We recently had an exercise in how we could support PDF content in our EdTech software product. We ended up with a process that converts PDFs to fixed layout EPUB files, and maintains the visual integrity of the original PDF. As we began testing this process, we determined that the results of the conversion were actually…fantastic. It rendered beautifully, and the conversions to fixed layout EPUBs have been excellent. Our QA team put the tool through an exhaustive number of tests, including foreign languages, math textbooks, comics, and graphic novels to try and break it. I’m happy to say, we have been thrilled with the results.
So, why would someone want to convert a file from PDF to a fixed layout EPUB?
- Reflowable EPUBs are generally good for screen readers of standard text-based books, but once a visual book is converted, reflowable EPUBs can lose visual integrity.
- Extract the contents of the EPUB file, edit it, and repackage it using widely available standard EPUB tools.
- Use EPUBs to add embedded audio and video files using an EPUB editor.
- Expand the availability of the content to applications that do not support PDFs.
- Support text-to-speech capability, if your reader supports that functionality.
So, with my product management hat on, I wondered, is this a tool that might be needed by the marketplace as a stand-alone? Is there a need to convert PDFs to fixed layout EPUBs for use in readers throughout the world? It’s a question I aim to answer with further market research and customer contact.
However, I also think it is important to test the product with real users. That’s why, for a limited time, we made the PDF2EPUB conversion tool available to users on our website. I encourage you to convert a file, use it in your reader, and let us know what you think. Please share your feedback in a comment below, or send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the full PDF2EPUB product announcement here.