How do I Open a PDF File online in Windows and MAC


What is a portable document format file? How to open a file in pdf format? If you have a document with the .PDF Extension you need specific programs that can open, edit, view and convert this format type. Specific software like an editor, viewer, opener or reader.


What is a .PDF File extension

A PDF file is the extension format of Acrobat reader software. It is a document format used to save documents created with previous formats, for example DOC. It is very common to receive pdf attachments.

PDF files format (Portable Document Format) is a type from Adobe Systems. They invent it and perfected for more than 20 years. It is very common to download a document with PDF extension.

The .pdf file extension has become a standard for the exchange of electronic documents maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO ). When converting any type of document to PDF, its appearance will be the same in all media.

However, unlike printed documents, these pdf documents files can contain links and buttons that can be clicked, form fields, video and audio, and even programming to automate certain processes.

All this type of possibilities of including information or not is what each one of the different variants of the format supposes.

We will see how to view these files with a pdf viewer in your operating system: MAC, Windows or Linux.

PDf files icon

Programs that open PDF files

What Programs Opens PDFs extensions ? Try to view this file type with these software. These are the best pdf software. Download the pdf viewers and then launch and view it.


Adobe Acrobat Reader

Adobe Acrobat reader

It is available on MAC OS, Windows, Android and Linux.

But you can also do it without Adobe.



SumatraPDF is a free reader for Windows.


Google Chrome

google chrome

Chrome is a free browser that can read PDF format in windows, mac and android.


Google Drive

google drive

Drive is a free alternative to open online an view files with pdf extension.


Microsoft Word

microsoft word

Microsoft word is a document editor. It is possible to read pdf with it.



  • Web browsers: internet explorer, microsoft edge, opera, safari
  • Chrome Extensions


How to Open PDF Files

Most popular and modern browsers are able to open any .PDF  file extension document. So you can view the document directly from it without download any program.

The most common  software is Adobe Reader , a PDF reader. But it is possible to do it without adobe.

Files with pdf extension can always be viewed using the acrobat reader application and internet browsers.

If you prefer not to download any other special program, we tell you how to simply use your web browser to open your pdf files.

  1. First, Find your .pdf file con your computer
  2. Right click or Double click on it.
  3. If it doesn’t open automatically, click on the open with option
  4. Select the program from the list below. Adobe reader, another pdf reader or any  browser.
  5. Confirm.
  6. You can now read your file in the program. Remember that you can’t edit it unless you have an acrobat license or similar.


In Windows with Acrobat Reader

You can open a pdf file extension browsing the web. The browser simply shows it in a tab.

But, when it comes to this file type on your disk or other devices, by default Windows 7,10 and all the versions usually asks for a specialized program and there you end up with Adobe Acrobat or similar.


  1. Click on the PDF you want to open
  2. A pop up will appear asking to a program to open with
  3. Select Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  4. Go to the file menu.
  5. Edit and view your pdfs in windows.
  6. If you don’t have the program just download and install it.


acrobat reader

In Google Chrome

If you want all your PDF files to open with Google Chrome, or Firefox, or Microsoft Edge, or the browser of your choice, to do it just activate a couple of very simple settings to choose the default application that will always read your files.

chrome icon

    1. Find a the file on your computer and right click on it.
    2. Select the option “Open with” and in the following drop-down menu click on “Choose another application”.
    3. Browse the list of options and if the web browser you want to use does not appear there, scroll to the end and then select “More applications”.
    4. If it still does not appear, go down and select “Search for another application on your computer”. If you want to open all your PDFs with Chrome, do this.
    5. Now navigate to the path of your computer where the browser you want to use is installed.  In the case of Chrome, the .exe is located in C: \ Program Files (x86) \ Google \ Chrome \ Application.
    6. Select the executable and then click on “Open”.
    7. Finally, make sure to check the box “Always use this application to open the .pdf ” so you only have to double click on the icon from now on and se the default program.
    8. If you have a adobe pdf reader license choose a file name and save the pdf document. Just use the save as option.


    Browsers such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, etc. they are only able to read PDF. You cannot do any type of editing. For that you need a specialized tool.

  1. Adobe Reader free version also does not let you edit anything, it only serves to see, the editor is a payment program.


In Android

If you use an internet browser you can view online portable document format files by default.

You can also download an Android app. One of these App free readers:


In Microsoft Word

  1. First, launch microsoft word
  2. Then, select your .pdf file. It is a word document format you it opens by default
  3. You can’t edit it in Microsoft but you can convert to DOC and then edit it. Just rename the filename to .doc


In Google Drive

  1. First, launch google drive
  2. Then, select your .pdf file.
  3. It will be displayed in your screen. Google drive supports .pdf by default.
  4. You can’t edit it.


How to download PDF files instead of viewing in chrome

This is something you can do in Google Chrome. These are the steps:

  1. First, Launch Google Chrome.
  2. Then, In the top right menu, select More and Settings
  3. Now, Click on Advanced.
  4. Then, Click Site Settings.
  5. Now, Click PDF documents
  6. Finally, Turn On Download PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Chro


How to create a link to open a pdf file

We will be using the link tool from Acrobat reader.

  1. First, From Acrobat reader go to the menu ToolsEdit PDF> > Link > Add or Edit.
  2. Now, where you create the link drag  rectangle are.
  3. You will see a create link box to customize appearence.
  4. Now select from the options:
    1. Go to a page view. Click Set link
    2. Open a File. Select and click on Select. Then click ok.
    3. Open a web page: Write the web URL
    4. Custom Link. In the link properties set an action from the available.




Related extensions



How to convert PDF files

There are many ways to convert these .pdf files extension. You can convert online or using a converter program.


Which are the best PDFs Online converters

These are the main options to convert online:



With this Smallpdf online converter you can convert PDFs to word, excel, PPT or JPG.



Freepdfconvert is another online converter for portable document format files. The conversion is possible from and to PNG, JPG, Word, Excel and Powerpoint formats.


Soda PDF Converter is another website where you can convert PDF online.

Just choose from your computer, Google Drive or dropbox your portable document format files. Upload the document with extension .pdf and convert it to another format.


Frequently Asked Questions

How to delete PDF files, is it safe?

You can delete a .pdf document safely. But, before you remove it you must ensure you don’t need the document information. You can do a backup before deleting it.


Problems opening PDF Files: Can’t open (won’t)

If you experience problems windows raises a message: “Microsoft Windows can’t open this file” (Won’t)

Ensure you follow the next tips:

  1. Ensure the extension .pdf is properly associated with the software when you double click on the file.
  2. Check that you have installed at least one of the programs need to manage these files.
  3. Update the program to get the last version of the opener.
  4. Ensure you have all the computer privileges, you are admin or you have all needed privileges.
  5. Try other programs


About .PDF extension

In we explain what is a file with the .pdf suffix, how to edit, view, open and convert it.

The portable document files format can be viewed with the programs above in windows, mac and linux.

Contact us through the contact page if you have additional information, comment or need help about the PDF File or software related.