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Sharepoint Foundation and PDFs

Posted on 2013-01-17
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Last Modified: 2013-01-22
I have asked similar questions but could never get a good, definitive answer so I'm hoping if I am really clear and concise, I can get one. This has been a real nightmare for me. Thanks in advance.

Externally facing Sharepoint Foundation 2010 SP1, with psconfig rerun after SP1 upgrade. That all seems to be working fine

Heavy use of pdfs in doc libraries, where checkin checkout and versioning are needed and are set

 Note, I have uninstalled ie9 and it reverted to ie8, all problems still identical

1) Doesn't allow editing from either the ribbon or the right side item dropdown for pdf files. IE8 doesn't even allow this for word docs in the ribbon while Firefox does (strange), but IE lets you select "edit word doc" in the item drop down as does Firefox. So there's a bug.

2) Users can directly click on the pdf doc and it prompts for save but does not say anything about checking out. So I have to first save the document locally, then make edits, and then use Acrobat X save online feature and it uploads it back up overwrites the file and shows as a new version in version control with the changes reflected. How did it completely circumvent the entire required checkout process that I have set for this library? It used to tell people that they are going to check out the file as well as edit, now it magically stopped doing that and goes right into the download process.

Something is really whacky about this whole setup. I believe I installed the Adobe IFilter correctly because the icon shows up and pdfs can be successfully searched.

Is there one standard recommended way of handling this Microsoft mess when it comes to pdfs and checkout not being enforced for any docs?? What is the recommended browser to use? What is the recommended way for someone to be forced to check the file out before editing and why is that not working when I have enabled the checkout requirement? What is the recommended way to publish back up to Sharepoint and checkin? As mentioned above, I've been using Acrobat X save to online feature, but this seems like some sort of backdoor hack that merely overwrites the file.
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Question by:BobHavertyComh
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Expert Comment

by:PaulD77
ID: 38787186
On your sharpoint server do you have the browser File Handling option in the Web Application General Settings set as permissive and you're still getting prompted to save locally before opening?
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by:BobHavertyComh
ID: 38787427
No I don't have it set to permissive. The people who open these docs will have Acrobat Pro and will need a lot of editing tools and I'm afraid that the browser version will be scaled down in terms of functionality. I'm ok with them having to download, but I need a correct system for editing and publishing back that includes checkout/checkin. When i click on the filename itself, it totally bypasses any checkout and defaults to downloading the file. In IE and FF, checkouts and checkins and edit are all disabled on the ribbon. Checkout and checkin are enable in the item dropdown, but edit is not (unless it's a word doc in FF, but in IE this doesn't even work for word docs).

Very confusing matrix of problem conditions that I'm having a hard time explaining. There's something fundamentally wrong that is probably creating all of these problems and that they are related somehow, but i just don't know what.
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by:BobHavertyComh
ID: 38787803
I tested setting it to permissive, and like I thought there were really no editing capabilities when it opened in the browser. I actually want them to download it because they will be making a lot of edits. Switched it back to strict and FF goes into download mode, but now IE remains stuck in viewing it in the browser rather than downloading. So now my problems have gotten even worse. This software (SP Foundation) simply does not work in any sort of reliable fashion. Everything seems to break all of the time and there is little info on how to fix it.
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Author Comment

by:BobHavertyComh
ID: 38787853
Just to summarize, my main problem is that these docs can be downloaded for editing without forcing a checkout when the library is set to require this. If i could just solve this one problem with this buggy mess, that would be ok.
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Expert Comment

by:PaulD77
ID: 38787883
hmmm well one thing i've used with offsite employees is to just map the sharepoint library as a drive on their laptop or home computer, where the drive is http://companyweb.domain.com. Enter in login info and the docs all open and full editing. Issues I've run into have only been Mac related, unable to save back to sharepoint.  I probably do not have as complex a SP site as yours, I have no check out or check in enabled, just versioning.
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Author Comment

by:BobHavertyComh
ID: 38788242
Hi Paul, that is a good suggestion about mapping drives, but if I get these users to use the latest version of Acrobat X Pro, it actually has an option to save to website addresses (Sharepoint Library) and it works. The main problem is why these docs are bypassing checkout when they shouldn't and nobody seems to have ever experienced this.

Here's the strange part, before i uninstalled ie9 and reverted back to 8 in order to debug other problems, I was able to see the checkout and edit notification and if I selected "save to local drafts", I was able to check it out and edit the pdf, and hit the save button and it saves it to my local drafts. Then, when I went back to sharepoint and checked it back in, magically it started an upload from my local drafts and created a new version and the changes were reflected. So somehow, it maintained a connection between the library and local drafts. I didn't think it was supposed to work that way, but it actually used to

I'm becoming concerned because this is a very buggy program that behaves like a chameleon and it's almost impossible to debug when it seems to be such a changing and moving target, and I can't find anybody here or on google who seems to understand the inner workings of this and how this could possibly happen
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Expert Comment

by:PaulD77
ID: 38788386
I applied check in on my library, to test...mapped the drive and opened a doc..on my site tje doc shows as checked out...worth a test in yoir environment
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Author Comment

by:BobHavertyComh
ID: 38788492
If you applied a checkout requirement, when you click on the item title, do you see a notification that you will be checking this out for editing and then a save to my local drafts checkbox? That is what is supposed to show up but it does not in my library, it acts as though checkouts aren't required and immediately goes to download the file (because I have it set for strict rather than permissive). Again, I need for them to open this in Acrobat Pro rather than the browser because they will be doing a lot of editing of these pdfs. Checkout/checkin is a must because there could be multiple people trying to edit the same pdf simultaneously, which causes accidental overwrites.

I'm surprised that I'm the only person who has ever experienced this problem, but I've been googling all day to no avail.
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Accepted Solution

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BobHavertyComh earned 0 total points
ID: 38789879
I finally found an obscure article that completely solves this problem

http://blog.avtex.com/2012/01/18/sharepoint-integration-with-adobe-acrobat-reader-x/

It turns out that all you have to do is to add AdobeAcrobat.OpenDocuments to the open control parameter for the pdf mapping key.

<Mapping Key=”pdf” Value=”icpdf.gif” OpenControl=”AdobeAcrobat.OpenDocuments” />

Saved it and reset the iis and BANG!!! My users are going to have Acrobat Pro because they will need to edit pdfs as well as view them, and this is why I didn't want to change from strict to permissive. With the latest version of Acrobat, it seamless integrates with Sharepoint and manages sharepoint checkout and checkins IN THE ACROBAT CLIENT.

This is really hot and more people need to know about this as apparently most don't because it took me an entire day on google to find this.
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Expert Comment

by:PaulD77
ID: 38789893
Nice find and good to know!!
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Author Closing Comment

by:BobHavertyComh
ID: 38804830
Nobody knew about the additional open control parameter for the pdf mapping key which suddenly makes everything work just as it should
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