PDF Reader A PDF reader extension based on Mozilla's powerful PDF.js open-source library
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The "PDF Reader" extension integrates Mozilla's powerful PDF reader into Chromium-based browsers. It uses the popular open-source PDF.js library for progressive fetching, parsing, and rendering. Once installed, all primary PDF requests are routed through this extension, replacing the browser's default PDF reader. This viewer exclusively handles top-level requests, disregarding iframe requests typically used for quick document previews. It fetches and renders resources into the active view and supports opening both server-side links and local PDF files. To enable access to local PDFs, ensure the 'Local File Access' option is activated in your browser's extension manager.



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

    This extension aims to substitute your browser's default PDF viewer with the open-source PDF.js library developed by Mozilla. It delivers an identical PDF reading experience on Chromium-based browsers akin to opening the same file in Mozilla Firefox. Unlike your browser's default PDF reader, which typically necessitates the complete PDF binary resource before rendering, this extension begins displaying the document as soon as renderable binary data is available. It's important to note that this extension solely passes the document's URL to the PDF.js library and doesn't internally render the PDF file. Therefore, any rendering issues should be reported to the PDF.js project's GitHub page. Additionally, this extension uses an offline version of the library, ensuring that your PDF files are parsed locally without any server involvement.

  2. What's new in this version?

    Please check the Logs section.

  3. How can I use this extension to open local PDF files if I don't have a native PDF reader?

    You can use this extension to open both server-side links and local PDF documents. To enable access to local files, including those with the FILE scheme, follow these steps:

    1. Open your browser's extensions manager. For Chromium browsers, enter chrome://extensions/ in the address bar and hit ENTER.
    2. Locate this extension and click on the "Details" button.
    3. Check the "Allow Local Access" option for this extension.
    4. Reload the page containing a local PDF URL or drag and drop a new PDF file into your browser's window.
    5. The PDF should now be rendered by this extension instead of your browser's default PDF viewer.

  4. Is it possible to use this extension for printing PDF files with a printer?

    Yes. You'll find a print button located on the top-right side of the page when viewing a PDF file using this extension. When you use this button, the extension prompts your browser to print the rendered document similar to printing a regular HTML page. While the actual printing process is managed by your browser, the rendering of the PDF is handled by this extension.

  5. Is it possible to download the PDF file I'm currently viewing using this extension?

    Yes. Once the interface is loaded, you'll notice a download button situated on the top-right side of the view. Click the icon to let the extension download the PDF file directly to your browser's default download directory.

  6. Why doesn't this extension render embedded PDF files found within web pages?

    Typically, embedded PDF documents are intended for quick viewing and thus lack the necessity for PDF tools such as section browsers, search functions, or indexing menus. As a result, the extension bypasses rendering these types of requests. Your default PDF viewer manages all sub-frame PDF requests. If you wish for this extension to handle these tasks, right-click the action button and enable the "Support embedded PDFs" item.

  7. Is there an easy method to access local PDF files using this extension?

    Starting from version 0.1.4, this extension introduces an action button on your browser's toolbar. To open a local PDF file, click this button and then drag the PDF file into the view. Alternatively, you can use the open button within the user interface to locate your PDF document.

    For ChromeOS users, this extension uses a native context menu option for PDF documents. You can use this item to open either a single PDF document or multiple PDF documents.

  8. Is it possible to use this tool for viewing embedded PDFs?

    By default, embedded PDF requests are not parsed. However, starting from version 0.1.7, a new option has been introduced in the right-click context menu over the toolbar button to enable parsing support for embedded PDF files. This setting persists, so you only need to enable it once.

  9. Can I switch the default theme of the extension from dark to light?

    By default, this extension offers support for both dark and light themes. You can easily change the theme by accessing the right-click context menu of the action button. Starting from version 0.4.0, you can instruct the extension to use the OS theme as well. Additionally, you can visit the extension's options page to personalize the theme using custom styles. For example, to modify the background color of the viewer, use:

    body {
      background-color: red !important;

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

    You'll find a button with a link icon in the right toolbar area. Click this button to copy the document URL with metadata included (for instance page number). The page number is added to the link as a hash (e.g., page=12). You can use the generated link to reopen the PDF file later and directly navigate to the current page.

