Previewing and viewing PDFs inside Dasher

A couple of days ago we were looking for the datasheets for the various sensors installed in the MX3D bridge: as you’ve probably already read, there are nearly a hundred sensors in and on the bridge, although of only about eight different model types. My colleague Josh Cameron said, in passing, “it would be really handy to have these datasheets integrated into Dasher!”.

As usual, this sent me down a rather fun rabbit-hole for a day or so, to see how we might reasonably integrate these PDFs into Dasher. Firstly it’s worth pointing out that these days the Forge viewer is itself a really capable PDF view and markup tool. But I didn’t want the overhead of going through Forge, as the needs for the datasheets are pretty simple: we want to be able to show a simple preview of the datasheet when (for instance) hovering over a sensor, and to open the PDF inside the browser – in a new tab or window, depending on the user preference – when it’s clicked. The latter piece is…

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