How to enable the best PDF viewer in Google Chrome

Google Chrome can be used to view PDF documents; the functionality is natively included in the web browser, which means it doesn’t require any third party tools or extensions to work.

PDF viewing functionality is basic and while it’s fine for going through a PDF document, it’s lacking when it comes to everything else.

Google worked on an update for the built-in PDF viewer and it was over the top, considering web browsers like Firefox provide a much better experience when it comes to viewing PDFs in the browser.

Currently, Chrome users can use the viewer to zoom in and out, print the document, and change its orientation. Compared to Firefox, which has a table of contents, auto zoom, or quick jump functionality, it lacks.

Updating the Chrome PDF Viewer will change that. It is currently available behind a flag in all recent versions of the web browser, including Chrome Stable. The update introduces a table of contents, a two-page view option, quick skip support, and more.

Enable Chrome’s new PDF viewer

  1. Load chrome: // flags / in your browser’s address bar. Alternatively, directly load chrome: // flags / # pdf-viewer-update and skip the second step.
  2. Search for PDF Viewer.
  3. Set the PDF Viewer Update flag to Enabled.
    • PDF Viewer Update Description: When enabled, the PDF viewer will show an updated user interface with new options and features.
    • It is available for all desktop versions of Google Chrome.
  4. Restart Google Chrome.

The new PDF viewer is immediately active in the Chrome web browser. You’ll notice the difference right away thanks to the new TOC sidebar that shows when it’s activated.

Chrome new pdf viewer

A click on the menu icon on the right side of the toolbar displays the new “two page view” option which you can activate to view two sheets side by side.

Chrome Canary users can also enable PDF viewer presentation mode to unlock a full-screen PDF viewing mode. Use the F11 shortcut in the PDF viewer in Google Chrome to activate the feature.

Full mode hides the browser user interface when activated.

Now you: Do you use your browser’s PDF viewer or a third-party program? (via Techdows)


How to enable the best PDF viewer in Google Chrome

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How to enable the best PDF viewer in Google Chrome


Google is working on an update for the company’s Chrome browser’s internal PDF viewer that will extend functionality significantly.


Martin Brinkmann


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