How to convert PDF files to HTML5 flipbooks and why

By |Published On: September 14th, 2017|Categories: Business, Interactive Documents|

More than a quarter of a century has passed since PDF file format was created and launched in 1991. Since then, the format has become part of our lives and I am sure that some of us didn’t even remember how things were before. PDF revolutionized the way we share documents, view, and read information stored electronically, online, and offline.

While in some cases books and magazines are still better left in the PDF format, there are some items that after the latest HTML update can now be converted in another, better web format. This article will shed some light on the reasons you should convert some of your files, how to do it, and why HTML5 flipbooks are a wise choice.

Let’s start with the basics.

PDF versus HTML5 flipbook

The purpose of this article is not to undermine the value of PDF. In my opinion, it’s still a good choice for many types of documents, starting with eBooks and up to invoices and other official documents. PDF files are easy to store, accessible from every platform and they look the same regardless of the device you choose to use in order to access them.

HTML5, on the other hand, is a great choice for web based files and applications. The latest updates made the hypertext language independent of external plugins and applications when dealing with animations and multimedia and this is one of the main reasons it’s become so popular in a relatively short while.

As a consequence, we have now different options and this is always a good thing. We can keep our PDF files stored but we can also convert them into HTML5 flipbooks when we need to make them available for online view.

Should you give up on PDFs?

As I have said in the previous paragraph, the choice is yours. You can either use PDFs or HTML5 flipbooks but the second option is mostly recommended for online access. HTML5 flipbooks are not dependant on any plugin or software except the web browser you are already using to access websites.
At the same time you can use both of these file formats.

Why convert PDFs into HTML5 flipbooks?

There are many reasons to create a PDF and at least as many reasons to start converting some of them into a more web friendly format like HTML5. Let’s see some examples of PDF documents that are suitable for such conversions and sometimes, even recommended:

1. Brochures:

Many websites and companies use brochures for marketing purposes. In fact, brochures are traditional marketing materials, even though in the latest years they are mostly digital rather than printed. You can create beautiful brochures and send them to your clients via newsletters or on your own website to advertise sales, new items or to describe your business in a professional magazine-style format.

2. Magazines

On 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 but if you want to give your audience an experience similar to that of a real magazine lecture, you have to publish a PDF format, a Flash adaptation or an HTML5 version. Of course, the best choice would be the HTML5 flipbook.

3. Operating manuals

Usually, all product manuals and technical sheets are made available on the Internet in various forms such as PDFs, web pages or even text documents. Rarely these documents are published in other formats but still if you want to make them accessible as HTML5 flipbooks, you can do it.

4. Courses

Are you a teacher? If yes, I am sure that you have to deal with a lot of courses and notes you share with your students online. If you are teaching online courses, even more, you have to create them to be as easy to access as you can. PDF documents are a good choice but HTML5 flipbooks may offer you some new perspectives and  more options. You can easily insert videos and audio files into a flipbook and share the link with your students. At the same time, if you want to share online courses on your website, HTML5 flipbooks can be embedded into web pages, as easily as a YouTube video clip.

5. Online catalogs

Local stores and eCommerce websites are known to share product catalogs with their customers. Some of them create weekly catalogs while others are keeping their customers informed only when they change the stocks or when they have something special to offer such as sales or premium products. These files can also be converted into HTML5 flipbooks for a plus of accessibility and readability. Thus, you can make sure that every customer is able to read your catalog and make a purchase based on what you have to offer.

Why convert these above files into HTML5 flipbooks?

Let’s say it once again: As HTML5 flipbooks, they are more accessible to your customers and fans. An HTML5 code is easy to embed into a web page or a newsletter template and thus, easier to read. At the same time, flipbooks are better looking and due to the HTML5 features, they support animations, effects, and many other great additions.

Remember the traditional animations created in Java or Flash? Well, they became just another part of history now, when HTML5 has support for these features without the need to install an external plugin. On mobile, this is quite important, as plugins like Flash drain the batteries and reduce the operating time.

Benefits of HTML5 flipbooks

Before getting to the creation part, I will list some of the most important benefits of HTML5 flipbooks:

  • Accessibility. You don’t need email attachments. Just insert the direct link in email to share your magazine or embed it easily into a website or blog.
  • HTML5 has audio and video support. This means that you can easily integrate multimedia files into your documents by using a tool like Flipsnack.
  • Cross browser support. No more problems related to incompatibilities and web pages displayed incorrectly. Our flipbooks work perfectly on all modern browsers.
  • Mobile friendly. Your readers won’t gave to install addition apps to view your publications, because they are accessible directly in-browser.
  • Advanced reporting. You can’t track views, clicks, readers locations or any other data with a PDF. Instead, if you convert your PDF into an HTML5 flipbook with Flipsnack and you’ll get access to all the data that you need.

How to convert PDFs to flipbooks

If you want to convert PDF to flipbook free and in just a few minutes, you will need a specialized online service. I would recommend Flipsnack due to its friendly interface and ease of use. They will even teach you how to make the conversion through simple and comprehensible guides published on their platform for everybody to see.

The interface
Flipsnack features a simple and easy to use interface. Upon signing up, you have instant access to the editor, where all your work can undergo. In the case of an interactive PDF conversion, you won’t have anything special to do here. If you want, you can customize the background, add a few multimedia elements or adjust your file to look better on a web page.

Create from scratch editor
The editor features all the tools needed to create a flipbook from scratch, or by customizing some ready-made page layouts. You can add navigational buttons, links, text, images, video, and calls to action to your document. Also, you can choose to let the user flip the pages or make your entire document to flip automatically once the user opens the link or the web page where you previously embedded it.

Publishing options
You can publish your saved HTML5 flipbooks on social media pages, embed them in web pages or send them via email. allows you to see some very helpful analytics and adjust your creations to be SEO friendly by adding title tags, meta descriptions and a specific category.


This article aimed at shedding some light upon the opportunities HTML5 format presents to everybody who ponders the possibility of publishing documents and courses in an accessible format, easy to visualize and read on the web. HTML5 flipbooks offer features that are not available in PDF documents.

Do you have experience with HTML5 flipbooks? What do you think? Did you convert PDFs into HTML5 flipbooks? Why? How was your experience with Flipsnack or other professional online services that do PDF to HTML5 conversion? Please share with us your stories, your comments or questions in the comments section below.

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