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Now in Google search results: Formatted PDFs

Google has launched a new search option called Quick View that allows users to open formatted PDF files--not just HTML viewing of documents--from within their browser.

Google on Wednesday announced that its search results now feature an option allowing users to view formatted PDFs from within their browser.

Although Google's search results have long featured a "View as HTML" option for documents using the Portable Document Format standard, the company in a blog post said that "option loses some of the formatting from the original PDF, such as graphics, tables, fonts, and other elements."

To solve the issue, a new "Quick View" option has been added to some PDFs in search results. When a user clicks on the link, the full PDF file is displayed in the browser with all its formatting intact. The viewer is based on the same service built into Gmail and Google Docs.

Quick View
Google's Quick View in operation. Google

According to Google, it has been adding the Quick View feature to results since July. Currently, more than 50 percent of the PDFs in Google's index display that viewing option.

Google also said it plans to use the viewer for "more documents and file types."