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The Best WordPress PDF Viewer Plugins For 2017

The Best WordPress PDF Viewer Plugins for 2017

When you run a blog or a website, there likely will be many instances when you want to display PDF files on the web pages. By default, WordPress does not support the embedding of PDF files and you can display PDF files only as links. Clicking on these links will only lead a visitor away from your site to the PDF document. If you want visitors to view the files without leaving your website, you’ll need the help of these WordPress PDF viewer plugins.

PDF files are popular because they help you to style documents to a great extent. Moreover, they retain the formatting consistently across all devices.

PDF viewer plugins will embed the PDF files into your posts and page. Visitors can view, read, download or print the files without leaving the post or page. They can download blog posts as PDF. As always, you’ll find free and premium plugins. Let’s start our list with the free plugins,

Free Plugins

If you’re looking for a plugin that does the basic job of embedding PDF documents in your pages or posts, the free plugins can competently accomplish this. Some have a few additional features as well, which we’ll find out in this post.

PDF Embedder

The name tells you the function, PDF Embedder plugin allows you to embed PDF files in the posts and pages of your site with the help of JavaScript. You need to upload your file just as you do with images. The height and width of the files are automatically adjusted to fit the size of the visitors’ screens. The site wide dimensions that you set can be changed for individual pages and some customization is possible using shortcodes.

WordPress PDF Viewer Plugins - PDF Embedder

The plugin does not rely on any third party service or iframes, and hence the display is faster and more flexible. The PDF files and JavaScript are stored on your own server, so it’s more reliable.

Users can browse using a Next / Previous button, which is helpful in a multipage document. From a convenient toolbar, it allows users to zoom, navigate, and even download the PDF file.

If you upgrade to the pro version of the plugin, users can download the files and click on hyperlinks. This version also allows pagination, better resizing, full screen mode and enhanced experience for mobile users.

More info / Download

Google Drive Embedder

Google Drive Embedder helps to embed many types of documents – Word doc, zip files, videos and PDF. You can also embed native Google docs like spreadsheets, or MS Office files. It works in combination with the Google Apps Login Plugin.

Google Drive Embedder

Authors can access all their Google drive files from a popup box and select the file that they want to embed. It’ll be similar to working with the Media Library in WordPress. You can allow inline viewing, downloads or links that open up editable files, all without help from Flash or PDF browser plugins.

However, you will need to set up document sharing in Google Drive for non Google file types to enable users to access these documents in the drive. The plugin works on WordPress multisites as well.

The premium plugin allows you to embed entire folders and calendars.

More info / Download

PDF Viewer

Just like PDF Embedder, PDF Viewer lets you embed PDFs using JavaScript. It’s lightweight and offers a simple way to add PDF to your website. Using the available shortcodes, you can set the height and width of your PDFs.

PDF Viewer

The plugins is fully HTML 5 complaint, but has not been updated for more than two years or tested with the more recent WordPress versions.

More info / Download

WooCommerce for PDF Invoices

WooCommerce for PDF Invoices is a good fit if you’re using WooCommerce on your website. It lets you generate PDF invoices and attach them to any email that you send to customers. And because you can automate everything, you save a lot of time.

WooCommerce PDF Invoices

To generate invoices in bulk, to customize your invoices or to issue them in different languages, you’ll need the premium version of the plugin.

More info / Download

PDF Image Generator

PDF Image Generator is a great fit if you want to display a thumbnail image and link it to the PDF file. When you upload a PDF file, the plugin uses the first page of the file or the featured images to create a JPEG cover image for the PDF files. It can display as a download icon in your WordPress.

PDF Image Generator

You can generate thumbnails for all existing PDFs in the Media Library. The important thing to note here is that the your server should have ImageMagick and GhostScript installed.

More info / Download

Vanilla PDF Embed

Vanilla PDF Embed is a freely available plugin to embed a PDF on a page or post in WordPress. It’s simple to set up – all you need to do is install the plugin and upload the PDF file into the Media Library. Next, copy the attachment URL of the PDF and then paste it in a separate link into the WordPress editor. Without having to do anything further, the PDF will be embedded on your page or post.

