Setup PDF.js in a website

Jonas Jenwald edited this page Jun 1, 2016 · 28 revisions

You can choose to use a pre-built version of PDF.js or build PDF.js from source.

Pre-built PDF.js

With npm

Add the dependencies to your project:

npm install pdfjs-dist --save

Simple usage example:

require('pdfjs-dist');
var fs = require('fs');
var data = new Uint8Array(fs.readFileSync('helloworld.pdf'));
PDFJS.getDocument(data).then(function (pdfDocument) {
  console.log('Number of pages: ' + pdfDocument.numPages);
});

Depending on the APIs that you want to use, you might need to stuff some DOM APIs. Refer to https://github.com/mozilla/pdf.js/blob/master/examples/node/getinfo.js for a more complex example.

With Webpack

Add the dependencies to your project:

npm install pdfjs-dist --save-dev

To use the library in your project add require('pdfjs-dist') to your file requires and build your project normally. The worker shall be built into a separate bundle: take the file "./node_modules/pdfjs-dist/build/pdf.worker.entry.js" or built a separate file that uses require('pdfjs-dist/build/pdf.worker'). PDFJS.workerSrc shall be set to point to this file.

Refer to https://github.com/mozilla/pdf.js/tree/master/examples/webpack for a complete example.

With Browserify

Add the dependencies to your project:

npm install pdfjs-dist --save-dev

To use the library in your project add require('pdfjs-dist') to your file requires and build your project normally. The worker shall be built into a separate bundle: take the file "./node_modules/pdfjs-dist/build/pdf.worker.entry.js" or built a separate file that uses require('pdfjs-dist/build/pdf.worker'). PDFJS.workerSrc shall be set to point to this file.

Refer to https://github.com/mozilla/pdf.js/tree/master/examples/browserify for a complete example.

From examples

When the source code of PDF.js changes, the online demo is automatically updated. The source of all demo files can easily be accessed at https://github.com/mozilla/pdf.js/tree/gh-pages. These files can also be uploaded to your server to use PDF.js to display PDF files from your website.

  1. Download https://github.com/mozilla/pdf.js/archive/gh-pages.zip.
  2. Extract the ZIP file (a directory called "pdf.js-gh-pages" will be created).
  3. Copy the following directories to your website:
    • pdf.js-gh-pages/build/
    • pdf.js-gh-pages/web/
      The web/ directory contains a 1 MB PDF file called "compressed.tracemonkey-pldi-09.pdf". This file is only used as an example for the demo and can safely be removed.
  4. If you want to open a PDF from your website with PDF.js, simply link to the viewer and pass the location of the PDF file. For example:

    <a href="/web/viewer.html?file=%2Fyourpdf.pdf">Open yourpdf.pdf with PDF.js</a>

The viewer is built on the display layer and is the UI for PDF viewer in Firefox and the other browser extensions within the project. It can be a good starting point for building your own viewer. However, we do ask if you plan to embed the viewer in your own site, that it not just be an unmodified version. Please re-skin it or build upon it.

Build PDF.js from source

After cloning PDF.js, you can build PDF.js from source by running gulp generic in Git Bash or another terminal. This will create the built PDF.js in the build folder, which you can upload to your server. Note that you must include compatibility.js in order to support browsers like IE9+.