The popularity of PDF files is uncontested, as they have been the go-to format for digital documents and publications for a few decades. However, regardless of their popularity, they have a few setbacks, and just like in any other field, it is certain that something better will eventually come up.

With technological advancements happening left, right, and center, PDFs were bound to be impacted as well. Their need can not be underestimated, but nowadays, people are interested in more than static documents. People want interactivity, easy sharing options, and security. Still, with HTML5 flipbooks coming in strong from behind and PDFs still maintaining their popularity, a need to convert PDF to HTML5 doesn’t come as a surprise.

If this sounds interesting and something that might interest and benefit you, then continue reading to find out why and how to convert PDF to HTML5 flipbook. It’s much easier than it sounds, but we’ll go over some details to better understand what we’re dealing with.

What is the PDF document?

The Portable Document Format was released by Adobe 25 years ago, and its main advantage is that people can use it regardless of their operating system and devices. For example, a PDF file on Windows looks the same as on Linux. It looks the same on a laptop as on a mobile phone, but you’ll have to zoom in a lot. Unlike documents such as .docx, you can open a PDF file without requiring the installation of certain software. Usually, you can open a PDF file directly in the browser. 

Needless to say, it was successful, as PDF is the main format for electronic documents and books. Businesses and people alike use them for documents such as:

However, PDF files are mainly for viewing purposes, not editing. They might have some form fields where you can add some text and limited interactivity, but that’s it. Making edits directly in the document requires additional programs, but more on that subject later. 

What is a PDF viewer?

A PDF viewer is a software that allows users to view a PDF file or make annotations to it. Still, while PDF viewers allow users to view and open the already existing PDF content, it does not allow one to convert a document to PDF.

Considering the popularity of the PDF file, ensuring that it is accessible to viewers meant that PDF viewers needed to be available. While many are available on the market, PDF viewers display the PDF content as it normally is, in a static format, without transforming it into a flipbook. A PDF viewer will display the PDF content in your browser (most browsers have a PDF viewer installed as a plugin from the get-go), and they provide an experience similar to traditional PDF viewer like Adobe Reader.

When choosing a PDF viewer, there are certain factors you need to keep in mind:

  • Visibility – the PDF viewer should provide an enhanced PDF viewing experience that allows for text magnification that doesn’t compromise the quality of the text;
  • Annotations – being able to add notes, suggestions or comments that don’t limit the reading experience is helpful for content optimization.
Visual showing the difference between a PDF viewer and HTML5

Nowadays, PDFs are used in business, school, and any other field that uses the digital text format. You can attach them to emails or websites, but if you want to enhance them further, you should look into software that can convert PDF to HTML5 flipbooks. We’ll see why shortly.

What is HTML5?

HTML or HyperText Markup Language is the language that describes what web pages should look like. In other words, it is the most important element of the World Wide Web. HTML was developed in the early 1990s, and since then, it has been updated several times to meet the requirements of the expanding online market.

However, there were constant issues with how the different browsers could display websites due to the incompatibility of plugins and browsers. Why did this happen? Well, as a standalone language, HTML could display only static pages. At the same time, there was a growing demand for additional web features, and thus, HTML has been coupled with various players such as Silverlight, Java, and Flash.

Everything changed with HTML5, the latest language version. While each new update brought more reliability and fewer problems, the fifth version came with something entirely new: HTML5 is less dependent on plugins for functionality; it is device-independent, and scripting can be replaced by markup whenever possible.

Why should you convert PDF to HTML5?

As mentioned, HTML5 has fewer cross-platform compatibility issues and supports more than the classic HTML static page you were used to when dealing with previous versions. It is improved, but let’s look at its advantages compared to a PDF file. 

  1. Interactivity
  2. Audience reach
  3. Reporting
  4. Security
  5. Device-responsiveness

You get these advantages when you convert PDF files to HTML5 flipbooks in Flipsnack. Flipsnack is an online publishing platform that allows users to create different digital publications. In Flipsnack, there are three main ways of creating a digital publication: designing one from scratch, starting with a template, or, given this blog article’s title and focus: you can convert a PDF to HTML5. We’ll focus on the latter option and cover some of the benefits from PDF to HTML5 converters online.

