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Navigating the PDF World through ChromeThere's a wave of convenience that comes with being able to read PDF in Chrome. With the rise of digital documents,...

Navigating the PDF World through Chrome

There's a wave of convenience that comes with being able to read PDF in Chrome. With the rise of digital documents, knowing how to manage and view pdf documents directly within your web browser is a must. Google Chrome is at the forefront of this, offering versatile functionality for pdf files. Dive in with us to discover how!

Is Chrome Born to Open PDFs?

Absolutely! Chrome is built to open PDFs by default. Once you click on a pdf link, it loads directly in the chrome browser, allowing you to view the content immediately. This built-in PDF viewer provides a seamless experience for chrome users.

Chrome: The Browser Kingpin

When it comes to browser market share, Chrome reigns supreme. Millions of users have chosen it as their primary web browser, granting Chrome a dominant position in the market.

Opening a PDF in Chrome: Bypassing Downloads

Want to view a PDF directly in-browser? Instead of right-clicking and opting to save or download pdf, simply click on the link. The PDF will open in a new tab, using Chrome's default pdf viewer, ensuring a quick and easy viewing experience.

Mastering the Chrome PDF Viewer

Chrome's PDF viewer is intuitive and packed with features. From the toolbar at the top, you can zoom, go full screen, save, print, and even navigate through bookmarks. For a more detailed view, you can even toggle the two-page view or rotate the document.

Open PDF in Chrome on Both Windows & Mac

Whether you're on Windows or a Mac, opening pdf files in Chrome follows a similar step-by-step pattern. Navigate to the desired PDF link and click on it. Voilà, it'll open in the chrome pdf viewer ready for your perusal.

Adobe Acrobat Extension: Elevating Your Chrome Experience

Adobe Acrobat, renowned for its pdf software capabilities, offers a chrome extension available in the Chrome Web Store. Once installed, this plugin integrates with Chrome, enhancing your ability to view, annotate, and convert pdf documents.

When Chrome Gives You a Hard Time with PDFs

At times, Chrome may refuse to load pdf files. Common solutions include clearing cache, ensuring the chrome pdf viewer is enabled, or checking for updates. Remember, sometimes, permissions or additional content settings might need adjustments.

Flexing the Chrome PDF Viewer: Enabling & Disabling

Navigate to Chrome's settings > Privacy & Security > Site settings > PDF documents. Here you can toggle the option to download pdf files instead of opening them automatically in Chrome.

The Best PDF Readers You Can Use in Chrome Today!

In an age dominated by digital documents, having the perfect PDF reader is more of a necessity than a luxury. Whether you want to open pdf files, annotate them, or convert pdf to other formats, the right tool is paramount. Here's a compilation of the best 9 PDF readers to help you navigate pdf documents like a pro.

Speechify PDF Reader

Cost: Free to try

Speechify's PDF reader brings the transformative power of text-to-speech technology directly to the realm of PDF documents. This tool allows users to listen to their PDFs rather than read them, ensuring that dense, text-heavy documents are more accessible and digestible. Among its top features are:

  1. High-Quality Voices: Converting PDF text into clear and lifelike audio, Speechify offers a range of natural-sounding voices for a genuine listening experience.
  2. Text Highlighting: As Speechify reads out the content, it highlights the corresponding text in the PDF, enabling users to follow along visually and reinforcing comprehension.
  3. Speed Control: Catering to individual preferences, listeners can adjust the reading speed, whether they need a quick overview or a deep understanding.
  4. Navigation Tools: Speechify's PDF reader allows users to effortlessly navigate through pages, jump to specific sections, and bookmark crucial parts for easy reference later on.
  5. Offline Access: Users can download and save PDFs within the app, facilitating offline listening and ensuring uninterrupted access to their documents, regardless of internet connectivity.
  6. AI Chat: Interact with Speechify’s AI bot in your PDF reader to ask important questions about your PDF.

Overall, the Speechify PDF reader offers an innovative solution for those looking to transform the way they engage with PDF content.

Adobe Reader

Cost: Free; Premium versions available

Adobe Reader stands as a titan in the realm of pdf software. Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Android, it's the go-to for many. With its integration with Adobe Acrobat, chrome users can even get it as a chrome extension, enabling them to view pdf right within the chrome browser.

