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. You can instead associate PDF documents in your browser to always open with Acrobat Reader or to download so you can open them yourself:

Printing a PDF directly from Adobe Acrobat Reader can sometimes be unreliable and will not always show up at the printer. See the related answer Troubleshooting printing in Adobe Acrobat for a solution to this issue.


  1. Click on the menu button (three horizontal lines) in the top right of your browser window and choose Options (Windows) or Settings (Mac).
  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. The Action entry will show Preview in Firefox or Open in Firefox when you're using the built-in PDF viewer. To use an external application to view PDF files, use the drop-down and choose either your system's default application or Use other...

Google Chrome

  1. Open Chrome and enter the URL: chrome://settings/content/pdfDocuments
  2. Select the option to always download PDFs instead of automatically opening them in Chrome.

Microsoft Edge

  1. Open Edge and enter the URL: edge://settings/content/pdfDocuments
  2. Select the option to always download PDFs instead of automatically opening them in Edge.


In Safari there is no option to remove or change the default PDF viewer.

You may instead download the PDF by holding down the Alt/Option key before opening the PDF. If the PDF is already opened, you can download it by selecting the URL in the address bar and pressing ‘Alt/Option + Return’.

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Further information

Troubleshooting printing from Blackboard

Last updated 30/03/2022 04.50 PM

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