1. Interactivity

When it comes to digital publications, interactivity is key. Regardless of the type of publication you have created, interactivity offers a more engaging experience for your readers. Whether we are talking about product catalogs, real estate listings, or even school presentations, an interactive feature can’t hurt.

Unlike an HTML5 flipbook, a PDF file is limited in interactivity. When you create a PDF file, you can add links, videos, and checkboxes, and that is about it. However, when you convert PDF to HTML5 flipbook, like one created in Flipsnack, you can insert many other interactive elements into your documents. In other words, your static PDF becomes a fully interactive PDF. These can have the added impact of actively engaging your audience in a measurable way like: 

Additionally, Flipsnack is the fastest PDF converter on the market so that you can turn your PDF into an interactive document in no time.

2. Audience reach

To take full advantage of the publications you have created, it is important to reach your target audience by easily sharing your PDF online. From this point of view, you can take your static document to convert PDF into HTML5 flipbook and enjoy ample accessibility. Firstly, you can embed the flipbook on your website through an iframe code, so your customers can easily access it. This way, they know that if they want to read your latest publication, they can visit your website and find it there.

Visual representation of some of the ways you can reach your audience

However, if you might not want to embed the document on your website, so … secondly, you can share it in an email newsletter. Sharing a PDF via email requires attaching the document to said email. There are a few problems with that. People are reluctant to open email attachments as they are afraid of cyberattacks. They are also reluctant to download attachments because it is one extra step that they have to take. And what do you do if you’re unable to send the PDF via email because the file’s size is too large? 

Once you convert PDF to HTML5 flipbook and enhance your document, you don’t need to attach anything else. You simply insert the link into the message. And just as easily as email sharing or embedding, you can share the HTML5 flipbook via:

  • Direct message:
  • Full-view link;
  • Through social media;
  • As QR code;
  • PDF, HTML5, GIF, video, JPEG, and PNG download options for offline access.

3. Reporting

Knowing how your customers interact with the publications you create is important. It allows you to make the required changes to offer your customers the best experience. A PDF file doesn’t allow you to do that. You simply share it with your audience, then hope for the best. There is no way to know how many views your publication had, how many minutes someone spent on it, or how many times someone downloaded it. All of these statistics are essential.

Visual representation of statistics in Flipsnack

You can keep track of all the above statistics if you convert PDF to HTML5 flipbook in Flipsnack. You can also monitor what devices or from what sources people open them and which location the flipbook was opened from. On top of that, with Flipsnack, you can keep track of individual page statistics. You can see the following information for the reporting stage of the analysis:

  • Time spent on flipbook, number of views, impressions, and downloads per flipbook;
  • Average time spent on, clicks, and views per flipbook page;
  • Engagement statistics for interactive elements with details like number of clicks, page number, and link if applicable;
  • Number of orders;
  • Lead form statistics. 

Once gathered, these statistics can be used to optimize future publications. But if you convert PDF to HTML5 flipbooks, this can become a constant marketing strategy for your business if you sell products online or create internal communication documents alike.

4. Security

There are times when you might now want to make the documents you have created public and share them with specific people only. Sure, you can upload a PDF file on your website, but it will be accessible to anyone with the link and search engines. Keeping internal communication documents private is necessary for obvious reasons, even if that is only one of the 10 challenges in internal communication. This is why Flipsnack provides ample options to choose from if you convert PDF to HTML5 flipbooks.

Visual representing security features in Flipsnack

In this case, you may need a secure way of sharing PDF documents. Once you trigger the convert PDF to HTML5 function in Flipsnack, you can choose from the following secure sharing options:

  • Set their privacy to unlisted, meaning the search engines won’t index them. In this case, to access the file, you will need to link to it.
  • Make flipbooks even more secure through the password-protect option. In this case, the link alone won’t suffice. You will also need to know the password to access the flipbook.
  • For extra security, share the documents privately via email so only those who receive them as an e-mail can access them.
  • For the most secure option, give access to flipbooks through your company’s SSO system, and you can even include readers with access.

