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My Firefox and Chrome usually open PDF files very nicely, without asking and within the browser window.

When clicking on a link to a PDF on our own website:

  • Firefox asks if it should download them, to see it I need to open the download history.
  • Chrome downloads it automatically, but here as well, opening the PDF needs an extra click.

If I copy the PDF to a different Server (Django installation with lighttpd), Firefox and Chrome will display it nicely as usual.

What's wrong?

closed as off-topic by Rob, John Conde Jun 14 '18 at 15:23

  • This question does not appear to be about webmastering within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • You might want to add your sent headers. This is just guessing. Also, this belongs on stackoverflow.com, not here :) – Martijn Jul 10 '15 at 9:40
  • 2
    I'm not migrating this to StackOverflow, it looks appropriate here. It isn't necessarily a coding question, but it is certainly a webmaster question. – Stephen Ostermiller Jul 10 '15 at 10:19
  • I think you don't need to convert in your inputStream to charset=UTF-8" for PDF – Gopal Singh Jun 14 '18 at 11:31
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it was due to misconfiguration of the server. – Rob Jun 14 '18 at 11:52
  • This looks to be off-topic because it requires us to guess what could be wrong. There's nothing tangible for us to work with. – John Conde Jun 14 '18 at 15:22
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See How to force files to open in browser instead of download (pdf)? which has an answer from ColinM that tells you exactly what the headers should be:

To indicate to the browser that the file should be viewed in the browser:

Content-Type: application/pdf
Content-Disposition: inline; filename="filename.pdf"

To have the file downloaded rather than viewed:

Content-Type: application/pdf
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="filename.pdf"

EDIT: The quotes around the filename are required if the filename contains special characters such as filename[1].pdf which may otherwise break the browser's ability to handle the response.

  • Thank you for this very nice answer. However, I have to accept my own more special one, because that one solved my problem. – Philipp Zedler Jul 10 '15 at 13:34
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The solution was rather special.

The server had the default mime-type application/octet-stream for PDF files. After changing this to application/pdf everything worked fine.

In the lighttpd configuration I achieved the change by adding this definition:

mimetype.assign += ( ".pdf" => "application/pdf" )

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