Gmail Gets Its Own PDF Reader

December 15th, 2008 at 12:00 am
 


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Portable Document Format or PDF is now an international standard, specifically, ISO 32000-1:2008. Which means that since then, PDF has become more popular and as a result, more people are sending PDF files through email. The usual drill when receiving a PDF file in the mail is to download it to the hard drive and open it on the desktop. Other options include viewing it online via a specialized tool like DocStoc or Scribd. And the worst but fastest option is to view the PDF in HTML, however most of the formatting is lost.

So Gmail has come up with a solution to view PDF files without downloading it, going to another site to view it or viewing it in HTML format. Yup, Gmail is integrating the Google Docs PDF reader into their services. With this feature, PDF files do not necessarily need to be downloaded to be read and can be viewed online in its original format using the Google Docs PDF reader.

Gmail still maintains the options to download or view as HTML, yet the fastest and most convenient way to go now is to view the PDF in Google Docs. Every PDF attachment will now include a View and Download option below it. Clicking on the ‘View’ option will open a new tab and open the PDF in Google Docs.

Downside, for now, the whole thing does not seem to work in Firefox yet. I assume that it doesn’t also work in IE but the whole thing works perfectly in Chrome. Is Google now trying to monopolize its services? Is there a hint of antitrust going on? Probably not but it’s a wee-it possible. Anyway, I’m sure the Gmail team will be fixing the glitches for Firefox very soon.