FlexPaper 2.2.0 Release Notes

Monday 25th November 2013

  • Search abstracts added to the FlexPaper Classic viewer

  • New flat design implemented for FlexPaper Classic customizable build
  • Page loader position corrected in FlexPaper Classic
  • Touch/swipe regression issue corrected for FlexPaper Classic
  • New init view mode added for touch devices. Supplying “TouchInitViewMode” will use the supplied view mode for touch only devices such as tablets, phones. If nothing is supplied then the viewer will assume “SinglePage” for tablets/phones
  • Touch/swipe improved in SinglePage mode for FlexPaper Classic
  • +/- buttons now zooming on touch devices too, were previously using fit width/fit height
  • Pinch/Zoom for SinglePage mode on touch devices improved
  • Margin adjustments to annotation tool bars
  • Mixed Mode (optimized HTML5 loading) added to modes: ‘Portrait’, ‘TwoPage’, ‘BookView’ and ‘ThumbView’. Split mode is required to take advantage of MixedMode.
  • Issue related to loading document files across domains in Flash split mode fixed
  • Issue fixed related to loading different size documents in Flash (Portrait mode) where the resulting page would be too large (causing extra white space around the page)
  • Issue corrected where pages were not being unloaded properly in some scenarios for the HTML4 portrait and single page rendering mode
  • Fixed an issue where the selectable text would not be added properly when using split mode in TwoPage and SinglePage for the HTML4 rendering mode
  • Minor corrections for the HTML4 mode when using the Flip Book mode.
  • PDF2JSON updated to version 0.66 improving with the ability to fully describe external links
  • Issue fixed where link hints (hovering over a page) in HTML5/HTML4 mode would not be removed when rolling out of the page
  • New publication preview mode added which shows the front page of the publication with a clickable arrow. Set the ‘PreviewMode’ parameter to ‘FrontPage’ to use this new mode. The parameter ‘PublicationTitle’ can also be set in conjunction to this which will display a title for the publication if set.
  • Issue fixed where onCurrentPageChanged was not being fired in Portrait when using Zine (the turn page/flip book) in flash mode
  • Retina rendering mode for iPad in Zine improved further in performance in particular as to how dom elements are created
  • Publication preview can now be configured in the style section inside FlexPaper Desktop Publisher
  • Fixed an issue where certain links would not be clickable in very specific scenarios when using FlexPaper flash in flip book mode
  • Various performance optimizations
  • Improved dispose method for Zine in HTML5/HTML4 mode as some references to events were still undisposed after calling dispose
  • Reduced memory footprint on the flip book in HTML5 and HTML4 mode

How to : preview your page flip PDF publication in iPad without a real device

Monday 18th November 2013

With FlexPaper Desktop Publisher, publishing a PDF to web flip book no longer requires any form of programming skills or manual conversion tricks to add interactive page turning animations to your PDF documents and convert the PDF to HTML5. 

But how do you test how your PDF publication will look like on a device when you don’t have one lying around? You may not even have a final web site to copy your publication to. We have solved this in Desktop Publisher by adding a preview mode for mobile devices. You can access this preview mode from within Desktop Publisher by simply publishing your publication and then clicking on the “Mobile Preview” button in the publishing dialog window as seen below. 


This will open a new window with the publication visible in a “emulated” iPad window. Please note that this is not a real emulation and that the resolution is most likely reduced compared to a real device. What FlexPaper does to preview your PDF flip book is to “fake” the user agent and convert the touch events to mouse events so that the viewer treats it as if it was a iPad device even if its running on a desktop PC without touch support. 


What most people don’t know, is that the same can be done by simply adding a “#mobilepreview” parameter to the url of the viewer. For example to initiate the same preview mode in any browser simply append this parameter like so:


How to : open a PDF document in the browser at a specific page (flip book or classic portrait)

Wednesday 13th November 2013

This week we’re starting a new how-to series which will demonstrate a number of common practices using our classic and pdf flip book viewer. 

There are a number of different ways of opening your online pdf publication at a specific page. If you do not want to configure this manually then desktop Publisher helps you do this work for you as can be seen in the screen shot below. You can also see that I have selected flip book as the starting mode for my pdf publication. You can select any starting mode you like. 

If you publish a document and take a look at the javascript code that FlexPaper Publisher has produced for you, then you will see the page parameter being set in javascript as well. We have removed the surrounding parameters to avoid cluttering the example. 

{ config : { StartAtPage : 5

The last but not least important way of opening a document at a specific page in the browser is through the URL. By simply supplying a #page parameter as part of your url you can have the browser open the document at a desired page. This is especially useful when you want to send a url to a work mate or friend and point out a specific page. You can see an example of how to do this with our html5 flip book viewer below:


New icon set for FlexPaper classic

Tuesday 5th November 2013

We’re have added a new icon set for the FlexPaper classic document viewer and have added two more examples of our viewer on our demo page. It will be available in our upcoming release this month.

