Support » Plugin: Google Doc Embedder » Google Doc Embeds problems in Internet Explorer

  • Resolved Crssp


    I have recently started having troubles viewing some of my PDF documents pages in the Internet Explorer web browser, whether embedded or in a stand alone window.
    For example, the last few times of 24 pages, only the very first page will just show up as a grey box.
    If you drag/select with your mouse over the grey box page though, you can tell there is PDF text present, not sure what is going on.
    Anyone else having problems recently viewing PDF embedded, and loading into new versions of IE browsers?
    I can suggest people use other browsers sure, but not sure what the problem is.
    POssibily it’s a PDF acrobat optimization setting, but I’ve tried many tweaks with my Acrobat Pro publish settings. 🙁

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Here was a link to a page with a PDF embed, having a problem.
    The first page (magazine cover), is loading what appears to be a blank grey page.

    Plugin Contributor danlester


    Thanks for your report.

    To be honest, your issues sound like a fundamental problem in Google’s viewer software, in which case there’s not much the plugin can do to address it.

    Actually, I just tried to load your page in Chrome on a Mac and I see ‘No preview available’ against a grey background in the ‘Google viewer window’, so not too sure why that isn’t loading through.

    Have you made a change recently? Are you seeing the same as me in Chrome now?



    Hi Dan and thanks.

    Did the embedded pdf in the page ever load for you then, in chrome on a Mac?

    I’ve been playing around with my optimization settings in Acrobat, trying to fix the IE bug, may have incidentally caused your issue.

    My recent optimization settings in the Acrobat optimize panel, only optimize images to 96ppi, and create a fast web view in the clean up panel. The rest of the panels, are not even being used in the PDF Optimizer of Acrobat; Fonts, Transparency, User Data etc. Nothing should be destructive.

    Somebody pointed out to me there are quite a few javascript errors on this page, maybe one of those holds the key.

    Plugin Contributor danlester


    I still see ‘No preview available’ on Chrome/Mac, but I wonder if that is due to the file size – I believe we’ve had reports that files over 2MB may not generate previews under Google’s document viewer.

    I think you might be better off trying another solution to be honest. Below I’ve copied something I wrote in another thread when people were having temperamental issues with Google Document Viewer recently – I hope it helps! Thanks, Dan.

    Hopefully, for those who don’t want to change the way they are embedding documents, Google has restored the service but it is taking some time to roll out fully. It is possible they run their own cache of the files or display, and maybe that has been intermittent as the service is restored.

    This plugin (Google Document Embedder) relies on Google’s free viewer service which has generally worked well for many years, but of course there is no guarantee that Google will continue to keep it running. It seems that (mostly) they do for now.

    There are also limits in the number of views (or bandwidth) that they are happy to serve to the same person.

    The files are stored on your WordPress server, but the rendering is done by a Google service that first fetches the file from your server.

    For greater stability, I would recommend the following two plugins:

    1. Google Drive Embedder

    This uses similar technology to the Google Document Embedder plugin, but your files are hosted on Google Drive’s service already (saving your own bandwidth too). More importantly, it can be a paid service (through Google Apps), and crucially it is not anonymous to use. (Google’s Document viewer, used by Google Document Embedder, is completely anonymous in the sense that Google doesn’t know who is viewing or who is serving the file – and this gives a completely different sense of obligation from Google’s point of view, I believe.)

    You would share your file as ‘Anyone with the link can view’ in Google Drive itself to ensure all your users are allowed to see the file.

    Note this plugin requires you to configure the Google Apps Login plugin in addition – a relatively simple process.

    2. PDF Embedder

    This embeds PDFs in your site, entirely hosted within your server, using Javascript code that is also entirely hosted by your server. This means it does not rely on any third party such as Google to display it. If it ‘breaks’, that means something on your site has changed.

    I hope this helps. If anyone wants to chase Google on the issues you’ve been seeing with the free and anonymous Google document viewer, feel free, but I don’t personally think it makes sense. They are unlikely to offer direct support for such services, and that is entirely fair.

    Let’s give it a few days, and if things don’t seem to be better with the document viewer, we can at least warn users what to expect and they can make the call of switching.

    I don’t feel it is productive for us to continue to post “hold on, it works right now, no it doesn’t” messages – or at least I won’t feel obliged to respond if that’s OK 🙂 Others are welcome to continue their own discussions of course.

    Please also note that the above synopsis of my personal plugin recommendations has been available on the plugin description for a long time now.



    Thanks Dan. I try and keep my PDF’s under 5mb for sure.
    The plugin has worked great for a long time for us, but I have to admit, I seldom view it in IE, so who knows.

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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