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Re: Should pdf and doc open alone or inside the browser

From: Jesper Tverskov <jesper.tverskov@mail.tele.dk>
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2004 09:23:37 +0200
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000001c473aa$a25db020$440bc650@tversdatg7y7vv>

I have done some more testing of how pdf, doc, xls, ppt, open in
browsers, and I must say it settles the issue for me. 

When a pdf opens inside the browser as in IE and Mozilla, only the
standard icon panel of Acrobat Reader is present in the browser. The
solution is inaccessible for ordinary keyboard users and even most of
the shortcut keys in IE, if that is the browser, don't work anymore. 

MS Applications
When a doc, xls, ppt open inside IE, it looks more like it is IE opening
inside the application or a mixture of the two. The menu line is mainly
the application but some of the menu items very confusingly belong to
the browser. The browser's address line and the browser standard icon
panel are present, but are inaccessible to ordinary keyboard users with
some exceptions like Home.

The guideline argument

Some members of this list have been using the argument, that since
Acrobat Reader has a checkbox where the user can deselect behavior, in
this case to open inside the browser, no webpage author is allowed to
serve the open/save dialog but must always open pdfs inside the browser
right away. Only Acrobat Reader must do otherwise.
It is always nice to point to guidelines, but it is often better to
provide solid arguments and analysis of your own. Guidelines could be
wrong or misinterpreted, or the case does not apply.

Let us say we have some bad behavior on the internet like popup windows.
Some browsers introduce a checkbox to protect the users, they can now
deselect popups. Does this mean that webpage authors should not stop
using popups since it interferes with functionality now present in some

The checkbox in Acrobat Reader making it possible to deselect "open
inside the browser" is probably introduced to protect many complaining
users from this very destructive (using modem and not the newest
computer) or useless behavior, at least if you are an ordinary keyboard

Does a checkbox in Acrobat Reader mean that the whole issue of how
application files should open on the net becomes an issue that must no
longer be discussed, and that we must not seek better ways to use the

Best regards,

Jesper Tverskov
Received on Tuesday, 27 July 2004 03:24:13 UTC

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