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Guides
Deployment options

Deployment options for WebViewer

There are three main options for deploying WebViewer.

Client only

WebViewer does not require a server backend at all, only a static server is needed for serving your documents. WebViewer takes advantage of the latest client side technologies to render and edit documents directly in the browser. See client only guide for more information.

This option is recommended if you're targetting modern browsers and rendering of PDF, PNG, JPG or Office documents. Or if you're wanting to process documents directly in the browser.

WebViewer Server (Docker container)

WebViewer Server is an optional drop-in backend for WebViewer that offers responsive viewing and compatibility across all client platforms (including mobile), along with scaling performance that approaches purely client-side solutions. It works hand-in-hand with WebViewer on the client, initially serving images then transitioning to client-side rendering. See WebViewer Server guide for more information.

This option is recommended if you are targetting Internet Explorer or mobile devices, or if you need to support more file formats than client only supports.

Custom server

You can also choose to configure your own server and not use our packaged backend. You convert your documents to XOD files (web optimized XPS files) and provide them to WebViewer. See custom server guide for more information.

This approach offers similar benefits to WebViewer Server in terms of performance and file format support, with more flexibility in terms of document processing on the server side.

Comparison

Browsers

Note that although client only mode runs in Internet Explorer and mobile devices it is generally only recommended for modern browsers and more powerful devices.

Client onlyWebViewer ServerCustom server
Chrome
Firefox
Safari
Edge
Internet Explorer*10+9+9+
Android Chrome59+
Mobile Safari11+
*IE's JavaScript engine is slow compared to more modern browsers and this can impact the performance of client only rendering

File formats

PDF

FormatClient onlyWebViewer ServerCustom Server
PDF (1.x to 2.0)
PDF/A 1,2,3
XFDF
FDF

Office

Requires Office to PDF Conversion Add-on

FormatClient onlyWebViewer ServerCustom Server
DOC
DOCX
XLS
XLSX
PPT
PPTX
VSD
VSDX
PUBWindows + Office*

* Custom Server PUB are only supported via Office Interop (MS Office instance needs to be installed)

CAD

Requires CAD Conversion Add-on

FormatClient onlyWebViewer ServerCustom Server
DWG
DWF
DXF
DGN
RVT✓*✓*

* RVT is only supported on Windows

Image

FormatClient onlyWebViewer ServerCustom Server
SVG
BMP
WMF
EMF
GIF
JPG
JP2, JPC
PNG
JFIF
TIF✓**
AAI✓*✓*
ARW✓*✓*
CR2✓*✓*
CRW✓*✓*
CUR, ICO✓*✓*
DCM✓*✓*
DCR✓*✓*
DDS✓*✓*
HEIC, HEIF✓*✓*
MRW✓*✓*
NEF✓*✓*
ORF✓*✓*
PICT✓*✓*
PFM✓*✓*
PSB, PSD✓*✓*
RAF✓*✓*

* Using the PDFTron Advanced imaging module
** See here for how to view tiff files on the client side

Video

FormatClient onlyWebViewer ServerCustom Server
MP4
OGG
WEBM

* Video formats are supported via separate WebViewer Video build

Audio

FormatClient onlyWebViewer ServerCustom Server
MP3
WAV
OGG
FLAC

* Audio formats are supported via separate WebViewer Audio build

Other

Requires Convert Add-on

FormatClient onlyWebViewer ServerCustom Server
RTFWindows Only
ODT
ODS
ODP
HTML
MSGWindows + Office*
EML
TXT
XPS
XOD**
XAMLUsing .NET

* Custom Server MSG are only supported via Outlook Interop (MS Outlook instance needs to be installed)

* You can find the sample for EML to PDF conversion and attachment conversion on our GitHub.

** XOD is available on all platforms but viewing encrypted XOD is only supported for Web

Features

Client onlyWebViewer ServerCustom server
Viewing
Search
UI Customization
Annotate
Forms
e-Signature
Rasterization and Printing
Content Extraction
Document Creation
Page Manipulation
Document Compare
PDF Layers (OCGs)
Color Separation
Digital Signatures
Low-level Document Editing
Bookmarks
Content Replacer
Security
Office to PDF Conversion
CAD Conversion
Redaction
PDF/A Generation
Optimizer
Flattener

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