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Google trials an integrated PDF viewer for Chrome

July 15, 2010

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Given recent security hassles at Adobe, Google's decision to integrate a native PDF reader within Chrome 6 is big news. Google says it's designed to be foolproof, since users who wish only to view PDF don't need to download an add-on. Moreover, updates will be made to the PDF reader without user prompting.

Google has already taken steps to ensure a secure average-use PDF experience, such as the ability to disable individual plug-ins. According to the Chromium blog, the PDF viewer takes the concept one step further and will even improve user experience. "PDF files will render as seamlessly as HTML web pages," they say, "and basic interactions will be no different than the same interactions with web pages (for example, zooming and searching will work as users expect)."

The viewer is currently available only through Google’s Chromium channel: users should keep in mind that this is a beta-release developer channel, and not a stable version. Read the official announcement and try it out at Google's Chromium Blog.

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