Whichever option you choose for protecting your documents, a password manager will help you achieve that high level of security your important files need. Implementing robust password management practices is essential for protecting your digital publications and ensuring only authorized users have access to sensitive content.  

5. Device-responsiveness

When displaying a PDF file in a desktop browser, you get the best viewing experience of that format. However, when you switch to a mobile device or a smaller display, the viewing experience will be affected. Still, once you convert PDF to HTML5, the viewing experience will become responsive. Adjusting the viewing experience to different screen sizes and devices makes it easy for users to view your presentation, catalog, or magazine.

The HTML5 format gives readers a seamless experience regardless of the platform or devices used. Through Flipsnack’s PDF to HTML5 converter, you can ensure that your publication will automatically adjust to fit any screen size and resolution. Once the flipbook is opened on a smartphone, the layout and design of the flipbook will adapt to the display available in order to deliver a consistent and visually pleasing reading experience. Through this cross-platform compatibility, Flipsnack enhances flipbook device responsiveness. This will allow your audience to enjoy your digital flipbook anywhere, anytime, and on any device at their disposal.

What PDF publications should you convert into HTML5?

Since I’ve mentioned some of the advantages of the convert PDF into HTML5 flipbooks function, let’s see some examples of PDF publications that are suitable for such conversions and sometimes even recommended:

  • Brochures & Flyers:

Many websites and companies use brochures for marketing purposes. In fact, brochures are traditional marketing materials, and in recent years, they have transitioned to the digital world

It’s easy to find a PDF to HTML5 converter online. Still, in Flipsnack, you can convert PDF to HTML5 flipbook, create a beautiful brochure, and send it to your clients via newsletters. You can also host it on your website to advertise sales and new items or describe your business in a professional magazine-style format. Designing a brochure properly is important, but you can use some brochure templates as inspiration.

Visual of a customizable digital brochure in Flipsnack

Flyers are excellent promotional tools. They work wonders when promoting an event, product, or service. For example, if promoting an event, you can embed the map where the event takes place. If promoting a product, you can include a link to the product so that users can gain access to additional information about the product. 

  • Magazines

On the one hand, we have websites that issue digital magazines for their audiences and, on the other hand, printed magazines and newspapers that publish parts of their issues or full issues on their websites. Sure, you can publish a magazine through several articles on a blog. Still, to give your audience an experience similar to a real magazine lecture, you must publish a PDF format, a Flash adaptation, or an HTML5 version. We already established that that’s what it means to convert PDF to HTML5. Furthermore, given the benefits mentioned, of course, the best choice would be the HTML5 flipbook.

Visual of a table of content spread in a digital magazine made in Flipsnack

Digital magazines eliminate printing costs in the manner that you no longer use paper to print. They also eliminate transportation-related carbon footprint, even if hosting cost adds to it, they are viewed as an eco-friendlier option

When it comes to reading, accessibility is increased once you convert PDF to HTML5, as you can include a table of contents. This makes it easier for the reader to reach the desired page. Design-wise, there are many magazine templates to choose from, and you can easily create your magazine

  • Online product catalogs

Local stores and eCommerce websites share product catalogs with their customers. Some create weekly catalogs, while others keep their customers informed only when they change the stocks or have something special to offer, such as sales or premium products. You can also take catalogs in digital format and take them through the convert PDF to HTML5 flipbooks function for more readability and interactivity. 

Flipbooks are great alternatives to PDFs, mostly in terms of sharing options. Still, you get to track what happens with them, discover who sees them, how much time they spend reading them, and use their enhanced security and privacy options.

Visual of a digital product catalo's shopping feature made in Flipsnack

Product tags and captions work great with a product catalog. If you convert PDF to HTML5 flipbooks in Flipsnack, you can use both to offer extra information about the products you intend to sell. Image slideshows are also an excellent choice, as you might want to include additional images for each product. 

Allow your users to create and email wishlists directly from the catalog with the help of shopping lists. There are many possibilities to make your catalog more engaging so why not use them? Make sure that every customer can interact with your catalog and make a purchase based on your offer. By implementing catalog marketing strategies you’ll boost sales with the product catalogs themselves.

