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PDF Embedder

Embed PDFs straight into your posts and pages, with intelligent resizing of width and height. No third-party services or iframes required.

Upload PDFs and embed them straight into your site - just like adding images! PDFs will be automatically sized to their natural size and shape (or just fill the width available if they are too big). Optionally, you can specify a width and the correct height will be calculated automatically. The shape will be recalculated whenever the page is resized by the user.

The plugin has a unique method for embedding PDFs, using Javascript only, and not using iframes or third-party services. This gives a lot of flexibility over the appearance of your document.

The free viewer currently has Next/Prev buttons to page through the document, and zoom buttons.

PDFs are embedded within your existing WordPress pages so we have full control over appearance, and all Javascript and other files are served by your own server (not by Google or any other third-party who may not be able to guarantee their own reliability). Even if other plugins use similar technology, they will insert the PDF itself into an 'iframe' which means they do not get the flexibility over sizing.

There is no button for users to download the PDF in the free version of the plugin, but this is available in the Premium versions along with other extra features. Hyperlinks in your PDF will only be clickable in the Premium versions.

Now translation-ready! Please contribute your translations.

Persian translation by Mostafa Safarian of سئو

French translation by Thierry Gaillou of JDFitForme

Spanish translation by Armando Landois of LANDOIS Diseño


Once installed and Activated, click Add Media from any page or post, just like adding an image, but drag and drop a PDF file instead.

When you insert into your post, it will appear in the editor as a 'shortcode' as follows:

[pdf-embedder url=""]

You can change the default appearance - e.g. width, and toolbar position/appearance through Settings -> PDF Embedder.

To override your site-wide defaults on an individual embed, see the Plugin Instructions for information about sizing options plus other ways to customize the shortcodes.

Extra Premium Features

  • Download button in the toolbar.
  • Hyperlinks are fully functional.
  • Full screen mode.
  • Page turning arrows when hovering over edges of PDF.
  • Edit page number to jump straight to page.
  • Track number of downloads and views.
  • Removes attribution from the toolbar.
  • Mobile-friendly.
  • Secure option - difficult to download original PDF.

See for details!

Mobile-friendly embedding using PDF Embedder Premium

The free version of the plugin should work on most mobile browsers, but it will be cumbersome for users with small screens - it is difficult to position the document entirely within the screen, and your users' fingers may catch the entire browser page when they're trying only to move about the document...

Our PDF Embedder Premium plugin solves this problem with an intelligent 'full screen' mode. When the document is smaller than a certain width, the document displays only as a 'thumbnail' with a large 'View in Full Screen' button for the user to click when they want to study your document. This opens up the document so it has the full focus of the mobile browser, and the user can move about the document without hitting other parts of the web page by mistake. Click Exit to return to the regular web page.

See our website for more details and purchase options.

Protect your PDFs with our secure premium version

Our PDF Embedder Premium Secure plugin provides the same simple but elegant viewer as the premium version, with the added protection that it is difficult for users to download or print the original PDF document.

This means that your PDF is unlikely to be shared outside your site where you have no control over who views, prints, or shares it.

Optionally add a watermark containing the user's name or email address to discourage sharing of screenshots.

See our website for more details and purchase options.

PDF Thumbnails

Our PDF Thumbnails plugin provides automatically generates fixed image versions of all PDF files in your Media Library, to use on your site as you wish.

You can use them as featured images in posts containing an embedded version of the PDF, or as a visual clickable link to download the PDF directly. It also displays the thumbnail as the ‘icon’ for the PDF in the Media Library, making it easy for authors to locate the PDFs they need to insert in a post.

See our website for more details and purchase options.

With thanks to the Mozilla team for developing the underlying pdf.js technology used by this plugin.

Author Dan Lester
Contributors danlester
Tags doc, document, docx, embed, google, intranet, office, pdf, powerpoint
  1. pdf-embedder screenshot 1

    Uploaded PDF is displayed within your page/post at the correct size to fit.

  2. pdf-embedder screenshot 2

    User hovers over document to see Next/Prev page butons.

Easiest way:

  1. Go to your WordPress admin control panel's plugin page
  2. Search for 'PDF Embedder'
  3. Click Install
  4. Click Activate on the plugin

If you cannot install from the WordPress plugins directory for any reason, and need to install from ZIP file:

  1. Upload directory and contents to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory, or upload the ZIP file directly in the Plugins section of your Wordpress admin
  2. Follow the instructions from step 4 above


Internal code refactoring. Added note that 'page turning arrows' are now available in the premium versions.


Fix for a small number of PDFs rendering as smaller than expected on some high resolution screens.


Please clear browser and any WordPress cache if you experience any problems following this upgrade.

Better support for high resolution screens.

