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Tracking if users are opening (not downloading) a PDF file and follow their navigation.

[ Edited ]
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# 1
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Dear All,

I would like to use Google Analytics to (a) see if users are opening (not downloading) a specific PDF file (as this is the customers preferred way of communication) and (b) see if/how they navigate through this file, using the bookmarks I've created.

I had the idea of using the Measurement Protocol in combination with javascript. Any ideas?

Perhaps something in the line of : app.launchURL("", true);

(Unfortunately this will create a warning in adobe, so preferably I'm lookig for something different)


1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Tracking usage of a PDF file

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star
Hi Jan,

You can use event tracking to measure the "open" / download. Once it's open it's not a web page and you're not going to use normal GA. If you were somehow able to insert some sort of beacon into a PDF (which I don't know if it is possible) then you could collect it and send using the measurement protocol.

If the content is that important, you should including it as HTML and then offer the option for download via PDF. This would also have an SEO benefit (should you want the content found).

More on event tracking here:


Theo Bennett
Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
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Re: Tracking usage of a PDF file

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# 3
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Dear Theo,


Thanks for the reply, but unfortunately it's not the answer I'm looking for. I noticed that my initial post was perhaps a bit unclear, so I edited it. ( I changed the subject and added that "PDF" is the customers preferred way of communication)