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6 Best WordPress PDF Plugins: PDF Embedders + More

Last Updated on May 26th, 2020

Published on May 26th, 2020

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Looking for a way to use PDFs on your WordPress site? In this post, we’ve collected six WordPress PDF plugins that can help you use PDFs with WordPress.

First, we’ve included four PDF embedder plugins that let you display PDF documents in your WordPress content, including one that works with Elementor.

Then, we also added a few bonus options that let you:

  • Generate PDF documents from a WordPress form
  • Convert PDF documents into posts, including all of the images in the PDF document

Ready to check it out? Let’s dig in…

Six Best WordPress PDF Plugins

Below, I’ve listed the best PDF plugins for WordPress. For each plugin, I’ll list its basic function next to the plugin name in the title.

I’ve done this because, as I mentioned above, some approach PDFs in different ways. For example, some plugins help you embed PDFs in WordPress posts, while others let you create new PDFs from your WordPress site.

1. PDF Embedder – Embed PDF to WordPress

PDF Embedder WordPress plugins

PDF Embedder is the most popular free PDF plugin to help you embed PDF files in WordPress.

It lets you insert PDF documents in your WordPress content using JavaScript, rather than the iframe method that some other tools use (which doesn’t give you full control over PDF sizing).

For example, you can choose between having your PDF documents fill the full available width or setting specific maximum dimensions.

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The PDF viewer includes options to let visitors zoom in on the document and quickly move between pages.

If you want access to more features, there’s also a premium version that lets you:

  • Add a download button
  • Track PDF downloads and views
  • Use continuous scroll between pages
  • Add a full-screen mode
  • Offer better mobile responsive support (the free version does work on mobile devices – it’s just not super optimized).

The free version is available at WordPress.org, while the Pro version costs just $20.

Get PDF Embedder

2. Gutenberg PDF Viewer Block – Embed PDFs in Block Editor

Gutenberg PDF Viewer Block

As you can probably guess from the name, Gutenberg PDF Viewer Block is a lightweight PDF embed plugin that’s specifically built to work with the new WordPress block editor (AKA Gutenberg).

The plugin gives you a new PDF Viewer block. When you add the block, you’ll get an option to upload the PDF file that you want to embed to WordPress and then you’re set to jet. By default, the PDF viewer will take up the full width of your content.

However, the block settings also let you specify your own custom height or width.

Like PDF Embedder, the block uses JavaScript to embed the PDF. If a visitor has JavaScript disabled, the plugin will display a download link as a fallback.

Get Gutenberg PDF Viewer Block

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3. PDF Viewer for Elementor – Embed PDFs in Elementor

PDF Viewer for Elementor

As the name suggests, PDF Viewer for Elementor helps you embed PDF files in your Elementor designs.

If you’re not familiar, Elementor is one of the most popular visual, drag-and-drop page builder plugins. You can learn more in our full Elementor review.

With the plugin, you’ll get a new PDF Viewer widget that you can use in Elementor. Actually, it gives you two widgets, each of which has a different PDF embed method:

  • PDF Viewer – uses Google viewer.
  • PDFjs – uses JavaScript.

You can choose your preferred method by selecting a different widget (PDFjs is slightly more reliable).

In the widget’s settings, you’ll be able to configure a few options including height, width, and alignment.

If you have Elementor Pro, you can also hook into Elementor Pro’s dynamic content system, which is convenient. For example, you could automatically display a PDF file that you select using custom fields that you’ve added with Advanced Custom Fields.

All in all, if you’re using Elementor, which is our recommended WordPress page builder plugin, this is a convenient way to embed PDFs in Elementor.

PDF Viewer for Elementor is free and available at WordPress.org.

Get PDF Viewer for Elementor

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4. PDF Forms Filler for Contact Form 7 – Create PDFs from WordPress Form

PDF Forms Filler for Contact Form 7 lets you generate finished PDF documents using content that your visitors submit in a web form.

As you can probably guess, this plugin is specifically built to pair with Contact Form 7.

You’ll need to create your own fillable PDF field using a tool like Jotform or PDFescape.

Then, you can map the fields in your Contact Form 7 forms to the fillable fields in your PDF document.

When someone submits the form, the plugin will automatically insert those fields in the PDF document and then it can deliver the finished PDF via an email notification.

The great thing about this setup is that it’s free.

However, if you are willing to pay, many premium WordPress form plugins also include a similar feature. The advantage of using those tools is that you get a little more flexibility than Contact Form 7.

Some good options are:

Get PDF Forms Filler for Contact Form 7

5. PDF 2 Post – Convert PDF Documents to WordPress Posts

PDf 2 Post is a unique plugin that goes in the opposite direction of most of these other plugins.

Instead of just helping you display PDF documents in WordPress, PDF 2 Post lets you convert a PDF document into an actual WordPress post.

For example, you could add a PDF document with text and images and the plugin would automatically convert it into a WordPress blog post.

Once you upload a PDF, the plugin will automatically:

  • Extract all of the text content and add it to the WordPress editor.
  • Exact all of the images from the PDF and attach them to the post.
  • Create a gallery inside the post that includes all of the images.

In order for the plugin to work, you’ll need to have the following packages installed on your WordPress site’s server:

  • ZipArchive
  • PDFMiner
  • pdfimages

Get PDF 2 Post

6. PDF.js Viewer Shortcode – Simple PDF Viewer Plugin

PDF.js Viewer Shortcode is a simple plugin that you can use to embed a PDF viewer on the front-end of your site.

It uses Mozilla’s PDF.js viewer (which a few other plugins also use). The advantage of this JavaScript method is that it avoids the need for iframes.

The plugin is easy to use – it gives you a shortcode in which you insert the URL to your PDF file.

It also includes several useful shortcode parameters that let you:

  • Control the size of your PDF viewer, e.g. height, width, or fullscreen option
  • Add a download button to let people download the PDF
  • Add a print button to let visitors print the PDF

The plugin does work in the new block editor, but you’ll need to manually add the PDF embed shortcode – there’s no dedicated block or button in the new editor.

Get PDF.js Viewer Shortcode

Which Is the Best WordPress PDF Plugin?

In this post, I tried to go beyond just basic PDF viewer plugins and give you a number of ways to work with PDFs in WordPress.

If you want to embed a PDF to WordPress, you should consider:

  • PDF Embedder as a good overall option.
  • Gutenberg PDF Viewer Block if you’re using the new block editor.
  • PDF Viewer for Elementor if you’re using the Elementor page builder.
  • PDF.js Viewer Shortcode if you want a simple shortcode option.

And if you’re looking for other ways to work with WordPress PDFs, you can consider generating PDF documents from form submissions or turning PDF documents into WordPress posts.

Do you have any other questions about working with PDFs on WordPress? Ask us in the comments!

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Colin Newcomer is a freelance writer and long-time Internet marketer. He specializes in digital marketing, WordPress and B2B writing. He lives a life of danger, riding a scooter through the chaos of Hanoi. You can also follow his travel blog.