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University of Portland Clark Library

Troubleshooting Off-Campus Access: Help Opening PDFs

Tips for Everyone

  • Google Chrome often offers the most seamless access to PDFs.
  • Try opening the PDF in a different browser (for example, try Firefox or Safari). Often one browser may not be configured correctly for PDFs but another will work.
  • Update Adobe Reader: Try uninstalling the Adobe Reader software from your computer, then download the newest version of Adobe Reader software.
  • Try disabling any pop-up blockers that might block PDFs from opening.


Please contact the library at 503.943.7788, or email, for assistance.

Tips for Mac Users

On Macs, the default viewer for PDFs is "Preview," however, Preview is not able to view PDFs with dynamic or interactive content.  Switching the default PDF viewer to Adobe Reader instead of Preview will often resolve PDF access issues on Macs.

How to make Adobe Reader the default PDF viewer on a Mac:

  1. Select any PDF file and choose: File -> Get Info
  2. From the Open With menu, select Adobe Reader (it is usually located in the Applications folder)
  3. Choose Change All, and then choose Continue.

See additional troubleshooting tips for specific browsers: | 503.943.7111 or 800.841.8261 | 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland, OR 97203-5798
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