Show PDF inline

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Show PDF inline
Stage Landed
Status `
Release target Firefox 18
Health OK
Status note Landed in Firefox 14 nightly but didn't make the uplift. Targeting Firefox 15 or 16.


Product manager Asa Dotzler
Directly Responsible Individual Alex Limi
Lead engineer Bill Walker
Security lead `
Privacy lead `
Localization lead `
Accessibility lead `
QA lead Mihaela Velimiroviciu
UX lead `
Product marketing lead `
Operations lead `
Additional members `

Open issues/risks


Stage 1: Definition

1. Feature overview

The current handling of PDFs in Firefox isn't great. The plugin-based renderer on Windows has several issues, and the situation on the Mac is that there really isn't a good renderer available for PDFs.

We want to be able to show PDFs inline in the browser on at least the majority of the platforms we support, and be able to wrap our own UI around it to support things like viewing and saving to disk, etc.

Goal: Make viewing of PDF in the web browser as painless as possible.

2. Users & use cases


3. Dependencies


4. Requirements

  • Ability to view a PDF document inline on Windows, Mac OS X, and possibly Linux.



Stage 2: Design

5. Functional specification


6. User experience design


Stage 3: Planning

7. Implementation plan

Use the PDF.js renderer

Alternatives that were considered, but decided against:

  1. Use the platform support for PDF in the cases where it's available, e.g. on Mac OS X via PDFkit:
  2. We could also do a hybrid approach, e.g. use Adobe plugin on Windows, and PDFkit on the Mac.

8. Reviews

Security review


Privacy review


Localization review




Quality Assurance review


Operations review


Stage 4: Development

9. Implementation


Stage 5: Release

10. Landing criteria

Landed in m-c during Firefox 14 cycle. Uplift criteria include

  • getting past the add-on manager warnings (moving the add-on to a different directory, according to Mossop)

Feature details

Priority P1
Rank 999
Theme / Goal Experience
Roadmap User Experience
Secondary roadmap Firefox Desktop
Feature list Platform
Project `
Engineering team Services

Team status notes

  status notes
Products ` Sorting out remaining requirements. Add-on blocked, Printing, Finding, and select, copy, paste discussed at last meeting.
Engineering ` `
Security sec-review-needed
     Full Query    
ID Summary Priority Status
755957 SecReview: Show PDF inline P4 NEW

1 Total; 1 Open (100%); 0 Resolved (0%); 0 Verified (0%);

Privacy ` `
Localization ` `
Accessibility ` `
Quality assurance in progress Test plan
User experience ` `
Product marketing ` `
Operations ` `
The given value "
     Full Query    
ID Summary Priority Status
755957 SecReview: Show PDF inline P4 NEW

1 Total; 1 Open (100%); 0 Resolved (0%); 0 Verified (0%);

" contains strip markers and therefore it cannot be parsed sufficiently.