WordPress Viewer Plugin: Embed PDFs, PowerPoint, Excel, Word, and More

If you’ve ever had the need to embed a PDF, PowerPoint, Excel, or MS Word file into your site (something along the lines of what Scribd.com does), then this plugin is for you. The Google Doc Embedder lets you embed these four common file types and a lot more.

Embedding the files into your site with this plugin allows your readers to access them immediately without downloading them or requiring them to have Adobe Reader, PowerPoint, MS Word or any other software. (However, you can allow visitors to download the files.)

The files can be uploaded to your site through your media uploader, or you can link simply link to them no matter where they are on the web. You do NOT need to host your files with Google Docs or even  have an account with Google.

How It Works

Activate. Once activated, you will see a new icon on your visual editor.

Get the URL. You can either use a file on your server, or you can use a file anywhere on the internet.

If you’d like to put a file on your server, you can simply upload the file with your media uploader. Once that’s done, copy the URL.

Insert URL. When you click the new Google Docs Embedder button, you get the following pop-up.

The embedder lets you easily set the size of the viewer and control who is able to download the file.

The Result. The following is an image of a PDF that I linked to from the IRS. I also uploaded my own files and the embedder worked just as well.

Below is a list of all the file types the Google Doc Embedder handles.

  • Adobe PDF
  • Microsoft Word (DOC/DOCX)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (PPT/PPTX)
  • Microsoft Excel (XLS/XLSX)
  • TIFF Images
  • Apple Pages (PAGES)
  • Adobe Illustrator (AI)
  • Adobe Photoshop (PSD)
  • Autodesk AutoCad (DXF)
  • Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)
  • PostScript (EPS/PS)
  • TrueType (TTF)
  • XML Paper Specification (XPS)
  • Archive Files (ZIP/RAR)

It Works!

I tested a number of plugins when looking around for a good one that would do this, and I came across quite a few that had some type of issue or another. The Google Doc Embedder, however, worked liked a charm right out of the box.

Download it here.


Thanks to erat for the image.

Comments (14)

  1. I was very confident with this plugin, seeing a lot of good feedbacks, but it does not work on my site… The plugin seems to load the pdf but fails to display it correctly, and I can’t find a good working solution…
    No error message to help me… :/

  2. I get a completely blank page other than the title when I installed this plugin. I checked the source code, it doesn’t show any content at all, under the title.

    I do have content under the title of the page and other than the gview link, there’s nothing else strange on the page. Any thoughts?

    • Hi Erica – You might go to the plugin page, and then on the right hand side click the green link that says, “View Support Forum,” and report your errors there. The plugin authors often monitor the WP support forums for their plugins.

  3. Hello Joe,
    This is really a good plugin. I want to make a document sharing website with this plugin. But, I need something to generate an image from the first page of the document in order to use it as thumbnail. How can I do this?

  4. Hi Joe, This plugin stopped working with the latest WordPress update (3.9.2).

    Below is the error message and this document is only 1.87Mb big. So far no response from the creator.

    You’ve reached the bandwidth limit for viewing or downloading files that aren’t in Google Docs format. Please try again later.

    Is there anything similar I can try?