It depends on what you need to do with that opened file and what methods you use to insert it into a container field and what options you specify for that field..
You can put a pdf in a container field sized to fill most of your screen and optimize it for interactive content.
Or you can use Export field contents to export a copy of the file and specify that it be opened automatically. This opens the file with whatever default application for that file type is specified by your Operating system settings.
If the file was inserted as a file and with the "store a reference" option specified, you can double click the file to open it with your OS specified default application.
All of these options can be managed with scripting to make it a case of simply clicking a button.
MORE QUESTIONS: I am dragging the PDF files into the contaiiner field from the Mac OS FInder application. They display too small to read. When viewed using FM GO 12, when selected a reader dialog box appears and a window opens to make reading the PDF easy. Not so with FM Pro 12.
What should I do differently when loading the contaiiner field with teh PDF to facilitate easy reading/opening of the PDF?
Note that drag and drop is embedding a physical copy of the file in your container field. This will rapidly increase the size of your file with each added file and often is not the optimum storage method for files in container fields.
To read the PDF from within the container field, try making the container field larger. Either that or use Export Field Contents to export a copy and open it with your default PDF reader application. This works the same regardless of how you insert the file into the container field.
What is the alternative to drag and drop? When I do this, I am dragging from an appllication outside FM and to the container field? I don't think the PDF is located in the FM file any more than one place: the contaiiner field. Am I wrong about this?
What is the preferred way to get PDFs into my container field?
Have you set up external storage on your container field?
Embedded may be your only option if you are also using this database with FM Go users there are limits to when an FM GO user can see a "by reference" file.
Dragging a PDF from an application outside FileMaker? From what application can you drag a PDF?
There is no preferred method, each option has its trade offs. I suggest reading up on container fields.