Let us know what you think!


FlexPaper 2.1.9 Release notes

Sunday 3rd November 2013

This maintenance release fixes a number of minor bugs and two security issues in some of our PHP and ASP.NET example scripts. A special thanks to Craig Arendt for identifying these issues!

We encourage you to update to this version.

  • onDocumentLoadedError now supplying error text in HTML4 & HTML5 mode

  • CSS performance improvements from removing unnessecary > * selectors
  • Improved security restrictions for how documents are loaded in our PHP/ASP.NET/JAVA examples
  • onInitializationComplete event added which fires when the viewer has initialized
  • Issue fixed for the annotations bottom toolbar on touch based devices
  • Issue corrected related to not being able to draw on visible pages on iOS7 devices in some scenarios
  • Slight corrections in relation to touch support for iPad (HTML4/HTML5) mode when viewing the document in portait mode
  • Issue fixed where certain user defined links would not appear properly in Zine (HTML4/HTML5 mode)
  • Fixed an issue where the Zine viewer in HTML4/HTML5 mode would shrink too much when resizing the window
  • FlexPaper Desktop Publisher now escapes all non-ascii characters (for example, ‘å’ becomes ’u00e5’) when exporting JSON files which will help in making more PDF files IE7 compatible when using the HTML4/HTML5 modes

  • Issue fixed where PDF files would not be downloadable in Zine flash version even if the download icon had been included
  • Issue corrected in a scenario where setting MaxZoomSize caused viewer not to be able to zoom when using Zine in HTML5/HTML4
  • Issue corrected where slider input controls in desktop publisher were not initialized properly
  • New style property added to FlexPaper Zine: ability to turn stretching of background on or off
  • Fixed an issue where custmo background color was not being set properly for tablet devices in Zine

In creating PDF flip books – supporting retina displays without crippling the browser

Sunday 27th October 2013


While the iOS platform provides a excellent platform for publishing documents, it also presents a number of problems due to its limitations in memory and CPU. Providing a clear zoom without having to have the end user download very large documents can be a rather tricky problem to deal with. For example, there are limitations to both file sizes as well as image sizes in iOS as outlined by Apple’s developer guidelines.

FlexPaper Zine 2.1.8 implements a new method of sharpening text and image quality further on touch based devices. By creating a grid like structure over the document, the viewer determines what parts of a visible page that needs to be downloaded and downloads only these segments of the page in high resolution. 


To use this new method, simply tick the “optimize publication using PHP” checkbox when publishing your document from the desktop publisher app. 

Have a look at a example PDF document which has been converted to a pdf flip book with support for the grid high res loading method

This method currently requires the server you use to host your documents to support PHP5 (or higher) together with GD. 

Maintaining privacy and securing PDF files online

Tuesday 22nd October 2013

Most services today offering publishing solutions for PDF documents are today tightly bundling their cloud services with their offerings. While this gives you the option to publish your documents without needing a web site of your own, it is seldom clear what exactly is exchanged and stored by your provider and to what extent they have control of the content you leave on their servers. Questions we typically see arise are:

  • Is your content really deleted after you tell a service provider to delete it?
  • How can the service provider guarantee that it cannot be downloaded and accessed by a third party without your knowledge?
  • What if the service provider later decides to add a new way of charging for your content? 

Privacy in FlexPaper
With FlexPaper, we decided to not go down this route with the software we supply. We think what you do with your documents is your business and that only you should know where and how these documents are made available. None of our servers are involved in the publishing process or in hosting any of the content produced using your PDF documents. We don’t count how many documents you publish nor do we keep track of how many views or downloads you generate with your content. Your content, your business. 

Password protecting PDF content
With our latest version of FlexPaper, which can be downloaded from here, we are also improving the ability to protect your content by introducing content signing. By signing your content, you can decide when and how people access it. You can also add your own server side rules if you wish since our signing files are fully open source. The only requirement is that your server supports PHP 5 or higher.

This also allows you to password protect your document and time stamp your content so that it expires at a desired time. Supplying a custom password will also add a log in prompt to your publication so that you can limit the publication to be viewed to a selected audience. Please note that you will need to keep track of your own passwords. We have no way of recovering a lost password since we have no control over the publishing of your documents. You will need to republish your publication if you loose your password.

What do you think of our new signing functionality? Let us know via twitter or post us an email! We appreciate all feedback!

FlexPaper 2.1.8 Release Notes

Tuesday 22nd October 2013

We have started distributing FlexPaper 2.1.8 this week. The first build finished is our Desktop Publisher app for FlexPaper Zine (Mac & PC) which can be downloaded from the Zine product page. The PHP/ASP.NET/Java and FlexPaper classic builds will follow during the next few days.

