Fighting with computers

Computers are not always friendly.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Crome 49 broke PDF viewing in Mavericks

A recent update of Chrome brought me some trouble with various web content, including PDF viewing. Apparently some change in how layers are handled makes the viewing of PDF content almost impossible: you see some bars of the underlying PDF file but only as a flicker while you scroll down the document, as if some black layer was on top of it.

A quick check online revealed that many people using OSX versions before El Capitan were complaing about exactly that same thing.  And while Google seemed not to be offering a solution at the moment (and upgrading to El Capitan was not something I would like to do right now) some users suggested that disabling hardware acceleration in the browser would help.

However, disabling hardware acceleration might solve this issue but create other problems with other content or just degrade browsing performance, so I did not want to go that way either.

Finally, another user suggested the install of a browser extension (in fact replacing Chrome's built-in PDF viewer) for PDF content. I selected the most popular one, called Kami, and not I am capable of watching PDF files again. Not ideal but at least it did not take me forever to get a fix.

And if Chrome engineers are listening, please fix this ASAP as PDF viewing is an integral part of most modern browsers.

Unfortunately, there are some videos from a newspaper that are experiencing the same type of problem, luckily most of them are for advertising so I will not miss them, but I know there are other problems related to the same cause that might become a problem soon.

Update: I have just installed Versión 49.0.2623.108 (64-bit) that fixed the problem.

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