• Technical Support: Open-source PDF Viewers don't offer dedicated support, which can impact your initial investment and overall turnaround time if you run into any issues, or if documentation is unavailable. Commercial PDF Viewers typically provide technical support, offering comprehensive documentation and services to help you overcome integration challenges. Note that some vendors may charge additional fees for technical support.
Therefore, you can consider the above three factors to make the right choice between open-source and commercial options for a solution tailored to your needs.
You can use open source libraries to let you embed a PDF viewer in a web app or web page, not only to open PDF from a website or web page but also to have more control over how your documents appear. We recommend two highly popular JS libraries: PDF.js and React PDF. Both enable you to parse, render, and display PDFs directly without requiring a download. However, they differ in viewer functionality, which can impact your project. Let's delve into the details.
• Intuitive Interface: PDF.js features an easy-to-use out-of-the-box reader UI.
• Zoom Functionality: Built-in zoom options enable users to closely examine details.
• Flexible Viewing and Search: Offers multiple view options and efficient search capabilities.
• Customization and Privacy: Users can customize the UI through CSS theming and API. PDF.js prioritizes privacy, collects no user or document information, and supports form filling for both XFA and AcroForms.
• Text Reliability: Text search and selection in PDF.js may be less reliable, impacting user experience.
• Limited Content Editing Features: PDF editing options are restricted to ink and text annotations, limiting advanced editing capabilities.
• Browser Compatibility: PDF.js has limited support outside Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, potentially causing compatibility issues for users on other browsers.
React PDF, developed by Wojciech Maj, is another popular open-source React component with 8.2K GitHub stars and 750K weekly downloads on npm. It is designed for rendering PDF documents in React applications, offering a set of components for displaying, navigating, and interacting with PDF files.
• Ease of Use: React-pdf provides ready-to-go React components like Document or Page, making it relatively easy to install and use for displaying PDFs as images.
• Regular Updates: The library is updated regularly, ensuring that it stays current and incorporates the latest improvements.
• Privacy Assurance: React-pdf prioritizes user privacy by not collecting or transmitting any information about users or documents.
• Require to build UI by yourself: React-pdf lacks an out-of-the-box UI, requiring users to build their reader interface, which may not be suitable for everyone.
• Dependency on PDF.js: It uses PDF.js under the hood, and any vulnerabilities discovered in PDF.js will impact react-pdf as well.
ComPDFKit for Web
• Reliable Render Performance: ComPDFKit ensures a reliable and professional viewer performance, even when dealing with large and complex PDFs.
• Comprehensive PDF Features: It offers a wide range of PDF features, including annotation, content editing, forms, signatures, and security functionalities.
• Customizable UI Toolkit: Tailor your viewing experience with a fully customizable UI toolkit, giving developers the power to personalize toolbars and UI components for web viewer interfaces.
• Free 24/7 Technical Support: Provide 24/7 professional and 1-to-1 technical support and services. Onsite service or remote support like telephone and email are all available.
• Commercially licensed. But you can contact sales to get a free trial.
ComPDFKit is a commercial licensed product with affordable pricing. It offers a Community License plan for individual developers, startups, and non-profit organizations. Currently, there's a 35% discount for iOS and Android mobile plans, along with a 30-day money-back guarantee policy. And you can also try it for free now!
PSPDFKit for Web
• High-fidelity PDF rendering
• Robust UI customization
• Offer multiple additional document processing tools like annotation, creating and filling forms, signing, page manipulation, real-time collaboration, and conversion.
• Commercially licensed.
• Code written with PSPDFKit code is understandable, but a bit complex in structure.
PSPDFKit for Web is a commercially licensed product, and its sales team provides customized pricing for each customer. Generally, the pricing is relatively high.
• Perform document generation and manipulations such as redaction, page organization, watermarking, PDF content editing, and so on — no server required.
• It offers complete capabilities for annotations, form building, form filling, and e-signatures.
• Commercially licensed.
• It contains a mechanism to track document views and automatically transmit data to third-party servers.
PDFTron WebViewer is a commercially licensed product, and its sales team provides customized pricing for each customer. Generally, the pricing is relatively high.