Update March 2011: PDFObject source code has been updated and moved to GitHub.
I recently worked on an e-learning course that required embedding some PDFs into an HTML file. PDF embedding piqued my curiosity, and has become something of a pet project. It sounds simpler than it is. No, scratch that… it is pretty simple. Stoopid simple. The problem is that there’s a lot of bad info about embedding PDFs floating around the www, especially regarding using the
Note to readers:
Unlike embedding SWFs, embedding a PDF is a breeze if you use the
object element, and the
object element has the added bonus of being totally standards-compliant.
object element to the page.
One of the perks of using this script is that it makes working with PDF Open parameters much easier, similar to how SWFObject makes working with flashvars easier.
The site purposely does not include support or contact information; while I enjoy making things that help people out, I already know I don’t have the time to handle support issues. Sorry!
Anyway, PDFObject is completely free (as-is, no warranties) and my gift to the community. I hope some of you find it useful.
Nice! Never thought about doing that kind of thing before, and it’s given me some good ideas for some problems I’ve had in the past.
Thanks a lot!
Well done, Philip!
The big rectangle near the top of the PDFobject website is blank. I suppose something should be there. I’m using IE6 on Win 2000
Thanks for the feedback. Yes, there’s a PDF embedded there. 🙂
What version of Adobe/Acrobat Reader do you have installed?
I am not sure if this is a bug of Adobe Reader 9.x or Firefox’s.
Even if I uncheck “Display PDF in Browser” in Adobe Reader 9.x,
navigator.plugins does not change at all.
Therefore your pdfobject does not work as expected in this case.
PDF files are not embedded, but instead they display in Adobe Reader proper.
In that sense detection fails somehow.
Pluginreg.dat in Firefox’s profile folder does not change itself even if I uncheck “Display PDF in Browser” in Adobe Reader 9. This is not the case in Adobe Reader 8.
Do you have any idea?
First off all thank you for the great library. Secondly I’ve run into a small problem using the library on WinXp/IE6 without an Acrobat Reader installed.
I was wondering if there’s a way to fix this? A try/catch could maybe work?
very helpfull object
is it possible to render the PDF in canvas element ?
something like :
@tomo @jan thanks for the feedback, i’ll dust off the codebase and do some additional testing when i can find time
@ell as far as i know, PDFs cannot be rendered natively in a canvas element
Is this script free to use? Open source?
What are the license regulations if I use it on my site?
As I noted in the blog post, PDFObject is free (it’s released under an MIT license, which essentially means you can do whatever you want with it).
@philip – Thank you.
Great Job! But, it doesn’t seem to detect Safari’s built-in PDF support. Not even your sample PDF on the front-page of http://pdfobject.com seem to render when tested from Safari 4.0 on Mac OS X 10.6.3. Not sure how it is in Safari 5.0/10.6.4 – I have not upgraded yet.
@Shanto you’re right, it appears Apple changed Safari’s PDF handling. This will require some research and will probably require edits to the PDFObject script. Thanks for the tip.
Thanks for the wonderful library. I ran into a problem while trying to integrate PDFObject with our application.
Also is there a plan for fixing these below issues specified in the PDFObject website in near future:
# Crashes/hanging when trying to replace an embedded PDF with a second PDF (by replacing the first element with a new ).
# Crashes/hanging when attempting to embed more than one PDF on a single HTML page (FYI this behavior can be avoided by using iframes).
without seeing your servletURL, i can’t really give any advice.
as for updating PDFObject, it’s on my to-do list, but isn’t a very high priority at the moment.
I spend TWO DAYS trying to get PDFs to embed and be able to delay loading. Either it would in some browsers and not others OR they would work intermittently. FRUSTRATING to say the least!
If you have a PayPal account I would personally like to buy you a beer. Strike that! A six pack! Just email me the info.
This is for a totally rewritten site for a non-profit Scottish Clan called Clan Lindsay. In about a month or two you will be able to the results at Clan Lindsay USA.
@robert thanks for letting me know, it’s always nice to hear success stories 🙂
Check out this for PDF support detection techniques: http://www.pinlady.net/PluginDetect/
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