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How to Build a PHP PDF Viewer with PSPDFKit

Illustration: How to Build a PHP PDF Viewer with PSPDFKit

In this post, we provide you with a step-by-step guide outlining how to deploy PSPDFKit’s PHP PDF viewer.

What Is a PHP PDF Viewer?

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

PSPDFKit PHP PDF Viewer

We offer a commercial PHP PDF viewer library that can easily be integrated into your web application. 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
  • 15+ annotation tools
  • Support for multiple file types
  • Dedicated support from engineers

Example of Our PHP PDF Viewer

To demo our PHP PDF viewer, upload a PDF, JPG, PNG, or TIFF file by clicking Open Document under the Standalone option (if you don’t see this option, select Choose Example from the dropdown). Once your document is displayed in the viewer, try drawing freehand, adding a note, or applying a crop or an e-signature.

Requirements to Get Started

To get started, you’ll need:

  • PHP

You can install PHP via XAMPP, MAMP, or Homebrew.

Adding PSPDFKit to Your Project

  1. Download the framework here. The download will start immediately and will save a .tar.gz archive like PSPDFKit-Web-binary-2022.2.1.tar.gz to your computer.

  2. Once the download is complete, extract the archive and copy the entire contents of its dist folder to your project’s assets folder.

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 PDF document you want to display to your project’s directory. You can use our demo document 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 PHP page:

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

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

You can see the full index.php file (which is just a plain HTML file):

<!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: 'document.pdf',
			})
				.then(function (instance) {
					console.log('PSPDFKit loaded', instance);
				})
				.catch(function (error) {
					console.error(error.message);
				});
		</script>
	</body>
</html>

Serving Your Website

  1. Go to your terminal and run a server with this command:

php -S 127.0.0.1:8000
  1. Navigate to http://127.0.0.1:8000 to view the website.

pspdfkit demo

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 PHP guides:

Conclusion

You should now have our PHP PDF 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.

You can also integrate our JavaScript PDF viewer using web frameworks like Angular, Vue.js, and React.js. 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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