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Get started with Electron

This guide will help you integrate a free trial of WebViewer into Electron applications on the browser. It will help you clone the Electron sample repository, walk through the project structure, and show you how to call other WebViewer API. Your free trial includes unlimited trial usage and support from solution engineers.


WebViewer does not require Node, npm, or node_modules. It is only recommended to run the samples.
  • Electron
  • Platform specific prerequisites.

    Electron applications can be built for several platforms and each has its own prerequisites. Please ensure they are fulfilled for your required platform by referring to the electron.js documentation.

linkInitial setup

  1. Clone the webviewer-electron-sample repository:

    git clone
  2. Enter the directory and run npm install:

    cd webviewer-electron-sample
    npm install

    This will automatically download and extract the PDFTron WebViewer Package.

You are now ready to run the sample or use more WebViewer APIs.

linkSample overview

After initial setup, the webviewer-electron-sample directory should be laid out like this:

├── package.json
├── node_modules
│   ├── ...
├── public
│   ├── index.html
│   ├── files
│   │   ├── ...
│   └── lib
│       ├── ...
└── src
    ├── App.js
    └── main.js

Notable files and directories include:

LICENSELists the copyright and license information.
package.jsonLists the manifest of the project and contains the author/version metadata.
publicContains the static assets such as the main HTML page index.html, the WebViewer libraries and the sample PDF file
srcContains the .js files for the Electron project.

In short, main.js handles the OS checks and creates the main window for the application with a link to index.html.

App.js instantiates the WebViewer in the viewer element outlined by index.html. It is also where the WebViewer API calls are placed.

linkRun the sample

  1. To run the sample, make sure you are in the webviewer-electron-sample directory and execute

    npm start

    You should see the application start up. It will load the WebViewer and display the PDF sample in /public/files:


If you run into issues with installing and/or running the application, please return and ensure you have the prerequisites installed.

linkUse more WebViewer APIs

To call more WebViewer APIs, open /src/App.js in your favorite text editor and add the API calls to the callback for the WebViewer instantiation:

WebViewer({...}, wvElement
    .then(function(instance) {
        var docViewer = instance.docViewer;
        var annotManager = instance.annotManager;
        // call methods from instance, docViewer and annotManager as needed. 
        // you can also access major namespaces from the instance as follows:
        // var Tools = instance.Tools;
        // var Annotations = instance.Annotations;

        // See for more info.
        docViewer.on('documentLoaded', function() {
                // call methods relating to the loaded document

For example, if you want to change the theme of the WebViewer to dark mode, you would add the following:


Execute npm start again and the theme of the viewer will change:


linkNext step

GuidesSamplesAPI docs

You can find the full source code for this project here.


Network Failure
More information about fixing the Network Failure issue on WebViewer.

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