Picture of Joseph Replin
Mobile friendly PDFs
by Joseph Replin - Monday, 30 November 2015, 10:43 PM

Hello everyone,

I'm sorry this is not a question completely specific to Adapt but since our industry relies heavily PDFs for user learning, I believe it's beneficial and relevant. I am curious to figure out the best method in Adapt for delivering and displaying a PDF on mobile devices. I know the default behavior depends on the device's manufacturer and what PDF readers the user has installed.

Would there be a viewer online in which we could host a PDF and have it open always within the user's browser? Has anyone implemented ViewerJS into Adapt? Has anyone had experiences hosting PDFs on Google Docs? I'm hoping to avoid the behavior in which a PDF is download to a mobile device, and the user has to find it themselves.

I assume best practice would be to create a mobile friendly, single-column PDF and a separate desktop sized PDF but I'm not sure if a PDF can be opened depending on the user's device width.

Am I over-complicating this? What experiences have you had?

Thank you,
Joe Replin

Picture of x z
Re: Mobile friendly PDFs
by x z - Tuesday, 1 December 2015, 12:25 AM

I think that's a great question, Joe, so did a little looking online under the heading 'responsive pdfs'. This product is supposed to work with existing documents and do the reformatting for you -- FlexPaper . It may be worth a try. It's not open source, but seems reasonably priced if it delivers. 

Picture of Matt Leathes
Re: Mobile friendly PDFs
by Matt Leathes - Tuesday, 1 December 2015, 11:17 AM
I'm hoping to avoid the behavior in which a PDF is download to a mobile device

This is not something I've seen occur, on iOS anyway. It always displays in the browser. It does give the user the option to save to iBooks(?) but you'd assume if they click that they would be doing so with an understanding of what they are doing...

You might be able to do something clever to change the link to a PDF based on screen size so that you could have a different one when accessed via a small screen - but I have to say if you don't want the user to download it and you want it to be responsive... is PDF really the right solution? Why do you want to display the content as PDF in the first place? Could you not port the content into Adapt?

If it's the 'page flip' effect you really want, could you use something like flipping book or pageflip (or flexpaper as Sue suggests) and link to the output of that?