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I rarely use pdf's for web stuff so I don't have a lot of experience with them, but its just the best option for this case.
My question is, should I use an 'object/embed' tags or use an 'iframe' to display the pdf? My first guess is to use an object/embed tags so I can add a plugin path and an alternate url for no plugin.
I will be offering this as an option for users without the pdf plugin, but for my project the pdf is the best option. I will probably be using an iframe to display the pdf doc as Firefox 1.5 had some issues with pdf's in the 'object' tag. I'm not sure what caused it, but I think it was due to my firewall not allowing the pdf plugin access to the internet and I didn't get a popup notice when the pdf was in the object tag, iframed I did.
I cannot, for the life of me find it, but I recall seeing an ad for a program or site that let you embed pdf files right into your page without visitors having to click on any link or download anything.
A framed environment will allow you to do exactly what you want to do. An <iframe> is perfect for this situation. Just set the src to the .pdf and be done with it. Those who have reader installed will see the pdf appear in the <iframe> without any interaction on their part. The src content will load as soon as the page is accessed.
You can also do some fancy schmancy stuff with CSS and open it inside a scrolling div that's hidden until activated, etc.