SharePoint Online: PDF In-Browser Viewing & MP4 File Streaming

This post originally appeared on the Microsoft Office 365 Community blog.

​We are very excited to announce two compelling updates for SharePoint Online. The service will support in-browser viewing of PDF files and improved streaming of MP4 video files. We received a lot of feedback noting PDF viewing was limited while a number of customers expressed that they did not want PDF files to be downloadable to user’s desktops. In addition, users found that some MP4 files were being downloaded in full before playback would begin.

What will this update mean to the user?

  1. A PDF document stored in a SharePoint Online library it will simply launch within their Internet browser. This too applies to PDFs embedded as attachments within list items.

Note: Users are required to have Adobe Reader on their machines to ensure the proper browser plug-in is available:

Note: In some isolated instances, you may encounter an error when trying to open a PDF document in your Internet browser. If this happens, please try disabling the Adobe ActiveX plugin by going to Settings > Manage add-ons, highlight the Adobe PDF Link Helper add-on from the list of add-ons, and then click Disable

  1. An MP4 video file stored in a SharePoint Online library will begin streaming much faster without downloading the full file first.

We are at the tail end of rolling out the most recent SharePoint Online service update. The PDF adjustment will soon be a notable experience enhancement for all SharePoint Online customers across all Office 365 plans and offerings. The same applies to MP4 files stored in SharePoint Online – let the streaming begin! Microsoft expects to complete this service update rollout worldwide by the end of September 2012. We continue to improve the experience while maintaining the level of security you expect from Office 365.

Thank you for your patience and actionable feedback. SharePoint Online progressively evolves each quarter. At its core, the service is driven by AND adapts to the preferences of how users use it every day. Please keep it coming.

You can read about this and all of the latest features and innovation on the Office 365 Service Update wiki.

The SharePoint Online Team