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How To Open PDFs and Word Docs in Google Chrome

pdf google chromeWhen you try to view a Word document or PDF in Google Chrome, the file is downloaded to the hard drive.  That document may not have even been the one your were looking for. The result: You got a document you don’t need.

The Docs PDF PowerPoint viewer extension makes Google Docs your default online document viewer for Google Chrome. With this, you don’t need to download the document just to view the content. All you have to do is click the document (PDF, pptx or docx) link and the document opens in your Google Docs account. Next, you can download the document from Google Docs as usual.


Open Google Chrome and head over to the Docs PDF PowerPoint viewer extension page and just click the install button.  It’s pretty easy.

In Use

Now, whenever you come across any kind of online Word document, PDF file or PowerPoint presentation and click it, it will open directly in the Google Docs viewer. For example, search for the FIFA World Cup 2010 schedule in Google and you will find a link of the PDF document, as shown below:

Example of Google search result of PDF document pdf google chrome

After clicking the link, you will see a preview of the document as well as the download link as shown below.

Sample PDF document opened in Google Docs in Google Chrome pdf google chrome

These documents render in their full quality, and if you need, you can zoom in or zoom out of the document anytime. Sometimes, the document may appear blurry. In those cases, you have to download the document to your hard drive and open it using Microsoft Office or Adobe Reader.

A copy of the document can also be saved in your Google Docs account by using the link “Save in Google Docs”. You can also print the pages of the document. Any type of PowerPoint presentation can also be viewed very easily using this simple extension.

Sample powerpoint presentation in Google Docs in Google Chrome pdf google chrome

Disabling Adobe Acrobat

Now, a few words about PDF files. You may experience that a PDF file is opening with the Adobe plug-in instead of Google Docs. If Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader is already installed in your computer, you have to disable the Adobe plug-in to view the document in Google Docs.

1. Enter chrome://plugins/in the address bar. It will open the Chrome Plugins page.

2. Click the Disable button to deactivate the Adobe Acrobat plug-in.

Plugins installed in Google Chrome pdf google chrome

Now, you will find that all PDF files will open in Google Docs viewer.


Google Docs has become the most popular and trusted medium to view different kinds of online documents. It offers far better performance than the HTML version of the document (you are not able to view the images in HTML versions). With this extension installed in Google Chrome, your browsing experience will be a lot more easy and smooth.

(By) Amit is a computer geek who blogs at Ampercent.

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