Latest Updates: Our Blog

Embedding Documents on Your Site (UPDATED)

Jun 4th, 2010


Jeremy Ashkenas

Over the past few months, you might have noticed a handful of news organizations using embedded documents to complement their reporting.

This morning, we’re opening up the ability to embed documents to all of the newsrooms participating in DocumentCloud. When you log into your workspace, you’ll notice a new menu: “Publish”.

From here, you can grab an embed code (a short snippet of HTML) that can be dropped onto a web page to create a document viewer. You may be familiar with such snippets from embedding YouTube videos: this works in a similar fashion. For guidelines on setting up a template and other help, check out our documentation.
If you still have questions about the process, we’re listening at

Note: we know you’re eager to host documents yourself, and you can do that now, but we recommend that you stick with embedded documents so that you can take advantage of bug fixes and other improvements to the viewer. We don’t know yet whether we plan to offer embedding as a long term service. Keep in mind, as well, that this is still a beta. As described in our terms, our capacity to commit to uninterrupted service is limited, as is our liability if service is interrupted in some way.

For those news organizations that want to host documents on their own servers, we’re now offering that as an alternative too. Click on “Download Document Viewer” to get a zipped up folder with all the code, text, and images bundled together as a web page. Drop the folder into any web server (no special software required), and voila, it’s online.

Search of the document’s text is provided by DocumentCloud as a service, but everything else in the package is completely static — just HTML, images, JavaScript and CSS. If you choose to use this alternative, there is a caveat: If you edit your annotations, or want to make any changes to the document, you’ll have to download it again.

Here at DocumentCloud, we’re looking forward to seeing the great reporting you do with embedded documents — don’t forget to use the workspace to add a “Related Article” link.

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