How to View PDF Files With Safari

By Techwalla Internet Editor

The term PDF stands for Portable Document Format and is one of the most popular document formats available. PDF files are usually used to display two-dimensional documents, such as archived Web pages and scanned documents. While browsing the Internet, you may run into PDF files that you want to download onto your computer or view in your browser. The latest version of Safari offers different options of how to download and view those PDF files. You can either use a separate browsing window or an application that reads PDF files.

Things You'll Need

  • Safari Web browser
  • Internet access
  • Macintosh computer with OS 10.4 (Tiger) or later

View a PDF File With Safari

Step 1

Go to a Web page that displays a PDF link.

Step 2

Click on the link. Safari will open up the PDF file into your Safari window.

Step 3

View the contents of the PDF file by scrolling down the page.

Download a PDF File

Step 1

Open up Safari and go to a Web page that offers a link to a PDF file.

Step 2

Hold down the 'Control' button and click on the PDF link in the Web page (or right-click if you have the right kind of mouse).

Step 3

Choose the option 'Download Linked File' from the pull down menu that appears. This will download the file directly to your desktop.

Open a PDF File in Preview

Step 1

Open up a PDF file in your browser window.

Step 2

Hold down the 'Control' button and click anywhere on the PDF document in the Safari window.

Step 3

Choose the option 'Open File with Preview.app' from the pull down menu.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't have the newest version of Safari, you can download it for free at Apple's Web site (see Resources below).
  • OS 10.4 (Tiger) is required in order to run the latest version of Safari. If you don't have OS 10.4, you will have to upgrade in order to access the PDF viewing features of Safari 2.0.
  • Updating to the newest version of Safari will give you access to additional security features such as Private Browsing and advanced Parental Controls.
  • For technical support when using Safari, go to the Apple Support Page (see Resources below).
  • This guide is only applicable to Safari 2.0 and may not work properly with earlier versions.
  • You must first enable the cut and paste function in your PDF reader before you are allowed to highlight and save pieces of text.