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For those that may use my Foxit PDF Previewer (for use with Outlook 2007 or Windows Vista and Windows 7), I wanted to provide a few updates.

Blank white screen previews

I’ve been getting quite a few reports lately about white screen previews while the PDF file renders fine in other readers.  After some research and patient testing with some of you that reported it, it’s been determined that the consistent piece is that the PDFs were documents that were scanned.  These documents in the PDF format contained a different format of encoded images.  The current incarnation of the Foxit PDF Previewer does not have the decoder embedded within the product.  Here is the workaround to get it to work:

  1. Download the JPEG2000/JPIG decoder file directly from Foxit: JPEG200 Decoder.
  2. Take the contents of that ZIP file (fxdecode1.dll) and place it in the directory where you installed the Foxit PDF Previewer (if you accepted all the defaults it will likely be c:\Program Files \Tim Heuer\Foxit PDF Preview Handler)
  3. That’s it !

The decoder library isn’t currently licensed for me to distribute with the previewer and thus this workaround.  It may be possible in a future version that this functionality will be built in, but this is a minor workaround.  The decoder is built into the Foxit SDK for version 3 (the previewer uses version 2).

Outlook 2010 Technical Preview

I have also received some comments from beta testers of Microsoft Office 2010 Technical Preview.  These reports have indicated that the previewer does not work in 64-bit mode for Outlook.  I can confirm this to be true.  I’ve logged a bug with the Outlook developer team to track this issue and will make any modifications necessary to make it work.  Please feel free to subscribe here for Foxit PDF Previewer specific updates (you may also subscribe to my main feed as well).

I would like to remind participants of the Office 2010 technical preview program of any confidentiality agreements they may have agreed to and to respect those in public.  If you are a part of the program, please log an official bug with the Outlook 2010 program channels with regard to Foxit Previewer not working…this will help my cause :-).

That is all.  Thanks for being a user of the software and as always, thanks to Foxit Software for being such a great partner to provide the licensing of the SDK for this software to exist.  They make other great PDF software so be sure to check them out.

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Public service announcement – if you don’t use my Foxit PDF Previewer, please move along…there is nothing to see here :-).

When Windows 7 Beta came out (build 7000), there was indeed a confirmed issue where the Foxit PDF Previewer would not work at all on 64-bit versions.  There were no install warnings, it just wouldn’t work.  It turns out this was a Windows 7 beta bug for 64-bit (some COM registering stuff if you care to know).  This was found immediately and was fixed in later Windows 7 builds (I confirmed internally with the team and had been testing daily builds).

NOTE: This issue should have only affected 64-bit versions of Windows 7 beta.  32-bit versions were reporting unaffected.

If you will be testing out the Windows 7 Release Candidate for 64-bit, I can assure you that Foxit PDF Previewer will run fine on that build (I’m running it now).  If you choose to install the release candidate on top of the beta, you may run into issues where it thinks it still isn’t working.  I recommend if you are going to go this route, uninstall the PDF Previewer and then run the install again.  This will correct the registering of the software correctly.

I hope this helps!  The download link for the Foxit PDF Preview handler is the same as the Vista one located here.

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Hello readers!  If you are a Foxit user, please update your reader software to the latest version ASAP.  A recent exploit was found by a security research firm and Foxit turned around an update to their reader within 24 hours.  Bravo to the Foxit team for being very agile and getting this rectified.

After some further research and discussion with the development team it was found that the ActiveX component used in the PDF Preview Handlers might also be vulnerable.  To reconcile this, Foxit has issued a patched (and updated) version of the ActiveX control for the preview handlers.  I have since patched  both the Vista and the XP versions accordingly and tested them on several Vista and XP SP2 machines accordingly.

If you are using these and have installed them PRIOR to 07-MAY-2008), please take a moment to proceed with the following:

    1. Close any instance of Outlook 2007.
    2. Uninstall any versions of the Foxit PDF Preview Handler from your system.
    3. Download the latest version of the PDF Preview Handler (Vista or XP). 
    4. Install the latest version.

Note: that the previous links have been updated with the patched versions as well just in case.

That should do it!  If you find any issues, please report them to me.  Thanks again to Foxit for being responsive and aggressive in this manner and for their support of the PDF Preview Handlers.

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Ever since I released my version of the Foxit PDF Preview Handler, I've been flooded with comments about building a version that works for Windows XP.  You see XP doesn't have the preview host that Vista has built into the operating system.

Well, I finally had some time to hunt down some code and get it working, thanks to the help of Ryan Gregg from the Outlook team.  I released the sample code I used as a base for this as a part of our Code Trip project.  You can view my short screencast explaining one of the core pieces here using the Code Trip's embedded player:

You can download the Foxit PDF Preview Handler for XP here.  If you have Windows Vista, I recommend you stick with the existing one for Vista as it leverages the existing preview host that is built into Vista.

Hope this helps!

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Welcome LifeHacker visitors!

[UPDATE: More updated information and alternative download links here: Foxit PDF Previewer.]

UPDATE: If you are experiencing problems with 'white page' PDF previewing, it is likely the PDF has scanned images.  See this post for an update on how to fix: Foxit Previewer Update.

in my daily work i spend a majority of my 'computing' time in outlook.  communicating with peers, team members, customers, etc. is mostly done via communication (sad, i know).  a lot of that time it involves sending information attachments back and forth, using office documents, etc.  i've said a lot about how much i love the preview functionality within vista and office 2007.  i even wrote a code preview handler for .cs, .vb, .sql, .js files.

one of the samples in the msdn article by stephen toub was for pdf files...of which i receive a lot.  i don't use adobe reader because i think it is overkill for reading pdf's personally.  the sample, however, relies on having adobe reader installed...which i didn't like.  i started working with the , because i love their reader product.  after some communication with the team at foxit, we started collaborating.

as a result of that collaboration, and i partnered to create the 'foxit pdf preview handler' which you can download for free!  this is a pdf preview handler for outlook 2007 and windows vista.  the current version requires vista, but we are working on a windows xp version for outlook 2007 on winxp.  what this enables you to do is, well...the following:

Foxit PDF Preview Handler

no need for adobe to be installed, etc.  it's fast, it's furious.

there is no official support included for this add-on, but i'm happy to field questions/suggestions myself.  keep in mind, i'm not going to be (nor will they) altering the pdf renderer...that's their product.  if you need pdf rendering capabilities within your application, i highly suggest looking at integrations using their dll and activex sdk's for your applications.  they are a great company with a great team.  it's a global team and they were very responsive throughout our communication.  i really appreciated their willingness to collaborate on something so simple and helpful to the greater community.  please give them a look-over.

why the 'banner' in the pdf render?  well, it's free :-).  that only shows up there as well...won't be in the printed document or anything...i think it is great to give them credit and a simple, small, unobtrusive banner is entirely appropriate.

please download the foxit pdf preview handler and install today!

Alternate Download Links here.

UPDATE (28-MAR-2008): Windows XP only version here.

file: Foxit PDF Preview Handler