After flash, Chrome is scheduled to drop support for Pepper in June 2022, which PDF Viewer uses. That is why Google is desperate to move Chrome PDF Viewer to an alternate before then. Chromium team has started working on new process model for Pepper-free PDF Viewer. The change affects feature on Windows, Linux, Mac and Chrome OS
Chrome comes with builtin PDF Viewer on Desktop.
It is used to
- View PDF documents,
- Preview contents before printing (Print Preview)
- embed PDF documents in Chrome OS applications
Present PDF Viewer contains three major components.
- . A browser extension encapsulating the web-based UI
- The native C++ PDFium library providing PDF document support.
- A Pepper Plugin bridging the gap between extension and PDFium
Pepper-free PDF Viewer
Chromium team has began work to replace Pepper Plugin API layer between Pepper Plugin and PDF Viewer extension with a pepper-free alternative.
Chrome’s built-in PDF viewer relies on a native plugin that uses the Pepper Plugin API (PPAPI). Pepper is slated to be removed as part of the (P)NaCl deprecation and the end of support for Flash. We plan to migrate the PDF viewer plugin from a separate Pepper process into an ordinary renderer process, and to migrate all Pepper API calls to the renderer-native equivalents. This will unblock Pepper removal, and simplify the PDF viewer.
“Unseasoned PDF Viewer” document summary reads.
Enable Pepper-free PDF Viewer in Chrome
Ensure you’re using Chrome Canary 93.0.4571.0 or later
- Visit chrome://flags/#pdf-unseasoned
- Select Enabled and restart the browser
Soon you can test pepper-free PDF Viewer feature by enabling chrome://flags/#pdf-unseasoned in Canary version.
Its worth noting that the feature is a work in Progress.
Turning it on may break PDF Viewing in Chrome or render PDF differently without data. We’ll let you know when the feature starts working.
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