Google search results sometimes include documents that were not originally formatted to be viewed in a web browser, such as PDFs. In the past, the only way to view these documents was to download them and open them in a separate viewer application. To provide an alternative, we made it possible to quickly and easily view these files as HTML right in a web browser by clicking "View as HTML." This was an improvement, but unfortunately the "View as HTML" option loses some of the formatting from the original PDF, such as graphics, tables, fonts and other elements.

Today, we've added new links to "Quick View" PDFs in your browser with the formatting intact. The new links are based on the same technology that's available in Google Docs and Gmail, as well as to webmasters through the Google Docs viewer. We've been rolling this technology out to the search results page since July, and as of today we've added "Quick View" links to more than 50% of the PDFs in our index. The new links appear at the end of the second line of the result, right underneath the title.

For example, here is a search result for the IRS 1099 form:

Clicking "Quick View" will open up the PDF right in your browser with graphics, formatting and tables preserved. This is what it looks like after opening:

Over time we'll be rolling out the viewer for more documents and file types. In the meantime, in some cases you'll see the "View as HTML" link, which allows you to see a basic HTML-only version.

Viewing PDF documents in your browser might not make paying taxes any more fun — but hopefully this feature will make it a little bit faster!