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Google Doc Embedder

Lets you embed PDF, MS Office, and many other file types in a web page using the free Google Docs Viewer (no Flash or PDF browser plug-ins required).

Where can the files live?

The file to embed must first be publicly available somewhere on the internet, in order for Google to retrieve the document for conversion. You can upload it to your WordPress site using the standard techniques, or link to a file on another site. For testing purposes, your site can run locally or on private networks, but the documents you wish to embed must be publicly accessible.

How do I embed a file in my page or post?

There are several ways you can insert a supported document, depending on your preference:

  • Manually enter the shortcode (explained below).
  • Click the "Add Media" button to upload or select a file from your media library, and ensure the "Link To" setting in Attachment Display Settings is set to "Media File." Then click "Insert into post."
  • Use the Google Doc Embedder button in the Visual editor to insert the [gview] shortcode.
  • Paste the URL into the HTML editor, select it, and click the "GDE" quicktag button (HTML/Text editor).

To manually insert the [gview] shortcode into your page or post to embed the file, use the syntax below (use of the HTML tab in the editor recommended):

[gview file="http://url.to/file.pdf"]

Note: the file= attribute (generally pointing to the full URL of the file) is required. If the majority of your files are referenced from the same directory, you can set a File Base URL in GDE Settings and only put the changing portion in the file= attribute (or a full URL for a file outside of that base URL). File Base URL will be prepended to the value of file= unless file= starts with http or // (dynamic protocol selection).

Common optional attributes:

  • profile= : Enter the number or name of the desired profile for the viewer to use (default profile is used if not specified)
  • width= : To override the profile's default width of the viewer, enter a new width value - e.g., "400px" or "80%"
  • height= : To override the profile's default height of the viewer, enter a new height value - e.g., "400px" or "80%"

What are "Profiles"?

Profiles allow you to create a unique batch of settings and access them from the viewer using only a profile ID (or name), rather than writing a horrifically complicated shortcode. This allows each instance of GDE (even on the same page) to be completely customizable while keeping the shortcode syntax simple.

Will it embed files that are password-protected or stored in protected folders/sites?

Most likely, no. If your file requires a login to view - such as being saved in a password-protected directory, or behind a firewall (on your intranet, etc.), the viewer will probably not be able to access the file. This is what is meant above, that the document should be "publicly available." Please save the file in a publicly accessible location for best results.

What about private documents?

The file must be publicly available, but there is no reason why you need to publish the location beyond supplying it to the GDE plugin. However, savvy users will be able to locate the URL and download the original file. To make it difficult for users to download PDF files (the old 'enhanced mode' of GDE), please find out more about our new plugin - PDF Embedder Secure.

Does it work with files saved in Google Docs/Drive?

This plug-in utilizes the viewer from Google Docs in a standalone fashion. There is no direct integration with Google Docs and even those documents stored there and shared publicly do not embed reliably with their standalone viewer (ironically), so at this time that use is not supported by the plug-in.

If you are able to store your files in Google Drive, you may want to try the Google Drive Embedder plugin. This will be faster to display, and more reliable in that case.

Does it work in Multisite environments?

The plugin works on network installs, though it must be activated on a per-site basis (not network activated). There are no multisite specific features at this time, but it will function normally in this environment. If you use GDE in a multisite environment, I welcome your feedback on what functionality you would like to see.

Requires: 3.5 or higher
Compatible up to: 4.6.1
Last Updated: 2 months ago
Active Installs: 90,000+


4.5 out of 5 stars


5 of 6 support threads in the last two months have been marked resolved.

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