Trying to Use PDF in WordPress

Adobe Flash and PDF continue to thrive despite all the efforts of Steve Jobs and Apple in the case of  Flash plus Google and Microsoft in the case  of PDFs. Microsoft’s first incarnation of Metro was an XML-based alternative to the PDF format spawned in 2004-5 and then retired in 2008-2009.

Google would like to make its Docs format  universal for media/text distribution. Google Docs supports PDF but with mixed quality on the Web A telling example is  the case of PDF plugins for  WordPress.lThere are plenty of plugins for WordPress that support display of PDF files. GroupDocs, Google Doc Embedder, PDF.JS, Easy Fancy Box are among over a dozen plugins which display PDF in Pages and Posts. However there are problems with WordPress PDF plugins for viewing:
<img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-484″ alt=”1wpdfgde” src=”” width=”750″ height=”553″ />
For example, Google Docs has decided to posterize badly the images delivered not just by the Google Docs Embedder but also EMBed PDF and a few other plugins. Since it is identically the same posterization, we have to say “no thank you to Google”. But GroupDocs and PDF.js  had the problem that they could not find PDF files that HTTP and other plugins <a href=”” target=”_blank”>could find faultlessly</a>. Finally, a group of plugins like Easy Fancy Box could display PDF files but without the layout control desired.

So after half a day of trying various PDF plugins in WordPress  I reverted to a simple<a href=”” target=”_blank”> IFRAME  plugin</a> that allows users to  embed a PDF file with a simple shortcode – [ iframe src=’’ width=’100%’ height=’500′ ]. Now this has the disadvantage that each browser gets to add its own set of PDF controls which differ; but at least it works flawlessly:
<a href=””><img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-485″ alt=”1wpdfgood” src=”” width=”750″ height=”540″ /></a>

So this is another example where Open tools like WordPress have to skirt the Software Gargantua and their rivalries. Adobe Flash was attacked viciously and unfairly by Apple when Steve Jobs own Quicktime had an even worse record for  security, reliability, performance and features. Worse, Neither  Steve nor Apple has ever replaced Flash for the graphics community with something of equal value. So Flash  and animations dwell in a limbo where HTML5 and CSS3 pretendersoftware offer barely 1/2 of Flash with no better security or reliability. So Flash lingers in the form of Air while spawning  some outstanding graphics tools like Autodesk Pixlr suite of  mobile, online and desktop tools.

In similar fashion, PDF has been under constant attack by Microsoft, Google and others. But until these parties produce a graphics+content container of equivalent value, the Google and Microsoft Software Gargantua should lay off.


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