Google Docs Viewer is a new online service by the Google Docs team that makes it possible to view document like Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word or Microsoft PowerPoint directly in the web browser. The advantage of this option is that it is no longer required to download the document to the local computer system to view it.
There are obviously other services that offer a similar functionality like the Firefox add-on Open It Online. The main difference is that Google Docs Viewer is not limited to a specific plugin, web browser or software.
There are two options on how to use Google Docs Viewer:
The first option is to visit the Google Docs Viewer website. All it takes to view a document online is to paste its url into the web form at the page.
This will then display three links that can be pasted and embedded into websites. Probably the most interesting option is to view the document directly online.
This will open the document on a new page.
The second option is even simpler than that. All it takes is to append the url of the document to the basic Google Docs Viewer url:
This will only display the document on a new page. The links to embed the document are not displayed with this method. Google Docs Viewer offers an interesting option to uses who want to quickly view a document without having to download it. It can also be helpful if no viewer for the document type is available on the local computer system.