Acrobat/Reader: Attach to Email button not working for PDFs referenced from long URLs

Issue

If you are using servlets or scripts to serve your PDF files in the browser, and you then want to use the standard “Attach to Email” button on the Acrobat/Reader toolbar (also available under the File menu) to forward the PDF to another user by email, you may notice that the PDF does not get attached to the email in some situations.

Reason

When you click on the Acrobat/Reader “Attach to Email” button on the toolbar it sends a request to your default email client to compose a new message.  It will also attempt to create the PDF attachment using the file name specified in the URL where the actual PDF is stored.

The URL may be too long to create a PDF file as attachment if it contains very long parameters as follows:

http://localhost:8080/Simple_Servlet/DMShowPDF?command=getdocuments&PDF=path/123_4567890abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz_0_0.pdf&sig=0123456789abcdefghijklmnopqrstuv&ts=0123456789012&category=new&stage=EDITING%3B%3B%3B1%3B%3B%3B&docid=S0123456789abcdefghijklmnopqrst&ext=.PDF

In this case the filename of the resulting PDF attachment would be:

123_4567890abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz_0_0.pdf&sig=0123456789abcdefghijklmnopqrstuv&ts=0123456789012&category=new&stage=EDITING%3B%3B%3B1%3B%3B%3B&docid=S0123456789abcdefghijklmnopqrst&ext=.PDF

This can exceed operating system limits, and therefore the attachment does not get created/added to the email message.

Workaround

Simply reducing the length of the URL, particularly the string which will be used for the PDF attachment file name, will allow the PDF attachment to be created.  Even just reducing it by a few characters is sufficient.

Solution

A cleaner solution however, would be to re-structure the URLs so they are shorter, and/or move the PDF parameter to the last parameter position as follows:

http://localhost:8080/Simple_Servlet/DMShowPDF?command=getdocuments&sig=0123456789abcdefghijklmnopqrstuv&ts=0123456789012&category=new&stage=EDITING%3B%3B%3B1%3B%3B%3B&docid=S0123456789abcdefghijklmnopqrst&ext=.PDF&PDF=path/123_4567890abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz_0_0.pdf

In this case, the attachment file name will be:

123_4567890abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz_0_0.pdf

reference: (182987737)

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12 Responses to Acrobat/Reader: Attach to Email button not working for PDFs referenced from long URLs

  1. Peeved off in Oz says:

    Kind of helpful but what if we’re working off a huge network, not exactly an IT wizard and just want to be able to extract pages from a huge PDF file and then email them to others without having to save them first? It worked so beautifully with the previous version and now that we’ve been ‘upgraded’ to Windows 7, this new Acrobat 10 just doesn’t cut it!
    What else can I do without having to save everything – please? In dire straights here at present.

    • dmcmahon says:

      It doesn’t sound like the problem you are having is the same as the problem described in this blog post.

      I am not aware of functionality related to page extraction being removed from Acrobat 10 compared to Acrobat 9. It is still possible to extract pages from a PDF document and email them without saving in Acrobat 10. When you extract the pages, it opens a new PDF file with the extracted pages, and then you can click on the Email button and it will create an email without saving the PDF. This is exactly what happened in Acrobat 9 also.
      Can you please describe in detail the steps you were doing in Acrobat 9, that are no longer possible in Acrobat 10?

      I am happy to help where I can, however if this is an important issue you may want to consider opening an official support ticket, and/or starting a new thread in the forums: http://forums.adobe.com/index.jspa.
      I cannot guarantee a prompt response or solutions to support issues through comments on blog posts.

  2. Bruno says:

    How i change the e-mail configuration. I want to attach to email and send using Mozilla Thunderbird instead Outlook. How i do that?

  3. Bruno says:

    I already do that. but adobe continue do attach using outlook

    • dmcmahon says:

      Are you opening a PDF in the browser? If so, have you changed the default email client in the browser also?

  4. Bruno says:

    no. i download the file

  5. Bruno says:

    Still the same problem. In here HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Associations\UrlAssociations\‌​‌​mailto\UserChoice appears one more file.

  6. dmcmahon says:

    That is all the info I have I’m afraid. I would suggest you post this as a new issue in the forums which are monitored by our Acrobat experts, or log an official support case with the support team.

  7. Bruno says:

    Ok, thank you for trying. I will do that