How do I insert a Google Doc, specifically a PDF?


Can you help me figure out what I am doing wrong?

I cannot get a PDF in my Drive to display.

I tried the actual link:

and I tried to grab the HTML from the "Embed this PDF File" choice.  It won't let me copy the code so I had to type it out by hand, unsure if I'm incorrect, have tried to troubleshoot.

<iframe src="" width="640" height="480"></iframe>

This is also not displaying.


Thanks much!


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  • 0
    Sandy McVey

    Try highlighting and using the shortcut keys (CTRL+C on Windows or Command+C on Mac). I know this sounds silly, but make sure you paste the code directly into the HTML code view. I've seen people try to paste the code directly in the design window of the web page.

  • 0
    Joe Germuska

    One of the consequences of making parts of TimelineJS "easy" is a bit of inflexibility.

    For embedding images and PDFs, Timeline depends on checking the file extension at the end of the URL in the "media" column. This is a bit primitive, but anything else is either much harder for authors or much "heavier" in the browser.

    Since your Google Drive URL doesn't end in '.pdf', TimelineJS can't tell that you have a PDF, so can't embed it.

    It's hard to change this behavior on Google Drive without custom code. We've learned some related tricks as part of developing StoryMapJS, but even there, we don't have a solution that really would help here.

    The best solution would be to find another place to put the PDF where the file extension would be part of the URL, or use a service like, which I'm pretty sure would give you an embed iframe that would be valid in the 'media' column of your spreadsheet.

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