PDF Viewer with New Interface, Index, Thumbnails, Annotations Support

Lately, Google has been constantly improving PDF Viewer in Chrome browser. For example, it developed an option to view PDF in a two-page view and allow you to save PDF forms. Now the company is working on a new UI to the PDF Viewer.

What do you need to know:

  • Chrome’s built-in PDF viewer in version 87 is being overhauled.
  • The toolbar has been redesigned.
  • Chrome PDF viewer support notesdouble vision index thumbnails and more
  • Chrome 87 with updated PDF viewer will be available on November 17, 2020

Currently, Google Chrome displays this information and these options for a PDF loaded in the browser when you hover.

The toolbar at the top of the page shows the PDF name, page numbers, Rotate Clockwise, Print and Download buttons.

In the right sidebar, the PDF Viewer shows the Fit to Page and Zoom In/Out buttons.

Old PDF viewer UI

The new PDF Viewer toolbar UI to consolidate and display all of the following PDF controls in one place.

Sidebar navigation, PDF title, page numbers, zoom controls, Fit to Page, Rotate, Download, and Print buttons, along with an additional menu at the end that shows “Two-Page View” and “Annotations” options when clicked.

PDF in chrome showing the table of contents

It’s worth noting that the options for Rotate Page Clockwise (Ctrl ]) and Counterclockwise (Ctrl +]) are still available in the PDF’s right-click menu.

Enable New UI for PDF Viewer in Chrome

  1. Visit the chrome://flags page
  2. Search for “PDF Viewer Update”
    PDF viewer update flag
    Chrome PDF Viewer Update Flag

    The flag description says that “PDF Viewer will display an updated UI with new options and features” on Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome OS.

  3. Select “Enabled” from the drop-down menu and restart the browser

Update July 7, 2020: The Chrome PDF Viewer update with a new toolbar is now live and working in Canary.

UPDATE October 1, 2020: The new Chrome PDF Viewer interface now supports viewing PDF thumbnails and annotations.

Recently, Microsoft announced it will bring Table of Contents, Highlight Mode, Text Notes, Digital Signatures, Secure PDF Files and other new features and improvements to the new Microsoft Edge PDF Reader.

Mozilla was not left behind either. The company constantly updates PDF.js. Recently, many improvements have arrived in Firefox Nightly related to the PDF viewer.

For example, you can now set Firefox as the default PDF reader on Windows 10 and the browser now shows the PDF opened from it with Edge in application mode.

Related articles:

Chrome gets two-page preview for PDFs, here’s how to enable it

Chrome Lets You Download Edited PDFs Now

Google Chrome: How to always open PDFs with System Viewer?

Google Chrome to open PDF files downloaded on it by default

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