I am troubleshooting a problem with opening PDFs from websites so I uninstalled Adobe Reader. Out of curiosity I checked whether I could still open PDFs from websites (here is a random example). Surprisingly I could still open PDFs from both Chrome (my preferred browser) and Internet Explorer. I believe IE is using Edge to open the PDFs but the PDF interface looks different in Chrome, so it might be another application. Unfortunately I can't uninstall Edge to check. How can I figure out what application Chrome is using to open PDFs from websites?
Chrome itself is the application that is viewing the PDFs.
Windows 10 Edge can also open PDFs directly. Please note, IE is an older, separate application from Edge. If your users start in IE, they will not be able to open PDFs directly in IE unless they have Adobe plugin installed.
Firefox is able to view PDFs without a plugin : https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/view-pdf-files-firefox .
Some websites (bank websites in my experience) will force a download rather than allowing it to be opened in the same browser. In Firefox, I was able to sometimes change the behavior by changing the MIME settings, but it didn't work consistently. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/change-firefox-behavior-when-open-file
From memory, Google Chrome uses a built in PDF viewer which was written in
This comes bundled with Chrome by default.
You can view some related code by opening the Chrome DevTools on the PDF Viewer.
Read more about Firefox's implementation here: PDF.js by Mozilla
As the chrome is derived from the chromium open-source project, it also uses the same embedded pdf-viewer that is shipped with Chromium Browser. So when a pdf file is encountered, chrome tries to open it using this pdf viewer.
If you open the
you would notice that it shows the open tabs and running extentions, but it does not shows any info about pdf viewer it is using here.
But when I open this
chrome shows multiple pdf plugin components including Adobe Reader and Chromium PDF reader. It might differ in your system.
The Readme docs are available for the chromium project, but I could not find the docs for pdf viewer. You can read it here