Viewing PDF Files without Adobe Reader

I noticed an interesting feature at the end of the Google Chrome OS Demo video today. Apparently, you can pass the URL of any publicly available PDF file to Google Docs and it will act as a plugin-free PDF viewer right in the browser.

To view a PDF file without any plugins, append the URL of the file to the end of the address shown here in bold type:

http://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.example.com/file.pdf

For example, here is the viewer displaying a PDF copy of a NASA publication.

I don’t think this is a new feature, but it’s the first I’ve seen of it. Google appears to use it to preview some PDF documents in search results (example).

 

20 thoughts on “Viewing PDF Files without Adobe Reader

  1. Occurs to me that, in a pinch, you can also view local files in GV by somehow giving them a temporary public URL. One quick way to do it is to place the file in a public Dropbox (or similar) folder and browse to it in the service’s web interface.

    Unsurprisingly, GV needs a public route to the file, so tricks like a “file://” pseudo-URL or a local HTTP URL (such as you can quickly get with heel, rack, thin, etc.) won’t work.

    LQ

  2. It was just about time, to see more possibilitys, specially for an Alleinunterhalter, to be able to use PDFs without additional plugins.
    thanx a million.

  3. echt ne tolle Sache. Bin gespannt was auf diesem Blog noch so geht! komme immer mal wieder vorbei! Grüße aus Soest. Harald Föller

  4. Gut, dass es das jetzt gibt.So brauch ich keine Programma installieren und mein Notebook wird weniger belastet 🙂 Super Sache!

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