Let’s try to render a PDF with HTML5
In a blogpost from 2011, Andreas already announced they’d like to use pdf.js in their own browser and today that day has come.
Initially we will make a Firefox extension available to interested users that enables inline PDF rendering using pdf.js, but our ultimate goal is of course shipping pdf.js with Firefox.
Great work from everybody who’s involved in this project!
Live test: fast and safe
I’ve upgraded my Firefox to version 19 and tried to open some PDF files to see how well it works. The first thing that struck me is how FAST it is. Firefox renders the files really fast, even complex ones like this 60 page report (the first one I encountered). Btw, you can easily find PDF files with this Google search. Although Firefox sometimes warned me that this PDF document might not be displayed correctly, I didn’t run into any issues.
This way of rendering is also safer than, for instance, Chrome uses. The Chrome browser uses a native-code plugin to render the PDF and puts it in a sandbox to prevent the execution of malicious code. But since pdf.js is open source, the contributers to Webkit can adopt it too.
How to disable the PDF viewer in Mozilla Firefox
If, for some reason, you’re not happy with this new feature, here’s how to disable it:
Go to the Menu > Options > Applications > Portable Document Format > set “Preview in Firefox” to “Ask”.
Are you happy with the new Firefox?