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PDF files to download

 1:04 am on Mar 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have a PDF file I'd like to make ready for download from my web site.

Do I need to zip it and put it in a directory, or just place it in the directory as .pdf file?

Trying to figure out the most efficient way of creating a password protected download page, if anyone has any ideas I'd appreciate it.




 1:08 am on Mar 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

RE PDF: just drop it in there in pdf format and away you go.


 1:10 am on Mar 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

well, I have it on my server and when I click on the link to the .pdf file it just brings up the document. I'd like people to download it, whether in .zip or any other way, so they can view it from their computer not my server.

I'm not sure how to .zip a file, or if it needs to be done (the .pdf file is 31 pages).

Thanks Oilman,



 1:16 am on Mar 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

ah - gotcha. The reality is that once the user clicks on it and Acrobat Reader fires up and loads it they've downloaded it. At that point and then they can 'Save A Copy' from the Acrobot menu. There is no difference it they read it off your server or download it (unless it's zipped of course). If you zip up the document it kinda becomes a hassle for your users since they have to download it then unzip it etc. Granted I don't know anything about your users but 90% of my friends and family and the folks I know that work in the office towers downtown don't have the first clue what to do with a .zip file that they downloaded.

That said, if you want to zip it up you'll need to get a utility like WinZip [winzip.com] to do that for you.


 1:20 am on Mar 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

Actually, if you right-click (or click-and-hold for mac) on the pdf link, most browsers give you the option of saving the file to disk without opening it first...

But if you want the pdf to download with a simple click, rather than having to instruct visitors how to do it, a zip utility is the thing.


 1:36 am on Mar 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

hmmm...so if I zip it, it downloads and makes it a little more confusing for the viewer...if I don't they just view it if they click on the link and have the reader?

I know I need to have a password protected area, generated passwords, and the ability to let the viewers download a .pdf. I'm sure there are plenty of threads and articles online.

If anybody knows of any other factors to consider, maybe more efficient ways to deliver a .pdf file I'd really appreciate it. I'm trying to cover all the angles so there is less confusion down the road.

Thanks a lot oil/mivox.



 1:41 am on Mar 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

My advice: Leave them as plain pdf files... It's becoming common enough that I don't think visitors will have a problem dealing with the "opening in the browser" behavior. If it's a very large file, you might want to be nice and make note of the file size next to the pdf link...

Then spend your time looking for info about .htaccess password protection, and trying to find a password generator that will interact with it... That's the bigger (and probably more important) challenge for sure.


 1:43 am on Mar 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

yeah I thought about .htaccess. So I should find a generator that complies with what? the password protect script?


Any idea where I might find the answer to that?



 2:00 am on Mar 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

Oh, you already have a password protect script you'll be using? Well, nevermind then. ;)

I prefer to use htaccess protection on private directories, but a script that handles protection and password generation in one package would probably be easier to manage for large groups of unique passwords.


 2:30 am on Mar 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

I don't know about you guys but I've been unzipping since the 286 days :) . I don't think it would be to much of a hassle to have it zipped and this is not to uncommon from my experience.. You could leave a note saying 'unzip with winzip which you can get here'.

Odds are that if they don't have winzip then they probably don't have the adobe acrobat viewer either.



 2:36 am on Mar 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

no mivox I don't have a script yet, actually I'd like to find a package that is has both the script for password protection and random password generation...as well as the ability to insert both into a MySQL db.

I don't know if I'm going to zip it, I would rather not have my visitors pay for something just to get confused...kind of a hassle.


 2:39 am on Mar 22, 2002 (gmt 0)


You have a good point "Odds are that if they don't have winzip then they probably don't have the adobe acrobat viewer either." But why make the visitor download two programs: winzip to unzip and Adobe to read it. I suggest just keeping it in Adobe and make it as convenient for your visitors as possible.


 3:11 am on Apr 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

Every pdf file I've ever had to download has been a direct download, I've never seen one that was zipped. I think the default for most browsers is to save it to disc, and it's up to the user to change that in the preferences/settings. Listing the size of the file is really a good idea too. uneeded URL snipped
Password protection is just a seperate issue, with many options.

(edited by: DaveAtIFG at 3:06 pm (utc) on April 6, 2002)


 4:55 am on Apr 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

I like to point everyone to the Aladdin Suffit Expander [aladdinsys.com], which works for the Mac as well as for PC people.


 8:55 am on Apr 6, 2002 (gmt 0)



 9:01 am on Apr 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

Perhaps an easy way out is to add in fine print (PDF File - 386 Kbs. Left click to view if Accrobat is installed - Right click to download to your computer) or something more concise or elegant.

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