How to make Google index PDF files

Sunday 23rd February 2014

Do you struggle to get Google to index your PDF publications with organic search? Then we have some great news for you. In our latest version of FlexPaper Desktop Publisher we have added a new option that will help your publication get a higher ranking, be easier to track in analytics and be indexed better.

Traditionally, when Google indexes your PDF documents, it will index your files as a whole and there is no way of collecting statistics on why and what people where looking for in a document. This is because the way the publication is generated.

With our new feature, FlexPaper Desktop Publisher will create a text only version of your PDF. This means that when Google, or any other search engine indexes your FlexPaper documentation, it does so on page by page basis which increases your exposure and hits. It will also allow you to collect data on how and why people land on your pages. 

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You can access this feature under the publish button in the desktop publisher. Expand the advance settings menu.

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Tick the “improve conditions for search engines to index your publication” box. Please note that you need to have PHP support on your server.

This option is available from version 2.2.3 version of FlexPaper Desktop Publisher. Give it a try, download our desktop publisher here

FlexPaper 2.2.3 Release Notes

Monday 17th February 2014

We have started rolling out version 2.2.3 today. Our Zine viewer is the first viewer to be updated. The main enhancements in this release is the ability to create offline publications using desktop publisher, improved support for search engine indexing as well as a new social media sharing dialog for our turn page pdf viewer (Zine).

How to update:
This release does not require you to republish any of your documents so if you want to install the update without republishing your documents then simply copy and replace the following resources from the distribution file that you are using:

  • FlexPaperViewer.swf
  • js/     (directory)
  • css/    (directory)

Changes in this release:

  • Rendering quality for the HTML5 mode improved for Firefox in OSX

  • Issue fixed where custom links, videos and images would appear incorrectly positioned in mixed size publications when viewing the publication in HTML5 mode
  • Issue fixed where the Portrait mode would start on the wrong page in some scenarios
  • Multiple viewer instances now fully supported in FlexPaper Zine
  • New parameter added for enabling/disabling search abstracts (EnableSearchAbstracts)
  • Printing the Current page in Zine now prints both visible pages. It was previously only printing one of them
  • Mouse wheel scrolling area increased in the HTML5 and HTML4 mode for Zine
  • Issue fixed where creating links,images or videos by creating selections from bottom to top were creating incorrect sizes for the elements
  • Issue fixed added images would not appear in preview of the publication in Desktop Publisher
  • Issue fixed where using strikeout and then the note tool would create unintentional strikeouts when having StickyTools turned on
  • Issue fixed where it wasn’t possible to rotate the next to last page in the flash viewer
  • Correction so that FlexPaper AdaptiveUI classic non-customizable uses the right toolbar in touchable laptops
  • Adjustments to how the viewer is resized when reloaded using the $FlexPaper(‘documentViewer’).load() method
  • Offline publishing now available to unlimited license holders. Commercial license holders will be able to register a key for offline publishing during February.
  • Issue fixed where last page was inaccessible in SinglePage mode when using HTML4/HTML5 rendering
  • Issue fixed where the search marker in Zine HTML4/HTML5 mode would be appended and widened if the search result was clicked more than once
  • Improved ability to allow Google to index your publication from within Desktop Publisher. Expand the advanced settings in the “Publish & View” dialog to access new options for controlling this
  • Printing quality improved for printing in HTML5 mode
  • Small corrections to the signing php scripts to avoid mishandling headers on certain configurations
  • Small corrections for how touch based devices use Portrait or SinglePage mode when starting up in HTML4/HTML5
  • Small corrections to the asp.net set up package
  • Hint text for Download PDF added
  • Fixed an issue where getCurrPage() wasn’t returning the correct page when using Zine in HTML4/HTML5 mode for some scenarios
  • Social network sharing dialog added to FlexPaper Zine. Publications can now be easily shared to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and LinkedIn and embedded on any site
  • Progress info added to the print dialog when printing in split mode using Adobe Flash
  • Fixed an issue where the onCurrentPageChanged event would not fire in Zine when using HTML5 mode in portrait
  • New method (“getCurrentRenderingMode”) added for Zine returning either flash,html or html5 depending on what is being used
  • Mouse wheel scrolling improved for Zine & Classic in webkit based browsers when using the Flash rendering mode
  • Improved zooming motion into Zine flash publication so that it zooms into where the user clicks
  • Issue fixed where searching when in zoomed in mode on touch devices caused pages to render incorrectly in some scenarios for FlexPaper Zine
  • Tweaks to mobile browsers as to which uses native scrolling and which that does not

How to create and save a style template for PDF documents using Flexpaper Desktop Publisher

Sunday 9th February 2014

Often when you create a online flipbook from a PDF you want to use the style from your previous publications.

