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A PDF experts initial relections on Google Chrome

3 Sep 2008 | | One Comment

Long-time PDF expert Duff Johnson has shared some of his initial thoughts on Google’s new Chrome browser:

I had wondered if Google was going to (try to) write their own PDF viewer for Chrome.  Not this time; the installer seems to find and use the Acrobat/Reader plugin, assuming it’s already installed into Firefox or (presumably) IE. That’s a good start.

Too bad, that would have been a handy feature. Luckily, I think there’s a good chance this feature will be added in the future, since Google Doc’s users can already view PDFs in the browser. But for the time being, the news isn’t good, because as we all know, Chrome doesn’t support Firefox add-ons, and that means we can’t use the time-saver that is PDF Download, which allows you to choose if you want to view a PDF in your browser or download it to your desktop.

The biggest issue that Duff has discovered is that Chrome appears to block the Fast Web View feature in the Acrobat/Reader web browser plug-in:

Under IE and FireFox, the Acrobat/Reader browser plugin works as intended, and Fast Web View PDFs appear quickly.  Chrome, however, seems to block Fast Web View in the same browser plugin.  I could find no way to turn this block off in Chrome’s options – please let me know if I’m missing something!

This is a problem because Fast Web View drastically speeds up the time it takes to display PDFs in the browser, by loading the first-requested page while continuing to download the rest of the file in the background, instead of waiting to download every page in the PDF before displaying anything.

My own thoughts on Chrome are: it’s fast, it’s beta and the future looks bright.

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One Comment »

  • Christian Thomas said:

    I’ve been waiting for Google’s web browser’s extensions for months it seems … In a day I have used 5 extensions and am plesantly surprised with the extensions. The latest Firefox has always been buggy and changes are a time saver.

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