More than three years ago, requests to allow Office 365/SharePoint Online users to interact with PDFs without first having to download and save them surfaced on Microsoft's SharePoint UserVoice channel. Last week, Microsoft and Adobe finally delivered this much-requested feature.
As the original comment on the thread, which has received 1,926 votes to date, noted, SharePoint Server on-premises supported this feature "for some time." (Somewhat ironically, Microsoft officials tout how the subscription/online versions of Office apps get new features before the on-premises ones do.) More than a few of the nearly 200 commentators on the thread noted that the lack of this feature was a deal breaker for their organizations.
The problem was this: Whenever a customer needed to view or edit a PDF using Acrobat, the file first would have to be downloaded. But as part of a handful of new features announced last week, PDF files can now remain in-place within Office 365 in a customer's OneDrive or SharePoint document library. This means there's no risk of multiple, out-of-sync versions of files which a user needs to view, share or edit.
As explained in a June 17 SharePoint blog post:
"In the newest set of updates to PDF tools designed to deepen integrations with SharePoint and OneDrive, Adobe Document Cloud has improved the user experience for its web tools, ensuring that you have all of the major capabilities to work with PDF files on the web and in the context of SharePoint."
Keeping files in SharePoint Online and OneDrive also gives users simpler and safer management and governance over content, Microsoft officials said.