There are cases where a PDF file is more than a download link and you need to display it inline inside your page. Recently I’ve stumbled upon a conversation where somebody was looking for a good jQuery plugin that displays PDF files. One of the suggestions was the amazing pdf.js which is developed by the Mozilla foundation and it’s pretty much a full blown PDF viewer in your browser.
If you need a really lightweight solution and you don’t mind if the users with browsers that don’t support PDF viewing, don’t view the document, here’s a snippet you may use
What we do here is check if the browser has a plugin for a certain mime type (the check
will return undefined if the browser doesn’t have a plugin for that mime type). If the browser does support PDF, we append a simple iframe that can be styled and sized accordingly, or append a link to download the file if the browser doesn’t have a handler for PDFs.