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    By Clint Brown


    With the ability to automatically publish PDF files in Vault Professional 2018 (see Chris' blog for more details), the PDF format is going to become a lot more popular as a visualisation file in the Vault.

    Vault uses the default program that you have assigned to a specific file format to preview the file. Most people use Adobe Reader to view PDF files on their PC's and in those instances, Vault will use Acrobat Reader as it's default viewer (this is done via a previewing mechanism in Windows called iFilters).

    When using Adobe Reader, users do not get Thumbnail previews of their files in Vault, and more importantly, in the web client.

    By switching to Foxit Reader as the default PDF viewer on the server and the client machines, PDF behaviour is improved. In the Vault client and Web client, PDF thumbnails display the same way that drawings do (with Acrobat Reader as default the client displays a PDF logo)

    Before: Vault Client:


    After: Vault Client:



    Before: Web Client:


    After: Web Client




    Existing PDF's will need to be re-created, the good news though is that you could put the job processor to work on creating new PDF's by setting all "Released" drawings to "Quick Change" and then setting them back to "Released" (this would require your Lifecycle transition from "Quick Change" to Released" to include a PDF update).

    Inventor 3D PDF's do not show up in Foxit, but if you keep Acrobat Reader installed you can right click on any PDF and choose "Open With" and then select "Acrobat Reader" from the list.


    Foxit Installation tips:

    Download Foxit reader here: 

    Click on "Free Software" and then "Free Download"


    Follow these steps during your installation:


     Ensure that you choose the "Plugin used to open PDF files inside browser".


     Un-tick the boxes highlighted above.


    Don't install a free 14 day trial....Hit next and complete the install. Reboot your machine.


    Notes and Disclaimer:

    I have no affiliation to Foxit or Adobe, the products mentioned in this blog post are the copyright of their respective owners. Read the "drawbacks" Section above regarding 3D PDF's. This workflow has only been tested on a PC running Windows 10 with both ADMS and Vault client installed. Windows 10 is not supported by Autodesk or Cadline as an OS for ADMS (refer to Vault System requirements).  



1 comment

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    Chris Turner

    Good post Clint. You can also do this by installing Adobe Reader on the Server (default PDF viewer) and then installing PDF-XChange Viewer (don't make it the default Viewer). Once installed re-index the Vault. All good :-)

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