The Native PDF Viewer Explained

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If you prefer to display your PDF content as native PDFs, rather than as Flipbooks, you can do this by using the Native PDF Viewer. Here's how it works.


Beta Feature

This article is about an unreleased feature that is currently in beta testing.

  • We're still working on this feature, so its behavior, functionality, and appearance might change and may differ from what you see in this article.
  • This beta feature replaces an existing feature. All descriptions and images in this article refer to the new feature, not the existing feature.

If you are interested in testing this feature, please request access to the beta by contacting your Customer Success Manager, or opening a request with Uberflip Support.

 

What is the Native PDF Viewer?

When you add PDF content to your Hub, the default way to present it is with Flipbooks. Flipbooks have several advantages over standard PDFs, but sometimes you might prefer to present your PDF content more traditionally — just as normal PDFs, in other words. In these situations, you can use the Native PDF Viewer option.

The Native PDF Viewer is exactly what it sounds like: a viewer app that displays PDFs within a user's browser, similar to the experience you'd get in a traditional desktop PDF viewer like Adobe Reader.

Fullscreen_2019-02-27__2_40_PM.png

The Native PDF Viewer is based on Mozilla's PDF.js, an open-source, JavaScript-based PDF renderer. (If you're a Firefox user, it might look familiar: it's the same PDF viewer that's built into Firefox.)

PDF.js has several advantages:

  • It's a full-featured PDF viewer that displays PDFs directly within a browser, so visitors can consume your PDF content without needing to download the PDF file and view it in an external app;
  • It's website-hosted, so it runs automatically — visitors don't need to download or install separate PDF viewer software;
  • It's compliant with web standards, so it works in almost any browser.

As a result, if you choose to display the PDF content on your Hub just as standard PDFs, the Native Flipbook Viewer ensures that the experience for your visitors still remains seamless and keeps them in the Hub.

 

Native PDF Viewer Features

The Native PDF Viewer has a wide range of features, comparable to desktop PDF viewers. Below is an annotated overview (click to zoom):

Fullscreen_2019-02-21__4_21_PM.png

  1. Toggle Sidebar: Opens and closes the sidebar, which can display thumbnails of the pages in the PDF, the document outline (index), or attachments.
  2. Find in Document: Full-text word search, including highlighting functionality.
    compressed_tracemonkey-pldi-09_pdf.png
  3. Page Navigation: Navigation controls and current position in the PDF.
  4. Zoom: Zoom controls, current zoom setting, and zoom presets (e.g. Automatic Zoom, Page Fit, etc.)
  5. Presentation Mode: Switches to fullscreen view with the menu bar hidden.
  6. Open File: Opens an external PDF file (from the user's computer) in the viewer.
  7. Print: Prints the current PDF file (uses browser's printing interface).
  8. Download: Downloads the current PDF file to the user's computer.
  9. Current View: Opens the current location within the PDF in a new browser tab or window  (has to be clicked while holding down the Control key).
  10. Tools: Contains additional display and navigation options:
    • Go to First/Last Page
    • Rotate Clockwise/Anti-Clockwise
    • Toggle between Text Selection and Hand (click-and-drag navigation) tools
    • Toggle between Vertical, Horizontal and Wrapped page scrolling
    • Toggle between single-page or two-page-spread view (No Spread, Double Odd-Page Spreads, Double Even-Page Spreads)
    • View Document Properties (PDF file metadata including filename, filesize, title, author, etc.)
      compressed_tracemonkey-pldi-09_pdf.png

Feature Availability

The Native PDF Viewer does not support the following Flipbook features:

  • Page Editor (including Replace Page)
  • Auto-Link Tool
  • Most Folder Options (including Page number offset, social sharing, archives)
  • Folder Widgets
  • Folder Appearance/Branding settings
  • Link styling

 

Metrics Availability

Compared to Flipbooks, PDF content displayed with the Native PDF Viewer only offers limited metrics support. See the table below for a comparison:

Metric Name Flipbooks Native PDF Viewer
Page Views    
Flipbooks Views    
Avg. Time Viewing a Page    
Unique Page Views    
Unique Visitors    
Links Clicked    
Page Widget Interactions    
Zooms    
Social Shares    
Pages Printed    
Search Queries    
Pages Downloaded    
Flipbooks Downloaded    
Bookmarks Added    
Notes Added/Modified/Deleted    
Clippings Added/Removed    
Clippings Emailed/Printed    
Crops Printed/Saved    
Text Mode Page Views    

 

Accessibility Features

If you prioritize accessibility of your PDF content, the Native PDF Viewer offers the following accessibility features that are not available in the Flipbook Viewer:

  • Screenreader compatibility
  • Permanent onscreen controls
  • Easy-to-use zoom functionality
  • Selectable text
  • High color contrast

 

Next Steps

If you'd like to use the Native PDF Viewer for any of your Folders, see this article for instructions on how to enable it:

Enable the Native PDF Viewer for a Folder

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