Using the [pdf] short tag you can adjust various parameters like title, height and width of the PDF display.

More info / Download

PDF.js Viewer Shortcode

PDF.js is a JavaScript library for displaying PDF pages within browsers. Using a simple shortcode, the PDF.js Viewer Shortcode helps incorporate Mozilla’s PDF.js viewer into your posts and pages.

PDF.js Viewer Shortcode

The plugin supports protected PDF password entry, loading bar, display of partially loaded PDFs and advanced zoom settings. It also supports mobile devices and an easy to use editor media button that generates shortcodes.

More info / Download

PDF and Print by BestWebSoft

PDF and Print adds a PDF download and print button to your WordPress posts, pages, search results, archives and custom post types. Besides you can add your title, featured image, custom styles, and fonts. You get to select the position of the button, set button type (image, text or image plus text), and add custom code in the plugin’s settings page. The plugin can also execute shortcodes when generating PDFs or while creating a printer friendly version.

PDF and Print

The pro version gives you many more options. You’ll be able to disable the download as PDF buttons on specific posts or pages, add text or image watermark, set custom images for buttons and create customs documents, complete with header and footer.

More info / Download

WordPress PDF Light Viewer Plugin

WordPress PDF Lite Viewer is suitable for embedding large PDF files. Using Turn.js JavaScript library, it displays multipage PDF files as flipbooks. This means that your website will not slow down even if you embed very large file sizes. You can preview the flipbook on the dashboard.

WordPress PDF Light Viewer

The plugin adds thumbnail navigation and navigating between the pages of the PDF is smooth and easy. The PDF viewer comes with zoom, fullscreen mode and lazy loading of images. It is also fully responsive and can work on different screen sizes, besides being compatible with multisites.

A premium add-on, supports single separate pages, per page printing, simple PDF page search and PDF categories.

More info / Download

PDF WordPress Flipbook

PDF WordPress Flipbook allows you to add pdf documents of any size and pages with a flipbook effect. Usually, most plugins convert the documents into images before displaying them. This affects the quality of the document and slows down the webpage. On the contrary, this plugin allows display of PDFs without any conversion.

WordPress PDF FlipBook

The premium version of the plugin offers additional features such as support for unlimited number of pages, navigation controls, multi zoom and thumbnails.

More info / Download

PDF Thumbnails

Similar to the PDF Image Generator plugin, PDF Thumbnails also generates a thumbnail of the first page of your PDF file. When you upload a PDF file, the plugin hooks into your Media Library to create a thumbnail. But the difference here is that the PDF file and the thumbnail image remain in two separate files. Thereafter, you’ll need to insert the thumbnail manually and then link it to the PDF file.

You can control the way the thumbnails are generated using shortcodes.

More info / Download


DK PDF is a powerful plugin that allows users to click and download your posts and pages in PDF format. Users can convert your posts and pages into PDFs and download. The easy interface helps you insert this button to posts, pages, and custom post types as well as to create your own custom header, footer and logo using custom CSS.


This ensures that readers can download your content to their devices. However, they’ll not be able to hide the fact that it’s sourced from your website on account of the customization.

The premium plugin allows you to customize the PDF cover and enable automatic PDF bookmarks.

More info / Download

BSK PDF Manager

BSK PDF Manager is a file manager for PDF files on a WordPress site. If you upload a number of PDF files on a regular basis to your WordPress, you may need some help in managing them. This plugin helps admins to slot them into categories or display these categories in a single list. Readers can also download an entire category with a single click.

BSK PDF Manager

It’s not hard to use this plugin. You merely need to copy the shortcodes into the pages or posts where you want the links to display. Since the plugin supports widgets, the PDF list can display in a widget area. You may not need this plugin if you have only a few PDF files on your WordPress. The premium plugin offers a number of additional features.