  • FlexPaper Zine  enhanced to support higher resolution for touch devices when zooming into the document (requires PHP & GTK2)
  • Issue fixed relating to certain links where they would be incorrectly broken up into sections causing the links to be incomplete when clicked (HTML4/HTML5 mode)
  • Issue fixed for annotations in IE9 when using the HTML rendering mode
  • Last/first navigators added for Zine in HTML4/HTML5 mode
  • FlexPaper Zine Icons added for retina/HD desktop displays (labelled [name]@2x.png)
  • Corrections for hidden text and control characters in exporting to HTML4/HTML5 from desktop publisher [on Windows]
  • Correction for shading in Zine for HTML5/HTML4 (regression issue from 2.1.7)
  • Fixed an issue relating to drag-turning pages in HTML4/HTML5 where the viewer would zoom in unintentionally in some specific scenarios
  • Fixed an issue related to links being created multiple times causing performance degradation in HTML4/HTML5 mode for Zine
  • Performance improvements to sliding and dragging in Zine HTML4/HTML5
  • HTML5 Fisheye thumbnails performance improvements
  • The Viewer is now giving the clicked/tapped page in Zine rendering priority to improve performance while reading
  • Links and custom links made more visible in HTML4/HTML5 mode
  • Regression issue corrected for Zine in relation to loading new documents through the load({PDFFile : ‘filename.pdf’}); API
  • Fixed an issue related to thumbnails showing up incorrectly when in Zoomed in mode in HTML5 mode and resizing the browser window
  • Desktop Publisher now tries to repair PDF files that it fails to publish on first attempt
  • Youtube videos when played in HTML5 viewer will now stop if playing when navigating away from the page
  • Desktop Publisher now able to sign documents and add password protection for your PDF documents to prevent them from being downloaded
  • Issue fixed related to searching for two different phrases causing the search abstracts not appearing the second time in Flash mode for Zine
  • HTML5 PDF rendering routine updated (0.8.633 build # fa03a77)
  • Full screen support added for IE 11 to our HTML4/HTML5 pdf viewer
  • Support for Android in pinch and zoom plus navigation improved for Zine in flip page mode

A case study using PDF flip books: the real state of flash versus HTML5

Sunday 6th October 2013


When Apple and Steve Jobs 3 years ago decided to turn their back on Adobe Flash, the web industry started a major shift towards HTML5 as opposed to using Flash when creating animations and transitions for the web. At that time, many of the modern web browsers were still in a state unable to do everything necessary to really rid Flash out of the way for HTML5. Much has happened since then. 

» Compare HTML5 and Flash performance in some real examples

Development Environment
The latest versions of Google Chrome are blazingly fast in animations and transitions and huge steps has been taken forward in improving the development environment for developers using HTML5 in all major browsers. With Google in the lead, Google has added a whole set of new debugging tools to the latest stable version of Google Chrome. We really recommend you have a look at the Google Developer talks on structural and sampling from Google if you have not done so yet and you are into serious development with HTML5. This talk with Paul Irish is a great starting point if you want to get serious about HTML5 development.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAqjyCH_LOE]

A real world case using PDF flip books : PDF documents with page turn effects in HTML5

So how has this evolution affected our environment for our viewers in creating animated page transitions for published PDF documents? Well much has happened since the first versions of mobile web safari was published and since people started moving into using HTML5. The first versions of mobile web safari had problems displaying larger images and files causing the viewer to really struggle when trying to deliver a sharper zoomed document to these more memory limited devices. 

Since then, mobile safari has matured a great deal and we believe all of the modern versions of all major browsers have reached a point where they are fully capable of displaying our documents with page turn animations and high quality zoom factors. There may still may be individual cases where you think Flash has a upper hand in how a specific document gets displayed due to differences in how these technologies handle vector graphics but we really think that in the majority of cases, our HTML5 viewer actually surpasses the flash viewer in performance!

We really didn’t know how far we would get when we initially started developing our HTML5 viewer but we are amazed at the speed the latest browser versions are showing. We believe that much of the performance gains that will be seen going forward will be due to the incredible development support that these browsers are now giving in terms of profiling. Where Adobe Flash sits on top of the browser, these tools gives us direct access into the core of how the browser is rendering each page turn and every transition operation.  

What do you think?

We would love to hear which of our viewers you think performs best! Have a go with our examples on our demo page or download our flip book software (available for both Mac and PC) and give it a go with your own documents! You can switch between HTML5 and Flash directly on our demo page.


» Try the examples


Converting large documents from PDF to HTML5

Tuesday 1st October 2013


Publishing large PDF documents to the web can often be a hassle. Especially when you want to enable the documents on a mobile device or to desktop PCs on slower connections. You can overcome these obstacles by using a few tricks with a tool like PDFTK.

This page outlines how to convert a PDF to HTML5 even if the PDF is very big