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Tech Software:
The Google Docs Viewer Supports a Variety of Documents for Online Reading
Posted 25 months ago on 9/10/2019 and updated 12/12/2020
Take Away:

This article describes a cloud based software utility for quickly viewing PDF documents stored on a website called Google Docs Viewer.


Like many website owners, I want my visitors to be able to view my software development PDF files without being troubled by computer repair issues that may hinder the opening of the documents. The easier my documents are to access, then the more likely they are to be seen. Downloading documents to a local machine takes more time. And even then, the site visitor may not have the software installed on his or her computer to open it. Fortunately, there is a terrific, free of charge solution for webmasters and it is called Google Docs Viewer.

Google Docs Viewer is cloud based, so there is no need to download this application and install it. All I have to do to access a PDF document is click a link. As an example, I retrieve a programming code PDF file like this:

The supported document types that Google Docs Viewer can accommodate includes:

Autodesk AutoCad

Adobe Illustrator

Apple Pages

Adobe Photoshop

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft Word



Scalable Vector Graphics


XML Paper Specification

After you click on a link to bring up Google Docs Viewer, you will see a small menu with the options File, View and Help. The Help area has a help center and user forum to assist you with any problems or questions you may have. The View area has options to zoom in and out as well as options for fitting either 1 or 2 pages of the viewed document to the screen width. The File area has an option to search the viewed document by a search term you enter into the search box in the upper right hand corner of the screen just above the viewed document. You will also find options under File to search for the next occurrence of the search term as well as the previous one. There are also up and down arrows on the search term text box that replicate is functionality. This is nice, because you don’t have to keep going back to the File pop up menu to do this or use the F3 hot key for search next or the Shift-F3 hot key for search previous. Also in this area you are given options to download the viewed document to your computer as well as saving it to Google Docs online if you are signed up for it. However, signing up for Google Docs Viewer isn’t necessary if you just want to use it to view documents in a web directory like I do. Lastly, there is an option for printing the viewed document via a print dialog that appears.

Below the menu bar is a row of function buttons. These include view previous page, view next page, print, zoom out and zoom in. Beneath the row of function buttons are small snapshots of each page in the viewed document arranged in vertical succession. Aside from the navigation function buttons, you may also click each snapshot with the assistance of a vertical scroll bar just to the right of them. There is another vertical scroll bar just to the right of the viewed document itself so you may freely scroll its entire length.


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