Warning: PDF file

What’s with always “warning” people that a link is to a PDF file? Has a PDF file ever injured someone? Do the five or ten seconds it takes for Adobe Reader to open leave computer users in a state of shrieking panic? Does having a PDF file on your desktop cause your co-workers to avoid you in the cafeteria?

I don’t get it.

What your computer may take five or ten seconds may take someone with a less powerful computer a lot longer, and may even crash their system. My parents still use a Windows '98 system that we bought at least six years ago, and sometimes PDFs are not kind to it.

I have a relatively new laptop, and Firefox still sometimes chokes on PDFs (I know there’s an extension I should download, and since I have some time this week, I may do that). Also, when you click a link to another site, you generally have an expectation of how long it’ll take to load. A 40-page PDF will probably significantly exceed that expectation.

This question comes up time and time again. To the point where I wish we could make it a sticky: This is why. Anyway, there were a couple of threads in which several posters - myself included - explained why pdf files need warnings.

One of the reasons is what **Garfield ** said. Slower computers just can’t handle a pdf. I know I can mouse-over, but there is a way that people code urls that don’t show the link. I don’t know how, but I’ve seen it done.

Also, we warn for work-safe, don’t we? What’s the harm in warning for pdfs? We run on Citrix here, and opening up a pdf link really sloooooows me down and makes everything stop. I can surf here, it’s OK, but I like to be quick about it.

So, it’s just a polite request. Please? Thank you very much.

Here are two of the older threads. I got bored and stopped searching after that.

Don’t forget that not everyone has broadband yet.


Oh, and one more thing. Everyone keeps telling me “Change your settings” “Use Firefox”.

Well, at work I’m not allowed to change my settings and we have to use IE. No choice about it. So, just another request.

And that second linky has lots of links to the other threads.

I have Firefox, and a fairly new computer (2004, Windows XP) and PDFs crash my browser. I cannot handle them. Period. And even then, the few times I have been able to in the past, I hate them. They slow everything down, and they’re unnecessary.