UW Research

Frequently-Asked Questions

I’m having problems downloading interactive PDFs, like the WORKSHEET Human Subjects Research

The problem is most likely that your browser is attempting to open the interactive PDF. There are two work-arounds: right click on the link; or update your browser.

Right click on the link

  1. Select “save-as” or “save target as”.
  2. Save the document to your desktop or a folder.
  3. Open Adobe Reader, and use the file menu to open the PDF.

Update your browser
Here are instructions for the top three browsers on how to disable your browser from attempting to open an interactive PDF, and force interactive PDFs to be opened in Adobe Reader.

Internet Explorer:

  1. Open the “Tools” menu
  2. Open the “Manage Add-ons” window
  3. Click “Toolbars and Extensions” in the Add-on Types box
  4. Find Adobe PDF Reader in the list
  5. Select “Adobe PDF Reader”
  6. Make sure the status is “Enabled”. This will force all PDFs to open in Adobe Reader.

These instructions were updated for IE 11, version 11.1944.14393.0


  1. Enter this URL into the search bar: chrome://settings/content
  2. Scroll down to PDF Documents and select it
  3. Use the toggle to enable “Download PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Chrome”

These instructions were updated for Chrome version 64.0.3282.119


  1. Click the menu button and choose “Options”
  2. Scroll down to “Applications”
  3. Find Portable Document Format (PDF) in the list and click on it to select it.
  4. Click on the drop-down arrow in the Action column for Portable Document Format (PDF) and select Adobe Reader.

These instructions were updated for Firefox version 58.0.1

If you are using a Mac:
Macs have a built-in PDF previewer which will not open interactive PDFs. Please download and use Adobe Reader.