This week the designer of our provincial government delivered a nice clickable PDF. The file wil be loaded on a webpage and the link of that page will be send by email to a stakeholder group. The PDF-file was made in Acrobat X Pro 10.1.3
When testing we discovered major problems when loading the pages of the 3 Mb PDF-file. Depending on the platform uses this can take minutes if is loads at all. Apart from that funny things happen...
Test 1 - Laptop / Windows 7 / Explorer > PDF doesn't open
Test 2 - Laptop / Windows 7 / Chrome > buttons in PDF don't work
Test 2a - Laptop / Windows 7 / Chrome again > the first page of the file opens, but with a blue haze
Test 3 - Desktop PC / Windows 7 / Explorer > PDF works fine
Test 4 - Desktop PC / Windows 7 / Chrome > buttons in PDF don't work
Test 4a - Desktop PC / Windows 7 / Chrome again > the first page of the file opens, but with a blue haze
Test 5 - Desktop PC / Windows Vista / Explorer > no loading issue, but Explorer crashes when using the PDF
Test 6 - Unknown tablet PC / Android > PDF works fine
Test 7 - iPad 3 tablet PC / Apple OS / Acrobat > buttons in PDF don't work
So the results are quite alarming. What can we do to guarantee our policy makers a succesful publication next monday?
We appreciate any suggestion.
Maarten van Vliet
Chome, by default, renders PDF files using its own plugin - and that doesn't support as many features as Adobe Reader does.
iOS won't support any interactive elements that use scripting due to the limitations imposed by Apple.
Without seeing the PDF it's hard to say why it's crashing on test 5, as 'clickable' could mean anything. If the stakeholder group have Adobe Reader X installed and are running on a desktop then there shouldn't any problem even with the most complex PDF, but if the PDF uses features specific to the current version and they have an old copy of Reader or a third-party PDF display application, some things won't work properly. You can persuade them to upgrade by adding a note to the document or the website it's served from, but you can't force them to do it, nor can your webserver detect if they have a suitable application installed or not. The PDF file can, but only if it gets as far as opening.