Top Features:

  1. Integration with Adobe Cloud
  2. Ability to annotate and comment on pdf documents
  3. Convert pdf to other formats
  4. Full-screen viewing option with zoom functionality
  5. Mobile touch-enabled interface

Foxit Reader

Cost: Free; Premium versions available

A powerful alternative to Adobe, Foxit Reader offers a lightweight and fast way to view and edit pdf files. It comes with a plugin that can be integrated with web browsers like Firefox and Google Chrome, ensuring seamless pdf viewing.

Top Features:

  1. Multi-tab viewing
  2. Bookmarking and annotation tools
  3. Microsoft Office integration
  4. Right-click context-sensitive features
  5. Safe reading mode

Google Drive PDF Viewer

Cost: Free

Google Drive isn’t just for storage; it boasts a built-in pdf viewer that allows users to open pdfs in chrome directly. Perfect for those heavily invested in the Google ecosystem, it offers a clean and efficient way to handle pdf documents.

Top Features:

  1. Cloud-based viewing and saving options
  2. Direct convert pdf to Google Docs
  3. Collaborative commenting
  4. Zoom and full-screen mode
  5. Integration with other Google services

Microsoft Edge PDF Reader

Cost: Free

Microsoft Edge, the default web browser for Windows, has a built-in pdf reader that showcases pdf documents in a clean and clear interface. For those not looking for additional software, Edge provides a competent way to view and annotate pdfs.

Top Features:

  1. Webpage to pdf saving feature
  2. Annotate with a variety of tools
  3. Read aloud feature
  4. Night mode
  5. Integration with Microsoft services

Nitro PDF Reader

Cost: Free trial; Premium versions available

Known for its intuitive interface, Nitro PDF Reader provides functionalities like creating, editing, and converting pdf files. It offers a chrome extension and integrates well with cloud services.

Top Features:

  1. Drag-and-drop pdf creation
  2. Digital signing of documents
  3. Convert pdf to Microsoft Office formats
  4. Batch processing
  5. Collaboration tools

PDF-XChange Viewer

Cost: Free; Premium versions available

A robust tool, PDF-XChange Viewer offers a myriad of features for those who frequently handle pdf documents. With its chrome extension, users can open pdf directly in their chrome browser, annotate, and save them with ease.

Top Features:

  1. OCR feature to recognize text in scanned documents
  2. Measure tools for documents
  3. Snapshot tool
  4. Extensive annotation features
  5. Direct text editing

Sumatra PDF

Cost: Free

Lightweight and open-source, Sumatra PDF is perfect for those looking for a no-frills, fast pdf viewer. While it doesn't offer a chrome extension, it opens pdfs instantly and is compatible with other formats like ePub.

Top Features:

  1. Open-source software
  2. Minimalistic design for faster loading
  3. Compatibility with other document formats
  4. Shortcut keys for ease of use
  5. Customizable interface


Cost: Free; Premium versions available

An online solution, PDFescape provides tools to edit, annotate, and create pdf files directly from your web browser. With no need for downloads, it's an excellent tool for on-the-go edits.

Top Features:

  1. Online editing of pdf documents
  2. Form creation and filling
  3. Password protection
  4. Print to PDF functionality
  5. Free-hand drawing tool

Slim PDF

Cost: Free

As the name suggests, Slim PDF is designed to be a minimalist pdf reader. It's incredibly lightweight and offers basic functionalities, making it perfect for users who just want to open and read pdf files without additional features.

Top Features:

  1. Ultra-lightweight software
  2. Basic viewing tools
  3. Search functionality
  4. Rotate and zoom features
  5. Print pdf directly

FAQs: Clearing the PDF Air

Why can't I read PDF in Chrome?

It may be due to outdated software, disabled chrome pdf viewer, or blocked permissions.

What app opens PDF files in Chrome?

By default, the chrome pdf viewer opens PDF files. There are also extensions like Adobe Reader that can be integrated.

How do I change settings so Chrome doesn't open PDFs?

Go to site settings > PDF documents and toggle the option to download pdf files instead.

Why does Chrome always open PDF?

Chrome is designed to offer seamless user experience and thus opens pdf by default. However, this can be changed in the settings.

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.