Web & communication software

Practically Perfect PDF, Courtesy of Google

Practically Perfect PDF, Courtesy of Google
This is very simple and very useful: Google is now using the Web-based PDF viewer that I've been enjoying in Gmail to make it easier to view PDFs that you happen upon on the Web. You know it's available when you see a PDF in Google Search results with a "Quick View" link:

Click it, and you get a nice view of the PDF that retains formatting and doesn't require you to download the PDF (or even to have a PDF viewer installed on your computer):

Google says that more than half of the PDFs it's indexed now offer Quick View, with more to come; others still provide only the not-very-useful, plaint-text HTML view. And I see some PDFs that offer neither Quick View nor HTML and must be downloaded and opened in a PDF application. Even in incomplete form, it's awfully handy when you want to peek inside a PDF before you go through the bother of downloading it-or when you don't have any desire to download it at all.

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