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Google search index prettifies PDF view

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Google’s search results now include a feature that allows web surfers to more easily view formatted PDFs from within their browser.

Previously, Google’s search engine included a "View as HTML" feature for documents created in the Portable Document Format standard.

Mountain View said it had added a "Quick View" option to some PDFs that retains all the formatting, including graphics, tables, fonts, and other elements. It’s based on the same service that is loaded into the firm’s Gmail and Google Docs web apps.

The "View as HTML" feature, which strips out much of the formatting in a PDF, is still available too.

Although Google officially announced the arrival of "Quick View" for PDFs in its search results yesterday, the feature has in fact been sprouting up since July this year.

Google said the option is now available for around 50 per cent of all PDFs displayed in its search index. The company added that it plans to use the viewer for other documents and file types, though it didn’t reveal when the tech would be rolled out elsewhere. ®

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