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Google Chrome 86 adds 'Show annotations' button to PDF Viewer

Google Chrome continues to bring visual changes to its built-in PDF Viewer. Now, Chrome Canary has added a new ‘Show annotations’ button to its PDF viewer. Annotations are additional comments in PDF documents that become visible only when users hover over an annotated part.

By default, the icon denoting annotations is visible in Chrome’s PDF Viewer and there is no way to disable it. At times, this annotation icon also causes distractions to PDF reading/viewing experience, something Chrome is now trying to address. Thanks to the ‘Show annotations’ button, users can decide whether or not they want to see annotations.

If you want to be able to disable annotations in Chrome, make sure you have the latest Canary build installed on your computer. First, you have to enable the experimental feature #pdf-viewer-update behind chrome://flags. When enabled, the PDF viewer will display an updated UI with new options and features.

How to enable PDF Viewer Update flag in Chrome

  1. Open Chrome Canary
  2. Open chrome://flags
  3. Locate PDF Viewer Update
  4. Set the flag to Enable immediately when a tab is hidden using the drop-down menu
  5. Relaunch Chrome.
Now, open an annotated PDF document in Chrome’s built-in PDF Viewer. At the top right corner, click on the more options icon. You will find a new option called ‘Show annotations.’ Click on this button and you can easily enable/disable PDF annotations. This feature should work on Chrome Canary for Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS.