Last month, Nuxeo released the Nuxeo Platform Fast Track 7.3 and introduced some amazing new features. It’s about Live Connect (direct links to your Google Drive or DropBox files from the Nuxeo Platform), Media publishing on YouTube or Wistia, Elasticsearch hints, new Preview for Office and PDF, and much more (Check out the Release Notes to know more).

If you add all the features we released in the Nuxeo Platform versions 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 and the ones we are currently building for 7.4, you will have a pretty good idea of what the next Long Time Support Version will be; it’s going to be fantastic!

Today’s blog is all about the new preview we built to display Office and PDF documents in the Nuxeo Platform 7.3. It is a killer feature that end users will love. For once, instead of talking for hours in a blog, I captured a short video which will speak for itself. In this video, I have a Word document of 167 pages (yes, 167)!

As you will see in this video, there are a lot of cool things I can do using this Office and PDF documents viewer:

  • Scroll one page after the other
  • Scroll to the last page, using scrollbar: You can see that the pages are displayed when I stop scrolling
  • Zoom: All possible zoom options are here, so end users can set the zoom exactly as they want
  • Use the Go To Page Number
  • Search anything (I searched for “platform”), and also use the nice “Highlight all” option
  • Thumbnails view to go to specific pages

If the document has an index (an original PDF with an index table, typically), you will be able to navigate using this index too. And last but not least, this preview works for basically any file that can be converted to pdf: PowerPoint, Excel, etc.

There are also some cool built-in, behind the scene features. For example, when previewing a large pdf, the user can immediately start viewing it while the rest of the pages is being updated in the background. So, no need to wait for a whole 1,000 pages pdf to be fully loaded to start reading it!

The best part is there is nothing you need to do to get this feature - it’s already in the platform, and it’s free - free of charge, free of installation, and free of configuration (1)!

Now let me tell you the technical highlights:

  • This new feature uses pdfjs. It’s Mozilla - already exists and does a good job! We try to avoid reinventing the wheel as much as possible, especially when we know something widely known, widely tested and widely trusted.
  • When the original document is not a pdf, it must first be converted to a pdf on the server side (by default, using the OpenOffice converter). So if the file is big the first conversion can take a few seconds. The conversion is cached, so next time a user accesses the same file it is immediately available.
(1) And this perfectly fits my favorite personal use case: “As a developer, I really like when I have nothing to do”.