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Is there a way to prevent files being downloaded into the Downloads folder on a Mac such as when I open a PDF file from the browser instead of downloading it?

To explain what I mean, on Windows when you click 'Open' when the browser asks what to do with a file, the file gets downloaded to a temp folder.

On Mac it gets downloaded to the Downloads folder, in effect creating two copies if I choose to save the file later to a different folder. Since you can't move files on the Mac, the end result is a very cluttered Downloads folder and no way of knowing if a certain file is saved elsewhere?

Is there a way to change this behaviour, say not to have the file downloaded or to have it automatically deleted?

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    We seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding here... what makes you think you can't move a file? Also, you realise you don't actually have to 'Open' an online pdf to read it, you can read it right there in the browser [with it being downloaded to a temporary area & deleted later as the cache expires] – Tetsujin Nov 4 '16 at 14:06
  • @Tetsujin To move a file in mac, i have to copy it to the new location and then delete it from the original location, correct me if I am wrong. To me this is rather inefficient. I could read on the browser, but since I work on a small screen and because sometimes equations don't render correctly in a browser, I like to read on a real pdf program. And partly it is just an old habit. – Arun Nov 4 '16 at 14:32
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    @Arun You could drag and drop it in the new location, or Cmd+C to copy, then Cmd+Option+V to move it to the new location instead of making a new copy of the file. – Lizzan Nov 4 '16 at 14:56
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    If you move a file on the same partition it simply moves to the new location. If you move it to another partition it will copy [same as any OS would]. If you hold Cmd whilst dragging, it will move instead. ...If you want to move using only key commands, then you Cmd/C to copy [Cmd/V of course to Paste] or Cmd/Opt/V to Move. – Tetsujin Nov 4 '16 at 15:06
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Just right click the link.

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If you have a pdf viewer plugin enabled (which it sounds like you do), you have the option to *Open Link in..." it or Save Link As...

When you choose Save Link As... you even have the opportunity to change your download location.

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The way that I am doing is through Full Acrobat Reader, not through a 3rd party plugin or Preview. In fact, PDF plugin is disabled:

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When I click on the PDF link, it opens in a new browser Tab for viewing, but now I have the opportunity to select "Download" if I want to save it (It's not saved to my Downloads folder automatically.)

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  • I know this, I want a way to view the document in a pdf viewer before saving it. – Arun Nov 4 '16 at 17:35
  • What browser are you using? – Allan Nov 4 '16 at 17:42
  • Firefox. Maybe I should just use the inbuilt viewer instead of the system viewer. I just prefer to read pdfs on a larger window. – Arun Nov 4 '16 at 17:44
  • I updated my answer. Preview is great for graphics, but PDFs - I swear by the genuine Adobe Acrobat client. – Allan Nov 4 '16 at 17:55

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