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Firefox 19

Continuing in its quest to make version numbers as confusing as possible, Mozilla has released Firefox 19 just five weeks after the release of version 18. The big news is that Firefox now boasts an HTML5-based PDF viewer, enabling you to view PDFs directly in the browser window without relying on a Firefox plug-in or downloading the file to examine in your favorite PDF reader. (For a review of the hoops one had to jump through to view a PDF in Firefox before the release of version 19, see Steve McCabe’s “Wrangling PDFs in 2012’s Web Browsers,” 1 June 2012.)

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With a few more options than Google Chrome’s built-in PDF viewer, the Firefox PDF viewer offers a full-screen mode, page numbering, several zoom presets, and both thumbnails and bookmarks in addition to standard download, print, and zoom in/out functions. It also provides a way to copy the current view of a PDF into another tab window, which is a handy bookmark workaround when you’re reading through a long document.

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Firefox 19 also brings a number of developer-related goodies, including debugger support for pausing on exceptions, a Remote Web Console for connecting to Firefox for Android or the Firefox OS, and the capability to open Web Console CSS links in the Style Editor. (Free, 37.2 MB, release notes)

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