We will show you 5 different ways how to add PDF files into WordPress with and without plugins but first a small introduction to PDF document for those who don’t know about it. Skip the intro part if you want to.


What is a PDF File

PDF format is a universal file format developed by Adobe (adobe pdf) which has the ability to preserve all document formatting including fonts, images regardless of platform.

PDF documents are very popular among bloggers to develop ebooks, brochures, booklets and handouts and offer as freebies to attract more visitors and subscribers.

So back to our topic from here, all the methods require you to first upload pdf file to media library in WordPress. Let’s do that first.

From WordPress dashboard, go to Media > Add New

wordpress add media

You can upload pdf document to media library in two ways, either drag and drop from desktop or click the button Select Files.

wordpress select files media

Once the file will be uploaded, click the file and copy the pdf file url in a notepad. We will use it later on.

wordpress media file url

Once you are done with the above steps, your pdf file is ready to be shared with the world. Follow any of the following methods to display.

1.Add Media Button (Visual Editor)

Form Dashboard, go to Posts > Add New. Give your post a title and click the Add Media button to add pdf into post. Select your file and click Insert into Post. Once done, click Publish button. The file will be available as a downloadable pdf in the post.

wordpress add media button

2. Add PDF Link (Visual Editor)

This method is similar to the method we have discussed above. Instead of adding pdf from media library, we will insert a link manually.

Write some text you need to add link to, for example “Download Now”, select the text and click the Insert Link button.

wordpress add pdf link

Copy the url you saved in notepad for later use. Press Enter.This will add a link to pdf in media library and your pdf file is ready to download once the post will be published.

3. PDF Link in Menu

You can add pdf to menu button in your main menu or any menu including sidebar or footer menu. From your dashboard, go to Appearance > Menus

wordpress menus

Under Custom Links, add the url you saved in notepad and add a title whatever you want. Click Add to Menu. It’s simple as that.

wordpress pdf menu link

Visit your front end and press F5 to refresh your browser if needed, and you will see a new button in your menu pointing to the file you added the url of.

4. Widget Link

Lets see how to add pdf file to sidebar using Image Widget. You need to update to WordPress 4.8 to work with Image Widget. see WordPress 4.8 whats new for more details.

Go to Appearance > Widgets. Drag and drop an Image Widget in the Sidebar area. Click Add Image.

wordpress image widget

To link pdf file to image, click Insert from URL

wordpress image from url

Add image url you want to use as link (You can upload an image to media library and copy its url in the same way you did for pdf)

Down below, click Custom Url and copy the pdf url you saved in notepad for later use. Click Add to Widget and Save widget. Refresh your browser on front end and you will see the widget will appear in your sidebar.

wordpress image link

5. Embed PDF into WordPress without Plugin

To embed pdf file into WordPress post, you need to switch from visual editor to text editor.

wordpress text editor

Add the following code replacing the add pdf url with your file url.

<iframe style=”width: 880px; height: 1200px;” src=”http://docs.google.com/gview?url=http://add-pdf-url-here&embedded=true” width=”300″ height=”150″ frameborder=”0″></iframe>

Don’t switch back to Visual editor. Publish the post. It will use Google docs interface to show pdf right inside a WordPress post.

Interfacing directly from Google docs to show pdf could take 3 to 4 secs to load into your post depending on the size of the file.

Woopoo's Caution

6. PDF Viewer Plugin

The best pdf plugin for WordPress we found is PDF Embedder. It will automatically embed the file ready to display. Give it a try if you want to take plugin path to embed pdf files in WordPress.

We have pretty much covered everything how to add pdf files and documents to your blog posts, menus and sidebars. Using the comments section below, do let us know if something still needs to be clear and we will love to answer.

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