How to Embed a PDF Document Into Your Website

pdf   How to Embed a PDF Document Into Your WebsiteMakeUseOf is no stranger to PDF documents as it’s home to a myriad of guides for all kinds of topics, and plenty of articles on PDF-reading and editing software (including online apps for conversions as well). There are also tips on how to search for specific text on PDF files and how to optimize them for better viewing on your portable devices.

Today, we’ll take a look at how you, the reader, can take your PDF documents and present them on your website without additional plugins, as all we will be using are embed codes. There’s a number of third-party websites that house your PDF files in their viewers. The most popular ones that have implemented improved features will be discussed after the jump.

Zoho Docs

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Zoho is suite of superb office and productivity applications, among which is a web-based viewer that supports a lot more formats than Google Docs, including but not limited to Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, RTF (rich text format) files, as well as OpenDocument text, presentation and spreadsheet files. Unlike the Google Docs Viewer, the Zoho Docs Viewer lets you upload a file you own (which you can publish so it will have a short, shareable URL) or paste the URL in the main page. Once you’ve uploaded your file and are viewing it online, you can grab the embed code at the Embed tab. There’s no required sign-up process.

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This viewer doubles up as a handy conversion service, which allows you to convert any of the supported document files to other file types.

Google Docs

3.1   How to Embed a PDF Document Into Your Website

For a simple web-based PDF viewer that can also display PowerPoint files, TIFF images, Microsoft Word documents, Google Docs also offers a viewer. If all you’re looking for is the document viewer, you don’t even have to visit that page. You just need to have published your PDF document so you can get the URL of the stored document and append it to the Google Docs Viewer address at http://docs.google.com/viewer so it just becomes http://docs.google.com/viewer?url=yourURLhere. Since the path also accepts the embed parameter, you can also embed a PDF document viewer in your website with iframes. Just copy the embed code on the Google Docs Viewer page.

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Scribd

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Scribd is a slightly different breed when it comes to sites that allow document embedding. It is actually a document-sharing website for authors that want to publish their works online. You need to sign up for an account in order to finish uploading documents to Scribd, but once you do, you’ll have a beautiful viewer for your piece. Scribd also allows you to import any documents from Google Docs, as well as to create a document from pasted text.

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If you’re an author and have lots of works you’d like to share or sell, you can use Scribd and other popular document-sharing websites, such as DocStoc, Issuu, YouPublish, edocr (the free account has limited functionality) and YUDU, which really have a sharing focus so your documents can get as exposed as possible.

If you’d rather not use a third-party document viewer, FlexPaper will likely be the best option for you as a website owner.

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It is an open-source web-based document viewer that you can download for non-commercial purposes at this website and upload it to your site.

Did we miss any other free online document viewers? Let us know in the comments!

Photo credit: Wendell Fernandes

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23 Comments -

ericblue76

Great writeup on a number of hosted options out there. It is also possible to create your own self-hosted option if you’re dealing with confidential documents or using for an intranet of some sort. For those interested in a DIY approach, check out:

How To Create Your Own Personal Document Viewer (Like Scribd or Google Books)
http://eric-blue.com/2010/01/0

AMAppZON.com or AMAppSTORE.com

I’m registered to Scribd that is a good service, but, unfortunately, I’m waiting from about two years that Scribd may finally allow the use of its Scribd Store also to non-US users

an useful service would be one that allows to embed in our sites and blogs a store with a payment system to sell our .pdf and ePub documents

ericblue76

Great writeup on a number of hosted options out there. It is also possible to create your own self-hosted option if you’re dealing with confidential documents or using for an intranet of some sort. For those interested in a DIY approach, check out:

How To Create Your Own Personal Document Viewer (Like Scribd or Google Books)
http://eric-blue.com/2010/01/03/how-to-create-your-own-personal-document-viewer-like-scribd-or-google-books/

Aibek

thanks for the link

Jessica Cam W.

I did mention FlexPaper at the end, but thanks for the link to the more detailed article.

Jean-Paul Chabry

Don’t forget the best of all, http://calameo.com

Jean-Paul Chabry

Don’t forget the best of all, http://calameo.com

MagentoThemes

Thanks for these tools. Is there a way to embed the pdf file directly without using any of the above tools?

Aibek

See the link in the comments above.

Jessica Cam W.

I think Aibek was talking about the FlexPaper link. FlexPaper is an open-source viewer that you can download and use on your own website, so that’s how you would be able to display PDF documents without using third-party tools, like the ones in this article.

Terry

yeah I am using Serif WebPlus, create a PDF Icon with the appropriate name (make your own pdf drawing/Icon), right click on the Icon that you have created and selected hyperlink scroll down menu to file select file and input file path, then select either open in same window or open in new window and finish upload updates to your site along with the origonal pdf file.

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Nouman

Good list. I have noticed more and more people are opting for Scribd these days.

Aibek

Yep, as Jessica pointed out I was referring to FlexPaper,
http://www.devaldi.com/?page_i

Seenu

These are really superb sites. Bookmarked for later use

Elyse

Thanks so much for posting this. It has solved my biggest problem with sharing through my bog. Appreciate it!

Liveforfood

Can anyone translate this article into understandable English? So much techie jargon … But I do very much appreciate what they try to do at this website. Thank you for your efforts.

Jessica Cam W.

Basically, if you have a PDF file you want to display in-line, without making your website visitor have to download the file in order to view it, you can use Zoho Viewer (or any of the other sites on this list) and copy the the code the service provides you so you can paste it on your website. Anyone who visits your website will see your PDF document in a widget-like object.

Zinobios

Freelance

Seems like quite a bit of hassle if you work freelance, you could just put a download link on your site so people can download it – maybe I’m missing the point.

Jessica Cam W.

That’s always an option. It’s always good to provide your website visitor
with alternatives (viewing in-line versus downloading) though. For me, at
least, if a website had a PDF viewer, that’d reduce hassle for me. :)

Jessica Cam W.

That’s always an option. It’s always good to provide your website visitor
with alternatives (viewing in-line versus downloading) though. For me, at
least, if a website had a PDF viewer, that’d reduce hassle for me. :)