[Fixed]-Looking for help to make npm/pdfjs-dist work with Webpack and Django


This issue seems to arise due to esModule option introduced in worker-loader@3.0.0.

The fix for this was merged in (pre-release) pdjs-dist@2.6.347

You can fix this by either upgrading pdfjs-dist to v2.6.347 OR downgrading worker-loader to v2.0.0


I just had to solve this issue myself…

This issue

Module not found: Error: Can't resolve 'module' in '/home/giampaolo/dev/KJ_import/KJ-JS/node_modules/webpack/lib/node'

Is caused by worker-loader loading NodeTargetPlugin, which in turn runs require("module") which I think (but I’m not 100%) is for native node modules, which when running Webpack targeted for web is not relevant

This issue can be mitigated with Webpack config

  node: {
    module: "empty"

Afterwards, things move along farther, but I needed further mitigations:

import pdfjsLib from "pdfjs-dist/webpack";

This runs pdfjs-dist/webpack.js:27 which is

var PdfjsWorker = require("worker-loader!./build/pdf.worker.js");

Which is attempting to load pdf.worker.js (which worker-loader should be packaging) and then tries to instantiate the class:

pdfjs.GlobalWorkerOptions.workerPort = new PdfjsWorker();

The issue I had was that Webpack packaged pdf.worker.js as an esModule (the default for worker-loader), so the way it was require’d needs to be unwrapped with the default property on the imported esModule (said another way, the instantiation would have to be new PdfjsWorker.default()

I was able to mitigate this with the NormalModuleReplacementPlugin plugin, which is able to re-write the require statement based on a regex match/replace, which is matching the original require string and replacing it with one that sets the worker-loader option esModule=false, followed by the absolute path to the pdf.worker.js file on the local system:

new webpack.NormalModuleReplacementPlugin(
  "worker-loader?esModule=false!" + path.join(__dirname, "../", "node_modules", "pdfjs-dist", "build", "pdf.worker.js")

It’s important to match the complete original require string of /worker-loader!\.\/build\/pdf\.worker\.js$/ and not just the pdf.worker.js part, because you could end up in an infinite replace loop.

You need to fix the replacement string to be a proper path for your project, which would probably be

"worker-loader?esModule=false!" + path.join(__dirname, "node_modules", "pdfjs-dist", "build", "pdf.worker.js")

I have a ../ in my path because this code is being executed inside storybooks .storybook/ folder, so I have go up a directory to get to node_modules/

And with those two changes, everything for PDF.js seems to be working.

And lastly, if you want to ignore the warnings about the missing FetchCompileWasmPlugin and FetchCompileAsyncWasmPlugin modules, you can setup the webpack IgnorePlugin to just ignore these imports, my assumption is they’re WASM based and not actually needed

plugins: [
  new webpack.IgnorePlugin({ resourceRegExp: /FetchCompileWasmPlugin$/ }),
  new webpack.IgnorePlugin({ resourceRegExp: /FetchCompileAsyncWasmPlugin$/ })

I’m guessing there might be some out-of-date mismatch of worker-loader and the modules in the currently installed Webpack version, but these WASM modules don’t seem to be necessary for our purposes



If you’re fine with using a cdn then use this

import pdfJS from 'pdfjs-dist/build/pdf.js';
pdfJS.GlobalWorkerOptions.workerSrc = 'https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/pdf.js/2.4.456/pdf.worker.js';

Make sure to import minified versions on production

import pdfJS from 'pdfjs-dist/build/pdf.min.js';
pdfJS.GlobalWorkerOptions.workerSrc = 'https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/pdf.js/2.4.456/pdf.worker.min.js';

Or you can just use minified versions all the time


It worked with:

var pdflib = require('pdfjs-dist/build/pdf.js');
import pdfjsWorker from 'pdfjs-dist/build/pdf.worker.js';
pdflib.GlobalWorkerOptions.workerPort = new pdfjsWorker();


if webpack is failing because of optional chaining consider pointing to the legacy version which omits modern syntax.

import * as pdfjs from 'pdfjs-dist/legacy/build/pdf.js'

instead of

import * as pdfjs from 'pdfjs-dist'

👤Da Rod


Go to



"peerDependencies": {
    "worker-loader": "^3.0.8" -> Version

Install version

npm i worker-loader@3.0.8

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