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How to embed PDF in WordPress + 7 free plugins to choose from

How to embed PDF in WordPress + 7 free plugins to choose from


Thank you, Adobe! If it weren’t for that company, storing documents online as we know it wouldn’t be as useful and easy as it is today. So, naturally, we wanted to share with you how to use and embed PDF documents in WordPress.

Why use PDF files in the first place?

PDF stands for a Portable Document Format, and it is /so far/ the best user-friendly file you can work with and move around through web. Not to mention it gives you confidence knowing your files are safe and secure from just, the quality of the document stays intact whatever size it is, you can use it across various devices, and it’s always the same… The benefits are numerous.

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Whether you have an extensive collection of documents you want to store on your site, or you’re an ebook collector, maybe working in a legal department… using PDF’s is something you do daily. Knowing you can’t simply upload it on WordPress site ’cause it’ll only come out as a link, that’s where plugins come in. And, because we want to save you time in searching for yourselves, these are some of the best embed PDF plugins to use.

7 free WordPress embed PDF plugins

Combined with the right WordPress theme (have you checked some of ours?) these PDF plugins will give your readers and visitors that extra push and user-friendliness. We summed up some of the best ones; all you need to do is choose the one best suited to your needs.

Embed Any Document


A simple and very user-friendly plugin that helps you display embed PDF files within your posts and pages. Simply install and activate the plugin, and you’ll get an „Add Document“ button in your visual editor or block (if you use Gutenberg):

Click and choose the type of document you want – yes, this plugin helps with more than PDF’s and – voila! The magic happens, and your file is easily embedded. Check out their demo page and see all the file types, including PDF, embed in site.



If you have a magazine or work with brochures and catalogs (up to 10 pages), then this plugin is for you! Flowpaper is a free PDF viewer plugin that supports the wast majority of browsers and devices and works with PDF files up to 15MB in size.

There are three ways to use this plugin to embed PDF in WordPress:

  • Using a URL – add the plugin shortcode to a post or page like this

  • By uploading to WordPress – upload the PDF file to the Media, copy the URL and insert it on the shortcode mentioned above
  • Embed PDF using FlowPaper Cloud – a premium option where you upload larger files to FlowPaper cloud using the desktop publisher, copy the link and insert in into the shortcode.

Premium version comes with, as you see, more features and possibilities to display your PDF’s and the price starts at $95.

Google Drive Embedder


If you use a variety of file types for your website, you might want to consider this plugin. Any of your documents stored on Google Drive can be embedded with the use of this plugin, but it requires you to have a Google Apps Login plugin as well. Just so your Google Drive and WordPress site are synced which makes working with your files and embedding them easier.

Once you do that, you can display PDF’s and many other file types altogether with the downloadable file link. Pretty handy, don’t you think?

This freemium plugin has a Premium version with some extra features like embed folders, Google Calendars integration as well as ability to have more control over the content you’re embedding. Starting price is $19 for a Single WordPress site license.

Interactive 3D FlipBook


If you want your PDF’s to be even more interactive and fun, test and try this free plugin. Interactive 3D FlipBook allows you to create an almost realistic volume book, which seems as you are reading the real one! Some of the main features of this plugin, besides the realistic view, are:

  • Maximum user-friendliness
  • Skin support – customization made easy
  • Multiple file type integration – PDF, HTML, images
  • Responsive

Demonstrate your brochures, course materials, magazines in an almost natural way. Check out the live preview and see for yourselves.

PDF Embedder plugin


Simple and easy to use, PDF Embedder helps you embed PDF files just as they were any image. It works similar to FlowPaper, by using a shortcode. Once you upload your PDF file in the Media section, put it into your page or post, and it will appear as a shortcode:

Also, files you uploaded are automatically sized and optimized accordingly, but you can customize the size and shape as you see fit.

This plugin comes as a premium version as well, with more features like:

  • Full-screen button
  • Track number of views & downloads
  • Fully functioning hyperlinks
  • Jump straight to page by typing page number

and more.

Starting price is $20 for a single site license.

WonderPlugin PDF Embed


Another free plugin that offers you to embed PDF files and showcase them with the responsive PDF viewer. It uses Mozilla’s PDF.js, an upgraded version of PDF made by Mozilla Foundation, an HTML5-based Portable Document Format renderer.

Just insert the URL of the PDF file in this shortcode, and that’s that:

Put your embed PDF on whatever page or post you like. As for the width & height attributes, you can customize them following the tutorial from the live demo section.

Ways to use PDF files on your WordPress site

Say you are a bar or a restaurant owner. Instead of having numerous pages with many contents, topic nights, etc., make it as a PDF file and have it embed to a WordPress site as a catalog. The same goes if you have a collection of ebooks, magazines, or course materials. Convert Word to PDF (Save as and choose PDF option) and upload it to your site with the help of specific plugins and turn your site into a fast and secure interactive experience. Not to mention you get to keep visitors onto your site which is an added plus and lowers your bounce rate. So, whether you have large files that would slow down your site as is or you don’t want people to alter something after downloading, PDF is a way to go. So many ways to use it and so many benefits of something so small, right? 🙂

how-to-embed pdf in wordpress

Wrapping up

Hope you liked this article and tips on ways you can use embed PDF’s in your site. What other ways do you see handy for using PDF as a way to display your content? Share your thoughts in the comment section and let’s debate.


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Ivana Cirkovic

Ivana is a Digital Marketing, PR and Social Media consultant with over nine years experience in the field. She is also a WordPress enthusiast and an active member of WordPress community who lives online almost 24/7. In love with Twitter, WP, photography and NYC.

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