PDF Viewer Feature Tutorial

The PDF Viewer Feature allows you to directly link to PDF files in your app. In this article we'll go over how to use it.

Tim Tietz avatar
Written by Tim Tietz
Updated over a week ago

What is the PDF Viewer Feature?

The PDF Viewer Feature allows you to directly link to PDF files in your app!

What are some use cases of PDF Viewer?

Some use cases of this feature include:

  • You can use this feature to include a digital version of your menu if you’re building an app for your restaurant

  • If you’re building an app for your conference, you can use the PDF Viewer to display a list of the speakers at your conference

  • For your fitness app you can use this feature to display a PDF of exercise instructions

What are the PDF Viewer’s primary function and what are the steps to accomplish it?

The PDF Viewer Feature provides some amazing functionality as described in the introduction, but read on to see what some of the core features are and how to set them up.

Step 1: Grab the URL for your PDF

You will need to host the PDF either on your website, or with a service such as Google Drive or Dropbox. Once you’re ready to add your PDF to your app, grab the PDF’s URL.

Step 2: Paste it in the “URL for your PDF” box and click “Validate”

After you’ve copied your PDF’s URL, paste it into the “URL for your PDF” box and click the “Validate” button.

Step 3: Decide how you want the PDF to display

Now that you have entered your PDF’s URL in the App Dashboard, you can choose if you want it to open in-app or in the native browser of the user’s phone. If you would like the PDF to open in-app, check the “Open the URL in the app” box.

If you leave the box unchecked, then your PDF will open up in the default browser of your user’s phone. This would be Chrome for Android users, and Safari for iOS users. Certain PDF links will work better in one setting over the other, so we encourage you to try out both settings to see which one works best for your PDF.

What are some tips you should know about?

Having worked with apps for years, we’ve learned a thing or two. So, to both help your app stand out and accomplish your primary goals, here are some tips you should consider.

Pro Tip 1: Make Sure Your PDF Has The Correct Access Permissions

In order for your PDF to display properly, it needs to be fully available to the public. If you’re hosting it on your own website, make sure that there’s no code that prevents it from being accessed. You should also make sure that it’s not locked behind a log-in or a sign-in page. Alternatively you can use a service such as Google Drive or DropBox to house your PDF files which may make it easier to adjust the viewing settings for your PDF.

Pro Tip 2: You Can Secure The PDF In Your App If It Has Sensitive Information

If you do have sensitive company info in your PDFs, you can use our in-house Security features and require the users to sign into the app before they can access the PDF section. You can also use our Advanced Access Settings to restrict access to the PDF even more. If you would like to learn about these settings, you can do so here.

Pro Tip 3: Not All PDF Files Are the Same, So The WebView Feature Might Be A Better Option

While the PDF Viewer feature will work for most PDFs, depending on how the PDF was generated, some PDF files will appear jumbled in this feature. If this is the case, we recommend using the WebView feature instead which you can learn more about here.

What are some related articles?

In addition to this article, we recommend checking out the following related articles so that you have a better insight into how to use the system to its fullest advantage:

Still have questions? No problem! Reach out to us and we’d be happy to help :)

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