I have a field with a URL to a PDF. The field is used for hotlinking. When I use the hotlink tool or click on the link in the Identify window, the link opens in my default browser (Chrome), but when I click the link in the HTML popup it opens in Internet Explorer.

Is there a way to get it to open in the default browser instead? Having it open in IE is rather annoying since it does not handle opening PDF files very gracefully.

  • When I do this in 10.3 (sorry I know you asked about 10.2) my HTML pop-up opens a default browser HTML in my case: Chrome HTML Document...try right clicking the pop up and select properties to check the browser type. This page might help: geonet.esri.com/thread/121990 – spk578 Jul 17 '15 at 9:54
  • Thanks for the reply! Sounds like I might have to wait for the IT department to upgrade to 10.3 then. When I right click and select properties, it says IE, and I cant find anywhere to change that. I already have about="_blank" in the link tag, so I don't think that is the problem. But knowing it will be fixed in the next version is great! Thanks! – Anders Jul 17 '15 at 10:35


As of version 10.2, it seems you really can't get ArcMap to open an URL in any browser other than IE. But you can require the IE version you need to best render your content.

Supposing your Windows is properly updated, you should have IE 11 installed. If that is the case, you can produce HTML content, to open in the popup, comprising a meta tag like this:

<meta http-equiv="x-ua-compatible" content="IE=9">

This guarantees that IE will render your content in IE 9 document mode, instead of the standard IE 7 mode (default for the ArcGIS HTML Popup).

I hope this solves your problem.

  • This is awesome. – landocalrissian Dec 1 '16 at 13:04
  • As the popup's browser window is not programmaticaly resizable and positionable, later I decided to create a Python Addin in which I used the 'webbrowser' and 'pywin32' standard python modules to acquire full control of popup window. Also this allows using any installed webbrowser (Firefox, Chrome, etc.) – rpcavaco Dec 4 '16 at 11:49

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