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Developing interactive PDF's for ibooks

Discussion in 'iBooks' started by jamesleech, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. jamesleech
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    jamesleech iPF Noob

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    Hi all,

    I am designing a PDF document for the ipad that is a resource developed through a community planning process. I was initialy asked to develop a series of posters and now I am looking at making an ipad friendly document as many staff are beginning to use these for their mobile reference library.

    Only purchased the ipad2 and upgraded it to IOS5 yesterday so in the usual steep weekend learning curve.

    Initial discoveries include:
    - links work in ibooks, but not adobe reader
    - don't make any links / buttons close to the edge of the document.
    • top - activates the toolbar
    • left & right - activates page chage
    • bottom - activates the thumbnail viewer
    Despite this intial frustration (that my design concept is flawed), the draft concept document feels zippy and logical - although the ibooks pdf experiencde doesn't give user 'hints' about what's on the following page so I'll have to try and design graphical hints into the document I guess.

    I like the look of the indesign folio builder outputs but I would rather develop my skills in created content without any external overheads ($).

    Has anyone come across some HCI (Human Computer Interface) giudelines for developing content for the ipad?

    I'll attach my development sample to this page if you want to see my failed design.

    Attached Files:

  2. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    If I were going to develop a book for iBooks, I'd consider the ePub format instead. It is far more flexible, and recent additions to the standard offer fixed layouts. Then again, if you are used to your PDF tools, it probably isn't worth your time learning new tools and techniques.

    I don't know how helpful it will be (it is meant for app developers), but if you look in the iBooks Store you will find Apples iOS Human Interface Guidelines. It's free.
  3. jamesleech
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    jamesleech iPF Noob

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    Thanks for that suggestion,

    I'll look at epub. My first attempt to export to epub was dissapointing as I lost alot of formatting. I may try a PDF to epub conversion and see if that retains any more graphical elements.

    I had a quick squiz at the IOS interface guidelines - they go through the different guidelines about the use of bars for developers.
    It makes me realise that it would be very useful to be able to have the PDF trigger the ibook reader to de-activate the toolbar from hiding (or appearing) so that the interactive PDF experience is less jerky.
    I am finding that if I choose a link anywhere on the page (even well away from the sides) - that takes me to a new page - the toolbar reappears.

    I have updated my interface to avoid having any interactivity near the edges.

    Delivering a demo to the client tomorrow to see how they like the idea. I'll add photo's once I get 3 postings worth of privaleges...

    J




    Attached Files:

  4. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Sounds interesting. Too bad there is no way (that I know of) to package an html site as a document and read it on the iPad.
  5. Heaviside
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    Heaviside iPad Enthusiast

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    Maybe you are already aware of this, but just in case you aren't: Pages exports to free epub format. I've tried it a bit and can make evem math equations look good on both my iPad and my Nook reader.
  6. jamesleech
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    jamesleech iPF Noob

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    I wasn't aware of Pages - now I am - I'll check it out and see if I can import export a range of formats to work with my existing mix.
    Thanks Heaviside
  7. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Only the OS X (Mac) version will export to ePub. You can not do it from the iPad, though you can copy the iPad document to the OS X version, if you have it. No easy syncing though. At least not yet. You have to do it the usual ways; email, WebDav, iTunes.
  8. jamesleech
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    jamesleech iPF Noob

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    Testing toolbars in PDF readers on the ipad

    I haven't stocked my ipad with multiple PDF readers - can viewers do my a test with the file below
    (Really basic 2 page PDF with links and references to my age)

    toolbar test.pdf


    I'm trying to see which viewers cause the toolbar to appear when a link is clicked.
    If someone with PDF expert and Goodreader could check it - that would be a great start.

    Thanks in anticipation!
  9. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    I tried it first in Preview on the iMac. Nothing resembling a toolbar appeared. A bad sign that.

    On the iPad I tried it in iBooks, GoodReader, and PDF Expert. None of them showed a toolbar. The pages go back and forth, even the Enchanted Scepters link works. In PDF Expert the links were highlighted with a pail green background, which is how I noticed the Enchanted Scepters link. The other apps, including Preview, give no indication what text is or is not a link,

    I don't have Adobe Reader on the iMac, but I did try Adobe Digital Editions on the iMac. Same results.

    For the heck of it, for good measure, and because it is free, I downloaded the Adobe Reader app on the iPad. Ironically, none of the links work.

    Are you sure there is a toolbar to be had? and what does it look like? out of curiosity.

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