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different behavior PDF attachment and link to attachment



I found a difference in behavior when opening an attachment in a Jira issue and opening it using the link in a comment in the same Jira issue.


First I added an PDF attachment to a jira issue.

When I then open the attachment it will be opened in the Google PDF Viewer.

If I open the same attachment clicking the link to this attachment within the comment it will be downloaded in my local file system.

Is this a desired behavior or why is this different?


Thank you in advance.

1 answer

1 accepted

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Answer accepted
Andy Heinzer Atlassian Team Oct 24, 2019

Hi Tim,

If I understand your concerns here, you have found that attachments in a Jira issue will open in a preview window, but that links to these attachments found in descriptions or comments always prompt to download instead of preview.  In my testing of this, my attachments never open in Google PDF Viewer, but then again, I don't have that browser plugin/app installed to my machine.  So perhaps this plugin is a factor in the behavior you have described here.

Even without that plugin, when when clicking on some files in the attachment section, Jira will use a preview window to display these.  This has a black bar on the top with the filename, download button, and close X, like so:

Screen Shot 2019-10-24 at 12.29.21 PM.png

But I should note that this particular behavior only works for some mime filetypes.  For example, most images such as png, jpg, gif, and pdfs will have the ability to use this preview window when clicked on from the attachment section on the issue.  But other filetypes, such as txt, csv do not utilize this preview at all.  For those files, they are prompted to be downloaded outright when clicking on them.  I believe that this comes down to what is easier to display within the browser itself and what usually is expected to be opened/loaded with a 3rd party program (I'm thinking spreadsheets like xls files).

As for the difference between links and the attachment section, I believe this is by design.  When reading a description or comment, it is possible that you could have inserted attached images as a thumbnail directly (pdf does not have this embed ability, but other image files do).  But the use of a link here seems to be more in line with a desire to have the other users viewing this issue to download that file as needed.  

Does this help?  Please let me know if I can clarify any of these parts further.


Hi Andy,


thank you for this clarification. This is exactly what I assumed.





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