Most PDF documents are designed to work using Adobe Acrobat Reader as the reader software. But by default most web browsers will open PDFs inside the browser window. This can cause printing problems, for example, PDFs opened in Microsoft Edge won't print.

To avoid this problem, you can associate PDF documents in your browser to always open with Acrobat Reader:


  1. Click on the menu button (three horizontal lines) in the top right of your browser window and choose Options.
  2. In the General panel, scroll down to the Applications section.
  3. Go down to Portable Document Format (PDF) in the list and click to select it.
  4. Click on the drop-down arrow in the Action column for the above entry. The Action entry will show Preview in Firefox when you're using the built-in PDF Viewer. To use an external application to view PDF files, use the drop-down to select the entry for the PDF application you wish to use, such as Use Adobe Reader.


  1. Open the Chrome browser and type (or copy and paste) this URL: chrome://settings/content/pdfDocuments
  2. Slide the button option to the right to enable Download of PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Chrome.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge doesn't support Acrobat plug-ins, so you will need to use Internet Explorer to open/print PDFs. If you can't find Internet Explorer in your Start menu, you will find it by using Search (magnifying glass).

Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer and choose Tools > Manage Add-ons.
  2. Under Add-on Types, select Toolbars and Extensions.
  3. In the Show menu, select All Add-ons.
  4. In the list of add-ons, select Adobe PDF Reader.
  5. Toggle the button to Disable to turn off the add-on so it doesn't open PDFs in the browser.


  1. Launch Safari, then choose Preferences from the Safari menu.
  2. In the Preferences window, choose Security and then click the Website Settings button for Internet plug-ins.
  3. Now select Adobe Reader in the list of plug-ins.
  4. Under the option When visiting other Websites, in the drop-down list, choose Allow Always and then click Done.

If you are still not able to print your PDF, please contact AskOtago or Student IT for further help:

Tel +64 3 479 5170
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Or visit Student IT at the AskOtago Central Hub

Further information

Troubleshooting printing from Blackboard

Last updated 05/11/2021 11.58 AM

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