In my experience, it is the “little things” that can make a big difference in an HMI Project.

Simple features can save time and money by providing valuable information at the touch of an operator or technician’s fingertips.

I noticed in the View Designer manual, a pre-built “PDF Viewer” graphic object that can be inserted into a graphic screen to be accessed at runtime and I found that it is simple to configure and implement, but the possibilities of what can be done with it is nothing close to simple.

What I will provide here are the steps to implement a PDF document into a runtime display, but take a moment and think about the possibilities of custom PDF documents with operator procedures and how to operate and troubleshoot the equipment run by this control system.

When an operator has questions of how a certain object operates or what a particular machine setting does, in the middle of the night, he/she could quickly access the valuable documentation. I think this is a great feature to utilize.

  • The first step is to add your PDF Document to the “Documents” folder in your View Designer Project. As shown below, right-click on the “Documents” folder and Select “New Documents”

  • Browse to and select the .pdf document that you wish to add to the View Designer Project and select “open”.

I then right-click and renamed the document “PV5510_Manual”

  • The next step is to create a New Screen in my “User-Defined Screens” folder

  • In my new Screen called “PV5510Manual”, I can click on and drag my “PV5510_Manual” PDF document into the screen. It will then prompt me to select which viewer to use. I select the “PDF_Viewer” as shown below.

  • Now that I have my pdf viewer in place, I need a button to call it up when needed.

  • In the “Events” tab of my button, I can select to “Navigate to screen on release” and select my Screen: User-Defined Screens\PV5510Manual

  • Download the project to the PV 5510 Terminal and View the PDF at runtime.

  • Scroll through the PDF document or select a page number


  • The built in PDF Viewer has features for page forward/ page back, numeric page selection, zoom and can be scrolled via the touch display of the PV 5510.
  • The bookmarks tab displays the bookmarks of the PDF document. The bookmarks must be set before adding the PDF to the View Designer project.



Whether you utilize the PDF Viewer as a library for system and user manuals, custom operator procedures, safety procedures or all the above, I believe it is a very powerful tool to add to a control system.

This can be implemented in only a few minutes and, with a little organization, can be easily maintained.  I am really enjoying working through the features of the Panelview 5000 series and View Designer.

Written by Brandon Cooper
Senior Controls Engineer and Freelance Writer

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Brandon Cooper


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