Although you can easily embed images, audios, or even videos in WordPress, embedding PDF files in your posts and pages is not possible by default.
You can add a PDF file in WordPress. But you can’t embed it directly.
You will only get a link that your readers will need to click on to check it, which is not the optimal situation if you want to show them everything on your post/page without leaving it.
Being able to embed PDF files becomes important in some situations where you want to share PDF files with your readers such as:
- Adding a product catalog on your website.
- Sharing a PDF of any resources like templates or cheatsheets.
- Adding a book you created or that the author is willing to add to your site for free.
The question now is how to embed PDF files in your post. This is what this post is all about.
- How to Embed PDF Files in WordPress
- Other WordPress PDF Viewer Plugins
How to Embed PDF Files in WordPress
The beauty of WordPress is that you can do almost anything without writing a line of code. All you have to do is simply installing a plugin for a certain type of functionality.
There are many plugins to help you with the process of embedding a PDF file in WordPress.
The one that we used and like is the PDF Embedder plugin. It is a free plugin already available for download from the WordPress plugin directory. There are others that I’ll mention below as well, but this plugin will be the main focus of this post.
The plugin has a premium version that gives you access to extra features like:
- Add the download button in the toolbar.
- Full-screen mode.
- Edit page number to go straight to the specified page.
- Track number of views and downloads.
- Remove their branding.
- Make it hard to download your pdf file.
It costs $20 for the single site license, $30 for the 5-site license, and $50 for the unlimited sites license.
You can know more about it by visiting this page.
So, how to use this plugin?
Step #1: Install PDF Embedder Plugin
The process of installing this plugin is very simple. You can install it just like the way you do with any other plugin.
- Go to WordPress Dashboard > Plugins > Add New.
- Type the name “PDF Embedder”
- The very first result will be the plugin. Just click on install and activate the plugin.
You can also download it and upload the zip file to your WordPress site.
Step #2: Configure the Plugin
Once you have installed the plugin, you can go directly and embed PDF files right away. But if you want to make sure that the embedded files appear as you want, here are a few things to configure before embedding your pdf file.
You can configure the width and height to appear as you want. When using Max, it will display in 100% of the width and/or 100% of the height.
You can also customize the toolbar available. This toolbar will enable the visitors to zoom in and out, and go to the next page or the previous one.
You can customize its position and hover. You can make it display at the top of the document only, at the bottom only, or both.
You can also make it visible only on hover over the document or always available.
In the instructions, they show you how to easily override the settings for a specific file.
[pdf-embedder url=”http://yoursite.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/siteupload.pdf” width=”700″ toolbar=”top” toolbarfixed=”off”]
For this link, for example, I override the width to be 700px, the toolbar to appear at the top, and not to be fixed.
And if you have access to the paid license, then you will see more configuration options, although, that may not be necessary for most of you.
Step #3: Embed PDF File In WordPress Post or Page
You can easily use this plugin with the Gutenberg blocks editor or the classic editor.
Here is how to add it in the Gutenberg editor:
- Once you click on the Add Block icon, find the PDF Embedder block then select it.
- Once selected, upload your PDF file or select it from files already available.
- And you are done :)
How to do it in the classic editor? Very simple. Just add the PDF file like you would do when adding a picture or video, and you are done.
Click on the Add Media button, upload/select your pdf file, click on insert into post button, and you are good to go. A shortcode will automatically be created, and the PDF will appear embedded directly.
Other WordPress PDF Viewer Plugins
Now that you know how to use the PDF Embedder plugin, here are other options that you might want to consider adding to the list to be able to embed your PDF file to your readers.
PDF Viewer is one of the WP plugins available on the Code Canyon marketplace that allows you to view PDF files directly on your WordPress site.
You can personalize the look with your log, have complete control over the toolbar to show what to display and what not to display.
It is a great option to consider if you are after a premium option that gives you complete control over everything.
Google Drive Embedder is a free option available on the WordPress marketplace directory. It gives you the ability to easily embed files from your Google Drive directly to your site or page.
You will be using the Google read-only interactive viewer.
This plugin is great if you have your files on Google Docs. But doesn’t give you much options to control.
Want to get a little bit fancy and show your PDF file as a magazine where you either have the same experience of flipping through magazines?
Look no further because this plugin helps you do so.
It is a powerful 3D flipbook display that allows you to display your PDF or images as flipbooks. Seriously.
You have complete control over everything without using Flash, and it is responsive as well. It is available on the Code Canyon Marketplace.
Flowpaper is a free plugin available on the WordPress plugin directory that enables you to embed your PDF files as flipbooks as well.
It is a great plugin to consider if you don’t want to go with the premium option mentioned above, although the customization features isn’t much here.
Wonder PDF is another free option to consider to display your PDF files on your WordPress site directly.
You can use it with their own lightbox popup to display your PDF file in a lightbox popup which might be a cool feature to consider.
Adding a PDF file directly on your WordPress site is not an issue anymore. Now, you have a complete step by step guide to finally embed your pdf file(s) directly on your site.
You also have other options to consider including the ability to display your PDF file as a flipbook in a cool way.
Which plugin did you use? Share the link of your post below with the plugin that you used.