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 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, too.
Below are free and premium 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.
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, a 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 files. You can also embed native Google docs like spreadsheets or MS Office files. It works in combination with the Google Apps Login plugin.
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 on 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
The plugin is fully compliant with HTML 5 but has not been updated for more than two years or tested with the more recent WordPress versions.More info / Download
WooCommerce PDF Invoices
The WooCommerce PDF Invoices plugin 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. Because you can automate everything, you save a lot of time.
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 on your WordPress site.
You can generate thumbnails for all existing PDFs in the Media Library. The important thing to note here is that 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 on 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 the title, height, and width of the PDF display.More info / Download
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 & Print by BestWebSoft
PDF & 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 the button type (image, text, or image plus text), and add a custom code in the plugin’s settings page. The plugin can also execute shortcodes when generating PDFs or while creating a printer-friendly version.
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 custom documents, complete with header and footer.More info / Download
WordPress PDF Light Viewer Plugin
The plugin adds thumbnail navigation, and navigating between the pages of the PDF is smooth and easy. The PDF viewer comes with a zoom, a full-screen 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 the display of PDFs without any conversion.
The premium version of the plugin offers additional features, such as support for unlimited number of pages, navigation controls, multizoom, and thumbnails.More info / Download
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. However, 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 a 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.
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
Anthologize helps convert not only your PDF files but also your entire WordPress website into a PDF e-book. 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 e-book format, including PDF. The export features may be hampered if you’re short on server space. If you need any WordPress themes to help with your e-books, 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 a 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 the settings to allow a PDF download for all users or just for registered users. The plugin includes options to use custom fonts, headers, footers, and a logo, set spacing, and even add a watermark to your PDF files.
The pro version offers additional features, such as meta field support, custom settings, and shortcodes.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, which allows you to embed any number of PDF files.
The premium plugins are truly feature-rich and offer many options besides merely embedding PDF files. 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 3,000 in sales, it’s among the top-selling PDF plugins on CodeCanyon.
You can add toolbar icons to help users to navigate, zoom, print, download, or share the PDF. Not only that, but you can also 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. In addition, you can create as many flipbooks as you want.
You’ll find that the plugin matches with any theme since it allows you to customize the menu colors, button colors, shape, size, border, and shadows as well as hide buttons that you don’t need. Using shortcodes, you can enable the lightbox, full-screen mode, single-page look, RTL, and interactive content within the 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, links to PDF files are all you need. 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. It is also touch-friendly.
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
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. The WordPress plugins on this list make it easy for you to include them on your blog or on your website. Users can save, print, or download them without difficulty. If we’ve missed your favorite PDF viewer plugin, do share it with us in the Comments section.