PDF has been around since forever and it’s still the most popular format of document sharing online. But, despite it being so ubiquitous, it struggles to keep up with the times. People prefer their digital content to be eye-catching and interactive nowadays, and in its initial form, a PDF is neither.
We won’t suggest giving up the format, though. Instead, why not build upon it? In this article, we will tell you how to make your PDF interactive the easy way, recommend the smartest interactive PDF alternative, and show you some awesome interactive PDF examples that will make you think you might need to give yours an upgrade ASAP.
What Is an Interactive PDF
To put it simply, an interactive PDF is a PDF document that people can engage with. Unlike a traditional PDF, an interactive PDF is enhanced with various types of multimedia: videos, external links, GIF animations, buttons, etc. Instead of using just plain text and static pictures, you get to convey your message via different formats and tools, such as a link to a relevant source, a pop-up gallery, or a quick video guide embedded right into a page of your interactive ebook. Interactive elements help readers connect to your content in a more meaningful way and allow you to make a more lasting impression.
How to Make an Interactive PDF in Adobe Acrobat
Typically you’d use a tool such as Adobe Acrobat to create your PDF—it only makes sense to use the same tool to boost it with interactivity, right? And it’s actually really easy to create an interactive PDF with Adobe Acrobat—all you need to do is:
- Open your PDF file in Adobe Acrobat
- Add videos, links, buttons, checkboxes, and other interactive elements
- Preview your PDF before finilizing the result and test all the interactive elements to make sure they work correctly
- Export it as a PDF
Voila! You have an interactive PDF on your hands, ready to be shared. However…
Making Your PDF Interactive… May Not Be Enough?
…however, there are certain limitations to what you can do with your PDF in its original form. The format itself is the limitation. Interactivity makes your PDF catalogs, magazines, pitch decks, and newsletters more engaging, sure. But there are many problems interactivity doesn’t solve. PDFs are not mobile-friendly, they require downloading to be viewed, they’re hard to protect, hard to navigate, impossible to update without fuss, and they severely lack in the visual department. In other words, they’re outdated.
So, how to make PDFs interactive and give them a much needed upgrade while we’re at it?
The answer is—by turning your PDF into an online flipbook.
What Is an Online Flipbook and Why Is It Better Than PDF
An online flipbook is a digital publication converted from a plain PDF via FlippingBook. It has the look and feel of a real-life book: you read it by turning its pages instead of scrolling it.
Online flipbook example
What’s more important, though, you can fill it with interactivity to the brim, and do so with ease.
Here’s what interactive elements you can add to an online flipbook:
- pop-up galleries
- lead form
- clickable logo
- call-to-action button
- table of contents
Apart from that, turning your PDF into an online flipbook solves all the problems with PDFs we’ve mentioned above. Online flipbooks are:
- Easy to share: you can share a link to your flipbook instead of the whole document, so your readers won’t have to download it to view it.
- Easy to navigate: with text search, table of contents, and thumbnails, your readers will have no problem finding the information they need in your document.
- Easy to update: you don’t have to resend a PDF whenever you need to freshen up your content or fix a typo—update your flipbook as often as you want, and the link to it will stay the same.
- Easy to protect: unlike a traditional PDF that can’t even be protected from copying, online flipbooks have several levels of protection, from distribution control and password protection to restricted website embedding.
- Mobile-friendly: online flipbooks open fast and work flawlessly on any device.
- Smart-looking: even without extra efforts, an online flipbook just looks neat—however, you can customize its background, logo, favicon, and color palette to make it fully reflect your brand identity.
Now that we’ve covered why online flipbooks are superior to traditional PDFs, let’s get to how to create an interactive PDF via the FlippingBook software.
How to Make a PDF Interactive via Online Flipbook Software
Step 1: Register in FlippingBook Online. Your 14-day trial will start right away, and you’ll be able to test all the features you want.
Step 2: Upload your PDF* to FlippingBook Online. It will be converted into an online flipbook in 1-2 minutes.
*If you don’t have one yet, we commend using Canva for swift and fun PDF creation. You can use one of our stylish templates, too. FlippingBook is integrated with Canva, so when you’re finished, you can simply send your PDF from Canva directly to your FlippingBook account.
Step 3: Now that your flipbook is fully converted, you can add interactive elements to it! Go to Customize and click the Add video, links, etc. button to start the Editor mode and enrich your flipbook with interactive elements.
Step 4: When every video, link and GIF are in place, save the changes and share your flipbook with the world. You can do so by sending the link to it, by embedding it directly into your website, by copying and pasting its QR code and more.
Step 5: Don’t stop at sharing—thanks to FlippingBook’s analytics, you can actually see how readers interact with your flipbook. Track statistics, analyze the metrics, and get valuable insights to make your future content even more efficient.
This is what your interactive flipbook can look like:
Interactive flipbook example
If you’re still not convinced that an interactive flipbook is the best way to make your PDF interactive, we’d suggest giving it a try first. Create your own flipbook from PDF right now!
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