To save you time and to secure brand consistency Flexpaper Desktop Publishers makes it easy for you to create and save style templates. You can save one or multiple templates. 

Open the desktop publisher and locate the style settings area.

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All your options are located under the style settings menu on the right hand side. Please note that Flexpaper Desktop Publisher stretches your background per default.

The style bar menu gives you a range of options in creating a style that suites your publication and brand. Here are a few tips on what you can do in Flexpaper Desktop Publisher.

  1. Customize your background and panel color.
  2. Create an image background that emphasize your message, look and feel
  3. Customize your toolbar menu
  4. Use an interactive thumbnail preview of your publication
  5. Create a cool gradient color effect to your background

The example below gives you en idea how to re use colors and images from your publication in FlexPaper Zine.

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When you are happy with your style click the save style settings as new template button. The template will be saved in your documents folder. You can access your new template under the style template menu.

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A case study in creating PDF flip books: chasing the cursor or dragging the contents

Thursday 6th February 2014

There are a range of settings that can be done with FlexPaper in styles and behavior settings. The output format can be HTML5, HTML4 or Flash, colors and backgrounds can be set, icons can be changed and the viewer can start in different modes. This week we are having a look at the way your users can navigate inside your PDF documents when using page turn animations like in FlexPaper Zine. This tutorial uses FlexPaper Desktop Publisher which can be downloaded for Mac OS X and Windows from here:
http://flowpaper.com/flexpaper_flip_zine.jsp

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Start Desktop Publisher and locate the viewer behavior settings
Desktop Publisher has its settings divided into different sections for each of the type of settings that can be made. The setting we are after in this little tutorial is the “Zoom Dragging” setting which can be seen after scrolling down to the very bottom in the “Viewer Behaviour Settings” section.

This setting is turned on per default. When turned on, the viewer will allow the user to drag the document using its mouse when zoomed into a document. You can see this by clicking on the document so that the viewer zooms into the document and then use your mouse to drag it around. Another example of a PDF published with flip book effects where you can zoom in and use your mouse to navigate the contents can be seen here:

http://devaldi.com/zine/NZ_Tourism_2007.jsp?ro=flash,html5

This example renders in flash per default but you can easily switch over to use html5 if you prefer that.

If you on the other hand prefer to let your users navigate your publications by tracking their mouse movements then turning the “Zoom Dragging” feature off will allow you to do this. Turn the feature off and zoom into the PDF inside desktop publisher and you will see how the publication now tracks the mouse movements as you move your cursor. An example of this can be seen in the following publication:

http://devaldi.com/zine/Monash_Magazine.jsp?ro=flash,html5

 

What about mobile devices?
In mobile devices the publication will always allow the user to drag around the content, since there is no mouse cursor to track. In computers which have both (like in PC’s using Windows 8), both interactions can be combined if you set the “Zoom Dragging” feature to off.

How to track page views in PDF documents for page flip publications using Google Analytics

Tuesday 28th January 2014

PDF files typically act as a external component inside your web page and interacting with them from your web site isn’t typically possible, therefore tracking how your visitors view your PDF files can be tricky. This tutorial shows how to track your visitors reading habits for your PDF documents when using FlexPaper.

Publishing documents in FlexPaper can be done in multiple ways. The easiest way to convert a PDF document to a web publication is to use our desktop publisher. Desktop Publisher features the ability to add your Google Analytics tracking code without any programming knowledge. It is available in both Mac OS X and Windows.

The first step is to fill out the field with your Google Analytics tracking code. It typically looks like something this: UA-10199999-1. The screen shot above shows where to enter your tracking code inside desktop publisher. Now all you have to do is to publish your publication (using the “publish & view button), upload the contents to your web server and wait for the statistics to roll in. 

After logging in to Google Analytics, the statistics for your documents can be found under "Behaviour” and then “Events”. You can see the path to the analytics pointed out in the screenshot below and marked with [1] and [2]

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You can choose to view the analytics by Category, Action or Label. We have chosen to view them by label as this also shows how many times each page in the PDF document has been viewed. You can see the page views in the screen shot above marked with [3].

We hope this tutorial helped you in understanding how to start tracking your visitors and their behavior inside your PDF documents using Google Analytics! 

Free cloud web hosting for your PDF flip books!

