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December 10, 2005

Adding parameters while linking to a PDF

As Mike Potter mentioned in his blog of November 24, parameters are available that you can add to a weblink to a PDF to pass Acrobat/Reader additional instructions. For example, if you have a multi-page PDF and you would like to have your user go directly to page 34 when the PDF is launched the URL could be Another example allows you to add search words to the URL:”bracket” will launch the search window in Acrobat/Reader and highlight all instances of the word bracket in the document.

For a description of all possible parameters, please see the Acrobat documentation.


  • By Gareth Edwards - 5:05 PM on December 11, 2005  

    Can you use these parameters when loading a pdf document into the browser by changing the content type? ie.. In coldfusion we use

    <CFHEADER NAME=”content-disposition” VALUE=”inline; filename=#_fileName#_#DateFormat(Now(),’ddmmmyyyy’)#.pdf”>
    <CFCONTENT TYPE=”application/pdf” file=”#_reportFile#” deletefile=”yes”>

  • By Leigh - 2:05 PM on May 3, 2006  

    This feature does not seem to work with Adobe Reader 7.07 and Internet Explorer. (The PDF opens, but not to the desired page.) Is this a bug that will be fixed soon? The same link works fine in Mozilla Firefox.

  • By Al Reynolds - 10:00 AM on July 28, 2006  

    I too have had problems using the “page=nnn” open parameter with Internet Explorer and Adobe Reader 7 (version 7.0.8).

    In Reader 6 it worked consistently, and the only unusual ‘feature’ was that if you tried to reload a PDF file in a frame or window which already contained that PDF file, but at a different page within the same file, it wouldn’t jump to the new page (I got round this by loading a new frameset where the PDF file was in one of the frames).

    In Reader 7 I can’t even get it to work consistently with ‘normal’ links to PDF files, which should simply load in the browser window. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

    For the particular application I am working on, I need to be able to load a PDF file in one frame in the browser having clicked on a link in another.

    This URL is for our resources navigator, which uses this feature extensively, but which has unfortunately stopped working for anyone using IE6 with Reader 7 (version 7.0.8). It works perfectly with IE6 and Reader 6 – just select the first entry from the select boxes on the left-hand frame and then use the left and right arrows on the “select a page” box to see it working.

    If you need any more info please email me – I will happily provide this as we are desperate to get this working.

    Al Reynolds

  • By Al Reynolds - 4:18 PM on October 11, 2006  

    This feature works inconsistently at best in version 7.08. Has it been fixed in version 8?


  • By Andrew Mercer - 9:46 PM on November 2, 2006  

    is it possible to specify the default filename for the PDF when the save button is clicked?

    I am using coldFusion to create the PDF using , but when saving, the file name is the same of the ColdFusion script with the .cfm changed to .pdf, eg download.cfm -> download.pdf

    When sending email with attachment, the attached file is called download.cfm – which will cause problems when the recipient tries to open the file.

  • By Giuseppe - 12:03 PM on November 24, 2006  

    I would need to use the “search” parameter, but it doesn’t seem to work with exact phrases:

    search=’bracket’ works fine
    search=’bracket method’ will highlight both the entire phrase and single words occurences.

    In such cases is there any method (or additional syntax or parameters) to avoid the single word highlighting?

    If I do the same search from whitin Acrobat, and check out “Search exact term” it works though.

    Your help would be very appreciated, thanks

  • By Brian - 3:18 PM on February 7, 2007  

    I have the same question as Giuseppe above. Are there any hacks or tricks for searching for a string of text or phrase within a PDF via URL, as opposed to just a single word? We really need this functionality for a Production system.

  • By Lisa - 9:32 AM on August 9, 2007  

    Does anyone know how to link from a report and then when you print the report out-it shows the links underlined just as if you were looking at the computer screen?

  • By JoDND - 12:06 PM on August 13, 2007  

    I’m trying to open a pdf in a iFrame in my website. It works, but my top dhtml menu always appear behind the pdf file.

    I had the same problem with flash and wmv file and fixed it.
    It’s related to the z-index and to the embed itself.

    I can find anything about this subject for the pdf format.

    Anyone can help me ?

    josueplante +

  • By Brett MacMillan - 12:27 PM on June 9, 2008  

    If you use the reference to the page in combination with one of the other OpenPDF parameters, then it seems to work. For example, #page=3 does not work, but #page=3&zoom=100 does work. At least, that is my experience.