If you’ve ever received a document via email, an online portal, or even through a text message, it was probably in PDF format.
PDF is a standard file format that helps users view documents in a professional and clean interface. This file format offers many benefits. The major benefit is that no matter what platform the creator used to produce the document, anyone can view it as it was intended in a PDF file format. PDF embeds are also easy to save and print.
You can embed PDFs on your WordPress website. In order for the PDF to be visible on the front end of your site, however, you’ll first need to upload it on the back end of your site.
Though the standard WordPress media uploader can help you upload PDF files by clicking the “Add Media” button, you may need more comprehensive features to make sure the document shows up exactly as you want it to.
Before you upload another PDF to your website, take a look at this list of plugins that offer robust options for controlling the display, functionality, and design of this file format.
Best PDF Viewer Plugins for WordPress
- PDF Viewer for WordPress
- PDF Embedder
- WordPress PDF Light Viewer Plugin
- PDF.js Viewer
- WooCommerce PDF Invoices & Packing Slips
- Send PDF for Contact Form 7
- Print Friendly and PDF Button
- WooCommerce Store Catalog PDF Download
- Gravity PDF
- Real3D Flipbook WordPress Plugin
- PDF & Print by BestWebSoft
PDF Viewer is a high-quality premium WordPress PDF viewer plugin that will help you display PDF files like Adobe Reader on your WordPress site on both mobile and desktop. It offers you controls such as print, download, zoom, share, a presentation mode, and more. You'll also be able to fully customize the viewer according to your brand.
2. PDF Embedder
Adding PDFs to your website is as easy as adding an image when you use PDF Embedder. Whether you have time to customize the way your PDF appears or you need to get a document uploaded immediately, this plugin can accommodate either workflow.
What makes PDF Embedder special is that it automatically sizes your PDF to the dimensions of the page so you don’t have to worry about an unsightly document hindering the responsiveness of your site. If you want more control over the way your PDFs appear on your site, you can incorporate download buttons, hyperlinks within the PDF, and more features with the premium version of this plugin.
Did your business just release a lengthy annual report or an industry research report? You’ll want to use a plugin like WordPress PDF Light Viewer to embed documents this large. Unlimited files, unlimited file sizes, and lazy loading integration are just a few of the notable features that your business will want to have handy when sharing large content files, and all of these (and more) come free with the free version of this plugin.
As with most WordPress PDF plugins, you’ll have a responsive design and bulk PDF import, but there are pro add-on features that come in handy when uploading several large PDFs. Organize by category, search your PDFs, and view PDFs in popups when you purchase the pro version of the plugin.
If you're a fan of simply uploading the PDF and embedding it on the page with a shortcode, this plugin is for you. It also supports the Gutenberg block layout, making it versatile across nearly any WordPress theme (new and old), and you can customize its look.
What sets PDF.js Viewer apart from other options on this list is that the free version includes advanced search functionality which helps you work faster to find and organize PDF files as you upload them to your site.
Never lose track of another online order with WooCommerce PDF Invoices & packing Slips. This plugin makes your workload easier and gives customers the confirmation they need when ordering from your store by adding a PDF invoice to the order confirmation emails sent out to your customers.
It comes with fully customizable HTML & CSS invoice templates, which you can design as per your requirements. It also gives you the option to download the PDF invoice packing slips whenever you need them.
If you're using the Contact Form 7 plugin, you can have Send PDF for Contact Form 7 capture the submitted information in a PDF. This gives you more versatility outside the contact form plugin itself, giving you access to your submissions without having to log in to WordPress.
Print Friendly and PDF Button is another widely-used WordPress plugin that will automatically create a printer-friendly PDF version of your post or page without a single line of coding.
You can create a PDF button with the plugin's various customization options. This plugin will also enable users to open the PDF files in an attractive lightbox interface without directing them away from your page. From there, they can print or email the PDF version they generated.
Have you ever come across a website that was just too cool not to interact with? The site was probably running an interactive content plugin like EmbedPress.
You can use this plugin to host content from PDFs, to videos, to images, and more. This plugin does more than display the downloadable information — it gives you a platform on which to tell a story about the document. Visitors can understand what the PDF is and why it’s important before they download it and view it when you use EmbedPress to display it.
WooCommerce Store Catalog PDF Download helps your website visitors download a PDF catalogue of your online store with a single click.
This plugin comes with five default PDF templates, but you can create your own to suit your needs with simple HTML and CSS. It also provides you a shortcode option to add PDF download buttons to any post or page.
10. Gravity PDF
Gravity PDF is one of the most popular WordPress form builder plugins, and it is widely used by the WordPress community to capture information. With this plugin, you will be able to view the information from each submission in a great-looking PDF file.
If you are concerned about the security of your information, this plugin offers an easy option to secure your information with a password.
It's possible you're looking for a PDF plugin with a little more pizzazz. Flowpaper is a service that turns your original PDF layout into a seamless and interactive reading experience where users can flip through digital pages. Once it’s created, you can embed the flipbook on your site with this WordPress plugin.
Flowpaper also has a feature for creating documents, and you can choose to make them indexable by Google. This means you’ll have an opportunity to rank in the search engine for PDF content you upload to your website.
Another fully customizable flipbook option, Real3D brings a three-dimensional element to the PDF where the user can flip pages in a realistic way as the PDF bends and moves with the interaction.
You can also create multimedia-rich pages with links, buttons, videos, and more, all with the capability to be embedded and displayed on your site with this WordPress plugin.
With E2Pdf, you can create dynamic PDF documents and scale your content distribution without coding, increasing headcount, or paying a monthly fee. E2Pdf integrates with your favorite form apps like Divi contact forms, Gravity forms, and Wordpress forms to produce and display documents that meet your business standards.
You’ll be able to merge fields from any WordPress form with Adobe PDF Form text boxes, checkboxes, or radio buttons for truly dynamic PDF documents that your website visitors can access on the front end of your site.
Not every website needs an embedded PDF that is prominent on the page. A “download PDF” button could be the best solution in this case. PDF & Print by BestWebSoft is a simple PDF plugin for WordPress that allows you to place a download PDF button just about anywhere on your website.
You can customize the style, set the PDF document size, and even customize the margins of the PDF document so that it appears exactly as you want it to. With the pro version, you’ll be able to add a watermark, adjust the PDF layout from portrait to landscape, and even change the PDF file name.
Enhance Your WordPress Website With a PDF Plugin
No matter what type of business you run, odds are you’re going to share content with your visitors and customers. Using your website to distribute PDFs is a great way to share professional, on-demand content to a wide audience. WordPress PDF viewer plugins can help. Embedding PDFs directly on your site, hosting interactive PDF viewers, and using buttons to better blend the PDF with your website’s design are just a few of the options available for PDFs in WordPress. Try out one of these plugins to give your visitors a content experience that will keep them coming back.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in June 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published May 3, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated May 03 2021