[pdftex] pdf file not displaying properly in browser

Ross Moore ross at ics.mq.edu.au
Tue Mar 20 09:26:12 CET 2001

> Quoting Ed L Cashin <ecashin at terry.uga.edu>:
> > Robert Howlett <rhowlett at mail.usyd.edu.au> writes:
> > 
> > ...
> > > I am puzzled by a minor problem that I am having now that I have not
> > > had before, at least for several years. The pdf files I create using
> > > pdftex (under Win95 or Win98) display OK using acrord32, but when I
> > > upload them to the place where my students are supposed to find them
> > > and then attempt to view them in my web browser (both IE 5.50 and
> > > Netscape 4.76) not all the fonts show up.
> > 
> I now believe that the phenomenon is this: when I first click
> on the link to the pdf file, the data is transmitted OK and the
> acrobat reader plug-in starts but the page remains blank. If
> I now click the browser's "back" button and then the "forward"
> button then the pdf file comes up OK on the screen. I usually
> use Netscape but on one occasion IE did something similar.

Hi Bob,

This is similar to a phenomenon that I've observed on a Mac.
When the browser downloads the PDF some fonts are reported as missing,
yet they can be verified to be on the system.
Hit the refresh button; the file refreshes perfectly, with no font problem.

Well, that actually depends on whether it is a Netscape refresh
or an MSIE refresh. With MSIE the refresh works, as it reads the downloaded
file from the cache; but with Netscape the problem persists, as it
brings in the data afresh. If the cache file is opened manually using
Acrobat or Acrobat Reader, there is no font problem.

Of course this only happens when there are non-standard fonts in the document.
(Don't ask me to define `standard' here. :-)

> The strange thing is that I've been making and posting these
> pdf files for years and never had this particular behaviour
> before (as far as I can remember). All that has changed is the
> version of pdftex and the version of the browser.

Test other browsers, and try opening the cached version of the file
directly in Acrobat Reader. If these all work, then the updated browser
is a dud.

That's no solace when you know that your students may have the same
browser version. Maybe you can trace it to a particular font, as in my case.
Then stop using that font.  :-)

All the best,

	Ross Moore

> Bob 
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