Google Chrome gets 'native' PDF support

Faster, more secure, more stable, says company

Google has started using its next generation plug-in API to embed support for Adobe Acrobat PDFs more deeply into the Chrome browser. The company believes this will benefit security, performance and reliability.

According to Google, the latest developer version of Chrome, 6.0.437.3 for Linux, Mac, and Windows, debuts native support for PDFs using the NPAPI (Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface).

The benefits? Although browsers can already open PDFs, the experience can be unreliable and limited in some respects. According to Google, the new architecture will allow PDFs to be treated like any other web page.

"PDF files will render as seamlessly as HTML web pages, and basic interactions will be no different than the same interactions with web pages (for example, zooming and searching will work as users expect)," says Google's latest developer blog.

"PDF rendering quality is still a work in progress, and we will improve it substantially before releasing it to the beta and stable channels."

As with the parallel integration of Chrome with Adobe's Flash player, it will also make the environment more secure. The most important implication is that users will automatically receive the latest version of the plug-in required to view PDFs which could make Chrome one of the safest ways to open such a document without having to fall back to potentially insecure readers.

PDFs will run inside Chrome's secure browser sandbox.

Although Google doesn't say it, the development should also help speed and reliability. PDFs are often slow to open, sometimes crash, which is only partly because they download by default. Once the feature has been finalised, they should open in Chrome at similar speeds to any web page without faltering.

Users needing more advanced PDF features will still be given the option to launch a separate PDF reader.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags pdfsupportGoogle Chromesecure

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John E. Dunn

Techworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?