Can't open a PDF file.

This PDF file can not be open when I click on "download as zip."
Why not?

If I click on "view online" it opens in Word Online which we never even knew existed.

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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
If you're downloading a zip file, then presumably the PDF file is inside the zip. So unzip the zip file to extract the PDF and then you'll be able to open it (the extracted PDF) in Adobe Reader. Regards, Joe
nickg5Author Commented:
When I click on download as zip Adobe Reader opens up but the document does not open.
It was sent as an e-mail attatchment.
Shouldn't it be unzipped automatically?
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Whether or not it is automatically unzipped depends on your email client or email web portal, and possibly on options that you set. My email client does not automatically unzip (and I don't want it to), so I save the attachment as a zip file and then unzip it with my file manager.
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nickg5Author Commented:
It is a PDF but when I try to save it, I see this:
C:\Users\Owner\Pictures\ol.htm  <<<<

Saving it gets a new Internet Explorer window and it says the file is HTML.

The only way I seem tro get it open is using Word Online. Which if it did not exist, I'd have no options.

Never understood the need for a zipped file.

I've unzipped foles before but I can not seem to save this file where it can be unzipped. This image shows it is a PDF.

Microsoft needs to buy Adobe so these issues are solved simply.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
What email client or email web portal are you using?

What happens when you right-click on the attachment and do a Save As?
nickg5Author Commented:
Save as gets it into my download folder. I go there to unzip it and it is shown as a PDF file. Adobe Reader won't open it.

I'm trying to forward the e-mail attatchment to myself since i need to forward it to someone else and it dies not lok like a normal attatchment.

Right click on the image and save as is not a choice.
Right click on "download as zip" gets "save target as" which gets this:
nickg5Author Commented:
Hotmail, Vista.
The first Adobe message above implies the "sender" and the way it was sent is why it can not be opened. It's a file from a cell phone but it is a PDF.

Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
What happens when you left-click on "Download as zip"?
nickg5Author Commented:
I get the image you see here:
ID: 40407529

Also all the choices here.........
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Doesn't make sense. Why would Adobe Reader own the file type ZIP? Regardless, find that downloaded file in Windows Explorer or whatever file manager you use. Presumably, its file type is ZIP. If not, change it to ZIP. Now look inside the ZIP file with Windows Explorer or whatever file manager you use. What's in there? Presumably, it's a PDF file. If so, extract it. If not, what's in there?

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nickg5Author Commented:
I just know that on the image of the file it says "view online."
Below that is a link to "download as zip."

Left click of download as zip gets 4 choices:
a. open and that gets the Adobe reader error.
b. save
c. save as
d. save and open

d. gets the same as a.
c. and b. gets the file where you see it in this image. As you can see, I have saved it here 5 times already. It's clearly a PDF file but Reader won't open it.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Here's a theory. It's not really a PDF file. It's a ZIP file. But somehow, Adobe Reader on your system is associated with the ZIP file type (of course, it shouldn't be). So try this. Do a right-click on one of the downloaded files and then do an Open With and select Windows Explorer. See if that shows the contents of the ZIP file.
nickg5Author Commented:
Windows Explorer is not an option as you see here. The sender used their cell phone to take a photo of the documents. So their phone and their e-mail program (via their phone or computer) sent it to my e-mail program. I assume their phone had the ability to take the photo as a PDF. Not sure where the "download as zip" came from.
They sent 3 similar files last week. View online via Word Online was the only way I could view them.
nickg5Author Commented:
Here is the file that was saved a different way. The icon is Internet Explorer. The type file is a zip. When I right click > open > my Explorer goes wild and flickers on and on very fast, I can not close any window and I can only go to start > shutdown > reboot.

So, Windows Explorer does not like this file. The sender is a trusted source. A director of a public library.
From this comment - what/where are you viewing that?
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> Here is the file that was saved a different way.

What exactly do you mean by "a different way"? How was it saved?

> I assume their phone had the ability to take the photo as a PDF.