  11. Does this extension show PDF signatures?

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

  12. Is it possible to deactivate the rendering of interactive forms (AcroForm/XFA) in my PDF reader?

    You can disable this feature by right-clicking the action button and accessing the "Rendering Options" menu. Uncheck the "Render Interactive Forms" option or any other PDF features.

  13. Why doesn't my PDF reader display PDF signatures?

    To enable the display of both signed and unsigned signatures in the PDF reader, you must deactivate the "Render Interactive Forms" option found in the right-click context menu over the action button.

  14. Is dark theme supported for PDF files by this extension?

    While the interface theme is customizable, the color of PDF files isn't. PDF styling relies on the embedded colors within the document. Nonetheless, with the assistance of custom CSS support, you can use the technique outlined in this GitHub thread for a straightforward dark conversion.

  15. As a network administrator, can I deploy this extension across all computers on my network?

    Starting from version 0.3.4, the extension provides a feature that allows administrators to configure it using Chrome Managed Storage. This functionality is particularly useful in corporate or educational environments where administrators need to preconfigure users' computers. For instance, on macOS, the "frames" setting can be configured using managed storage by following these steps:

    1. Create a new file on your Desktop or in the TMP directory and name it as follows. Note that "iee...jihl" is the ID of this extension on the Chrome Web Store. The file is temporary and can be deleted after configuration:

    2. Insert the following content into the file:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
      <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple/DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
      <plist version="1.0">
        <string>version 1</string>
    1. Use the mcxToProfile.py script to convert the "PLIST" to "MOBILECONFIG" format for later installation:
    python3 mcxToProfile.py --plist com.google.Chrome.extensions.ieepebpjnkhaiioojkepfniodjmjjihl.plist --identifier pdf-reader
    1. Double-click the generated pdf-reader.mobileconfig file located next to the original "PLIST" file.
    2. Go to "System Settings" > "Privacy and Security" > "Profiles" to install it.

    To remove unnecessary configurations, navigate to the "Profiles" section and delete them. To confirm a successful installation, visit the "chrome://policy/" page on your Chrome browser, which displays all currently active policies.

    Chrome policies are rules set by administrators to control various aspects of the Google Chrome browser, enabling customization and restriction of features. The list of preferences that can be altered includes:

    • guid (string)
    • frames (boolean)
    • theme (string)
    • enableScripting (boolean)
    • disablePageLabels (boolean)
    • enablePermissions (boolean)
    • enablePrintAutoRotate (boolean)
    • enableWebGL (boolean)
    • historyUpdateUrl (boolean)
    • ignoreDestinationZoom (boolean)
    • pdfBugEnabled (boolean)
    • useOnlyCssZoom (boolean)
    • disableAutoFetch (boolean)
    • disableFontFace (boolean)
    • disableRange (boolean)
    • disableStream (boolean)
    • annotationMode (number)
    • renderInteractiveForms (boolean)
    • styles (string)
    • faqs (boolean)

    Make sure to use a new "guid" for each new update. The extension checks for the new managed preferences on each browser restart. To view preferences altered by an administrator, open "chrome://policy/" in a browser tab.

  16. Is it possible to modify a PDF file using this extension?

    Absolutely. The toolbar area provides some tools for editing PDF files. You can draw, type, and add or remove images. Once your edits are complete, remember to save the modified PDF file before closing the viewer.

  17. I enjoy using this extension to view PDF files, but occasionally, I prefer to use my browser's native PDF viewer. Can I temporarily instruct the extension to allow the native PDF viewer to render PDF files?

    Starting from version 0.4.0, you'll find a pause button on the toolbar. Click this button to request the extension to allow the native viewer to render the next request instead of the extension.

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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.

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    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
    storageto save the user and internal preferences

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