PDF Reader A PDF reader extension based on Mozilla's powerful PDF.js open-source library
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The "PDF Reader" extension brings Mozilla's robust PDF reader to the Chromium-based browsers. The extension employs the well-known open-source PDF.js library to deal with progressive fetching, parsing, and rendering. After installation, all top-level PDF requests are directed to this extension. So the default PDF reader of your browser is being replaced by this extension. This PDF viewer only observes the top-level requests and skips all the iframe requests since those requests are usually meant for a quick view of documents and are not meant to be viewed with a full-featured PDF reader. The extension first fetches the resource and then renders it into the active view. This extension can open both server-side links and local PDF files. For the local PDF files to be considered, make sure to enable the 'Local File Access' option from the extensions manager window of your browser.



  1. What is the "PDF Reader" extension and how does it work?

    This extension is meant to replace the default PDF viewer of your browser with the open-source PDF.js library written by Mozilla. The extension offers the same PDF reading experience on a Chromium-based browser as you open the same PDF file in Mozilla's Firefox browser. In contrast to the default PDF reader of your browser which usually requires the entire PDF binary resource before rendering it, this extension loads the document as soon as the already downloaded binary data is renderable. Note that this extension only passes the URL of the document to the PDF.js library and it does not render the PDF file internally. So you need to report rendering issues to the GitHub page of the PDF.js project. Also, note that this extension uses an offline version of this library so your PDF file is parsed locally without any server interactions

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  3. What's new in this version?

    Please check the Logs section.

  4. I don't have a native PDF reader. Can I use this extension to open my local PDF files (PDF files with FILE scheme)?

    Yes, the extension can open both server-side links and local PDF documents. Like any other extension, for local documents, the extension needs to have permission to access the user's disk (to access the FILE scheme). To grant this permission, open your browser's extensions manager (For Chromium browsers, you can directly insert chrome://extensions/ in the address bar of your browser and press the ENTER key) in a browser tab and find this extension. Press the "Details" button and check the "Allow Local Access" option for this extension. Now reload the page with a local PDF URL or drop a new PDF file to your browser's window. It should get rendered by this extension instead of the default PDF viewer of your browser.

  5. Can I use this extension to print a PDF file with a printer?

    Yes, on the top-right side of the page there is a button to print PDF files. This extension asks your browser to print the rendered document like a normal HTML page. The actual printing is handled by your browser but the PDF rendering is performed by this extension.

  6. Can I download the PDF file that I am currently reading with this extension?

    Yes, when the interface is loaded, there will be a download button on the top-right side of the view. Click on the icon to ask the extension to download the PDF file to your default download directory of your browser.

  7. This extension does not render embedded PDF files in web pages. Is there any reason for that?

    Usually, embedded PDF documents are meant for a quick view and hence do not need PDF tools like PDF section browser, search tool, or indexing menu, so the extension skips rendering these types of requests. Your default PDF viewer is in charge of all the sub-frame PDF requests. If you would like this extension to handle these jobs, please add a note to the comments section of this page and I can add an optional feature to deal with these requests.

  8. Is there a simple way to open local PDF documents with this extension?

    As of version 0.1.4, this extension adds a browser's action button to the toolbar of your browser. To open a local PDF file, simply press this button then drop the PDF file into the view. Alternatively, use the open button in the UI to locale your PDF document.

  9. Can I use this tool to view embedded PDFs?

    By default, there is no support for parsing embedded PDF requests. However, as of version 0.1.7, there is a new option on the right-click context menu over the toolbar button to enable support for parsing embedded PDF files. This setting is persistent, so you need to enable it once.

  10. Is it possible to change the default theme of the extension from dark to light?

    This extension supports four themes by default. You can change the theme from the right-click context menu of the action's button. You can also go to the options page of the add-on and customize the theme with your custom styles. For instance, to change the background color of the viewer use:

    body {
      background-color: red !important;

  11. How can I copy the URL of the current PDF document?

    There is a button on the right toolbar area with a link icon. Press this button to copy the document URL as well as its page number. The page number is appended to the link as a hash (e.g. page=12). You can use the generated link to open the PDF file later and navigate to the current page.

