Firefox 14 nightly adds new fancy default HTML5-based PDF viewer

Mozilla Firefox has started the year 2012 with a new features-based attitude, continuing to bring exciting tools, as well as new themes, such as Australis that is to hit Firefox in the next months.

Firefox 14 nightly build (the regular build, not a custom release) have just received a gorgeous add-on, PDF.js, installed by default.

PDF.js is a fancy PDF viewer that uses HTML5 technologies to read/open PDF files directly in the browser, both local and online files.

Although this is its first default implementation, the look is impressive displaying a "full" toolbar with numerous options/actions, thus delivering a proper reading experience with zero compromises.

The eyecandy element is a first-class citizen, PDF.js comes with an on-demand "launcher"/panel, located on the left-side, hidden by default and in usable mode (viewable) when the mouse pointer is hovered over its location (hitting the left-side of the screen).

The transparent black-ish side panel can be set to display both chapters and the book's thumbnails, "modes" adjustable via the two bottom buttons.

How do we use PDF.js?

  • locally, no Internet connection is required (navigate to Firefox-->File-->Open File-->select and read a PDF file)
  • online (navigate to various web-sites and click links that contain PDF files: Firefox opens the PDF file with the toolbar's option to download the item with the possibility to later open and read the downloaded item via the local method)