Chrome Frustrations

I’m a huge fan of Google Chrome (basically, anything Google, really).  They’re more often than not simple, straightforward tools to accomplish a wide variety of tasks.  They’re great tools for the every day user.  Google Docs is more than sufficient as a basic replacement for Microsoft Office (word processing, basic tasks in spreadsheets, even decent presentations).  Gmail is pretty awesome (supposing you don’t mind that they’re mining your email for their ad programs).  Chrome is an awesome browser.

For the most part.

I speak specifically about how Google decided that Chrome will no longer be able to use any Adobe Reader plugin: you either use a 3rd Party plugin (like Foxit) or use the Google integrated PDF viewer.  Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, as most PDF files load perfectly fine with either of these two tools.

Lately, we’ve seen a new kind of PDF file.  It’s got the same PDF extension, but it does a very cool thing: you can embed multiple files separately into a single PDF file.  It is called the PDF portfolio.

The problem is, neither Foxit nor Google Chrome PDF plugin can render the PDF portfolio properly.  They both recognize it, and direct you to download the file and open it directly in Adobe Reader.  It’s very frustrating for me as a technician because we’re supposed to be moving to a seamless web experience.  I shouldn’t have to direct people to open another application after saving the PDF to the machine.

Furthermore, devices like Chromebooks (which can never get Adobe Reader installed) will never be able to open the PDF portfolio files.  This makes me sad.

Some come on Google.  Get with the program.  Either update your plugin or allow Adobe Reader to run in the browser again.



  1. Still not fixed. This is starting to get frustrating. I have my whole family on ChromeOS and Android. They do almost everything, very efficiently and don’t need a lot of sticking plasters to fix issues.

    But as well as PDF portfolios, one of my kids recently got a doc from the Scottish Qualifications Authority that did not render as in Word when converted to a Google Doc. Figured out that a text box was larger than Google Docs would put on an A4 page, leading to a garbled first and last page for a one-page template. Can A4 dimensions or text-box calculations in an XML file really be that different for the two platforms?

    Today I have a two page PDF from another public authority that renders as four pages in ChromeOS viewers.

    BBC iPlayer has lost it’s Chromecast icon on ChromeOS. To use it, you have to use the browser Chromecast icon to cast the whole tab, and fiddle about a bit to get the controls off the TV screen. “Restart program from the beginning” is only available on ChromeOS, not in the Android App.

    I am a bit of a lonely fan around these parts. Many who I mention Chromebooks to kind of give me a blank look or a sideways glance. But with gremlins like these, who can blame them? I think Google needs to decide whether to seriously act on some of the issues, or consider dropping the whole project.

    1. It’s even worse now that Chrome blocks any NPAPI plugin – they’re really not friendly to anything that isn’t a Google creation.

      It’s very frustrating.

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