Maybe, but I doubt it. Most phones take photos as JPGs. You could change its file extension to JPG and then try opening it. If that doesn't work, I'd try to determine what the file really is — not by the file extension, but by its contents. TrID is a good tool for that.
Hi nickg5 please post the URL to this file PDF zipped on the web

In your first screenshot it shows as an attachment?  
The second thing that stands out is download as zip?<< you already have it as an attachment?? normally attached files donot show a preview in the message body.
Is this an email with an attachment that is asking you to download as zip. Lets start from there, what is your email client and did you save the attachment first to your desktop? What format is it saved to your desktop?  Rightclick original attachment in your email and save it do nothing else please, them post a snapshot of this saved file.
nickg5Author Commented:
Let's start over. The file was copied from a book with a cell phone, I think, because the pages of the book were too fragile to use on a table top scanner.
Then they sent the images to my Hotmail address.

Here is what I saw when I opened the e-mail.
You see the "paper clip."
And "view online" and "download as zip."

If I click on view online, it opens with Word Online.
If I right click on the "red" area above the words view online, I get nothing related to save or open.
If I left click on the red area I get the choices indicated by the green arrows at the bottom.

My choices other than Word Online are:
a. click on "download as zip"
b. save indicated by the green arrow
c. save as indicated by the green arrow
d. save and open
e. open indicated by the left green arrow at the bottom.

Each of the above (a. thu e.) get mixed results. I'll post them later.
As you can see by the right green arrow at the bottom is it shown as a PDF file.

I guess choice f. is to click on the paper clip, either left click or right click.

In the past I have opened dozens of PDF files.
I've saved or opened or unzipped a small number of files. They are usually saved and then unzipped by "some" program.

Merete asks for the URL from Word Online. I doubt I can post it since the document in the file contains personal information about 100's of people.

nickg5Author Commented:
There are many options. Here are some of them.

If I right click on "download as zip" I get:
a. open
b. open in a new tab
c. open in a new window.

Choosing any of those only gets me a new IE browser with my Hotmail account open. So these 3 options go nowhere.

d. save target as.

If I choose d. I get what you see in the first image below.

If I click on save, I get what you see in the second image below. The file turns up in my pictures folder as an HTML document with IE icon.

So, I think if I try to open the HTML file from the pictures folder, Windows Explorer does not like it and my entire desktop flickers on and off real fast and I have to go to start > shutdown > reboot.

So, save target as, and save puts the "assumed" PDF file into my photos folder as an HTML file.
That looks as if you have been sent URL as an attachment so right clicking save as only offers you those choices based on the file type your saving.>>your basically saving a URL web page to your downloads, delete all of them.
 nick5  Lets forget doing that.
Instead open it in the web page.
Now to determine if it has opened as PDF or a word
Understand that as we have no eyes on and lots of experts assisting back and forth things can get a bit messy for you,
I get the impression wrong words describing things. Possible when changed the default program what to open it with opening with has changed file association and that would change the icon., so lets eliminate that ..
I also remember you have Vista.
My question is how do you know it is word on the web page and not a PDF.
When you open it online? straight from the email is it a PDF or word .doc
I can't tell as the red icon in your email should be a URL but it's red like a Adobe PDF?
 looks like adobe PDF not a word.
Here is what I saw when I opened the e-mail.
You see the "paper clip."
And "view online" and "download as zip."
this sounds as if it is a URL so left clicking onit opens it >>view online should open to a web page that has the PDF, move your curser down to the center of the page you should see the Adobe Bar
This is what a PDF viewed online looks like, move the mouse curser down a little see the Adobe Bar
Adobe Bar  PDF on web
Adobe Bar  PDF on webWhen you click the Adobe icon the pages appear and save using the floppy
Adobe Pages and save optionsdot doc viewed online, when you open the doc online it save to your temp downloads
dot doc viewed onlineThis a word URL online
DOC URL on the webTo save a word from online click on FILE top left and save as, it saves as a word since it is a word, choose your desktop
saving word online
Back to you
nickg5Author Commented:
My question is how do you know it is word on the web page and not a PDF.
 When you open it online? straight from the email is it a PDF or word .doc
.............Because it opens a new browser and displays the docment in Word Online and actually has me logged in. You can see the logout link in the second photo below top right. I've never heard of Word Online, never knew it existed and never really received a file that was captured with a cell phone camera which is the way the person had to capture the 4 page document, I think.

