorer may show a blank window when opening a .pdf file.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this issue, follow the steps in the appropriate section below:

Upgrade to Internet Explorer 5.5

Internet Explorer 5.5 has corrected the issue of displaying a blank page when retrieving a PDF file using the POST method. Upgrading to Internet Explorer version 5.5 resolves this issue, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie

Internet Explorer 4.0, 4.01 and 5

If you are using Adobe Acrobat Reader version 3.0 or earlier, upgrade to version 4.0 or later. If you are already using version 4.0 or later, follow these steps:
  1. Change the security level used by Internet Explorer to medium or lower. To view .pdf files in Internet Explorer 4.0, 4.01 or 5, the security must be set to medium or lower. To change the security level, use the following steps.

    NOTE: If you do not want to reduce the security level for this zone, skip to step 2.
    1. Start Internet Explorer, and then click Internet Options on the View menu. For Internet Explorer 5.0, click Internet Options on the Tools menu.
    2. Click the Security tab, click Internet Zone in the Zone box, click either Medium (More Secure) or Low, and then click OK.
  2. Download the .pdf file, and then open it using the Adobe Acrobat Reader program.

Internet Explorer 3.02

If you are using Adobe Acrobat Reader version 3.0 or earlier, upgrade to version 3.01 or later. If you are already using version 3.01 or later, use one or both of the following methods:

Disable Ratings in Internet Explorer

To disable ratings in Internet Explorer, follow these steps:
  1. Start Internet Explorer, and then click Options on the View menu.
  2. On the Security tab, click Disable Ratings, and then click OK.
  3. Quit Internet Explorer.
  4. Download the .pdf file, and then open it using the Adobe Acrobat Reader program.

Decrease the Safety Level

Change the security level used by Internet Explorer to medium or lower. To do so, follow these steps:
  1. On the View menu, click Options.
  2. On the Security tab, click Safety Level.
  3. Click Medium, click OK, and then click OK again.
  4. Quit Internet Explorer.
  5. Download the .pdf file, and then open it using the Adobe Acrobat Reader program.

Slow Connection

If you have a slow connection, a busy server, or are trying to download a large file, wait until the file finishes downloading to view it.

Uninstall and Then Reinstall Adobe Acrobat Reader 4

  1. In Control Panel, double click Add/Remove Programs.
  2. Double-click Adobe Acrobat Reader 4 to uninstall the program. Follow the wizard to uninstall the program.
  3. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader 4 from the Adobe Web site if necessary.
  4. Search for the Rs405eng.exe file, and then double-click it to start reinstalling the program.
  5. Although you are not prompted to restart the computer during the installation, shut down and then restart the computer.
  6. The .pdf file should be displayed in Internet Explorer when you click a link to the .pdf file on the Internet.

Workaround

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader 4, on the File menu, click Preferences, and then click General.
  2. Click to clear the Web Broswer Integration check box, and then click OK.
  3. When you click a link to a .pdf file, you are prompted to save the file in the File Download dialog box. You can save the file, and then double-click to open it, which should open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

    If you choose Open file from current location, it should open the file within Adobe Acrobat Reader 4, and not in Internet Explorer.

MORE INFORMATION

Internet Explorer makes it possible to use the Adobe Acrobat viewer as a control. Due to a change in the object model from Internet Explorer 3.0 to Internet Explorer 4.0, Adobe needed to update their viewer to work with the Internet Explorer 4.0 object model. To obtain an updated version of Adobe Acrobat, contact Adobe.

For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
253213 Incorrect Address Passed When Using POST Versus GET Method
The third-party products that are discussed in this article are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.

Properties

Article ID: 177321 - Last Review: February 9, 2006 - Revision: 4.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 128-Bit Edition
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 128-Bit Edition
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.02
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 128-Bit Edition
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 128-Bit Edition
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.02
Keywords: 
kbenv kbui KB177321
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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