How to embed PDFs as a web object correctly?

Jul 17, 2018

Hi there,

I've followed this guide here but am still having issues embedding a PDF into a web object in Storyline. 

The error message I see is "The web address you entered cannot be displayed in a frame. In order to function properly, this web object must be set to open in a new browser window." This is the PDF (it is a public PDF that anyone can access) I am trying to embed:

Any ideas or tips are welcome!

Thank you,


14 Replies
Alyssa Gomez

Hi again, Lindsey!

Thanks for reaching out about this, and smart idea to also open a support case. I've seen this happen occasionally when the web server that hosts the PDF doesn't allow content to be displayed in a frame. 

My colleague, Wilbert, is taking a look at your case, and I'll follow along there, too. I'm curious to see what further insight he will share with you!

Katie Riggio

Hi, Sayuj. Sorry you've come across that error!

I took a peek at Lindsey's case and see we determined the issue was specific to the server where the PDF file was hosted. It looks like that web server did not allow content to be displayed in a frame. 

Would you mind sharing the URL with us so we can try to replicate this behavior? You can share it publicly here, or send that address to us privately in a case here. We'll give it a test and let you know what we find! 

Lauren Connelly

Hi Allan!

I'd love to help! I'll need a few more details before I can start troubleshooting.

First, which browser are you using? This will help me test the interaction on my end. 

Have you published the file for Web, LMS, or Review 360?

It's also helpful to take a look at the file. Are you able to share the file with me? You can either attach it to this discussion or share it privately with me using this link. 

Lauren Connelly

Hi Allan!

I appreciate you taking the time to share these extra details!

I've run tests on my end to see how PDF's work as Web Objects in Internet Explorer.

Here's what I've found:

  • Internet Explorer prompts users to download the PDF which is a security setting Internet Explorer. As you mentioned, Chrome doesn't have the same prompt.

I've recorded my testing in this short Peek 360 video. 

Here's the temporary link for your project. This link is available for the next 10 days.

Lauren Connelly

Hi Wendy!

Great question!

When Web Objects are set to open in a new browser then there aren't any prompts in place to bring users back to the course. However, there might be coding that you could use to prompt users to another browser. Coding is not my expertise, so I'll hand that over to our coding experts in the community!

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