Gmail Gets PDF Viewer

Let’s face it: PDF files aren’t exactly the fastest loading documents on the planet. Now, thanks to a new feature in Gmail, opening a PDF attachment doesn’t have to try your patience. Instead of opening your native PDF viewer (like Adobe Acrobat), you’ll get the fast-loading document reader built into Google Docs. Not only is this reader fast, but it also has search capabilities to help you find anything you want within the PDF document.

There are a number of other benefits to this reader as well. First, the viewer displays thumbnails of the pages in the document. You can use these thumbnails to jump around the document very quickly. There’s also a built-in zoom, which scales the document’s text to fit your monitor using a higher degree of detail than the text resizer found in your browser. Finally, if you’re using a shared computer that doesn’t have Acrobat or another PDF viewer, you can still open and view PDF attachments.

Here’s a closer look at the viewer:

To use the viewer, all you have to do is click the View link from within Gmail. Of course, a Download link is still available as well. The first time you click View, you’ll need to sign up for Google Docs if you haven’t already, but this is a simple, one-time process. Really, that’s all there is to it.

We love it when companies make our lives easier, and Google has done just that with this new feature. Not to be too demanding, but we’re hoping the company will add this feature to search results soon. This would be very handy, especially since Google's current HTML conversion wipes out much of the formatting on a PDF, causing some documents to become unreadable.

Tags:  Google, Gmail, PDF