This code

<embed src="http://www.star.le.ac.uk/~slc25/curry.pdf" type="application/pdf" />

<iframe src="http://docs.google.com/gview?url=https://d9db56472fd41226d193-1e5e0d4b7948acaf6080b0dce0b35ed5.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/spectools/docs/wd-spectools-word-sample-04.doc&embedded=true"></iframe>

embeds a PDF document and an MS Word document into an HTML web page.

However, for MS Word, it is reliant on Google, which has a habit of offering neat stuff and then withdrawing it, just as people become reliant on it; so I would like something which I have control over - a JS library from my server.

I have found ViewerJs, which is some excellent FOSS - just check out the demos.

Alas, it says "Because of the way your browser protects itself against security risks (which is a very good thing) ViewerJS only works on documents that reside on your own server".

I understand that the are trying to prevent Cross Site Scripting attacks, but I have a requirement to embed documents from a different site (which is also under my control).

Does anyone know of a gratis JS library which will allow me to embed MS Word & PDF documents into a web page when those documents come from a different domain from the web page?

[Update] Maybe I just explained it badly.

Site A hosts the docs, which should be embedded in a page on site B.

I control site A and I also provide the code for the single page of site B which should display the embedded document.

Site B's owner will load that page to their site once, after I have coded it, but will make no other changes to site B. The end user gets a URL by email, with a link to the page on site B with some parameters to indicate what should be embedded

[Update++] This Plunk does it, but uses Google Docs, and I would rather not rely on any code from a 3rd party site (I don't mind 3rd party code; I just want it on my site)

No one? Not even for a bonus? I would be happy to award more points for a good answer. Lots more points

1 Answer 1


Using another library solves nothing, this is a browser security feature.

You can make the first site download a copy of the file before displaying it.

But if you have control over the external server you can configure cross-origin access to your files. Read about the CORS specification.

In Apache do it by enable the mod_headers module then, in the .htaccess or virtual host config

<IfModule mod_headers.c>
    Header set Access-Control-Allow-Origin "http://site2.com"


<IfModule mod_headers.c>
    Header set Access-Control-Allow-Origin "*"
  • Google docs manages it. I just want something that does the same, but over the code of which I have control, not Google. I have control of the server which hosts the DOC/PDF files, but not the server which serves the web pages. Sep 27, 2017 at 19:29
  • If you don't have such a control over the external server/site you cannot do this any other way than making the first site download a copy of it before displaying, no matter of what display library you use
    – Sauxo
    Sep 28, 2017 at 11:14
  • Am I I missing something? The code that I give above embeds 2 randomly Googled files, one PDF and one MS Word, into my web page. There appear to be no cross-site problems. However, the MS Word is embedded using some code on Google's web site & I would rather use code over which I have control. Please see update to question, with more explanation. Sep 28, 2017 at 13:36
  • [This Plunk](achieves it). Alas, I can't seem to get it work on my site ... yet :-( Oct 2, 2017 at 11:54
  • 1
    @Mawg: Was your last comment supposed to contain a link?
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Oct 5, 2017 at 5:09

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