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Top 10 PDF Reader Extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and More

January 21, 2022

Editing, tweaking, and viewing PDFs directly from your browser has never been this easy.

Your first option for a PDF extension might be a professional software like Adobe and the likes to manage your PDFs. 

But if you work a lot on your browser, you can get the same PDF functions with a professional PDF reader extension.  

Just as quickly, if not quicker than most offline PDF tools.

PDF extension is a reliable way to view, create, edit, and even share your documents without distorting their content and in today’s article, we will cover:

  • PDF Reader Extensions Overview
  • 7 Best PDF Reader Extension for Chrome and Firefox
  • Other Online PDF Readers to Consider

PDF Reader Extensions Overview

PDF Reader Extensions are PDF viewers that work directly from your browser without having to download the software. 

They perform most of the functions a PDF viewer software will perform – creating, highlighting, editing, merging, and many more. 

Here’s an overview of what most PDF extensions offer:

  • Once you install the PDF reader extension on the browser, you will not have to download the PDF reader software anymore. And you can automatically open all PDF files with the extension.
  • PDF reader extensions can view and edit documents without needing you to save or have the file on your device. (This saves space on your device.)
  • You can install the extension on most browsers; it is compatible with most recent browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.)
  • Most PDF reader extensions are free; you do not have to pay to access essential PDF viewing and editing functions.
  • It’s usually faster to open PDFs in your browser than with offline software.

How to Install PDF Reader Extensions on Chrome

To access the PDF reader extension, you will need to install them. 

After that, you can automatically view and launch documents on your web browser. Below are the steps to install PDF reader extensions to your browser (Google Chrome):

  1. Launch your web browser. 
  2. Go to the Chrome Web Store or your browser’s equivalent extension marketplace.
  3. Search for the extension you want to add. We’ll cover the top PDF reader extensions and tools below.
  4. Click on it, and select Add to Chrome.

Once the extension has been added, you can manage it or add some settings this way:

  1. Open your browser
  2. Click on the three-dots icon in the top right corner, where the toolbar is located.
  3. Then click on More tools > Extensions.
  1. You can turn it on/ off, remove it from your extensions, allow it in your incognito or any other setting you want to do.

7 Best Online PDF Reader Extension for Chrome and Firefox

If you have Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as your default browser, below you’ll find some top browser extensions you can use to manage your PDF documents online.

In no order, the extension are as follows:

  1. Kami.
  2. SmallPDF.
  3. Hypothesis.
  4. Save As PDF.
  5. PDF Viewer.
  6. NO PDF Download.
  7. Awesome PDF Reader.
  8. Chrome built-in PDF Viewer.
  9. Adobe Acrobat.
  10. Inkit.

1. Kami

kami chrome extension

Kami is a chrome PDF tool that allows you to view, create, edit, annotate and share your PDF files. 

This extension works on Chrome, Mozilla, and Safari browsers. It lets you drag and drop files or import them from the cloud. 

Main Features:

Kami allows you to 

  • Convert documents from one format to another (e.g. HTML to PDF).
  • Draw and erase on the document.
  • Merge and split documents
  • Add and select text from existing documents.
  • Add highlights, underline and strikethrough the texts.
  • Share, print, and upload documents to the cloud.

Kami can work with Google classroom to aid online learning. 

And it allows you to access the essential tools with the free plan, but you can get more advanced tools if you upgrade to the premium plan for office, teacher, or student plans.

2. Smallpdf

smallpdf edit pdfs chrome extension

Small PDF is an excellent PDF reader extension that comes with a lot of functions, from editing files to converting and compressing. It has a simple interface that is suitable for beginners.

Main features

  • It can merge, split and compress PDF files.
  • Converts files to different formats, including Word, Excel, and Presentations.
  • It can be used to remove and extract PDF pages
  • It can convert images to PDFs and PDFs to images.
  • It has a password protection function.

3. Hypothesis

hypothesis web pdf annotation

Hypothesis is another free online document viewer available as software and a chrome extension. It allows you to create, edit, highlight and annotate your PDF.

Pros

  • It is good for a group PDF reading as it allows collaborative reading and commenting.
  • It has public and private annotation features.

Cons

  • Not the most user-friendly interface.

