The following is the first few sections of a chapter from The Busy Coder's Guide to Android Development, plus headings for the remaining major sections, to give you an idea about the content of the chapter.

Viewing PDFs

The Portable Document Format — better known as PDF — has been around for over two decades, and it is still going strong today. As a result, we often have a need to show PDF files to users, whether those files are:

This is another one of those topics that seems fairly simple on the surface, but can get complicated based on your requirements. In particular, if you want to try to present the PDF to the user in your app, as opposed to launching some external PDF viewing app, while you have a few options, they all have their issues.

In this chapter, we will review several ways of displaying a PDF to the user, so you can choose what approach (or approaches) are the best fit for your requirements.


Understanding this chapter requires that you have read the core chapters of this book.

The Criteria

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The Classic Solution: ACTION_VIEW

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The Really Bad Idea: Google Docs

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The Built-In Option: PdfRenderer

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The Thunder Lizard Choice: PDF.js

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The Native Approach: Pdfium

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What To Choose?

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