Thursday, November 11, 2010

Open & read any PDF files on the Internet with Google Docs [and other reading tools]

While browsing through the Internet, I often come across articles or reports that is made available in the form of a PDF file. Adobe Reader integrates quite well with Firefox, thus making it possible to open the PDF file in it from within the browser itself.

But Adobe is bit of a bloatware. If you are in the habit of running multiple resource-intensive applications running in the background [CFD analysis, multimedia encoding] while surfing, not having to run Adobe to read a PDF file may not be a very bad prospect.

Recently installed this nifty Firefox add-on that lets the user open the PDF files in Google Docs instead.

Open online office document with Google Docs

Once installed, Google Docs viewer adds an option in the right-click menu to open the document in Google Docs. Additionally, if you have to stop reading it mid-way, and do not want to save it on to the hard disk [say, if you are surfing from an Internet cafe, where you are not allowed to save anything on to the Hard Disk], then you can easily login and save it in Google Docs and resume reading next time by simply logging in to Google Docs.

Alternately, if you don't have install privileges on the computer, then you can open the document in Google Docs by simply entering the URL of the document in this page.

Speaking of reading stuff later, I have also Read it later installed in Firefox. If you come across something interesting to read but can not read it at that moment, then you can simply click it on the Read it later button & it will save the page, which can be accessed later from a drop-down menu to when ever you feel like reading. It also allows you to sync the list on to an online account so that you may read the unread from a different computer - not tried it myself out though. Very useful if you are a pathological procrastinator [me! me! me!] or uber-busy who finds free time intermittently [undoubtedly - not me].

Another add-on that I have been using for some time now to read web pages without distractions is the Tidyread Firefox add-on. Removes all the unnecessary elements from the page and displays the actual content in a standard reader-friendly format.


Possibly related posts:

MozBackup : Create backup of your Mozilla-based software [Firefox, Thunderbird, Flock etc]

Understanding Nuclear Energy and Technology [suggested weekend reading]

Write and edit any PDF files for free

Creating your own, unique email id - Google Apps