We’re at the finalising stages in our implementation of a new export template which will allow you to extract pages from PDF documents and create re-flowable/responsive publications in a much more time efficient and user friendly manner. We have been investing lots of time in the period February to May to make this release as stable and useful as possible but we want to spend a bit of extra time just to make sure this release gets to you in the best form and shape possible so we’re extending our release cycle a bit for this version.
Have a look at a sneak preview below of whats possible in the upcoming version!
Contact us at [email protected] if you would like to more about this new export template.
We’re rolling out version 3.1.8 this week and you’ll notice that things have been moved around a bit in the desktop publisher to give room for new settings and features that are coming in the next few months. We’re mainly allocating more space to the main design area by moving settings into expandable panels to the left. The right hand panels are intended to be context sensitive. Let us know if there is any setting you can’t locate and we’ll help you out! Our documentation will be updated accordingly.
Its now possible to set background alpha colour for Zine
Improvements to the Zine template that has the toolbar in the bottom
The main UI has been updated and now hides some of the settings under a new left menu which gives more screen area to view the publications
Improved font loading in the Elements viewer
Overall stability improvements to the system libraries involved in the desktop publisher
Improvements to section matching in reflow/vertical mode
Improved error handling for broken bookmark links
Exporting hidden text in Elements will now keep the text searchable but render invisible
FlowPaper elements now compresses output in order to save space when transferred
The desktop publisher now has a new dashboard screen where you can access your previous publications as well as a new template guide with easier access to the templates that are available
Fixed an issue where the alternating lines animation was running incorrectly in Safari (Elements)
Fixed an issue where some fixed-layout pages were incorrectly adjusted in the viewer when using Reflow
Fixed an issue where some value sliders in the desktop publisher did not update when new values were set
Fixed an issue where some fixed layout areas in reflowable publications were not scaling properly
Fixed an issue where some reflowed texts were using header tags as opposed to body text when larger than the detected header
Fixed an issue where the –proxy-server= argument was not being respected
Its getting closer to x-mas and we’re pushing through another smaller release containing mainly performance improvements before the new year. We have a lot of enhancements coming up in the new year so keep an eye out for our coming releases. If you’re waiting for a feature to get released then feel free to flick us an email and we can usually get you a pre-release.
Improved spaced injection for the reflowable mode (Desktop Publisher)
Reduced the number of shapes and images that are exported in reflow mode, ignoring extremely small shapes and images (Desktop Publisher)
Added the option to export hidden text in the Elements viewer modes (Desktop Publisher)
Added the option to rasterize pages (Desktop Publisher)
Its now possible to navigate to a page in the viewer by double clicking the numbnails (Desktop Publisher)
Added a default min width for static regions in the reflow mode (Desktop Publisher)
Improved swipe for reflow (vertical template, Desktop Publisher)
Improved font loading stability and fixed a regression issue related to IE 9 and updating the current page number via the hash (#page) parameter (Zine)
Reduced the number of font formats exported from the Elements viewer (Desktop Publisher)
Orientation fix for printing landscape documents with annotations (Classic)
Improved font loading speed for the reflow vertical template (Desktop Publisher)
Improved font loading speed for the elements publications (Desktop Publisher)
Improved print margin output for Safari when using flattened/compressed mode (Zine/Desktop Publisher)
Fixed an issue where ligatures were incorrectly exported when matching to similar fonts (Desktop Publisher)
Fixed an issue where PDFs with capital PDF in the file name got their original file uploaded incorrectly in some cases
Fixed an issue where print scaling was incorrect in Zine when using flatten/compress (Desktop Publisher)
Fixed an issue where joining multiple PDF files and selecting the Elements viewer caused the viewer to fail to load (Desktop Publisher)
Fixed an issue where branding url wasn’t adding http/https if it was missing (Desktop Publisher)
Fixed an issue where self hosted video keept restarting incorrectly (Zine, Desktop Publisher)
Fixed an issue where going from non-flattened/compressed mode to flattened/compressed mode caused output to become corrupt in some scenarios (Desktop Publisher)
Updated the locale settings for Zine to include more labels (Desktop Publisher)
The points below highlight some of the more noticeable changes this month. Mainly Elements and Zine has been affected by this months changes.
How to update You typically don’t need to update your converted resources if you’re only interested in behavioural fixes. You can replace the js/ and css/ directory of any existing publication to update.
