PDF.js alternatives and similar libraries
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PDF.js is a Portable Document Format (PDF) viewer that is built with HTML5.
PDF.js is community-driven and supported by Mozilla. Our goal is to create a general-purpose, web standards-based platform for parsing and rendering PDFs.
PDF.js is an open source project and always looking for more contributors. To get involved, visit:
- Issue Reporting Guide
- Code Contribution Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Good Beginner Bugs
Feel free to stop by our Matrix room for questions or guidance.
Please note that the "Modern browsers" version assumes native support for
features such as e.g.
ReadableStream, optional chaining,
nullish coalescing, and private
Modern browsers: https://mozilla.github.io/pdf.js/web/viewer.html
Older browsers: https://mozilla.github.io/pdf.js/legacy/web/viewer.html
PDF.js is built into version 19+ of Firefox.
- The official extension for Chrome can be installed from the Chrome Web Store. This extension is maintained by @Rob--W.
- Build Your Own - Get the code as explained below and issue
gulp chromium. Then open Chrome, go to
Tools > Extensionand load the (unpackaged) extension from the directory
Getting the Code
To get a local copy of the current code, clone it using git:
$ git clone https://github.com/mozilla/pdf.js.git $ cd pdf.js
$ npm install -g gulp-cli
If everything worked out, install all dependencies for PDF.js:
$ npm install
Finally, you need to start a local web server as some browsers do not allow opening
PDF files using a
file:// URL. Run:
$ gulp server
and then you can open:
Please keep in mind that this requires a modern and fully up-to-date browser; refer to Building PDF.js for non-development usage of the PDF.js library.
It is also possible to view all test PDF files on the right side by opening:
In order to bundle all
src/ files into two production scripts and build the generic
$ gulp generic
If you need to support older browsers, run:
$ gulp generic-legacy
This will generate
pdf.worker.js in the
build/generic/build/ directory (respectively
Both scripts are needed but only
pdf.js needs to be included since
be loaded by
pdf.js. The PDF.js files are large and should be minified for production.
Using PDF.js in a web application
To use PDF.js in a web application you can choose to use a pre-built version of the library
or to build it from source. We supply pre-built versions for usage with NPM and Bower under
pdfjs-dist name. For more information and examples please refer to the
wiki page on this subject.
Including via a CDN
PDF.js is hosted on several free CDNs:
You can play with the PDF.js API directly from your browser using the live demos below:
More examples can be found in the examples folder. Some of them are using the pdfjs-dist package, which can be built and installed in this repo directory via
gulp dist-install command.
For an introduction to the PDF.js code, check out the presentation by our contributor Julian Viereck:
More learning resources can be found at:
The API documentation can be found at:
Check out our FAQs and get answers to common questions:
Talk to us on Matrix:
File an issue:
Follow us on twitter: @pdfjs