Google Chrome Develops Its Own PDF Viewing Experience

Google Chrome finally decided to put its foot down on Adobe Reader. Last week, the team over at Google Chrome announced their newest development: Google’s Chrome browser can now open PDFs without Adobe Reader. Here’s a quick look at what to expect if you haven’t tried it out yet.

The first thing you may be wondering is how is it possible to view a PDF without a viewer? Google used an open-source next-generation APIand made it so that Chrome doesn’t even need to open a PDF viewer to open and view a PDF file. In other words, you can view your PDF files as HTML web pages.

As a test, Google linked to a PDF file on their blog which you’d more than likely be downloading from the web. And I couldn’t help but click to find out what it would look like. As you can see below, Chrome serves as the PDF viewer itself—sans toolbar, and keeps its minimalistic style.

The only PDF toolbar available appears when you hover your mouse cursor in the lower right hand corner. So far, the toolbar only comes with zooming and viewing navigation. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find out about other additional features for more complex PDFs just yet.

Available functionality right now (at least for this PDF) includes the ability to type on forms, simple copying and pasting, and saving a copy of the PDF file via Chrome’s “Save page as . . .”option.

Of course, this new type of PDF viewing experience means that you don’t need to worry as you normally would about opening PDF files online that can infect your computer via Adobe’s Reader application. This new integrated PDF viewer includes the much talked about sandbox security layer.