  12. Does this extension display PDF signatures?

    Yes, the extension displays PDF signed and unsigned signatures without verifying the signature certificate.

  13. I want my PDF reader not to render interactive forms (AcroForm/XFA). Is it possible to disable this feature?

    Right-click on the action button and open the "Rendering Options" menu. Uncheck "Render Interactive Forms" option.

  14. Why does my PDF reader does not show PDF signatures?

    For the PDF reader to show signed and unsigned signatures, you need to disable the "Render Interactive Forms" option from the right-click context menu over the action button.

  15. Does this extension support dark theme for PDF files?

    The interface theme is configurable, but the color of the PDF files is not. The PDF styling is based on the embedded colors of the document. However, with the help of custom CSS support, you can use the method mentioned on this GitHub thread for simple dark conversion.

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What's new in this version

Change Logs:
    Last 10 commits on GitHub
    Hover over a node to see more details

    Need help?

    If you have questions about the extension, or ideas on how to improve it, please post them on the  support site. Don't forget to search through the bug reports first as most likely your question/bug report has already been reported or there is a workaround posted for it.

    Open IssuesIssuesForks

    Editorial Review

    Why do you need a PDF Reader extension? The PDF format is popular, and many people still use it for publishing their work from word documents to images. There was a time when you needed to download a stand-alone PDF reader application on your computer just to deal with PDF reading needs. This takes a lot of unnecessary space and memory, making your computer even slow. So, to resolve this problem, a PDF viewer is shipped with modern browsers by default. These PDF file readers are usually slow as long PDF files take a lot to load and you will have to wait until the whole file is loaded before start your reading. This limits your productivity. This extension is a replacement for the default PDF viewer of your browser. It uses the popular open-source PDF.js library developed by Mozilla for handling PDF files rendering. The PDF Reader extension will open, analyze, and interpret the files. With the help of a PDF Viewer, you will be able to open PDF files quickly.

    PDF Reader extension is a great addition to your browser. This will manage all the requests of PDF format and provides a better user experience than the default PDF Viewer. The extension will automatically use the PDF.js library to render the PDF files. A wonderful feature of this extension is that the PDF Reader will display the first few pages of the PDF file while the rest of the pages are loading. This feature makes it better than other alternatives. This addon can open both, local and server-side PDF files. To analyze the local files, you need to enable the feature "Access Local File". You can enable it from the extensions manager tab of your browser. Click on the 3-dot icon on the toolbar and click on the extensions manager. Once it opens in a new tab, you can enable access to the local files. After that, you should reload the page and drop the file to your browser for rendering. A great feature of this extension is that you can print the files without any difficulty. When you open a PDF file, you can see a printer icon, click it to start printing the file. It even makes it easy to navigate through the file and you can use the search tool to find through the PDF document. You can find the download button on the top right side of the interface. By clicking it, you will be able to download the file through the extension. A problem with this PDF reader is that it does not render the embedded PDF files at the moment. This is because the embedded files are used for quick reviewing only. You will not be able to use tools like search and browse with these types of requests. Thus, the extension skips the sub-frame requests. This free extension can be used on any Chromium-based browsers. I hope you have an amazing experience using this extension.

    Permissions are explained

    <all_urls>to be able to fetch PDF content from any hostname and local disk with FILE scheme
    tabsto be able to inject the PDF reader scripts to replace the default PDF renderer of your browser
    webNavigationto find local requests of PDF rendering with FILE scheme
    webRequestto find remote requests of PDF rendering with HTTP and HTTPS schemes
    webRequestBlockingto redirect page to PDF.js viewer interface
    storageto save the user and internal preferences

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