Here you see "view online."
I click on view online and a new window opens and the 4 page document is shown in Word Online. The scroll bar on the right lets me go down to see pages 1-4.
I need to send the file to someone but I don't know how. I hoped it was a PDF or it was a zipped file that could be unzipped.

None of the features of the document reveal PDF. I know all about PDF files and the Adobe bar.
I see your viewing the emails on, so it's not actually in a browser but rather the web access and using it's inbuilt viewer.
Outlook Word onlineyes in order to send it correctly you can either forward it as is or save it then add the correct file as an attached.
Could also be that file is from a newer version of office than what you have.
I cant test this for you using the same scenario but it looks as if your viewing the attached while still in your inbox, like opening your email
there should be an option to save it from here, see these two > FILE and Download, that download is a PDF icon
what happens if you go to file what is under that, also if you just click on download? it should download as a PDF
outlook email save optionsnickg5 on my windows 7 computer I use windows Live mail, every email I get in windows live mail is also on Mail
windows live mailWhat is your email client on your Vista?
My line of thinking is to receive this email in your windows email client then save the attached file to your desktop instead.
with the thought that the file maybe from a newer version of office, I noticed in your previous image
PDF from col130> but with this extension>
afx ms It is a PDF file and an Excel file.
This file came from a windows phone app?>>( The file was copied from a book with a cell phone)
You need the original software or app to open it.
Whatever the original software or app that was used to attach to the email You need this software or app on your Vista as well.
I feel the quickest solution here is use a snipping tool and grab a screen shot of each page save them and then paste them into word and then send that word forward onto your other email contacts.
Or simply add the images snipped to your email.
Since you can view them in just open the page to full screen and use the region in the snipping highlighting one page.
Does  your Vista have the snipping tool activated?
How to>
Snipping tool for vista
Vista is getting outdated nickg5 so you'll need to use simple methods.
nickg5Author Commented:
Word Online
Then download, or file and save as gets the same result.
Then the file is saved and it goes to the downloads folder and when opened using Adobe it opens.
I assume I can just send the file as it exist in the download folder and the receiver can open it normally as a PDF file?
So when you click download from it downloads as a PDF?>Then the file is saved and it goes to the downloads folder and when opened using Adobe it opens.<< great then you have the PDF..
I assume I can just send the file as it exist in the download folder and the receiver can open it normally as a PDF file?<< yes!!!
just send  in the email using attachment.
So it was just a simple step of using that download in Outlook to save it right :)
Outlook dot com downloadcheers
nickg5Author Commented:
Yes it seems so.
Part was........
a. why Adobe would not open it the other way.
b. why "download as zip" was shown on the e-mail and it could not be opened that way and was it a zip file.
c. when saved from the e-mail it become an HTML file that could not be opened either and it caused Explorer to crash.
Are you not familiar with zipped files?
A. why Adobe would not open it the other way.<< because of misguided advise, understandably no one realised it was an attached file in an email and was on not in your windows email program.
When you saved it as html you changed the file association Instead you should just have clicked on download as zip that has an inbuilt URL and it should have downloaded as a zip.
Do you have zipper installed? If not that would have been the second problem as you had nothing to unzip the PDF out.
Use the free 7zip in your Vista if you don't have a zip program, it adds the rightclick and then from now on when you get a zip stick it in a folder then  r/click it and extract here
your zip with Internet Explorer icon, wrong!! program
B - why "download as zip" was shown on the e-mail and it could not be opened that way and was it a zip file. <<
No I believe it was not a zip yet only a link to the download> it was a tiny URL linking  to download the zip.
When a file is locked inside a zip it must be extracted first, if  you had downloaded as a zip and you have a zip program left clicking on it would have shown your the PDF unopened but just a PDF icon, right clicking it would give you the options to extract it here or a specific directory. If you have no zip program it was a lost file with no program to open it.
left clicking on zipped PDF
left clicking on zipped PDFextracting a Zip right click
r/clicking extracting file from zipC- when saved from the e-mail it become an HTML file that could not be opened either and it caused Explorer to crash.<< yes I believe you have changed the file association.
You had a zip with a tiny url to download from and files type of internet Explorer  to open it when it clearly shows in the properties it was a zip.
Just a like a movie if it has a name like Avatar.mpeg you can't change it to Avatar.html , the actions open and run are two entirely different actions used differently by windows , so when you left clicked a zip with the association of internet explorer windows went wth. What the Hell!!
To fix this you need to re-set default program for a zip file to a zip program, install 7zip and it will get rid of that association with internet explorer
Or r/click a good known working zip file and go to open with choose default program what tools are offered?
nickg5Author Commented:
Joe was told my e-mail program here: ID: 40407529

