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How to Build a JavaScript Image Viewer with PSPDFKit

Illustration: How to Build a JavaScript Image Viewer with PSPDFKit

In this post, we provide you with a step-by-step guide to how you can deploy PSPDFKit’s JavaScript Image Viewer.

What Is a JavaScript Image Viewer?

A JavaScript image viewer uses JavaScript to render and view images in a web browser without the need to download it to your hard drive or use an external application like an image reader.

PSPDFKit JavaScript Image Viewer

We offer a commercial JavaScript image viewer library that can easily be integrated into your web application. Our JavaScript viewer supports rendering JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and PDF files in any modern browser and on any mobile device without any plugins.

It comes with 30+ features that let you view, annotate, edit, and sign documents directly in your browser. Out of the box, it has a polished and flexible UI that you can extend or simplify based on your unique use case.

  • A prebuilt and polished UI for an improved user experience
  • 15+ prebuilt annotation tools to enable document collaboration
  • Browser-based text editing, page cropping, merging, rotating, and more
  • Support for more file types with client-side PDF, MS Office, and image viewing
  • Dedicated support from engineers to speed up integration

Example of Our JavaScript Image Viewer

To see our image viewer in action, upload a JPG, PNG, or TIFF file by selecting Choose Example > Open Document. Once your image is displayed in the viewer, you can try drawing freehand, adding a note, or applying a crop or an e-signature.

Requirements to Get Started

Adding PSPDFKit to Your Project

  1. Install the pspdfkit package from npm. If you prefer, you can also download PSPDFKit for Web manually:

npm install pspdfkit
  1. For PSPDFKit for Web to work, it’s necessary to copy the directory containing all the required library files (artifacts) to the assets folder. Use the following command to do this:

cp -R ./node_modules/pspdfkit/dist/ ./assets/

Make sure your assets directory contains the pspdfkit.js file and a pspdfkit-lib directory with the library assets.

Integrating into Your Project

  1. Add the image you want to display to your project’s directory. You can use our demo image as an example.

  2. Add an empty <div> element with a defined height to where PSPDFKit will be mounted:

<div id="pspdfkit" style="height: 100vh;"></div>
  1. Include pspdfkit.js in your HTML page:

<script src="assets/pspdfkit.js"></script>
  1. Initialize PSPDFKit for Web in JavaScript by calling PSPDFKit.load():

<script>
	PSPDFKit.load({
		container: "#pspdfkit",
  		document: "image.png" // Add the path to your image here.
	})
	.then(function(instance) {
		console.log("PSPDFKit loaded", instance);
	})
	.catch(function(error) {
		console.error(error.message);
	});
</script>

You can see the full index.html file below:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
	<head>
		<title>My App</title>
		<!-- Provide proper viewport information so that the layout works on mobile devices. -->
		<meta
			name="viewport"
			content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0, minimum-scale=1.0, maximum-scale=1.0, user-scalable=no"
		/>
	</head>
	<body>
		<!-- Element where PSPDFKit will be mounted. -->
		<div id="pspdfkit" style="height: 100vh"></div>

		<script src="assets/pspdfkit.js"></script>
		<script>
			PSPDFKit.load({
				container: '#pspdfkit',
				document: 'image.png', // Add the path to your image here.
			})
				.then(function (instance) {
					console.log('PSPDFKit loaded', instance);
				})
				.catch(function (error) {
					console.error(error.message);
				});
		</script>
	</body>
</html>

Serving Your Website

You’ll use the npm serve package to serve your project.

  1. Install the serve package:

npm install --global serve
  1. Serve the contents of the current directory:

serve -l 8080 .
  1. Navigate to http://localhost:8080 to view the website.

Resulting page

Information

Interact with the sandbox by clicking the left rectangle icon and selecting Editor > Show Default Layout. To edit, sign in with GitHub — click the rectangle icon again and choose Sign in. To preview the result, click the rectangle icon once more and choose Editor > Embed Preview. For the full example, click the Open Editor button. Enjoy experimenting with the project!

Adding Even More Capabilities

Once you’ve deployed your viewer, you can start customizing it to meet your specific requirements or easily add more capabilities. To help you get started, here are some of our most popular JavaScript guides:

Conclusion

You should now have our JavaScript image viewer up and running in your web application. If you hit any snags, don’t hesitate to reach out to our support team for help.

We created similar how-to blog posts using different web frameworks and libraries:

To see a list of all web frameworks, start your free trial. Or, launch our demo to see our viewer in action.

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