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PDF Troubleshooting Guide

Many library databases, as well as course reserves and articles delivered through interlibrary loan, use the PDF format to deliver the full text of articles. Most patrons have little trouble accessing & viewing these documents. On occasion, however, viewing documents fails because of incompatibilities between the programs involved. Below are the suggested configurations for browser and PDF viewer for both the PC and Mac platforms.

Browser and software recommendations:

  • We recommend Adobe Reader version 8.0 (or higher) as the PDF viewer application
  • We recommend Firefox or Google Chrome as the preferred browsers.

Troubleshooting tips:

  • Pop-up blockers may interfere with the viewing of PDFs. If you're having trouble viewing, you may want to disable any pop-up blockers that might be in effect.
  • Update Adobe Reader: Try uninstalling the Adobe Reader software from your computer, then download the newest version of Adobe Reader software.
  • Firewalls or security software may also interfere with access to PDF documents. Try temporarily disabling this software before opening an interlibrary loan document.
  • Mac users: See troubleshooting tips for:


Contact the Library Service Desk at 503.943.7788, email, or use Library Chat.