How to turn PDFs into HTML5 Flipbooks in Flipsnack

I’ve concluded so far that, in many ways, HTML5 is better than PDF. I’ve offered information about the features HTML5 flipbooks have, so let’s now look at how to convert PDF into HTML5 flipbooks with the help of Flipsnack. 

Needless to say, to use Flipsnack, you will need to have a Flipsnack account. You will then need to

1. Upload your PDF

Once you are signed in, the first thing you need to do is to upload your PDF file. This will convert your PDF file to HTML5. You can upload a single file or click on the dropdown menu to upload in bulk. When uploading multiple files, they will merge into a single file unless you want to upload them as individual files. We encourage you to test the feature, as we offer the fastest PDF conversion speeds on the market.

2. Make your HTML5 flipbooks interactive

Once you have uploaded the file, you can customize its appearance and set different branding settings. You can choose the widget’s look, layout style, background colors, tooltip language, and more. 

You can also directly edit the file in our Design Studio without using a 3rd program. Here is where you can add new texts, links, images, videos, and shapes to your flipbook. You can also add links to your next or previous pages and a “go to page” link from the same editor view.

In the Design Studio, you can make your publication interactive with the features I mentioned earlier in the article. You can embed iframes, include product tags, captions, links to your social media profiles, and so on.

3. Publish and share your HTML5 flipbooks

Once done with the editing, you can choose from the different privacy options I already mentioned. Afterward, your new flipbook with a realistic page-flipping effect is ready to be shared with your audience. Share your publication via e-mail, direct link, social media, or whatever you decide. You can even easily create your website using a WordPress page builder and integrate your HTML5 flipbook directly into it for maximum reach.


Here are some common questions regarding PDF to HTML5 conversions:

What specific enhancements does HTML5 offer over PDF for mobile users?

HTML5 significantly enhances the mobile viewing experience of documents compared to static PDF files. One key advantage is its responsiveness; HTML5 allows content to automatically adjust to various screen sizes and orientations, providing an optimal viewing experience across all devices. This is particularly beneficial on mobile devices where screen space is limited, ensuring that users can read and interact with content without constant zooming and scrolling.

Can HTML5 flipbooks integrate real-time data or APIs, and if so, how?

Yes, HTML5 flipbooks can integrate real-time data or APIs, enhancing their functionality. This integration is possible because HTML5 supports scripting and dynamic content updates, which are essential for pulling data from live sources. Developers can use JavaScript within the HTML5 structure to fetch and display real-time data from APIs, allowing the flipbooks to display updated information like stock levels, weather, or news—making them interactive and continuously relevant.

What are the long-term maintenance needs for HTML5 flipbooks compared to static PDFs?

Maintaining HTML5 flipbooks generally requires more effort than static PDFs due to their interactive and dynamic nature. As technology and standards evolve, HTML5 content may need updates to ensure compatibility with new web browsers and devices. Additionally, interactive elements like links and embedded media may require regular updates to ensure they function correctly and remain relevant, unlike static PDFs which are generally maintenance-free once created.

Ready to convert PDFs into HTML5 flipbooks?

Change can be scary, but it is often for the best. Staying in your comfort zone is safe, but at the same time, it limits your progress. The same goes when dealing with PDFs. Sure, they have proven their worth, but why not try something more advanced? Something that does more than stay in the old established rules? 

Documents can be more than just something to read. They can be engaging and fun. Why not convert PDF files to HTML5 flipbooks? Enjoy the best technology to improve not only the reading experience but also the marketing strategy of your business. Step out of your comfort zone, and see all the benefits an HTML5 flipbook offers.  


  1. […] you thought of converting these materials into Html5 flipbooks and embed them in the pages of your website? Please add your inputs in the comments section […]

  2. Blagun March 27, 2018 at 11:30 am - Reply

    Does it similar to Adobe’s thing at some point?

    • Jani March 27, 2018 at 2:41 pm - Reply

      Are you referring to an Adobe product? If so, which one?

  3. Prurigo August 4, 2018 at 9:52 am - Reply

    articles that are well packaged, do not saturate when reading it, good job!

  4. ramuanmujarab August 15, 2018 at 9:43 am - Reply

    Very nice and interesting. thank you for sharing.

Leave A Comment