A configuration tweak for the Foxit Reader

If you keep up with critical bugs in popular software then you know to avoid the Adobe Acrobat Reader - all versions are buggy and Adobe has been slow in offering patches.

Even without the latest Adobe bugs, many people prefer the Foxit Reader from Foxit Software for viewing PDF files. It's free, fast, small and even comes in a portable version, which I wrote about back in May of last year. 

Defensive Computing means avoiding the Adobe Reader, so a client of mine recently installed version 3 of the Foxit Reader on all their computers. Soon thereafter, there appeared to be a bug in the software.

A PDF file containing a URL worked in the Adobe Reader but not in the Foxit Reader. That is, clicking the link in Foxit did not open a web browser.

This turns out to be a configuration option. In the Foxit Reader, do Edit -> Preferences -> General and look in the Basic Tools section near the top of the window. There is a checkbox called "Create links from URLs" that is off by default. Turning it on fixed the problem.

The Foxit Reader runs on multiple operating systems including Windows XP, Vista, 2000, 2003 and Linux. There is no Mac version. I verified this configuration tweak only under Windows. 

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