Gmail Now Uses Chrome’s Built-In Viewer To Open PDFs

By | February 18, 2011 | 7 Comments


Users of Google Chrome can now use the built-in PDF viewer instead of Google Docs to view PDF’s from Gmail. As a result, PDF files now open noticeably quicker as well as look more pleasing to the eye and can be viewed by clicking “View” next to an attachment.

PDF attachments will continue to open via Google Docs viewer when in Gmail, if you are not using Google Chrome or have the PDF viewer plug-in disabled.

As for now, Adobe Reader’s plug-in is not yet compatible with this feature.

Via Google Operating System


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Being passionate about software, Armin joined FavBrowser.com in early 2011 and has been actively writing ever since. Having accepted the challenge, he also enjoys watching anime, indulging in good books, staying fit and healthy, and trying new things.

  • RamaSubbu SK

    It is good but..
    Yet another native code module, more potential for vulnerable :(

    • sarjoor

      But the whole reason that Google wrote their own built-in Chrome PDF viewer was for better security than Adobe Reader or Foxit Reader (on which Chrome’s built-in reader is based).

      At least the built-in reader is sandboxed.

      If Chrome 10 with the built-in reader reaches Stable before March 9, 2011, it will be an available target for Pwn2Own 2011.

      • RamaSubbu SK

        There is no guarantee or proof that google code is better than adobe’s PDF reader.

        • sarjoor

          But at least the built-in reader is sandboxed. I would expect that it would automatically make the entire system less potential for vulnerability, not more.

          • RamaSubbu SK

            I agree with SandBoxing :)
            I hope Opera & IE has this.

  • mikah

    Tried it very poor no tool bar , a few commands via the right mouse button context menu.
    Do yourself a favour install the much better free pdf x-change viewer.
    You’ll have to enter about:plugins in the address bar & disable the chrome PDF viewer.
    If you use plugins with chrome i thought they was sandboxed too or have i got it wrong ?

    • sarjoor

      No, NPAPI plugins in Chrome are not sandboxed. That’s why Google wrote their own sandboxed built-in PDF viewer.

      Only if an NPAPI plugin is specifically written to be sandboxed, then it will run in Chrome’s sandboxed processes. I don’t know of any such current NPAPI plugins.

      I know Chrome is working on integrating the new sandboxable Adobe Flash plugin. Has that reached a Stable or Beta Chrome release yet?