An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

Send your tips to gostips@gmail.com.

February 21, 2011

Open Gmail's PDF Attachments in Google Docs Viewer

A recent Gmail update changed the "View" links for PDF attachments, but only if you use Google Chrome. Instead of opening PDF files using Google Docs Viewer, Gmail now uses the PDF plugin included in Google Chrome. Unfortunately, this makes it more difficult to save PDF files to Google Docs.

Here's a simple trick that lets you open a PDF attachment in Google Docs Viewer. Click "View" next to the attachment and edit the URL: replace "view=att" with "view=gvatt" in the address bar. Another option is to right-click "View", copy the URL, paste in the address bar and replace "view=att" with "view=gvatt".


Obviously, you can also disable the built-in PDF plugin. Just type about:plugins in the address bar and click "Disable" next to "Chrome PDF Viewer".

29 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. No way ! A VERY USEFULL TIP !

      Thanks for this !

      Delete
  2. It's a tip. It comes handy when you need it. Otherwise it feels useless.

    ReplyDelete
  3. If You save as a PDF with chromed PDF viewer the downloads bar at the bottom of the screen should pop up and show the file there.
    Then in google docs, in the upload section, you can drag files from the download bar to the upload section on google docs.
    This may make saving PDF files from gmail to google docs a little less inconvenient

    Sorry if you already knew you could drag from downloads bar...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thx, just what I was looking for :-)

      Delete
  4. What a bad "improvement"!

    I'd liked the "Google Docs Viewer" first landing and the Ctr+S to open it (eventually) into the Chrome PDF Viewer.

    It's a pity. Well, Now i disabled the plugin. Hopping this change back.

    jpp

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great tip! Exactly what I was looking for...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Why they did it!!! Anyone could be changed that by setting properly the options on Docs PDF/PowerPoint Viewer blocking mail.google.com and that's it.

    CM

    ReplyDelete
  7. Really? You just click the Wrench and click 'Save page as'...

    ReplyDelete
  8. I like this feature. It's great when I want a quick look at a short PDF. But I prefer to download larger PDFs and use Acrobat to read and search etc. That's actually quite hard work once a PDF has been opened by Chrome. Any workarounds for this?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm using the latest dev version on Ubuntu - 11.0.672.2 and the PDF viewer plugin is gone, so by default, it opens in Google Docs.

    ReplyDelete
  10. its really informative and intersting man keep it up :)

    forex training | forex strategy

    ReplyDelete
  11. I turned off the "Chrome PDF Viewer" plug-in and since I already have the extension "Docs PDF/PowerPoint Viewer (by Google)" enabled, I can still view PDFs via Google viewer outside of Gmail whilst retaining the option to save to Google Docs.....There seems to be more than one way to swing Acrobat with Chrome :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. instead,, gdocs fans can use chromium which doesnt support google chrome's builtin pdf viewer

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for the tip - was wondering how I get pdfs into google docs directly

    ReplyDelete
  14. What about pressing Ctrl-S in Chrome's PDF viewer (or using the menu item in the Chrome menu)?

    At least for me, it's possible for me to save a PDF this way without switching to Google Docs PDF viewer, so this tip is a bit, well, useless...

    ReplyDelete
  15. The point is that Google Docs Viewer lets you quickly upload a file to Google Docs without first downloading it.

    ReplyDelete
  16. if you have Adobes Acrobat add-on installed it takes over, so you have to disable both the built in viewer and Acrobat, and then restart.

    i found that without the restart chrome just tries to download the file.

    there is only three things i do with PDFs: view them, download them, and save them to gDocs to share with other gmail users.

    the addition of a built in PDF viewer that doesn't allow for the file to be directly saved to gDocs--and shared--was a silly change to make if you ask me...

    so far this is one of only two complaints i have about chrome, i've been using chrome for many months.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you. It took me a while to find this article. I just made the about:plugins change and things are back to awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This tip was EXACTLY what I was looking for - thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you. I was not aware of latest changes (improvement?) in google chrome about PDF view. Though default interface of google chrome is fast and good but convinience to save document in google docs which available with google doc viewer is not there. I disable chromes default plugin and installed extension google docs viewer (by Google) and brought back functionality of saving PDF file in docs directly.

    ReplyDelete
  20. this guy know nothing...just make sure "do not save encrypted file to disk" in option is unchecked

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent, thanks for an accurate and easy fix to a problem. For those "like me, that had to figure out where to do this" It is in Tools, internet options, advanced, security and do as Anonymous suggests (uncheck the appropriate box. You will now be able to use all the options to view attachments from your mailbox. Once again Thanks "anonymous"

      Delete
  21. Hi, I've written a very simple userscript that automatically redirects to the "view=gvatt" URL.
    You can install it from here: http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/130301

    ReplyDelete
  22. super useful. thanks a lot for posting this.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Exactly what I wanted.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks, I google this page every now and then. Note if you find yourself doing this a lot you can create a bookmark and enter this as the site address: javascript:window.location=window.location.href.replace('&view=att&', '&view=gvatt&');

    Then when you're on the chrome viewer just click that bookmark and it will take you to view in google drive

    ReplyDelete