Probably one of the most frustrating aspects of moving from Mac OS 9 or Windows to Mac OS X was the lack of a PDF browser plugin. It can be almost maddening in academic environments such as U-Mass as most assignments and documents aren’t published in HTML. They’re published in PDF because of the guaranteed formatting and handling of special symbols (such as the formulas that plague a young computer scientist).
In fact, it was one of the leading questions in the forums. For a while, the only solution was to feed the file to an external application such as Acrobat Reader (now Adobe Reader) or Preview. This wasn’t quite the experience that users were looking for.
Luckily for all of us, Manfred Schubert stepped in and brought us his PDF plugin. It was free for private and education users. Later versions even brought some of the toolbar options that were part of Adobe’s standard plugin. That filled the void and as a community, we forgot that Adobe had seemingly forsaken the platform. That no longer seemed to matter as both this plugin improved and Preview improved as well.
Adobe suddenly woke up though. Starting with the recent release of Adobe Reader 7 we had a new PDF plugin. For the most part, the fact that the plugin had returned was quiet. In fact, the MacCentral article doesn’t even mention this. So, if you spend a lot of your time looking at PDFs on websites, get Adobe Reader 7. You’ll finally have all those options that you were missing.