How to open PDF in Chrome

Chrome is a popular web browser that offers a variety of features to users. One of the useful functions is to open PDF in Chrome browser. If you don’t have the PDF reader installed in your system then chrome provides you the functionality to open PDF in the browser which saves your storage space.

In this article, steps are defined to open a PDF document in Chrome browser without any PDF reader installed on the system.

What are PDF files

The “Portable Document Format” abbreviated as PDF is a file format developed by Adobe in 1992 which is used to store files that cannot be changed but still need to be shared and printed simply. PDFs are commonly used to send read-only documents that maintain the page layout. It is an open file format for transferring electronic documents. PDF-encoded documents, forms, photos, and web pages can be viewed on any device,such as tablets and smartphones. There are two layouts of PDF document:

  • Linearized (“optimized”)
    Because all objects required for the first page to appear are properly structured at the start of the file, linearized PDF files can be read in a Web browser plugin without having to wait for the complete file to download.
  • Non-linearized (not “optimized”)
    As sections of the data required to construct pages of the document are distributed across the PDF file, they are slower to access.

Opening the PDF files in Chrome browser

There are two different approaches to open PDF files in Chrome:

  • Opening PDF document in Chrome from system
  • Opening PDF document from search result in Chrome

Opening PDF document in Chrome from system

To open any PDF document already present in your system follow the below mentioned steps:

Step 1: Open the folder where PDF document is present like my PDF document is present in Documents directory:

Step 2: Now right click on your PDF file with as I am opening “intro-linux.pdf” file, a context menu will appear, click on “Open With Other Application” as shown below:

Step 3: Another dialogue box will appear to choose option with which you want to open your PDF file, select “Google Chrome” option and click on “Select”:

Now your PDF document will open in Chrome browser and you can see the location of document on top search bar as shown below:

Opening PDF document from search result in Chrome

To open any PDF document from the Google search results follow the below given steps:

Step 1: Enter keywords which you want to search in Google’s search bar with “.pdf” extension:

Now if any PDF file is present in result then you don’t have to worry how to read that file as Chrome supports PDF file and open them in PDF format, click on PDF document like I am opening “Introduction to Linux – Boston University”:

Now your document will be opened in the browser. You can also Download that PDF file by clicking on Download icon on top right corner of page:

A new dialogue box will appear fill the name of document and set location and press “Select”:

And your PDF document will be saved at a specified location. You can check your downloads from “Downloads folder” from three dots or simply press “Ctrl+J”:

Your downloads will appear in the Downloads window, you can simply open the downloaded PDF file from here.


PDF (Portable Document Format) is one of the file formats in which no matter what operating system, device, or software application is used to view a PDF, the content and layout remain the same which can be shared and printed. In this Article we discuss two easy approaches to open the PDF documents in Chrome; we can open PDF in chrome browser directly without any PDF reader installed. This article will be helpful to open the PDF file in Chrome browser on Ubuntu (Linux System).

About the author

Alishba Iftikhar

I am currently an undergraduate student in my 1st year. I am an internee author with Linuxhint and loved learning the art of technical content writing from senior authors. I am looking forward to opting my career as a full time Linux writer after I graduate.