Recently, we released an update to our servers that allow our users to view many popular document types through Light Point Web. To accomplish this, we are using the Google Docs Viewer. The Google Docs Viewer is a nifty little service from Google that can turn documents into normal webpages.
This addition will greatly enhance the security offered by Light Point Web. Previously, if a user of Light Point Web clicked on a link to a PDF file, the user would see our plugin screen. In order to view the document, the user would click the plugin screen, which would cause the user’s real browser to download and display the PDF file.
While this functionality gave our users the ability to view PDFs and other files, it also exposed their computers to any malware that may have been hiding within that document since it required bypassing our security. PDF files can be very dangerous, as it is easy to embed malware within them. With this recent update, our users can now easily view documents without downloading them, which means these types of attacks will no longer be effective on our users.
How to Use the New Viewer
The new plugin viewer works automatically. Now, when you click a link to a supported file, such as a PDF, you will be sent to the Google Docs Viewer for that file. This gives you the ability to read the file without it ever touching your computer. At the top of each page there is a link under the “File” menu item to download the original file. Clicking that link takes you to the old plugin screen, which gives you the ability to open the file in your real browser, if you decide to.
What File Formats Are Supported?
There are quite a few file types supported by the Google Docs Viewer. Here is the full list. A quick rundown of the most common file types are:
- Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx)
- Microsoft Excel (.xls, .xlsx)
- Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx)
- Adobe PDF (.pdf)
- PostScript (.eps, .ps)
- Archives (.zip, .rar)