When it comes to WordPress, we can say that WordPress as a CMS allows us to create all kinds of websites. We can make blogs using WordPress, we can make portfolio websites using WordPress, and we can also use it to create full-fledged e-commerce websites!
The WordPress CMS was intended to be a CMS especially for blogs, but it has evolved into so much more over the course of time. WordPress is an open source project that means that you can take the WordPress code, make modifications in it and redistribute it openly. This open nature of WordPress is the reason there have been so many improvements and feature added into the CMS.
We also see some extra things like plugins and themes for WordPress that add new features to the already existing list of features when they are installed in a WordPress website. All this is possible because of the open nature of WordPress and how easily it is for the developers to code something for WordPress.
I was working on a WordPress website in which I needed to find a way to embed and show some PDF documents on a page. There is no native way to do this on WordPress and hence I started looking for the plugins that would allow me to do the same. I found quite a lot of plugins, but I had to skim through a lot of them before choosing the one I was going for. I found ten such plugins that work well and does the job perfectly.
I am going to list the ten best WordPress PDF viewer plugins in this post, and I will also tell you how they work and what extra features each one of these plugins provides. Let me start listing these plugins one by one with a brief description of each one of the plugins listed.
Free WordPress PDF Plugins
1. WP Advanced PDF
WP Advanced PDF is a WordPress PDF generator for your posts and pages. Integrating the plugin will help your readers to create pdf of your posts of your blogs. The plugin uses the TCPDF class to help render PDF, and as such, it is entirely independent and self-contained. Some of the notable features of the plugin include the option to set Custom fonts for PDF as well as set Stretching and Spacing for PDF. You can also provide extract links to your blog which you readers can use to easily extract the blog with a mere click.
Apart from these, you can also set custom bullet styles, add watermark text and images, customize the fonts of headers, footers, and content as well as easily change the margins, alignment, and page for your PDF and much more. The plugin also comes with a pro version which gives you features like a meta field support, custom settings, shortcode feature, PDF export Log, etc.
2. WordPress PDF Viewer and Embed
WordPress PDF viewer and Embed is an easy to use, lightweight WordPress plugin to view your PDF document file as a full screen reading document. You can embed it to any of your web pages with the help of shortcodes. The plugin comes with two PDF upload modes. The first one allows for direct upload from your local PC and through the second option you can import PDF URLs. Other than this you also get the aforementioned full screen and embed mode to display your PDF.
Apart from these, you will also get customization features to help you control the width, height, start page, etc. of your embedded PDF as well as the option to show or hide the toolbar. You will also get a handy Shortcode insert button on every page and post.
One thing to note is that the plugin is jQuery independent. But one drawback of the plugin comes with the fact that you cannot display your PDF if the browser that is being used doesn’t support inline PDFs. In that case, the plugin will provide a download link for the PDF followed by the message: “This browser does not support inline PDFs. Please download the PDF to view it: Download PDF”.
3. Vanilla PDF Embed
This is one of the most used and freely available plugins to embed a PDF on a page in WordPress. To make this plugin work, all you need to do is install the plugin, upload the PDF file into your WordPress media library, copy the attachment URL of the PDF and then you can just paste the URL in a separate like into the WordPress visual editor.
The PDF will be embedded on its own, and you will not have to do anything extra at all.
4. PDF Embedder
The PDF Embedder plugin allows you to embed PDF into your WordPress posts or pages easily without using any external viewer or iFrame.
You can browse through the documents using the Next/Previous buttons and you will be able to zoom in using the zoom button as well.
5. PDF Light Viewer
This plugin allows you to embed multipage PDF documents of many sizes in a flipbook kind of manner. All the pages that are embedded will have a thumbnail and the navigation between the pages of the PDF is smooth and fast.
You have features like full-screen mode, lazy loading of pages, zooming, etc. This PDF viewer is based on Turn.js, which means that no matter how big the PDF is, your website will not slow down at all. This is one of the best PDF viewer plugins for WordPress.
6. PDF WordPress Flipbook
Many WordPress PDF flipbook plugins first convert the documents into images, and then show the results. This process not only damages the quality of the document, but it also increases the server load as well as load times on the web page.
This PDF viewer plugin on the other hand, allows you to embed PDF documents into a flipbook without converting them at all. You can add a PDF document of any size with any number of pages and this plugin will work flawlessly!
7. GroupDocs Viewer for Cloud
This WordPress PDF plugin not only allows you to display PDF documents, but you can also display other types of Microsoft Office documents on your WordPress website. Keep in mind that the documents you are going to display need to be hosted on GroupDoc’s cloud storage and keep in mind that the GroupDoc Cloud API is a paid service. You can check the pricing here.
8. Google Doc Embedder
Google Docs is an online freely available Office tool that you can use to create documents like a spreadsheet, a doc file, a presentation, etc. You can also host and view you MS Office files on Google Docs.
This PDF viewer plugin allows you to embed these documents on your WordPress website, and PDF is supported. This is one of the best PDF viewer plugins you can find for WordPress. Keep in mind that this might be a better option over the GroupDocs plugin as hosting documents on a Google Doc account is free.
Premium WordPress PDF Plugins
9. Doc Plus – WooCommerce Doc Viewer
If you have a WooCommerce website, and you want to show PDF documents on the product pages, then this is the WordPress PDF plugin that you are looking for.
The best part about this plugin is that it does not use Flash at all and hence the plugin is blazing fast when it comes to loading the PDF document. It allows you to add the functionality of inline PDF viewing and there is also an option for the user to choose to download the PDF.
SEE ALSO: Top Fastest WordPress Themes Ever
10. PDF viewer for WordPress
This plugin is also one of the best plugins one can choose for the purpose of viewing and displaying PDF documents on WordPress web pages.
This plugin is fully responsive and hence you will find that it looks properly native in the mobile view as well. It is also compatible with all the major browsers today like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera etc.
The PDF viewer provides full control to the user and they can choose to print, download or share the PDF right from the viewer itself.
11. PDF Tab for WooCommerce
If you wanted to add a PDF Document on your WooCommerce product listing pages, this is one of the best plugins that allows you to do the same. The PDF viewer plugin for WordPress is extremely easy to set up and easy to use as well. This is compatible with all the major browsers today and functions really well.
12. Real 3D Flipbook
If you want to embed the PDF documents in a magazine sort of style, then the Real 3D Flipbook is the best option for you. This plugin creates stunning HTML5 pages for your documents.
The WebGL library provides all kinds of functionality to the plugin, and you can upload your PDF documents and then use a shortcode to display these flipbooks easily!
This plugin works perfectly on all platforms – PC as well as mobile. The animations are stunning and, all in all, this a great plugin.
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Personally, I find the Google Doc Embedder and Real 3D Flipbook the best among the lot. Google Doc Embedder allowed me to embed PDF files from my Google account, and this saves me the disk space and bandwidth on my servers.
On the other hand, Real 3D Flipbook allows me to create some stunning flipbooks with smooth amazing transitions. Which one do you think is the best for your use? Let us know!