Help with downloads

Struggling to download and view PDF files from Outerzone? Start here for help on this.

First, we seriously recommend not using a browser plugin. Use a PDF viewer. We recommend Adobe Reader DC, which is a free download from the Adobe site see: and for more of our thinking on this see: KB-104: Software to read PDF files. Essentially, our baseline for checking a PDF is we view it on a Win10 PC with Reader DC. If you are not running this same vanilla setup, then we can't replicate your issue, and we can't solve it for you. That of course is not a problem, unless you want help.

Ok, What else?

1. Known Issues

There is an issue with Apple devices failing to display large PDF files. See viewpoint article here: PDF download issue: Apple iOS 12 for more detail on this. Essentially, if you are using an Apple device, best to eliminate this first.

2. General notes

Some users struggle to download the PDF plan files. At all. Hopefully this page will help. It seems to be a low level issue, a problem with downloading files generally, rather than a problem with Outerzone or PDF files in particular. Let me know if you can nail it down and explain it any better.

The short answer: (Try this)

  • Find the plan page that you want. Scroll down that page, and find the "Download File(s)" section
  • Right click on the orange/red "Plan File" button.
  • Select "Save Link As" from the submenu.
  • Choose the desktop as the location to save to.
  • Click "Save". This will download the pdf onto your desktop.

Clearly, this sequence will differ depending on what type of computer, which OS, which browser you have (me, I am using a PC with Windows 10 and Chrome 73).


The longer answer:

Here are some (slightly random) notes on things you can try, depending on your machine, OS, browser, etc...

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Note 18/04/2015: If you have a (recent, new) problem downloading the plans, first thing to check is this: try doing a right-click on the download link and save the file, instead of the normal left-click. This fix seems to work 9 times out of 10. This is (I guess) because you won't load the file into a browser plugin to view (usually Adobe Reader), you will just grab the file, period.

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28/04/2013: Steve Coleman mailed in to say: "Hi Steve, Ever since I upgraded my Mac to an Intel processor running OS 10.8.2 I couldn't download your PDFs. I found that by holding down the Option key while clicking on the Download PDF link it worked fine. Hope this helps others."

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Firefox keep updating the way the browser deals with PDF files, and the way it tries to preview the image. Turn everything off, and use Acrobat viewer outside the browser, after downloading the file.

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Check you have the latest version of your chosen PDF viewer software. Cannot stress this too much. Always get the latest version.

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Some of the older files are in zip format. If you have downloaded a file but can't open it, try checking the filetype to see if it's a zip. If so, then check that your local machine has a method of opening zip files.

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If you don't know where your downloads are going to... is it possible they are in a new tab of your browser? Worth a check.

You shouldn't have to right click. Get Adobe's Reader X installed (or make your own choice of PDF software). It should integrate with your browser, and then whenever you click on the pdf links, they should open (in a new tab maybe?) within your browser. You can then save to wherever you want from within Reader X and that menu structure.


I installed Reader X. How do I view a PDF document?

To view a PDF file:

  1. Find a Web page with a link to a PDF file
  2. Click on the link. Your browser should then launch Reader X and display the PDF.
  3. When you are done, click the browser Back button.

To save a PDF file to your computer:

  1. Place the mouse cursor over a PDF file link, then click your right mouse button.  A small menu will appear.  
  2. Select "Save Link As" from the menu.  A location box appears.
  3. Save the PDF file to a location you can remember.  You could for example save it to your desktop.
  4. Next time you want to view the file, double click it.
  5. Reader X will now be the default application for that filetype, and will open up to display it.


If you can help to make this help page clearer and more useful, please email me