Mike’s World of fun stuff (pinball, games, electronics, amusement parks, computers, more)
Mac OS X has a built-in tool called Preview that is lightning fast. Compared to Acrobat, Preview is a Ferrari while Acrobat is a Yugo. Thus, I prefer to open my PDF files in Preview and not inside a bloated web browser. I also like to save them, as I often will save a PDF and look at it later.
Until recently, I have been using FireFox on my Mac. But, due to some crashing, slowness in the Gmail RSS reader, etc. I have been trying to use Safari 99% of the time. So, while I had an add-on in FireFox to force downloads of PDF files, I couldn't seen an obvious way to do this in Safari.
After a bit of digging around, I found this little gem. As of this writing, I'm using Safari 4.0.4 on Snow Leopard 10.6.2, but the tip has worked for years, so it should work with most other combinations.
Here's how you stop Safari from opening PDF files inside the browser and instead save them to the disk:
defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitOmitPDFSupport -bool YES
It's that easy! Now, when you click a pdf link, the file will be downloaded to your normal download location on the disk and you can open it with whatever tool you want.
NOTE: This will NOT work with the Windows version. There probably is some similar tweak you can do, but the above tip uses OS X specific commands!
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