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Google Open Sources PDF Code in Chrome, Brings Built-In PDF Viewing to Chromium

Users of Chrome Chromium will soon be getting a native, built-in PDF viewer

foxit logoGoogle and PDF-centric company Foxit have announced that they’re open sourcing the PDF library used in Google Chrome.

The new open-source library, called PDFium and licensed under the 3-clause BSD license, uses the same “underlying technology” found in Foxit’s own free and premium PDF viewers and editors.

While it’s business as usual for Chrome users, the news means that users relying on the open source basis of Chrome, Chromium, will soon be getting a built-in PDF viewer as well.

Eugene Xiong, Founder and Chairman of the Board at Foxit, says the company “…is honoured to be chosen as the PDF provider for the open-source PDFium project,” and adds that the “high performance, highly accurate, and platform-independent software technology will help developers everywhere to incorporate powerful PDF technology when creating innovative applications.”

The project is great news for developers looking to leverage a standards-compliant Portable Document Format software library and even better news for users, who stand to benefit from the apps, attention and feature acceleration the effort will result in.

  • Mohan

    I didn’t know Chromium didn’t have built-in PDF viewing. That’s a good addition.

  • Neil

    That’s one less missing component in ChromiumOS too.

  • niagr

    Is this the Pepper PDF plugin we’re talking about?

    • It would be pretty cruel to announce the open-sourcing of a NPAPI plugin! ;)

  • Good move, although hopefully one day optimizations will make pdf.js lighter on memory, processing time, and easier on battery and a suitable replacement across all browsers. In addition to proper printing and smooth rendering. And perhaps (troll me now) with DRM extensions proposed (presumably not just for netflix) something like pdf.js could handle protected PDFs too..

    • I believe we as a society should start to devalue digital restrictions management (and replace it with a focus on encryption-aided privacy, which fits the use-case of most ‘protected’ PDFs).
      Consider yourself so-calledly ‘trolled’. :P

  • It is funny, you would expect a company named ‘Foxit’ would be developing for Firefox’ PDF solution :P
    Of course, Mozilla had developed their own PDF.js, so…