Page-turning Web pages offer a unique and realistic way of presenting a series of pages, especially text pages. Instead of clicking forward and back arrows, users turn pages with the cursor using a motion very similar to turning the pages of a book (one of the reasons it's great for text). It's not the easiest trick to program, but it's surprisingly easy to do with PDF2PageTurn. Its Wizard Mode turns your PDF documents into page-turning HTML documents and then saves or uploads them to your Web site with a few clicks. There's also an Advanced Mode that lets you exert a high level of control over the process as well as enabling additional options such as image quality. It's free to try with a watermark on output files and costs $119 to purchase, which isn't too much, considering what it does.
PDF2PageTurn's dialog-size user interface opens on Step 1 of the Wizard Mode. You can add files by browsing or dragging and dropping; we picked a multipage PDF (an old camera manual) and clicked Next. Step 2 involves setting image quality options with sliders, including zoom-in page settings. In Step 3, we entered a Title and optional Keywords and Description. Step 4 involves choosing one of four publishing methods: Save a local copy, upload to FTP server, upload to eBrochures/eCatalog for free, and create a standalone presentation for Windows or Android devices. We opted to save a local copy and, in Step 5, chose a language (plus optional custom home page URL and text) for the HTML Control Bar. Clicking Convert started and tracked the Conversion Process and Upload Progress and opened our finished job inside our browser when it finished. The pages displayed crisply and cleanly in a side-by-side view, though with a watermark. The page-turning effect is surprisingly natural. All that remained to do was to upload it to a Web site. The Advanced Mode tab basically does the same job as the Wizard, only with more options.
PDF2PageTurn delivered on making a difficult task as easy as drag, drop, and click. If you design and create Web sites, it's definitely worth a look.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of PDF2PageTurn 1.3.
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From PDF 2 Page Turn:
With PDF2PageTurn Software you can convert PDF documents to a page turning web pages. Page turning web page are able to be indexed by Search Engines and are internally searchable. They are easy to navigate, you can add Sticky Notes, print individual pages or multiple Pages. You can send PDF2PageTurn Documents to friends, zoom in to pages and optimize for file size and quick download. You can upload the page turning pages to your web server or we can host them for you free. No plug-ins are required.
What's new in this version:
Version 1.3 comes with an improved wizard function for the best experience.
Activation doesn't last, keep on having to put in activation code resulting in a message saying too many activation's this despite always using the same PC. This basically makes the programme unusable. Tech support do not seem to exist. I messaged them on their support site at least 6 times with no response despite supplying full details including invoice details.
As tech support is in Australia I even got up in the middle of the night as they have an online chat...or do they as it always said off line!!
- Can't specify default output folder. - To add a custom banner or to remove eBrochures.com link in output header requires manual html editing after the project is generated. - Image output quality can be hit or miss, even with good images in the pdf file. In their FAQ, DNAML says to manually edit the output image after the project is generated. - I don't understand the Print function when viewing the output. I couldn't get it to send page(s) to my printer, it appeared instead to "print" page images to a Print folder in the project folder. - Not sure why the software creates three separate image folders with identical content differing only in resolution.
Being an owner of their DeskTop Author software I was able to purchase PDF2PageTurn 1.3 for a heavily discounted price of $9.95. At that price I figured I'd give it a shot. After playing with it all morning, I figured it's worth the $9.95 but I wouldn't pay the full $119. It's a one-trick pony that I find frustrating and rough around the edges. While the output might eventually meet expectations, to get there requires too much time messing around and editing things the software should support.
Some of the cons I listed above should be directly addressed in the software itself: -My Windows boot drive is an SSD so I prefer to keep data on a different drive. For the eBooks I create, I use an eBook folder on another drive and would like to set that as the default output location. I can't; instead, the software creates its own randomly named output folders in the MyDocuments\eDocuments folder. I have to Export the project after conversion to my eBooks folder and then manually remove the project from MyDocuments.
-To add a custom banner or to remove the automatically included eBrochures.com link requires the user to manually edit the index.html file after the project is completed. How user friendly is that? Most users of this type of software don't want to mess with html code, and they shouldn't. A simple menu option in the software could prevent this.
-Quality of converted images can be hit or miss. Most of the images look fine after converting with PDF2PageTurn but some come thru fuzzy or blurry. I used the settings as suggested in DNAML's FAQ but that didn't help. Their FAQ also says the quality may be tied to an image sizing issue. They say you may have to manually export the image from the project output, resize it in PhotoShop (or any other image editor I presume) then reinsert it. I originally had a good image; PDF2PageTurn screwed it up and now I have to manually fix it? If it's a resizing problem, why can't that be built into the software? Or at least offer image preview so you can see before conversion which ones may have issues.
Like I said for simple projects or ones with minimal graphics, PDF2PageTurn will generate good quality output. But as the images become more numerous and complex (also depending on origin & original format) the post processing cleanup becomes an issue. I create most of my eBooks either using an html editor or in a word processor; there's less hassle and generally cleaner conversion if I go from word processor format directly to html without creating an intermediate pdf. That can be done within the word processor itself or various other software, a lot of it open source.
The only reason for me to use PDF2PageTurn would be if I had only a pdf file to start with. And even then, there are other ways to convert pdf to something which is html compatible.