Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tip Tuesday: Fix Firefox's default helper applications

A new feature here on Macanuck. Every Tuesday, if I remember, I will post a little tip, trick, hack or other nifty bit of wizardry to make your life easier. 

Firefox user?

Me, I bounce between Safari and Firefox, mostly because there's a couple sources I have to use for my soon-to-be day job that don't work in Safari. 

So I'm not an expert Firefox user by any means, but over at ehMac, someone mentioned they were getting annoyed that even though they had Preview set as their default PDF reader in the OS, Firefox would still open things in Adobe Reader. Short of deleting Reader, what could they do. 

The answer, is, unfortunately, a lot more complicated than it needs to be. 

If you open up Firefox and look in Firefox:Preferences:Content, you'll see a button marked "Manage" right at the bottom, under a label called "File Types" Which has the description:  "Configure how Firefox handles certain file types."

If you click on Manage, you'll find that pdf files are not in the list. And there's no way to add them from here. 

Instead, you have to go back to your browser and find a pdf (or other file type that you want to open; this trick works for any content that firefox can't handle natively; for instance, you might want .doc files to open in Pages, which rocks, instead of Word, which doesn't). 

Once you've found said file type, click on it to open it. Firefox opens up a dialogue box asking how you want to handle the file type. And here's where things get counter-intuitive. Open with Preview (default) is selected automatically, and if you go to the drop down menu, there are no other options.

Here's the trick. Select the check box at the bottom of the dialogue box that says "Do this Automatically for files like this from now on."

A note pops up telling you that you can change this in the Content section of Firefox, Preferences. Which is indeed what we shall do. 

Go back to the content section. Now PDF is in the list of Download Actions. Simply highlight PDF, click the change action button, and select the program you'd prefer to have your pdfs open with.

Easy Peasy.

Now, as soon as blogger lets me upload images, I'll add a couple screen caps to this. 

And hey, if you have any questions, things that have been pestering you about the way things work on a Mac, do post a question here, and I will see what I can do to solve your Mac or Apple Related problems.

Thanks all. 

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