Reading .PDF Files
The File Opens, But the Screen Is Blank
Many users have reported a problem opening and reading files
in the Adobe Acrobat .PDF format. The problem is that the
browser says the file has been opened successfully — and the
name of the file is correctly displayed in the browser's
"Location" or "Address" bar — but the reality is
that no actual text appears on the screen.
Save the File and Read It in Adobe Acrobat
There is a simple way to deal with the problem:
If the Problem Persists, Here Is Another Way
- Once the .PDF document is loaded, and the filename is displayed
in the browser's Location or Address bar, click "File"
on the browser's menu bar at the top of the screen, then click
- The name of the file you are trying to display (e.g.,
"boulder-co.pdf") should be displayed on the line labeled
- Save the file in whatever folder you like, and note
- Now, from your Start Menu or from an icon on your Windows desktop,
open the Adobe Acrobat Reader and click "File" and then "Open."
- Locate the name of the .PDF file you just saved, click on it,
and then click "OK."
- The file should display properly.
This method is very slightly more complicated, but it works
extremely well. The technique is designed for users of Netscape:
- Before you load the .PDF file, click on "Edit" in the
Netscape menu bar at the top of the screen
- When the Edit menu drops down, click on "Preferences"
- When the Preferences dialogue box is displayed, click on the
little "+" sign next to the word "Advanced" (left side of the
- You should now see the words "Cache," "Proxy," and
"Smart Update" displayed under the word Advanced.
- Click on the word "Cache."
- A dialogue box should now be displayed. Click on the button
labeled "Clear Memory Cache" and then, when a little confirmation
box appears asking if you wish to continue, click on the
- The confirmation box should disappear after you have
clicked on the word OK. Now click on the word "OK" at the bottom of
the main dialogue box. This should take you back to the TOP
- Now, position your cursor on the name of the .PDF file you
wish to view and RIGHT-CLICK on the filename.
- Near the bottom of the dialogue box that opens you will
see the words "Save Link As" — click on this.
- Save the link as if you were saving a regular file (as in the
- Once you have saved the file using this technique, open it in
the Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Everyone we have talked to about this problem seems to feel that
there is some sort of sporadic incompatiblity between the Adobe
plug-in for web browsers and the actual browser software. We have
noticed, for example, that when you try to open or download a
.PDF file using the browser plug-in, the browser does not always
download the entire file to your computer. Obviously this is
going to cause problems.
The bottom line is that some users have problems, while for
others it's never an issue.
The workarounds described above should be effective because they
don't rely on the Adobe plug-in, but rather use the actual Adobe
Acrobat Reader, to display the file.
Do the Workarounds Actually Work?
Please let us know if you have any additional problems loading or
reading .PDF files from this site.