Adobe Reader No Longer Necessary with Gmail PDF Viewer
Article by George Norman
On 15 Dec 2008
The development team at Google is keen to see Gmail get as many features as possible and consequently has come up with a means of viewing PDF files directly into the browser window. You can of course still view these files in HTML format, you can as always download and save them onto your hard disk for future offline viewing, but for immediately reviewing your inbox data, this is a more than welcomed feature.

“When I get sent a PDF, sometimes I just want to view it -- I don't always need to download and save it right then. So starting today, you'll see a new "View" link next to PDF attachments you get in Gmail. Clicking "View" quickly opens the PDF inside your browser, complete with the graphics and formatting you expect to see in a PDF. You may have seen this feature before, in Google Docs. It's the way that we did uploading and viewing of PDFs online,” explains Gmail Software Engineer, Marc Miller.


This is how the whole thing goes. You get an email message that contains a PDF attachment; when you click “View”, that attachment will be transferred to Google Docs and you will thus be able to view it without having to download and save the file. You don’t even have to leave the browser window, but you may have to log into your Google Docs account. While viewing the PDF file in Google Docs you have three options at your disposal: download, print, and watch as plain HTML. You also get the preview sidebar that Adobe Reader features (so basically all of Reader's functionality without actually withouth having to get Reader).

In related news, earlier this month we saw that Adobe’s Acrobat 9 is not as safe as previous versions of the same software, and we also reported on Adobe Flash not being eco-minded enough. On the Google front, we had plenty of news regarding their mail client: audio and video chat, Gmail themes, desktop gadget, Gmail Tasks, and the much awaited SMS feature.

Tags: Google, Gmail, Themes
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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