Added support for YouTube’s short url variant (youtu.be) (Desktop Publisher)
Added the ability to export invisible text for Zine (Desktop Publisher)
Improved rendering for Zine in Firefox (Desktop Publisher)
Zine is now able to show the outline of a document when only providing a PDF file (Zine)
Improved page loading to avoid pages being interrupted incorrectly on slow network connections (Zine)
Improved output rendering quality for two-fold publications in flatten/compressed mode (Desktop Publisher, Zine)
It is now possible to define where sections should start when using the Reflowable mode (Desktop Publisher)
Its now possible to go into full screen (simulated) in iOS when using Elements (Desktop Publisher)
Various improvements to the editing mode for Elements (Desktop Publisher)
Improvements to the reflow TOC menu that pops up from the top right corner (Desktop Publisher)
Improved font loading for IE / Edge when using flatten/compress (Zine, Desktop Publisher)
Zine now updates the #page hash parameter when navigating, making it easier to return to the last read page when returning to the viewer (Zine)
Improved bottom margin for Zine when using the viewer without bottom thumb nails (Desktop Publisher)
Improved the Elements mode so that fonts won’t need re-conversion when opening existing publications (Desktop Publisher)
Fixed an issue where the TOC changes were not being saved when using the Elements viewer after reopening a existing publication (Desktop Publisher)
Fixed an issue where the publication title was incorrectly escaped when publication preview was set (Zine)
Fixed an issue where some fonts went missing after changing output settings under Zine (Desktop Publisher)
Fixed an issue where PDFs using non-embedded standard fonts where texts that had italic were not having their italic set properly (Zine)
Fixed an issue where the zine viewer would get 35px padding area at the bottom of the viewer after a resize occurred for some scenarios (Zine)
Fixed an issue where uploading to the cloud service failed in some cases where the file got locked by the file system (Desktop Publisher)
Fixed an issue where disabling the bottom thumbnails in Zine would render a margin too small in some browsers (Desktop Publisher)
Fixed an issue where importing multiple files at the same time would import the files in wrong order in some cases (Desktop Publisher)
Fixed an issue where relatively positioned viewers were causing the text to be mispositioned in some cases (Zine)
Fixed an issue where soft hyphens were appearing incorrectly in FlowPaper Elements (Desktop Publisher)
Fixed an issue where uploading the same publication twice to FlowPaper cloud would fail to refresh the publication (Desktop Publisher)
This release mainly contains smaller corrections and improvements. We’re getting this release out a little earlier than usual due to iOS 11 being released in the next 48h as we found some optimisations we wanted to include prior to this release. We have seen some issues in iOS 11 related to how background images are being loaded and unloaded in the Safari browser and we have made optimisations accordingly. This was mainly affecting the Zine viewer.
How to update
You don’t need to republish existing publications to update if you’re mainly interested in the adjustments for iOS 11. You can simply replace the existing “FlowPaperViewer.js” file in the js/ directory of any publication or installation you have created with the new version. You can grab the minified version of FlowPaperViewer.js here.
Cosmetically improved the 3D page turn effect (Zine)
The vertical reflow template will now scroll on devices with larger display width than 500px (Elements)
Its now possible to deep link into reflowable vertical publications using the #section hash (Elements)
Improved text quality when changing pages in Zine while rendering in 3D mode (Zine)
Improved loading speed for WebGL in Zine mode (Zine)
Improved height calculation for the bookmarks/outline panel in Zine (Zine)
Improved the reflow template so that fixed layout pages are not shown until rescaled (Elements)
Improved preview quality for sharing publications on Facebook / Twitter via opengraph (Desktop Publisher)
Improved drawing accuracy for the drawing & selection tool (edit mode) (Desktop Publisher)
Additional storage can now be purchased from the account/cloud publications page (Web)
Improved support for iOS11 (Zine)
Added support for Parallax pages (useful for pages with large backgrounds) to the vertical scrolling Reflow mode (Desktop Publisher)
Improved the Elements viewer further to avoid flickering in some cases when changing page and images were being loaded from cache (Desktop Publisher)
Fixed an issue where the last page got duplicated incorrectly when using Elements after changing some of the settings (Desktop Publisher)
Fixed an issue where some standard fonts were not having their bold/italic set properly when using the flatten/compress option in Zine (Desktop Publisher)
Fixed an issue where navigating using the hamburger menu with SEO optimizations turned on caused the viewer to freeze in Chrome (Elements)
Fixed an issue where fixed layout areas were not being centered properly in iOS (Reflow)
Fixed an issue where some standard fonts were not being used properly when using flatten/compress (Zine)
Fixed an issue where holding down left/right arrows and not releasing to navigate would cause graphical glitches (Zine)
Fixed an issue where some images were not being exported properly in the new reflow template
Fixed an issue where vertical/reflowable publications were not using Google Analytics tracking properly (Desktop Publisher)
You may have noticed that the text selection can behave erratic when selecting text in your PDF reader (such as Adobe Reader). This is because text in a PDF document is not necessarily ordered in logical reading order. You can see an example of this behaviour in Figure 1.
So why is this a problem? It’s a problem because of two reasons; firstly, it means that Google will most likely index text in your document in the incorrect order. Sentences are in some cases broken and as a result you may not be getting the search hits you’re after for your content.
The second problem is that people who use screen readers won’t be able to read the documents properly. Text will most likely be read out in the wrong order.
Fixing the reading order automatically
The typical solution when dealing with reading order problems is to use something called PDF tagging. This requires you to go through the entire document and tag each text and mark which text that should follow that text in reading order.
Using machine learning, FlowPaper is able to reconstruct the logical reading order of your documents without any manual tagging work. Single column layouts, multiple column layouts, you name it. FlowPaper does this by analysing the layout of the page very much in similar ways as the human eye is recognising a page and its reading order.
How to fix the reading order of your PDF
Make sure you have the desktop publisher installed. It can be downloaded from our public download page.
Firstly, Start up the desktop publisher and select the “Elements – Slide” viewer in the top right corner as seen in Figure 2
Make sure the “Improved Accessibility” checkbox is ticked in the “Accessibility & SEO” section
You can now go ahead and import your PDF. Make your desired adjustments to style and click “Publish” in the top.
Verifying the Results
So how can we check that the corrected reading order is correct?
You could let a screen reader read it out if you have one installed. You can also check the text order manually if you know your way around Chrome a little bit.
To use Chrome to check that the elements are in the correct order, open the publication in Chrome using “View Offline Version” from the desktop publisher and open up the Chrome dev tools from the View->Developer->Developer tools menu
What you will see now is all the HTML5 elements that the desktop publisher has created when converting your PDF document. An easy way to check the reading order is just to step through the elements like in the animation below.
Voila! Please let us know if you have any questions regarding reading order or how it can be used in other scenarios!