I have unzipped files before and tried right click and left click on "download as zip" and it does not work. There is no "zipped up" file shown when the file is opened, saved, saved as, or save and open. All stated above in ID: 40409549 and ID: 40409112.
Yes I appreciate that, download as zip may have been blocked.
Either way I cannot know as it is now corrupted file association with that attached file/link in your email.
opening it in you had a built-in PDF viewer and were then able to download it.
But I do know that you have the wrong program association with the zip,
IE icon for Zipthe default program for a zip should be either RAR or 7 ZIP icons. see my image above with extracting a Zip right click
unless you send me that email so I can test it then I cannot fully answer your questions but just looking at your snap it shows IE icon  and states it is a zip.
If the zip is off on a web page somewhere and someone sends you a tiny URL when you click onit not right click it and save it,
left click it it should either download or open a page to the download, what you did instead of downloading it you right clicked it and chose save this file as>html, and forced it to change.
saved as htmlregards Merete
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> because of misguided advise

Hmmm, just read the entire thread carefully and don't see any "misguided advise" (I presume you meant "advice"). Cheers, Joe
Awe!!  don't read that wrong dear dear Joe, hmm how can I wriggle out of that with out offending anyone..
By that I mean we all offer advise good suggestions based on the advise we get :) so even if that is misguided off target said in such way as the person understands it  we can only give based on that  lol meant nicely.
I apologise if taken the wrong way, is that better? ;)
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
That was some excellent wriggling. :)

Note that my earlier suggestions included left-clicking on the attachment; right-clicking on it; unzipping it if it's a zip file; noting the difference between an email client and an email web portal; stating that it doesn't make sense for Adobe Reader to own zip files and that it should be associated with Windows Explorer or whatever file manager he uses (and if not, change the file type association); and in any case, if it really is a zip, extract the PDF file from it (btw, 7-Zip is my go-to zip utility, although any decent file manager these days can extract the contents of a zip). Then I pretty much ran out of ideas and,  thankfully, you jumped in. Regards, Joe
nickg5Author Commented:
I read it to mean I had failed to post mail program.

It's Hotmail dot com.
If MSFT changes it to Outlook upon log-in that does not matter.
nickg5Author Commented:
From weeks ago in my mailxbox was an identical type file. It opens in Word Online.
Also, when I click on download as zip, it is interesting that Explorer goes wild and goes off and on making any movements but shutdown impossible.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
I just tested it in my (rarely-use-it) account. I'm writing up my results now. Will post them in a moment.
nickg5Author Commented:
I've got it.
here are various actions and what happens.

Clicking on the documents icon and save as, does get into a folder and it is a PDF file and opens with Adobe.
Clicking on the documents icon and save and open gets nothing in Microsoft Picture Manager and the image can not be seen or opened.
Right click on download as zip and "save target as" gets an HTML file which can not be opened.

So, left click, save as, then it opens properly with Adobe without using Word Online.
nickg5Author Commented:
So the question was how to open the PDF file.

Left click, save as, then go to the folder and it is a PDF file.

Or use Word Online.

If save, or save and open is chosen it's a dead end.
Only "save as" gets it.
nickg5Author Commented:
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Microsoft migrated all Hotmail users to last year.

I have an account that I rarely use, but I just fired it up so I could understand what's going on here. When sending a PDF file as an attachment, the portal shows this:

There are then two ways to download it — as a PDF or as a ZIP. For me, a left-click on the <View Online> icon does not view it online. Instead, it downloads it as a PDF:

download as PDF
This may be because of settings in my browser (Firefox 33). A left-click on the <Download as zip> link does, indeed, download it as as a ZIP:

download as ZIP
Both downloads work perfectly. In the first case, the attached file is a proper PDF. In the second case, the attached file is a proper ZIP and the file inside it is a proper PDF, which opens fine after extraction from the ZIP.

