File Under: Browsers

Firefox 19 Brings Built-in PDF Viewer, Faster Startup Times

Mozilla has released Firefox 19, which features a few modest improvements including a built-in PDF viewer, faster startup times and support for some new web standards.

Firefox users will be automatically updated to the latest version. If you’d like to take Firefox for a spin, head on over to the downloads page.

The biggest news in Firefox 19 is the new, baked-in PDF viewer based on PDF.js. It may not mean the end of those annoying (and untrue) buttons that say “you need Adobe Acrobat to view this file,” but at least you don’t, well, need Acrobat just to view a PDF.

This release will also be a welcome update for anyone who’s ever double-clicked on Firefox, seen nothing happen, double-clicked again and so on until Firefox suddenly comes to life with twenty blank pages open. As of Firefox 19, the browser will not execute any code before the initial window is made visible, which means you click Firefox and you see an open window much faster.

While there are not many new features in Firefox 19, web developers do get some love with support for several new CSS features, including @page, full width text transforms and the new viewport percentage units like vh, vw, vmax and vmin — handy for sizing elements or adjusting type based on viewport size. Just don’t try to use vh and the like with @page because the W3C still hasn’t quite settled how that will work.

For a full list of all the other smaller changes and bug fixes in Firefox 19, check out Mozilla’s release notes.