The Best PDF Viewer Plugins For WordPress In 2018

What Is A PDF Viewer And When Would You Use It?

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:

  • When you already have a large document formatted and made into a PDF. It would be a waste to rewrite or reformate.
  • For displaying large documents that would look silly as a blog post or page.
  • If you need to share links to documents that shouldn’t be modified by the people who download them. Technically you can convert a PDF to an editable document, but there are ways to secure the PDFs or at least make them harder to modify.
  • When you’re sharing documentation that needs to be signed and dated by numerous people. For example, a real estate agent can either send out the same contract to hundreds of clients or simply have them all download it from a website.
  • If you’d like to share something online and not have it discoverable by search engines. One example might be an eBook, where you’d rather protect the content and not have the search engines crawling for it.
  • When you need to generate a PDF based on some of your current website content, like a series of blog posts you’d like to turn into an eBook.

 

PDF Embedder

The PDF Embedder plugin has been around for some time now, and it’s one of the cleanest ways to present your PDFs on a website. The free version of PDF Embedder includes the majority of the features you’ll need, with the quick upload button, PDF embed function and your regular navigation buttons.
The PDF upload only takes one simple click and your PDF snaps into place depending on the size of the screen. You can also adjust the dimensions manually. The plugin only uses JavaScript for display, so the viewing experience is much smoother than if it were to utilize iframes and you can get premium features like full-screen mode, PDF security, and continuous scrolling through pages.

PDF And Print By BestWebSoft

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

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

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 WordPress hosting provider should have ImageMagick and GhostScript installed on their server.

 

PDF Thumbnails

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.

 

Vanilla PDF Embed

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

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.

Real3D FlipBook WordPress Plugin

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.

The page flipping technology is the closest you can get to reading an actual magazine, and the lightbox effect clears out all distractions for the reader. It has a fully customizable user interface for changing items like colours, buttons, borders, page flip sounds and page shininess and you can upload both PDFs and images. The realistic viewing experience really translates well to mobile devices in this instance.

 

Which PDF Viewer Is Right For You?

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:

  • If you’re interested in plentiful features and the most elegant displays, consider PDF Embedder or Real3d Flipbook.
  • If you need to integrate with WooCommerce, consider PDF Tab for WooCommerce or PDF and Print by BestWebSoft.
  • If you’d like to convert blog posts or pages into PDFs, PDF and Print by BestWebSoft is your plugin.

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.

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