Is it possible to display a PDF file on the dashboard page? The PDF is stored as an attachment in one the application tables.
Did you try embedding it as an image within a rich text field on the dashboard?
This isn't really a great idea as pdf documents are typically a full 8.5" x 11" page and simply don't embed well. Nevertheless you can create a HTML code page referencing your pdf URL and embed it as a web page widget using markup similar to this:
Will this work for a pdf in a file attachment field?
Kirk Trachy has a Magic buttons app in the exchange which manages to do a preview of a word or pdf file attachment on a form. It also possible to embed a form of a particular record on a dashboard, so the combination of those two techniques may work.