Platforms versus Digital


EPUB format can be used to edit a novel or a textbook, but just like PDF files, it also happens to be a great communication tool to present your products in a digital pamphlet or catalog.

Until now, the EPUB format was used primarily for the book trade, while PDF format was known to be more appealing to the business world for technical documents. This is changing, as more and more users conduct their research from a smartphone or a tablet. On these devices, the PDF as we know it currently, does not offer the features EPUB format does. Indeed, with EPUB, you can enlarge or shrink the font size and the text automatically adjusts the window. Also, it is easy to move from one page to another by dragging the window horizontally. Even if the latest version of Adobe Reader allows you to adjust the text size, this feature is easier to use with EPUB readers. EPUB format can be used to edit a novel or textbook, but as PDF files, it also happens to be an interesting communication tool for showing your products to your customers in a digital pamphlet or catalog.

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Finally, the time when one should be confined to his workstation to browse the web is over. The increasing amount of people using the Internet on their smartphone, now forces companies that want to stay in touch with their clients, to present their marketing tools in multiply versions so that viewers can access the information from different devices. Therefore, a mobile version of a website and an EPUB version of a PDF document will be easier to view from a tablet or smartphone.

EPUB or Kindle?

For eBook editing, the most common format so far is the EPUB open standard format. This term stands for electronic publication. Except the Amazon Kindle, all reading devices are compatible with EPUB. Without elaborating on this subject, you should know that it is possible to transform an EPUB digital book into Kindle and vice versa. The latest version of the EPUB format is based on HTML5, which can push the boundaries. It should be noted that among all existing playback software, some only support EPUB2 format, while others also read the latest EPUB3.

EPUB2 versus EPUB3

The main difference between EPUB3 and the previous version is that it is based on HTML5. Overall, HTML5 brings new features to EPUB format, such as the display of all languages, the options for adding Publication metadata (author’s name, publication date, table of contents toc, etc.), the ability to add rich content resulting in a more developed graphical aspect (gradients, shadows, 3D effects, etc.), more versatility on typography and extended possibilities for the integration of digital materials.

Certain reading applications are very powerful and include features to allow active reading, but do not support the latest EPUB3 format. Others do support the HTML5 language included in EPUB3 format, but aren’t as efficient when it comes to adding sticky notes and highlights to the text. Also, the characteristics of a same application can vary depending on the device they’re installed on.

Therefore, to select the application most efficient according the type of eBook and the device that is being used, can become a headache. For example, if you wish to read on an Android touch pad, two applications have attracted the attention of our specialists. First, there’s Mantano Ebook Reader Premium, which allows you to highlight passages and take notes. Unfortunately, it does not support HTML5 content in EPUB3 format. The graphic aspect of the book is therefore affected, but this application is still a good choice if you want to read a textbook, because in such a case, you should opt for an eBook reader that provides the tools that note-taking requires, at the expense of the graphic aspects. On the other hand, if you’re reading an eBook and do not wish to add any comment nor note, nor highlight, you can choose Lektz which supports EPUB3, but does not feature any note taking tools.

Currently, the digital book market is booming. It was in October 2011 that the EPUB 3.0 version was officially released. The pace at which unleashed new software and new devices (tablets and smartphones) are launched on the market causes instability between the software designed for publishing and the ones for reading. Soon, everything should stabilize, and we should have access to powerful readers on all platforms for each and every device.

At Lockquell Productions, when a new EPUB digital book is released, it is always accompanied by recommendations on adequate eBook reader to use, to ensure that the presentation will be at its best and available tools and functions will be adapted according to the type of eBook.

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