In both cases, a right-click is not meaningful. Regards, Joe
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Our messages just crossed, but it seems that we reached pretty much the same conclusion. I'm glad it's sorted now. Happy to help. Regards, Joe
nickg5Author Commented:
I have Vista and IE 9.0 so my appearance of actions are different. I never got a zip file to unzip. Unless "save as" automatically un-zipped it.
When I right click on "download as zip" and choose "save target as" my Windows Explorer requires a reboot to do anything. It flickers off and on very fast and shutdown is all I can do.
Try that......
Also, I go to hotmail dot com and login that way. I never log into outlook.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> I have Vista and IE 9.0 so my appearance of actions are different.

I'm on W7 and Firefox, so, yes, we're seeing different things.

> I never got a zip file to unzip. Unless "save as" automatically un-zipped it.

"Save As" won't automatically un-zip it (AFAIK), but if you save it as a ZIP file, then Windows Explorer or any decent file manager (or any zipper utility, like 7-Zip or WinZip) should be able to extract the PDF in it (although I never use Windows Explorer — I prefer a third-party file manager).

> When I right click on "download as zip" and choose "save target as" my Windows Explorer requires a reboot to do anything.

A reboot seems extreme, but I can certainly understand that a right-click doesn't work, which is typical of webmail portals.

> I go to hotmail dot com and login that way. I never log into outlook.

You may think you're going to <> but you're not — it doesn't exist anymore. Take a look at the address bar when you go to <> — my guess is that you won't see <> there. It will likely be <> — that's what I get when I enter <> in the address bar. How about you? Also, when I put <> in the address bar, it takes me to a page with this:

hotmail-com shows this
Regards, Joe
As shown and confirmed once I discovered it was an attachment in an email in and then showed him the download in>
That was actually the solution..
nickg5Author Commented:
Left click on the file's image > save as > the file was put into a folder > within Explorer > as a PDF file > and it opened fine with Adobe Reader.

I had never used Word Online before.
The same "type file" as far as appearance in the e-mail, from Oct. 15th were PDF files.
Then early last week three files from the same cell phone arrived as JPG and of course they opened right up. Then the most recent one was the subject of this question.

So, beside Word Online there were 3 ways to open the PDF file and save as was one as was the two shown in 40412409 by Merete. The expected and normal way to open it would be from Explorer and not Word Online because not everyone has that.

The file when saved without using "save as" is an HTML file. That is the one that causes Windows Explorer to go off and on so quickly that no browsers can be closed, nothing can be done but start > shutdown > reboot. That HTML file does not let Explorer work properly. The computer is basically unable to be used unless re-booted.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Yes, left-click on the <Download as zip> link, as stated in my first post <http:#a40407466>, works just fine once you extract the PDF from the ZIP. Left-click on the <View online> icon also works, although I suspect its behavior depends on browser and/or settings. In my environment, it downloads straightaway to a PDF file.

Btw, what address did you find in the address bar when you went to <>?  Regards, Joe
nickg5Author Commented:
But outlook has some undesired features like not listing each message individually.
The only one worse is Yahoo mail.
Also Live dot com needs to be fixed or eradicated. Too many dot com, outlook, hotmail, etc.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> not listing each message individually

It does for me. Maybe it's a config/settings issue. When I click on my Inbox in the Folders pane on the left, each message header is shown individually in the pane on the right. I can then click on each header individually to see the message. Seems like a fine interface to me. I still prefer a "real" email client (and use both Thunderbird and Outlook 2013), but as webmail portals go, looks reasonable to me.

> Live dot com needs to be fixed or eradicated

Can't comment on that — never use it (except for testing, as in the case of this question).
Agree, that's why I use windows live on my desktop instead of outlook.
But you can enable the reading pane by clicking on the Gear top right next to your name expands it.
Enable reading pane Below message or right of message
You beat me Joe.
I'm gone  to work. cheers
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