Tuesday 21st January 2014

Who doesn’t love a free lunch every now and then?! If you don’t have a server to upload your pdf flip book to then you can actually use DropBox for hosting your pdf documents! This guide will show you the few steps you need to go through if you want to publish your document using our desktop publisher and then host it for free on Dropbox. 

1) Download Desktop Publisher for Zine from the following location (it is available for both Mac OS X and Windows):
http://flowpaper.com/flexpaper_flip_zine.jsp

2) Open a PDF document in Desktop Publisher

Click on the top left button to open a PDF document you want to publish. Adjust your style and make your necessary adjustments for the document you want to publish
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3) When ready, publish the document it using the “Publish & View” button in the top right corner.
Clicking the “Publish & View” button will bring up the publishing dialog which lets you adjust the settings for how you want to publish the document. Leave all settings as they are without modifying them.

4) Click the “Publish” button and wait for FlexPaper to finish processing the document

Clicking this button will trigger FlexPaper to start processing your PDF document and convert it into required HTML5, HTML4 and Flash files so that your flip book publication can be viewed across multiple devices

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5) Click the “View folder” button when the publishing process has completed. 

Clicking this button will show you the files you will need to copy to your DropBox folder. You can also chose to preview the publication by clicking the “View in browser” or “Mobile preview”. 


6) Copy the files into your DropBox Public folder
The DropBox Public folder is a folder where you can place files you want to make available to anyone and where you can host web files. Create a sub folder in this folder and call it “pdf-flip-book-publication”. Now copy all the files that Desktop Publisher has produced for you into this folder. 

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Voila! All done! If you want to try your publication in your browser, simply right click on the “index.html” file that you have copied into your destination folder and choose “Copy Public Link”. This will copy the URL for your publication into your clip board. You can paste this link into your browser to view your pdf publication. The link should look something like this:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/13295266/pdf-flip-book-publication/index.html

HOW TO USE DROPBOX WITH YOUR DOMAIN (for advanced users)
Dropbox can also be used with your own domain name if you prefer to share this as opposed to the dropbox.com domain. The following tutorial shows a good example on how to do this with CNAME records:

http://www.techairlines.com/custom-domain-dropbox/

FlexPaper 2.2.2 Release notes

Sunday 19th January 2014

We hope everybody had a good start on their new year! This release was initially planned to contain our new offline publishing capabilities but due to bugs in the latest Google Chrome browser’s javascript engine (Chrome 32) which we had to work around in order to maintain stability, we decided to push this release into production without the offline capabilities. Google will most likely fix these issues soon but we felt the need to respond quickly to make sure you don’t have to wait for Google’s fix. You will only be affected by the bugs in Chrome if you have published your document in html5 mode.

Offline publishing through Desktop Publisher will be made available at the end of January/ beginning of February.

How to update:
This release does not require you to republish any of your documents so if you want to install the update without republishing your documents then simply copy and replace the following resources from the distribution file that you are using:

  • FlexPaperViewer.swf
  • js/     (directory)
  • css/    (directory)

Enhancements and corrections in this release:

  • Issue fixed where some 1-page documents would fail to load in IE8 when using HTML mode

  • Adjustments to image quality in publishing to Flash from desktop publisher
  • PDF2JSON updated to escape all control characters and version bumped to 0.68
  • Mouse wheel zooming now tracks the mouse movements in Flash and HTML5 mode of FlexPaper Zine
  • Read only mode now possible to set through the UIConfig file in Zine. Desktop Publisher also made more clear about where to find this mode. Trial users of Desktop Publisher are now also able to try this mode.
  • Missing retina icons included in Desktop Publisher for Windows
  • Classic viewer improved to use the supplied thumbnail images
  • Accuracy of navigation improved in thumb view mode for the classic viewer to avoid unintentional clicking on thumb nails
  • Issue fixed where links on single page PDF documents were mispositioned in HTML5 format
  • Desktop Publisher now retries in more scenarios if publishing fails on first attempt 
  • Support for file names with brackets ([,]) added to desktop publisher
  • Safari version 4 and below now displays thumbnails in Zine HTML4 mode properly
  • Issue fixed where going into true full screen twice in a row in Classic Customizable build caused the viewer to resize improperly
  • Landscape documents now display thumb nails in correct proportions when using HTML5 mode in IE version 9
  • Issue fixed where the current search match would disappear when scrolling through the Classic viewer in HTML4/HTML5 mode
  • Issue fixed where links,video and images would not be repositioned/resized properly if the viewer was resized or repositioned in HTML5 mode while using the flip book mode
  • Issue fixed where images added to our flip book viewer would be incorrectly loaded in some scenarios when using the flash viewer
  • A first version of highlighting using Adobe XML added to API for the HTML4/HTML5 viewer
  • Support for mail address links added to Desktop Publisher
  • All locale settings now fully supported in FlexPaper customizable classic
  • It is now possible to bind links to images in desktop publisher when using the add link button
  • Earlier versions of Safari (below 5) are now supported in the HTML4 mode
  • Desktop Publisher now exports hidden text as well to better support OCR scanned documents
  • HTML5 rendering routine updated 0.8.894 (build #ac91047)

A word on privacy and security in our web based pdf viewer.

