PDF Alternative Formats

PDF Alternative Formats

What is the first format you think of when you need to create and share content? It’s PDF most of the time, isn’t it? No wonder, because PDF has been the main document format for years.

However, with the rise of digital technologies, PDFs leave much to be desired. They’re plain, hard to share because of their size, not optimized for the web and mobile devices, and not accessible, just to name a few. After all, Adobe created PDF 30 years ago and since then the web has changed, and so has content consumption.

That’s why many companies are looking for PDF alternative formats—and even Adobe Acrobat Alternatives—that can serve as a great substitute and help companies achieve their goals much better than PDFs. So in our blog post, we’ll talk about the benefits of using PDF alternatives and share the formats that you can switch to from PDFs to empower your documents. We hope that you will find the format that suits you best! Let’s get right to it, shall we?  

Why Use Alternative PDF Formats



One of the fundamental reasons to choose PDF alternatives is that PDFs lack the functionality and reading experience of 21st–century content. PDFs are slow to load and consume a lot of memory, they lack convenient navigation and aren’t tailored for mobile devices. While alternatives to PDF can offer many features to help you create state-of-the-art content: your online documents can be engaging and interactive, you can share them via a link no matter their size, they are comfortable to read and navigate around, and are adapted for any screen and device.


Security is what every document needs today and PDF isn’t something that can provide it. If you share sensitive information like an internal report or business proposal in the PDF format, there’s a high risk that it can be leaked in one way or another. You can’t restrict a PDF from downloading or printing. Of course, you can password protect it in Adobe Acrobat but some PDF viewers ignore this setting, so it’s not as helpful as you’d hope. Alternative PDF formats allow you to protect your content from downloading and printing, add a password, make your document available only on your website with the help of a protected embed, and more.


Another reason to go with PDF alternatives is that consuming your content in the PDF format can be inconvenient for people with disabilities. Creating accessible PDFs that are fully compliant with the accessibility standards is quite challenging as PDFs are complex and not accessible out of the box. Making them so requires lots of time and effort. Other formats such as HTML are more accessible for any individual with any kind of disability as they can provide an alternative way of accessing the content. For instance, such formats can be easily read by screen readers and can be navigated with a keyboard instead of a mouse.

SEO Optimization

When you create PDFs, they are not SEO optimized by default so you have to optimize your PDFs manually. But even though Google will  index your PDFs better, your PDFs won’t rank as high as you’d like them to be ranking. Formats like digital flipbooks and HTML will  rank higher than PDFs because their smart promotion systems will be giving the documents a strong SEO boost



So now that you know about the main benefits of PDF alternatives, check out what amazing interactive formats you can use to take your content to a whole new level.


PDF Alternatives



After more than a decade since PDF originated, ePUB was developed by the International Digital Publishing Forum and became the standard format for digital publications. The main feature that differentiates ePUB from PDF is its ability to reflow its content. When you open a PDF document on a small screen, you have to make an effort to be able to read the document: zoom, scroll, and whatnot. On the contrary, an ePUB document fits smoothly around the screen because of its reflowable nature. The content on the page rearranges and realigns itself so that the user can have a good reading experience.

What’s more, ePUB is designed keeping eBook readers in mind the  so it’s better suited for eReaders. XML and XHTML make ePUBs accessible and compatible with most of software tools. You can read an ePUB document on a computer, tablet, smartphone, and any eReader (except Kindle).

Google Slides

If you want to build simple presentations, portfolios, invitations, and brochures, you can do it in Google Slides right in your web browser. No need to buy Adobe Acrobat and learn how to create PDFs there. Google Slides allows you to express yourself, your data, and your ideas easily with presentation themes, various fonts, and graphics. Plus, multiple people can work on slides at the same time, you can see people’s changes as they make them, and every change is automatically saved. And your Google Slides documents are very fast to share via direct links.  



A flipbook is an interactive digital publication with a realistic page-flip effect that makes it resemble a real print copy. There are various flipbook creators that can help you convert your PDFs into online documents in a few clicks. In our article, we’ll be talking about flipbooks, made with FlippingBook, an online flipbook maker. Just check out how nice your online document can look.

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A digital flipbook provides a great reading experience on any device and can be easily shared via link or embedded into a website. This document format stands out from other PDF alternatives: not only is it aesthetically pleasing to read but it also offers many powerful features for marketing and sales, as a one-stop shop. Here are just a few of them:

  • Interactivity. A study conducted by the content creation platform Turtl revealed that audiences spent whopping 73% more time engaging with interactive digital content than with static PDFs. So don’t miss a great opportunity to add interactivity to your flipbooks. Videos, animated GIFs, pop-up images and galleries, forms and quizzes, and outbound links will make your content enticing and eye-catching. Your readers will love looking through your flipbooks and will always come back for more.
  • Easy sharing. Forget about heavy attachments forever, you can simply send the direct link to your flipbook via email or messenger, share it on social media with a neat preview, embed it into your website, or add a QR code to your printed materials so that people could scan it and open your flipbook on their devices.
  • Content security. With PDF, you never know in whose possession your document will turn up. When you create flipbooks via FlippingBook you can choose the desired level of privacy for your document: from a shareable link only available to your recipients or a password protected flipbook to a protected embed that only works within your website. Plus, you can be in full control of how your flipbooks are distributed and prevent them from unwanted sharing: disable the share, download, and print buttons. 


HTML is a markup language that allows for the creation of web pages and structured documents with text, images, and other multimedia elements. By the way, flipbooks are also HTML-based, so they combine the features of flipbook and HTML formats. HTML provides several benefits over PDFs for digital content:

  • It is designed to be read by screen readers and other assistive technology, making it a more accessible format for people with disabilities. 
  • HTML is easier to produce, edit, and update than PDFs because it is a text-based format that you can update and change anytime using a simple text editor.  
  • HTML is responsive, as it adjusts to different screen sizes and devices, making it easy to view your content on smartphones, tablets, and desktops. 


That’s it! We hope that you will find a PDF alternative format that will up your content game and help you achieve more with your business. Good luck!


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