PDF Reader in JavaScript
JavaScript CSS Python
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pdf.js is an HTML5 technology experiment that explores building a faithful and efficient Portable Document Format (PDF) renderer without native code assistance.

pdf.js is community-driven and supported by Mozilla Labs. Our goal is to create a general-purpose, web standards-based platform for parsing and rendering PDFs, and eventually release a PDF reader extension powered by pdf.js.

Getting started

Online demo

For an online demo, visit:

This demo provides an interactive interface for displaying and browsing PDFs using the pdf.js API.


A Firefox extension is availble in two places:

The development extension should be quite stable but still might break from time to time. Also, note that the development extension is updated on every merge and by default Firefox will auto-update extensions on a daily basis (you can change this through the extensions.update.interval option in about:config).

For an experimental Chrome extension, get the code as explained below and issue node make extension. Then open Chrome, go to Tools > Extension and load the (unpackaged) extension from the directory build/chrome.

Getting the code

To get a local copy of the current code, clone it using git:

$ git clone git://github.com/mozilla/pdf.js.git pdfjs
$ cd pdfjs

Next, you need to start a local web server as some browsers don't allow opening PDF files for a file:// url:

$ node make server

You can install Node via nvm or the official package. If everything worked out, you can now serve

You can also view all the test pdf files on the right side serving

Building pdf.js.

In order to bundle all src/ files into a final pdf.js and build the generic viewer, issue:

$ node make generic

This will generate the file build/generic/build/pdf.js that can be included in your final project. The pdf.js file is large and should be minified for production. Also, if you would like to support more browsers than firefox you'll also need to include compatibility.js from build/generic/web/.

Building a WebViewer.

$ npm install webviewer-tools
$ node make webviewer

Your webviewer package will be found in /build/webviewer directory.


You can play with the PDF.js API directly from your browser through the live demos below:

The repo contains a hello world example that you can run locally:

For an introduction to the PDF.js code, check out the presentation by our contributor Julian Viereck:

Additional learning resources can be found at:


pdf.js is a community-driven project, so contributors are always welcome. Simply fork our repo and contribute away. Good starting places for picking a bug are the top error messages and TODOs in our corpus report:

and of course our open Github issues:

For better consistency and long-term stability, please do look around the code and try to follow our conventions. More information about the contributor process can be found on the contributor wiki page.

If you don't want to hack on the project or have little spare time, you still can help! Just open PDFs in the online demo and report any breakage in rendering.

Our Github contributors so far:

You can add your name to it! :)

Running the tests

pdf.js comes with browser-level regression tests that allow one to probe whether it's able to successfully parse PDFs, as well as compare its output against reference images, pixel-by-pixel.

More information about running the tests can be found on the contributor wiki page.

Additional resources

Gallery of user projects and modifications:

You can read more about pdf.js here:

Talk to us on IRC:

  • #pdfjs on irc.mozilla.org

Join our mailing list:

Subscribe either using lists.mozilla.org or Google Groups:

Follow us on twitter: @pdfjs