Using PDF in the app


Can we upload / use pdfs in the apps?

I read some previous posts that it is possible using ‘image’ but its not working on my app.


You can upload them to Google Drive, share them, and just put the URL into a cell. The set it up as a link. Whatever default PDF reader on the device will open them up. I do it that way in an app I wrote.

Also JUST read that you can use Cloudinary to create a thumbnail image from a PDF link. I’ll create a demo!

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dropbox link doesn’t work?

Have you tried it? The dropbox link I mean.

Using Cloudinary to generate a thumb from your PDF and display in Glide:

  1. Upload a PDF to Cloudinary
  2. Insert PDF link in Google Sheets
  3. Replace .pdf with .png (or .jpeg) manually or via formula
    Screen Shot 2020-02-26 at 3.32.54 PM
  4. Create a component that displays the image and links to the PDF
    Screen Shot 2020-02-26 at 3.33.41 PM

I did. It did not convert to an image and tapping it did nothing on the app

I don’t use Dropbox for that so I guess not. If you copy the dropbox link into an incognito Chrome browser can you view it? If not then I guess that is your answer. The only other thing I can think of is permissions. Have you set it up to be shared with anyone?

works like a charm!
Thank you soo much!

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If I recall correctly, Glide will natively generate a thumbnail for PDF url’s that are used as an image url. I have tiles and images set up that just use the PDF url, and the image is automatically created. I don’t have a separate image column in this case.


You know…I didn’t even try this lol.

Hehe, even Glide didn’t know it was possible when it was originally discovered. That’s how good they are. :wink:

Do we have an answer to your question?

The big need is permissions to specific users (the logged in user) and preventing any user with the URL to view it.

use a file picker for users to upload files
then use webview with the link from the file(glide creates one)
make the button for webview only visible to some users

I think this question is best addressed with creating a s3 bucket (google, aws, msft, ibm, …) and then dropping the file in it.

This way you can:

  • control permission and select who can have access to the file
  • have a direct link to the pdf (like cloudinary, unlike dropbox)
  • path the way to an external backend if your application someday requires it.

You don’t have to code to create and populate such a bucket, it should be free or almost for a couples of doc.

Can you further expound on how to achieve this? When attempting to link/browse to my .pdf file (in a dedicate “Image” formatted GlideTable column/cell) the link does not populate in the cell/the image is not populated within the app.

You can’t view an entire PDF using an image component, but sometimes a preview image of the first page is generated in an image component, or when the image setting of a list, for example, is pointed to a column that contains a pdf url.

I do not recall ever trying this with a column that is set as an image column. Most likely, it was set as only a text column.

You would still need an open link or open web view action to view the pdf since it’s not an actual image.

Also make sure that your url is https instead of http.