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 newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags supportGoogle Chromepdfsecure

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

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?