Sunday 12th January 2014

In light of the details that has surfaced around how NSA operates, we feel the need to comment on how this possibly affects FlexPaper and the way our software works. 

Staying in control over how our clients choose to distribute their PDF documents has always been a priority for us. We believe that you and only you should decide how and where your pdf documents are distributed and who has access to them. As a consequence, all our components run independently on your own server and desktop. None of our (or any other external) servers are involved in the publishing process. This means that you can take FlexPaper with you and perform work regardless of if you’re in a offline or online environment and you are not depending on any of our servers being online in order for your content to be available to your visitors. None of your content is available online unless you decide to upload them to a server of your choice. 

FlexPaper desktop publisher also has the ability to protect your content by encrypting the original PDF and adding signing functionality around the published files. Desktop Publisher provides you with full access to the PHP files used to protect the content. This means that you can add your own checks and controls to decide who gets to access and view a certain publication. To access this functionality, simply expand the “Advanced Settings” part of the publishing dialog. Don’t have desktop publisher installed yet? Download it and add page turn effects and mobile support to your PDF documents in a whiff!

http://flowpaper.com/flexpaper_flip_zine.jsp

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Tutorial: How to convert and publish a PDF as a flip book publication on your WordPress blog

Wednesday 8th January 2014

Our WordPress plugin for our PDF document viewer has gained a lot of attention and we receive a lot of questions around how to use FlexPaper together with WordPress in cases where you can’t use the on the fly publishing mechanisms. Sometimes the server provider you are using doesn’t support third party plug ins installed so this tutorial shows a way of publishing a document to a WordPress blog (or any other blog in fact) without being dependent on our WordPress plugin. 

REQUIREMENTS
To follow the steps in this tutorial you will need to install FlexPaper Desktop Publisher for Zine. The desktop Publisher is available for Mac and PC and you can download it here:
http://flowpaper.com/flexpaper_flip_zine.jsp

1] OPEN YOUR PDF DOCUMENT IN DESKTOP PUBLISHER image

Make the adjustments you want to make to your page flip publication. You can adjust whether you want the PDF should be converted from PDF to HTML5 or PDF to Adobe Flash. You can also select a secondary format such as HTML4 so that older browsers can still view the publication even if the more modern formats are not available. 

2] CLICK ON PUBLISH & VIEW AND PUBLISH YOUR PUBLICATION
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Clicking the publish & view dialog will allow you to select a local folder to publish your pdf flip publication. This folder can be anywhere on your computer. This dialog also allows you to sign and protect your publication so that only users you have given a password or otherwise authorised are able to view it. 

You can preview your publication on mobile or in a browser when you are done publishing your document. 

3] UPLOAD THE PUBLICATION TO YOUR WEB SITE
The files you can see if you click the “View folder” button are the files you will need to upload to your web site. 
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A lot of people use FTP to upload contents to their servers and other people use something like SCP or a web based uploader. If you use FTP to access your server in order to upload contents then we recommend using a free tool such as FileZilla

4] EMBED THE FLIP BOOK PUBLICATION ON YOUR BLOG USING THE IFRAME TAG
Once you are done uploading the contents of the folder outlined above, you are ready to add it to your WordPress blog. We have uploaded our example into a folder we have called “catalogue”. Add a new empty post inside WordPress and switch over to the “HTML” view mode of the post. Paste the following snippet as shown below:

http://yourdomain.com/catalogue/

imageAs you can see in the code snippet, we’re using the url “http://yourdomain.com” and the subfolder “catalogue”. You will need to replace the domain name with your domain and the folder with the folder where you have uploaded your document. Voila! All done! Click publish to have a look at your newly published document.

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Merry Christmas!

Sunday 22nd December 2013

Christmas is almost here and we just wanted to send our best wishes to all our great customers we have had this year. With our classic viewer continuing to be a popular choice we have also seen our Zine viewer make great progress with thousands of flip books published using Zine.

2013 has been a great year for FlexPaper and with some great ideas we hope to to make 2014 even better! 

Merry Christmas!