Viewing PDF files in Office Web Apps

Office Web Apps are a great addition to a SharePoint environment. Out-of-the-box you get a free solution which allows your users to view the contents of Microsoft Office documents. In the February Cumulative Update for OWA, Microsoft introduced a rather handy feature – the ability to load a PDF file in to the Word Web App. Tucked away in the release notes is this little snippet:

You can display .pdf files in the Word Web App, and you can convert .pdf files to .docs files. To enable this functionality, apply the cumulative update for Office Web App Server 2013 that was released in February 2013. Then, enable the functionality in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 by using the following Windows PowerShell cmdlet:

New-SPWOPIBinding –ServerName "Server.corp.Contoso.com" -Application WordPDF

This is a great addition, as it gives your users the ability to view more filetypes in OWA without needing to resort to client software installs. The ability to convert the PDF to a Word document seems pretty handy – once I’ve tried how successful this is I’ll update this post!

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