More info / Download


Not only PDF files, Anthologize helps convert your entire WordPress website into a PDF eBook. It can pull in posts from your blog or feeds from external sources. You can also create entirely new content directly in Anthologize.

Once you have the available content, draw up an outline, order the content to fit into the outline, edit it so that it builds up to a readable book and then export it in any eBook format, including PDF. The export features may be hampered if you’re short on server space. If you need any WordPress themes to help your with eBooks, this post is for you.

More info / Download

WP Advanced PDF

WP Advanced PDF allows users to create PDFs of your posts and pages in PDF format using the TCPDF class. The whole process is self contained. If you provide the links, users can even extract the blog with a click. You can adjust settings to allow PDF download for all users or just for registered users. The plugin includes options to use custom fonts, header, footer, logo, set spacing and even add a watermark to your PDF files.

WP Advanced PDF

The pro version offers additional features like a meta field support, custom settings, shortcode feature, and more.

More info / Download

Two other free plugins that you can look up are the Simple PDF Viewer which helps you view PDF documents with Google Document Viewer and PDF Poster that allows you to embed any number of PDF files.

Premium Plugins

The Premium plugins are truly feature rich and offer many options besides merely embedding a PDF file. Besides, they come with a higher degree of support.

PDF Viewer for WordPress

PDF Viewer for WordPress is one of the best plugins available for viewing and displaying PDF documents on WordPress. The plugin is fully responsive and compatible with most of the major browsers. With over 3000 in sales, it’s among the top selling PDF plugins on CodeCanyon.

PDF Viewer for WordPress

You can add toolbar icons to help users to navigate, zoom, print, download or share the PDF. Not only that you can enable or disable these features as needed. All the embedded PDFs are responsive, so visitors can view them on all screens.

More info / Purchase

Real3d FlipBook WordPress Plugin

Real3d FlipBook WordPress Plugin will help you display PDF documents in a magazine sort of style. You can upload your PDF documents and then use a shortcode to display these flipbooks easily. What’s more, you can create as many flipbooks as you want.

Real 3d flipbook

The plugin uses Web Graphics Library, a JavaScript library to render interactive graphics within the browser. It creates stunning HTML5 pages for your documents. And because it’s responsive, it works perfectly on all devices.

You’ll find that the plugin matches with any theme since it allows you to customize the menu colors, button colors, shape, size, border, shadows as well as hide buttons that you don’t need. Using shortcodes, you can enable lightbox, fullscreen mode, single page look, RTL and interactive content within flipbook. For WordPress themes that cater to the Newspapers and Magazines niche, refer to this post.

More info / Purchase

dFlip PDF FlipBook

With dFlip PDF FlipBook, all that you need is links to PDF files. Full flipbooks are created without any conversion using jQuery and HTML. The plugin includes advanced PDF features like page thumbnails, PDF links, annotation and bookmarks, and is touch friendly.

dFlip PDF FLipbook

You can choose how users interact with your PDF- zoom, download, RTL or single page mode. Only the required scripts or pages are loaded, not the entire flipbook. A custom lightbox is also included.

More info / Purchase

In Conclusion

A PDF document is a welcome addition to a WordPress website. It enables readers to view a document in the same way that it was formatted. Moreover, it is the preferred format for many official documents. These WordPress plugins make it easy for you to include them in your blog or on your website. And users can save, print or download them without difficulty. If we’ve missed out your favorite PDF viewer plugin, share it with us in the Comments section.


Priya is a freelance writer and a WordPress enthusiast. She loves the movies, and when not glued to some screen, she likes to potter about her home, not doing anything much. She can be reached at [email protected]

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Hi Priya.

    Thanks for this detailed article. You’re absolutely right, nowadays you need to engage visitors to keep them on your website longer. I was also looking for an easy to use software or plugin that helps me with embedding my PDF documents into my WordPress blog. I’ve tested different viewer plugins and came to the decision that page turning flipbooks perform best (at least for my fashion blog). Visitors can flip through the pages, watch my fashion videos from within the flipbook, etc.

    Thanks again and kind regards – Catherine

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