There are two major end-user experiences one should know about PDF support in SharePoint 2013. After 4 iteration of SharePoint products, As Todd Klindt blogged about month ago, finally SharePoint 2013 natively supports PDF files.
As Todd mentioned, PDF icon is natively supported in SharePoint 2013 results and document libraries without any additional configuration or installation of software in SharePoint 2013 farm. There is no need to install Adobe’s free PDF ifilter or Foxit PDF iFilter like SharePoint 2010 or MOSS 2007. This is simply available in out of the box configuration.
Apart from native support of PDF icon, Microsoft even takes it one step further and allows end user to open PDF file without saving them on your machine if you have Adobe Reader 10.0.2 or later is installed. If you click on the PDF file with proper version of Adobe Reader installed from IE 9 or later, SharePoint will try to open PDF file in the Adobe Reader and prompt user to either checkout & open or open the PDF file directly. Office 365 and SharePoint Online 2010 already supports opening PDF files without saving them prior to opening them. It is nice to see Microsoft implementing this simple yet very useful feature in SharePoint 2013 as Out of the Box feature
Here is my experience clicking the PDF file from the document library in IE 9 – I have Adobe Reader 10.0.4 version installed on my machine.
Microsoft has worked really hard to integrate SharePoint functionality in the Adobe Reader software. Once user opens the document in the Adobe Reader software, users will have option to directly check out and check in documents from the Adobe Reader. This would definitely make PDF file viewing and management experience much better in coming years.
Having native PDF support in SharePoint 2013 – PDF Icon & Opening PDF files without saving them first would be one of the most welcome feature from many IT shops.