Improved SEO for embedded PDFs (which are now links initially before Javascript converts them into the interactive view). This also ensures the PDFs are accessible to users even if Javascript problems cause your site to break.

Compatible with WordPress 4.6.

Added a filter named my_pdfemb_override_send_to_editor that means the shortcode generation can be turned off if desired.

Uses latest version of pdf.js library for rendering PDFs.

Toolbar buttons have type="button" attribute to avoid conflicts with some other plugins.

Spanish translation contributed by Armando Landois.

Added pdfemb_filter_shortcode_attrs filter so developers can change default shortcode parameters through code.


Fixes for right-to-left languages.


Added French translation thanks to Thierry Gaillou of JDFitForme. Uses newer version of pdf.js library for rendering PDFs.


Uses latest version of pdf.js library for rendering PDFs. Options page tidied up.


Some settings were difficult to change on multisite installs.


Code placeholders for opening links - available only in premium versions. Updated languages.


Code placeholders for tracking views/downloaders - available only in premium versions. Updated languages.


Now translation-ready! Your language contributions are welcome. Compatibility with WordPress 4.4

Contains information about new features in Premium version: Functioning hyperlinks Jump to page number


Better explanation of some error messages (e.g. attempt to access PDF on a different domain). Forced white background by default - some Theme's CSS would override.


'Download PDF' button added to options, but function is only available in Premium versions.


Redesigned toolbar buttons


New version of PDF.js, fixes some PDF rendering bugs.


Obtains PDF over same transport (https/http) as host page, regardless of that specified in the shortcode url parameter. This avoids conflicts and failure to display PDF if the two don't match.


Settings -> PDF Embedder page so you can now set site-wide defaults for width, height, and toolbar location/appearance.


Added zoom feature. Toolbars can be fixed instead of appearing on hover.


Fixed 'scrollbars' in IE.


Fixed 'scrollbar' issues.

Displays page number on toolbar ("Page 1/10").

Added 'Loading...' indicator.

Improved display of many PDFs (Added 'cmaps' to the distribution).


Added compatibility.js to support some minor browsers, e.g. Safari which did not allow ranged downloads


Minified Javascript code. Default width/height (now "max") expands to fill parent container width regardless of the natural size of the document. Use width="auto" to obtain the old behavior.


Added usage instructions within the settings page.


First version

How can I obtain support for this product?

We have instructions and a Knowledge Base on our website explaining common setup queries and issues.

Please feel free to email with any questions.

Always include your full shortcode, plus links to the relevant pages, and screenshots if they would be helpful too.

We may occasionally be able to respond to support queries posted on the 'Support' forum here on the plugin page, but we recommend sending us an email instead if possible.

How can I change the Size or customize the Toolbar?

See Settings -> PDF Embedder in your WordPress admin to change site-wide defaults. You can also override individual embeds by modifying the shortcode.

Resizing works as follows:

  • If width='max' the width will take as much space as possible within its parent container (e.g. column within your page).
  • If width is a number (e.g. width='500') then it will display at that number of pixels wide.

In all cases, if the parent container is narrower than the width calculated above, then the document width will be reduced to the size of the container.

The height will be calculated so that the document fits naturally, given the width already calculated.

The Next/Prev toolbar can appear at the top or bottom of the document (or both), and it can either appear only when the user hovers over the document or it can be fixed at all times.

See the Plugin Instructions for more details about sizing and toolbar options.

Can I improve the viewing experience for mobile users?

Yes, our PDF Embedder Premium plugin has an intelligent 'full screen' mode. When the document is smaller than a certain width, the document displays only as a 'thumbnail' with a large 'View in Full Screen' button for the user to click when they want to study your document. This opens up the document so it has the full focus of the mobile browser, and the user can move about the document without hitting other parts of the web page by mistake. Click Exit to return to the regular web page.

See our website for more details and purchase options.

Can I protect my PDFs so they are difficult for viewers to download directly?

Not with the free or (regular) premium versions - it is relatively easy to find the link to download the file directly.

A secure premium version is available that encrypts the PDF during transmission, so it is difficult for a casual user to save or print the file for use outside your site.

See our website for more details and purchase options.

Can I add a Download button to the toolbar?

This is possible only in the Premium version.

Are Hyperlinks supported?

The Premium versions allow functioning hyperlinks - both internal links within the document, and links to external websites.

Can I remove the link from the viewer toolbar?

The easiest way is to upgrade to our Premium version, but if you know how to add entries to your database then you can add a line to the wp_options table with option_name 'pdfemb_poweredby' and option_value '1'.

For more information on Premium versions visit

Version 2.8

Requires WordPress version: 3.5 or higher

Compatible up to: 4.7.2

Last Updated 08 Dec 2016

Date Added: 21 Jan 2015

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4.8 stars
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