PDFs are great for many situations, and a PDF plugin allows you to embed a full WordPress PDF viewer into a WordPress page.
This way, your visitors can flip through the pages like a real document, while also zooming in, taking notes and printing out the document when needed. Some of the PDF plugins offer other useful tools for converting a blog post to a PDF or generating a cover image for a PDF that you can upload to your WordPress blog.
In short, a standard PDF viewer enables users to see a PDF as if the file were saved on their own computer. They get the capabilities expected of a PDF along with some other handy features the WordPress plugin developers have thrown in there.
Below are some examples of when you would use a PDF Viewer:
As the name suggests, this plugin adds a PDF download and print button to your WordPress posts, pages, and custom post types. You can add your website title, featured image, custom styles, and fonts. The plugin can also execute shortcodes when generating PDFs or create a printer-friendly version. It lets your users download PDFs from your posts.
It lets your users download PDFs from your posts and the plugin also supports pages, search results, archives, and custom post types too. You can add the conversion buttons by using widgets or shortcodes and the plugin offers different icons for your print buttons.
WP Advanced PDF plugin allows your users to download your posts and pages in PDF format. You can enable the PDF download for all users or just for registered users. You can also use custom fonts, logo, and even add a watermark to your PDF files.
Some other features also included is the ability to set stretching and spacing for PDF's, have the ability to generate a pdf from the cache to reduce load from the server and can schedule a backup of cache if your blog is not updating too frequently.
PDF Image Generator creates a cover image for PDF Files you add in WordPress posts for download. The plugin can generate this cover image by either using the first page in the PDF or featured image. The download icon will then display the thumbnail image linked to PDF file.
For this plugin to work your hosting provider should have ImageMagick and GhostScript installed on their server.
Similar to the previous plugin, PDF Thumbnail also generates a thumbnail of the first page of your PDF file during the upload. However, your PDF file and the thumbnail image remain as two separate files. You will need to manually insert the generated thumbnail and then link it to the PDF file.
This PDF viewer is called vanilla for a reason. The basic, minimalist user interface drops a PDF in your post without any bells and whistles. There’s no premium version, so you get things like page jumping, searching, zooming and printing without having to pay a dime.
We really like this plugin as it doesn’t have tons of unnecessary features, and the shortcodes are fairly easy to use. The plugin also provides a very clean reading experience for your users.
Check out the Vanilla PDF Embed plugin.
PDF Tab for WooCommerce is another alternative WordPress PDF plugin, delivering a PDF download button on your e-commerce product pages. Some product information is too long for the product page or maybe it needs to be protected in some way. On the other hand, your company might already have this documentation and there’s no need to duplicate it.
The PDF uploads are all handled through WordPress, so you don’t need to mess with shortcodes and a Download PDF button gets displayed right on the product page of your choice.
We saved the most beautiful for last since Real3D is pretty astounding in its design, but it’s also overkill for what most people are looking for. We like Real3D if you’re making an online magazine or sharing image-rich pamphlets with clients and customers.
With such a long list of reputable WordPress PDF viewers, it might seem tough deciding on which one to go with.
Here’s what we think:
Overall, your WordPress PDF viewer decision depends entirely on your situation. Luckily, most of them have free versions or inexpensive premium packages. So, give them a try and see which works best for you.