Thank you for your suggestion. This can be reduced to a one-step process after taking a few steps:
- Go to chrome://plugins and disable "Chrome PDF viewer".
- In Paperpile go to the gear in the upper right --> settings --> browser integration. Under "PDF Viewer" select "Chrome default viewer". This will make pdf files automatically download when you click on them in your browser. (You can also select "Google Drive" to take one step out of @sahilseth's solution).
- Click on the "View PDF" link on a paper in paperpile. This should make the file download as well as appear in a bar along the bottom of your browser. In this bar click the little arrow next to the filename and select "Always Open With System Viewer". From now on, all pdfs clicked will automatically be downloaded and opened in your default desktop viewer (usually Preview for OSX).
Note that unlike with @sahilseth's suggestion, any changes you make to the file will not be synced back to the copy on google drive.
I am curious as to what the benefits are to opening the pdf in Preview, as opposed to the chrome default viewer or our beta viewer?