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Using Third Party Viewers when Accessing Files via a Web Browser

Generally the people that create documents are greatly outnumbered by the people that read the documents. The software needed to create highly formatted documents is often complex and costly. It would be prohibitive for all readers to have this software available.

Virtually every computer comes with a viewer for web documents (HTML); the browser. Unfortunately for document creators, HTML documents do not allow the creator to control the content as exactly as they might like. Adobe invented and popularized the Portable Document Format (PDF) to solve this problem. Document creators could buy Adobe’s software and readers could get the free viewer from Adobe. PDF is one of the most widely used document formats, but there are others including the formats created by Microsoft Office. Taking Adobe’s lead, many free readers have been created to support most document formats.

The FileHold Desktop Application (FDA) has the option to have integrated viewers (Brava and PDF/Image) that can read a wide variety of document formats without a need for the native application to open(i.e. Word or Excel). This is a great convenience for users who want to quickly look at the content of a document before deciding if it is the one they want to work with.

Customers who access the document management software via a web interface (Web Client) do not have a built in viewer; however, it is possible to make use of free 3rd party components to view documents. The FileHold Web Client is very powerful and has nearly all of the same features to search and find documents as the FDA. The Web Client supports all popular browsers including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari. There are a wide variety of free viewers that can be used with the web client. These viewers can be installed on the computer running the Web Client to view files downloaded from the document management system. Following is a summary of the viewers that have been tested and work with the document management software.

Document Viewers for Document Management Software Web Client

Adobe Reader - Adobe invented the portable document format (PDF) and even now that PDF is an international standard they still offer the widest support for all PDF features.

brava!® reader - IGC makes this viewer; the same company that builds the advanced viewers built into the document management software. It can view PDF, TIFF, JPEG, and CSF files. CSF is IGC’s own Content Sealed Format. It has a bunch of powerful security features and can be created with FileHold’s embedded FDA Brava viewers. IGC also offers the free dwg viewer for viewing AutoCAD® files.

PDF-XChange Viewer - Tracker-Software has a free viewer that works using similar technology to the reorder viewer in the document management software. They also have much more powerful versions available for a small fee.

Word Viewer This viewer lets you read many different versions of Microsoft Word documents and a few others like XML and TXT. Microsoft has developed similar viewers for their other key Office products such as Excel, Power Point, and Visio.

Foxit Reader - It reads PDF files, but goes beyond the basics with features such as Facebook®, Twitter®, and DocuSign® integration. It can even read you your documents over your computer speakers or headphones.

SoftMaker Viewers - Opens Word, Excel, OpenDocument, and more.

Free Opener -  This viewer falls into the Swiss Army knife category of document viewers with direct support for over 80 different file formats. It also proves the old adage, there is no free lunch. You will be asked if you would like to accept many offers during the installation.

TextEdit - For Apple Mac users that want to view Word documents, this free tool from Apple might do the trick. There are other options for Mac users including low cost products for viewing Word or Excel documents from Panergy. Of couse, there is always the free OpenOffice of LibreOffice products that are a full replacement for Microsoft Office.

To learn more about how 3rd party viewers work with the document management software browser contact sales@filehold.com.