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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks


HOW TO preview an online PDF or MS Office document without downloading it

Let's say someone on a forum you participate in shares a link to a PDF  or Office document available online. It may not always be safe to download it to your local computer. Even if it was safe, you may not want to download a large file just for some small information that you need.

It is for this kind of scenarios that you can use Google Docs Viewer. Append the URL to the online document that you got to the URL of the Google Docs Viewer service, thus -

https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://example.com/AHugeFile.pdf

The pages of the document are presented as images making it easy to jump to a specific page of interest.

You can also choose to download the document from Google's server instead of the downloading it directly from the original source, using the File > Print feature of the Google Docs Viewer and save the file as a PDF.

Is that downloaded PDF safe to open on your computer? I don't know but because Google processed it, I assume it should be safe.

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