Monday, March 17, 2008

Turn the Pages with Issuu

There are plenty of ways to embed documents into webpages. But when it comes to replicating the look and feel of a magazine or book, most digital efforts fall flat or complicate the interface.

Thank goodness there's Issuu.

Issuu lets you upload a PDF and then flip through it seamlessly on a dedicated Webpage or in a small embedded widget. Issuu's media viewer, which presents the content like a real publication, is a slick Flash-based interface that is fast, scalable, and smooth. But most importantly, Issuu's page-turning interface doesn't detract from the experience – indeed, it gives the reader a good feel for the document's "print" layout and makes browsing online publications familiar and fun.

Just upload your PDF to Issuu and it takes care of all the heavy lifting. Issuu converts your document into SWF that looks more like a book than a standard text document. And while there are plenty of services out there that let you embed a PDF file on a web page, Issuu is one of the best looking, and performing, that we've seen. The new ebook can then be embedded on pretty much any website, including Facebook, MySpace, LiveJournal, or Blogger pages (case in point).

Each digital book is set on a simple gray background. There are thumbnails of each nearby page which are given an OS X-ish zoom treatment when you mouse over them. And even small details of the original texts can be perused by zooming in to full screen mode, to read small text,or by simply zooming around with your mouse cursor to view each page in greater detail. It's completely intuitive, and great for documents with a lot of art (of which there are many samples already on Issuu's website). In fact, Issuu has already inspired hundreds of users to make and comment on a wide array of professional-looking art, photography, and travel mags, all of which are on view in Issuu's open library.

We can't wait to see more print designers use apps like this to create purpose-built print websites. But whatever your motive, give Issuu a shot and let us know what you think. FB


Unknown said...

You should check out our site at issuu, we are currently the #1 ranked person there.

We have a line of lifestyle books including cooking, yoga, dog training, guitar, piano etc.

You can access our issuu postings at our central site:

Kelle said...

I love the concept of issuu, but for the life of me I can't get it embedding onto blogger. Tried just about everything so not sure if it's my template causing the problem or what.

But it is a neat idea. If I can get it to work it will be even neater (: