Is PDF a Dead Format? What Are Some Alternatives? Michael Kwan September 1, 2015 Extras Industry experts, futurists and regular working folk alike have been saying for years that we are just on the precipice of a truly paperless office. Rather than passing around physically printed documents to the other guys and gals in the other cubicles, you can simply send them a PDF document via intra-office email. At least, that’s the idea in theory. Fortunately or unfortunately, the technological climate for work has changed substantially over the years. It’s no longer the case that people can only be productive when they are physically in the office, sitting in front of a desktop computer. Even though the iPad market share is in a slight decline, it’s obvious enough that the modern digital lifestyle is one that is mobile. People are using their tablets and smartphones more than ever, not only to play Angry Birds, but to work too. And the modern worker is more connected than ever. In fact, so much of today’s work is conducted in a web browser. These all represent problems for the “traditional” PDF format. Reading a PDF on a larger monitor on your work computer doesn’t seem so bad, except it oftentimes requires you to open a new program to open the PDF file in the first place. That’s disruptive. And we all know how slow PDF readers can be sometimes. This becomes an even bigger problem in the mobile context. Yes, there are apps for reading PDF files on e-readers and tablets, but they also tend to consume a lot of resources and are slow to navigate. Given the choice, no one wants to zoom and move around a PDF file on a phone, even if it has a bigger display like the Samsung Galaxy Note and other phablets. Thankfully, there are alternatives and they can really mesh with how the world of work really operates today. We want everything to be online friendly. We want everything to be mobile friendly. And that’s how I came upon a site called Nubuntu. It’s a great flipbook resource that outlines several tips and solutions for how you can take the “old” PDF and make it into a far better flipbook for ease of online consumption. There are tips for how you can use Yumpu to convert your PDF such that it can be uploaded to Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. It talks about how you can make an HTML5 flipbook from a PDF file. All of the formatting is done for you and the web service is free to boot. Flipbooks look more stylish and professional than their dry PDF counterparts. It’s a great way to show off your newsletter, magazine or product catalog. They’re easily embedded into your website, rather than requiring a user to download the PDF locally. That provides you with greater control and protection of your copyright content. It may still be far too early to declare the demise of the PDF, but you can definitely stay ahead of the curve with far better alternatives. Share This With The World!