Q. Why do I get an error message when I try to open a PDF I downloaded from JSTOR?

Adobe Acrobat Reader gives me an error message: "There was an error opening this document. The file is damaged and could not be repaired."


JSTOR Technical Support confirms this problem and believes it is related to the built-in PDF viewer in Firefox. Symptoms include slow PDF loading times or download errors like the one you saw.

They recommend one of the following workarounds:

  1. Use a different browser, such as Google Chrome or Internet Explorer, to download the PDF article, or
  2. View the PDF as you normally would in Firefox, but instead of using the Download icon in the Firefox viewer, right-click anywhere in the PDF and choose "Save Page As...". This will allow you to save the PDF to your computer and open it in Acrobat Reader or another PDF viewer.


  • Last Updated Jul 31, 2017
  • Views 22
  • Answered By Andrew Welch

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