Making PDF documents interactive online

What if your PDF could do this when published online?


Making PDF documents interactive has been an active subject for a long time, but in reality, there are very few options out there offering the possibility to add interactivity to existing elements in PDF publications. Our Elements PDF viewer repurposes the PDF document and maintains control over each element in the publication so that existing content can be animated.

Our upcoming version of FlowPaper will feature a rich set of animations and interactivity that can be used for your publications. The animation above shows how you can add interactivity to existing PDF content and keep text sharpness.

See more live examples here

Converting PDF to flipbook without loosing focus

As Google is progressing further and further away from flash the transition for many publishers taking their PDF web publications to the web is becoming something of increasing importance. While there are many services out there offering conversion of PDF to various HTML5 formats, very few of them actually offer real conversion. At best, they convert documents to bitmapped versions. With FlowPaper Elements, PDF documents are not bitmapped, they’re actually converted to real, crisp elements that stay sharp on all devices and sizes. This post illustrates a few things we do as part of this converting the PDF documents. You can see an example of a converted PDF flipbook publication below:


How to convert your PDF documents to a HTML5 friendly format

To convert a PDF to a web friendly HTML5 flipbook, a few steps needs to be taken.

1. Fonts need to be converted to web friendly fonts

This means that all glyphs and characters needs to be adjusted to a format that is indexable by search engines and stays sharp on all devices. The fonts need to be converted to either woff, ttf and with a fall back eot.

2. All layers of the PDF needs to be flattened

To optimise the viewing experience for devices with slow CPU, only visible layers should be visible.

3. Visible text should be real sentences and rows

In a PDF, each character can be individually positioned in the document. While this may give a greater sense of accuracy, it also decreases performance significantly. By converting visible sentences and texts to real, actual sentences and rows, performance is improved greatly.

4. The PDF publication needs to be split up into easily downloadable sections

Speed is key. To avoid long download times, the PDF should be split into sections that are quicker to download for the browser.

On top of this, accuracy of course needs to be maintained to the maximum so that the flipbook matches the original publication correctly.

So what does the difference look like between a real conversion and a bitmapped conversion?

To illustrate how big the difference is we have taken this screenshot from a publication converted with FlowPaper elements (right side) and a typical flipbook (left side). You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see the difference in output.


Want to try with your own PDF? Download the FlowPaper Desktop Publisher and give it a go!

FlexPaper is now FlowPaper (& version 2.4.8 release notes)!

Auckland based digital software publisher provider, Devaldi has undergone a product brand review and introduces FlowPaper (formerly FlexPaper/FlexPaperViewer) today.

The new product brand identity reflects Devaldi’s commitment to provide the best digital reading experience. FlowPaper is the next generation desktop and server based publisher for the web. It transforms your static PDF’s into editable digital publications that adapts to the device, a true HTML5 viewer using true web fonts. Always delivering crisp sharp text and imagery with a minimum loading time. Compare us and experience the difference!

When FlexPaper was launched about six years ago, Adobe Flash was the standard for viewing PDFs on the web and after its launch, FlexPaper quickly became one of the most used document viewer applications on the web. Our Zine viewer has been much appreciated by our customers along with our Classic viewer. But much has changed during these years  and the step away from Flash and towards HTML5 ended the relevance for FlexPaper in its original form.

FlowPaper is built to make the most out of your static digital content in HTML5 format. This includes a range of publishing options and FlowPaper lets you publish your content the way you want it. FlowPaper includes our well-known Zine publisher, the new Elements format and our Reflow viewer. The variety is set to meet your needs.

We’re also pleased to release our updated version of our publisher this week.

Changes in this release:

  • Fixed an issue related to IE8 not loading some FlexPaper Elements Publications
  • Upgraded to Electron 1.2.5 (Desktop Publisher)
  • Improved accuracy in clipping of text (Elements)
  • Its now possible to track Elements publications using Google Analytics just as with Zine (Elements)
  • The Zine toolbar now floats on top of the publication giving greater reading area than before (Zine)
  • Improved EPUB3 support (for readers such as Adobe Digital Editions) (Desktop Publisher)
  • Changed the way annotations are added to the DOM so that rotation of annotations are improved (Classic)
  • Its now possible to set a custom cover image for EPUB publications (Desktop Publisher)
  • Its now possible to set ISBN for EPUB publications (Desktop Publisher)
  • Fixed an issue where two fold publications would show the incorrect number of pages in the editing section of the publisher (Desktop Publisher)
  • Fixed an issue where links placed on two fold publications would be misplaced when zooming in and then out (Zine, Desktop Publisher)
  • Improved text clipping accuracy for Elements (Desktop Publisher)
  • Improved navigation panels margins slightly for iPhone 5 (Zine)
  • Embedded default color profile for OSX for improved color accuracy (Zine, Desktop Publisher)
  • Implemented partial navigation drag for Elements, slide (Desktop Publisher)
  • Fixed an issue where setting a higher Max Zoom Factor than 500% would cause the viewer to initialize incorrectly (Zine)
  • Fixed an issue where the MixedMode parameter wasn’t being passed on properly when using FullScreenAsMaxWindow (Zine)
  • The TOC editor is now available for Elements (static layout) (Desktop Publisher)
  • Clarified the TouchInitViewMode for Zine. Setting this to ‘Portrait’ when using Zine will result in a forced single page mode. (Zine)
  • Changed default view mode to slide for phone style touch devices (Elements)
  • Performed a number of optimizations for Chrome 52 (Elements)
  • Improved text accuracy for Elements by improved handling of negative movements in text fragments (Elements)
  • Improved support for two fold publications where links were not being adjusted properly in Elements publications (Elements)
  • Added hover link color to links in FlexPaper Elements and pulse-in effect (Elements)
  • Reduced file size of FlexPaper Zine by excluding some previously included image resources (Zine)
  • It is now possible to select local MP4 and WEBM files for self hosted videos and distribute them together with both Zine and Elements (Desktop Publisher)
  • Fixed an issue related to starting on specific pages in smaller sized devices for Elements which caused incorrect page to show up initially (Elements)
  • Fixed an issue related to resizing the Elements viewer causing some pages to go blank for specific scenarios (Elements)