Is there software, ideally open source that will allow me to visualise a pdf in a web browser and interact with the text?

I want to be able to have a list of words and highlight them in the browser.

The icing on the cake would be if I could also save the 'marked up' pdf.

I wish to have full control over the code and be able to modify or enhance it to suit my requirements.

2 Answers 2


Yes, you can use Mozilla's open source library PDF.js. This is what powers Firefox's built-in PDF viewer.

Live demos are available here, with more examples in the Github repository


Disclaimer: I am an employee of the vender that distributes the LEADTOOLS SDK.

If you want to consider a commercial product, you could look at the LEADTOOLS Document Viewer for web.

It can load and save different types of documents and can add mark-up to the files and then save them into a separate XML file or on the original document as an overlay.

The Document Viewer has text search functionality that allows you to search through a document for specific text, which can be used alongside the mark-up functionality. This will allow you to highlight specific portions of text within your document. There’s an online demo where you can see all the features here: https://demo.leadtools.com/JavaScript/DocumentViewer/index.html

Here is a screenshot of the mark-up: screenshot of demo

Here is the documentation for the Document Viewer, Annotations, find, and hilite functions, respectively:






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