Is there any way to display a PDF file on two columns on Google Chrome?

I.e. instead of having:

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I would like to see something like:

enter image description here

3 columns would be even nicer in some cases.


8 Answers 8


There is a way. Use Notable PDF extension

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Enable Two page view

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  • 4
    Apparently the Notable PDF extension was renamed to Kami - PDF and Document Markup May 11, 2017 at 20:29
  • This does work, but it is way more than a PDF viewer, its a whole website of things. It sounded really good to me to start, but it is a bit much to view an occasional PDF 2 up. I think for teachers, it may make more sense.
    – nycynik
    Jan 14, 2019 at 21:06
  • Requires permission to "See, edit, create, and delete all of your Google Drive files" FYI
    – hughes
    Oct 22, 2019 at 7:06

Rotate your computer's screen 270° (from the computer settings "Display" menu) and then rotate the pdf 90° to the right (using the rotate button inside the pdf viewer, top right.) Use Ctrl & Shft & +/- to resize document to get 2 pages per screen. Rotate your keyboard 90° degrees to the left to use the arrow keys for document navigation.

  • 2
    I tried this - and it actually works. It shows the two pages side by side, it does not do page turning right, because the pages are all in a row, but it actually does work, as crazy as it sounded.
    – nycynik
    Jan 14, 2019 at 21:05
  • 3
    Brilliant! Who needs software? Here's an alternative: open Chrome, rotate your screen backwards by 90°, print out the pdf document in single-page mode (even and odd page numbers separately), arrange the two stacks on your flat computer screen. Adjust distance between eyes and paper to select a comfortable zoom setting. Turn off computer.
    – bers
    Jul 1, 2019 at 10:56

Actually there is a way to do this... All you need to do is revert to the old Adobe plugins in Chrome following these steps:

  1. In the Chrome address bar, type: chrome://flags.
  2. Search for “NPAPI” and enable it.
  3. Relaunch Chrome.
  4. In the Chrome address bar, type chrome://plugins
  5. Disable Chrome PDF Viewer.
  6. Enable the Adobe Acrobat/ Adobe Reader plugin.

Because 2-up view is part of the PDF standard, this capability is being implemented in chromium's native PDF viewer.


UPDATE (2020-05-15): If you use Chrome Canary, you can enable to PDF Two-Up View flag (visit chrome://flags in the address bar) and when you view PDFs there will be 2-up view option.

Keep in mind the icon for 2-up view in the beta is actually an "edit" icon (pencil) - a more appropriate icon will eventually take its place before the feature becomes official.

  • 1
    You don't need canary anymore. I tested this on stable Chrome and it worked well for me.
    – Allen
    Jul 1, 2020 at 20:29

For those wanting to do it natively within Chrome without downloading a plugin you can do the following:

  1. Click the "Print" button

  2. In that preview popup, select "Pages Per Sheet: 2" on the print preview.

This works for me.. It's obviously not the best solution, but it sure does work! I could probably whip up some javascript to make it go full screen too, but I don't think that'd last too long and would require special knowledge of dev tools to get working properly for regular users.

  • 1
    Once you've selected 2 pages per sheet, you can then "Save as PDF" and you have a 2-up .pdf file that can be viewed using the usual Chrome pdf view. Mar 2, 2020 at 15:03

Late 2020 Update

There's a new, new PDF view that's available under the flag pdf-viewer-update. Per this issue the pdf-two-up-view flag was removed in favor of the new viewer. The Two Page View button is in the overflow menu that is next do the Download and Print buttons.


2022 Update: Chrome's built-in PDF viewer now has a "two-page view", available by default (= no need to change any setting/flag):

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Tested on Ubuntu and Windows with Chrome Version 98.0.4758.82 (Official Build) (64-bit).


enter image description here


2020 update

Chrome now has a native two-page view for PDFs, here is how to enable it. The option is hidden behind the flag -> chrome://flags/#pdf-two-up-view flag.

Select Enabled and restart the browser. Done!

Link for detailed instructions https://techdows.com/2020/03/chrome-adds-two-page-view-for-pdfs-enable-it.html

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