4. Save as PDF

save as pdf chrome extension

Save as PDF is a PDF reader extension available on Chrome and Mozilla. It allows you to create and edit PDF files and enable you to download web pages as documents in any format. 

Main features

  • Allows you to convert documents to the desired format
  • It can create, edit and view PDF files.
  • Converts web pages to documents.
  • Password encryption function.
  • Allows you to customize page size, margins, and view.

Cons

  • It does not allow you to customize many of the mentioned settings if you do not have a paid account.

5. PDF Viewer

pdf viewer chrome extension

PDF viewer is another bare-bones reader extensions to view a PDF on a website without downloading it. There is a space to type in the URL of the PDF you want to view. Once you type in the URL, the document will be put on view. And you can decide to download the PDF after viewing it. 

PDF viewer does not only display PDF files; it can also display text files, images, and spreadsheets. And it allows you to upload files from the cloud. 

The tool is quite straightforward and easy-to-use, but not for everyone.

Pros

  • It is most suitable for viewing online documents.

Cons

  • No highlighting or commenting tool.
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6. No PDF Download

no pdf download for chrome

No PDF Download, as the name implies, allows you to view PDF documents in you browser without having to download them.

So, upon viewing PDF files, your browser will no longer trigger a “save as” setting. The extension automatically download files from your browser either.

Though you can still save the PDF by pressing CTRL+S or doing it through the toolbar, No PDF Download will allow you to edit directly.

Pros

  • It has a function that lets you save the URL if you do not want to view the document immediately.

Cons

  • It does not allow the download of files directly from Google Drive or Gmail.

7. Awesome PDF Reader

awesome pdf viewer reader chrome extension

Awesome PDF reader is another barebone PDF reader extension that helps you view and read PDFs directly on Chrome. Like most PDF extensions, the tool is free to use and it works on Chrome as well as Firefox browsers.  

Pros

  • It is best for previewing documents you do not want to download or save on your device.
  • It is easy to use and loads multiple documents at once.

Cons

  • It shows a lot of ads by the side.

Other Online PDF Readers to Consider

Chrome Built-in PDF Viewer

Google Chrome browser also has an integrated PDF viewer that allows you to view and add other settings to the PDF. Even though you can view documents with the browser directly, you can not create a new document.

Main Features

With the in-built document viewer, you can:

  • Sign documents and fill out forms.
  • View presentations without third-party apps.
  • Save webpages as PDFs, and also print them out.
  • Rotate, fit-to-page, and view the properties of the PDF.

Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat is undoubtedly one of the most used PDF viewers. It can be used to view, create, edit and make advanced settings to the PDF file. Even though it can also be a PDF reader extension in your browser, you will need to install the software before adding it. 

Main features

Most of Adobe Acrobat extension’s features include what you can get from its free version, which includes:

  • Convert and compress PDF files.
  • Sign and fill out documents.
  • Merge and split files.
  • Share and save documents on the cloud.

Frequently Asked Questions On PDF Extensions

How can I change the Chrome PDF Viewer Setting?

If you would rather download the PDFs instead of opening them in Chrome, follow these steps:

  1. Launch your Google Chrome
  2. Tap on the here dots icon at the top right corner
  3. Click on settings
  4. By the top left corner, click on the menu icon.
  5. Select Privacy and Security settings.
  6. Click on Site setting, then scroll down and click on Advanced settings.
  7. Finally, click on PDF documents, and tick the circle of either Download PDFs or Open PDFs in Chrome.

Can I edit my PDF with Chrome PDF viewer?

No, you cannot change texts with Chrome PDF viewer. You can do settings with Chrome PDF viewer to include signing and filling out documents.

Does PDF Reader Extension work on Mac?

Yes. It depends on the browser, not the operating system. So, you can use all of the PDF reader extensions covered above on Mac just as well.

Conclusion

Hope this list of PDF reader extensions helped!

You can start using one suitable for you, depending on your needs and preference. These extensions are also available on other in-built browsers apart from Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Try out any of these top tools on your browsers, and you can be sure to find a suitable one before you exhaust the list. 

Finally, if you’re looking to batch convert HTML files into PDF with the right-end formatting requirements. 

Learn how Inkit can help you convert HTML to PDF at scale.

Out-of-the-box PDF generation
The easiest way to automatically generate and manage paperless documents at scale.
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