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Displaying a PDF in a page without using frames

Posted on 2004-09-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
My app lets a user select a PDF report, and then displays it in a new window. My client now thinks it would look better in the main page, retaining the menus down the left so that he doesn't "get lost".

My page doesn't use frames, it uses tables to lay out the page. Is there a way to display a document in a table cell without using frames or IFRAMEs? Browser compatibility is an issue here.
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Question by:crescendo
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:raterus
ID: 12069718
Tell your client if he wants browser compatibility, best to leave it in a frame/iframe, that way the browser decides how it is displayed.  You could do this with a third-party control they would have to download, then that wouldn't be very browser compatible.  I don't know how to do this, but I would imagine you could use adobe's pdf plugin within the page if you knew how to correctly identify it with an <object> tag.

Good Luck!

--Michael
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Author Comment

by:crescendo
ID: 12069762
I'm trying to avoid frames because it's a fair amount of work to change my app to use them, and I have a suspicion that when the client sees the result he'll say he preferred a new window after all.

Iframes are easy, but I think only IE 5.5+ supports them, so Netscape and old IE browsers won't see the output properly.
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Accepted Solution

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raterus earned 250 total points
ID: 12069870
<iframes> are a little more available than IE 5.5+
http://www.webmastersupercenter.com/webdesign_browser.htm

I think you'll be safe using them, especially if you look at the statistics for who is using what browser these days.
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LVL 9

Author Comment

by:crescendo
ID: 12069915
Fair enough, that makes it easy to please the client, so thanks again!

The reason I'm reluctant to invest too much energy in this is that the client has already given me a hard time making me scale everything to fit in an 800 x 600 window, "just in case". Now he wants to display the PDF in the 650 pixels to the right of the navigation menu. It will be unreadable, and he'll change his mind.
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:raterus
ID: 12069972
Don't you just love when they come to you and say "On second thought...I really want it like this now..."  Give them a quick demo page and ask them "Are you really sure you want it like this?"
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LVL 9

Author Comment

by:crescendo
ID: 12070032
Already done it!

That's why I like <iframe>, it's so painless.

It gets my goat that this is a fixed-price project at a rock bottom price. Contractually I could argue that I've done what they asked, but the reality is that I won't get paid until they are happy.
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Free Tool: Path Explorer

An intuitive utility to help find the CSS path to UI elements on a webpage. These paths are used frequently in a variety of front-end development and QA automation tasks.

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