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Adobe PDF files 8 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do with a PDF 8 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do with a PDF We show you how to split, merge, downsize, and do all kinds of magic with PDF files. Read on if you're ready to take your PDF documents to the next level! Read More are becoming the standard “go-to” format, and it is easy to see why. They open on all operating systems, they can be password protected, copy and edit restricted, and printing can be disabled. Plus, PDF files aren’t affected by viruses 7 Free Anti-Virus Tools For Your Browser: Scan Links Before You Click 7 Free Anti-Virus Tools For Your Browser: Scan Links Before You Click Viruses, malware, phished websites. Online mousetraps are lying in wait for some poor sucker to click on, so their computer can be added to the collection of zombie computers spewing out spam. Read More , so you can open them with confidence.

The hits just keep on coming. A PDF file opens almost instantly, you can easily embed videos, as well as pictures and sound files. Take that Microsoft Word!

pdfposter

Many websites now offer the facility of being able to host PDF files for easy viewing. The PDF file remains open inside a widget and you can scroll up and down while you read. From the latest Supreme Court rulings to a recipe for chocolate cake, you are likely to find all kinds of PDF’s hosted there.

These kinds of tools are also used to show leaked documents. Famous examples include an early draft of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, and 7,000 of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Other tools enable you to easily convert to PDF. For example, if you have a PowerPoint presentation, you can export it to PDF, end up with better looking slides, and avoid the dreaded “Death By Powerpoint”.

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So which are these sites and how do you use them?

Glad you asked. Read on to see some you will already know and use, while others will be less familiar.

Scribd

scribd

We start off with perhaps the most well-known of the PDF embedding sites. If someone is hosting a PDF file online 10 Tips To Do More With Your PDF Files On Google Drive 10 Tips To Do More With Your PDF Files On Google Drive From managing your files to collaborating on Docs, Drive is a full-functioning office suite. What many people don't realize is its capability to do far more than only view PDFs. Read More , there is a high probability that it will be on Scribd.

When you visit the site though, you would be forgiven for being totally confused. Scribd is now positioning itself more as a monthly subscription service for eBooks and audiobooks Scribd And HarperCollins Launch All-You-Can-Read Book Subscription Service For $8.99/m Scribd And HarperCollins Launch All-You-Can-Read Book Subscription Service For $8.99/m Scribd is getting into the digital book distribution market with the launch of a new subscription service, offering a significant amount of the HarperCollins catalogue to subscribers. Read More . But if you use the search function and then filter it to only documents — or if you sign in and hit the “Upload” button — then you will see the PDF hosting side.

Documents brings with it functions such as downloading, printing, expanding to a full screen, magnifying larger and smaller, searching within the document, sharing on social media, and a star rating. Some documents may have the download function disabled by the uploader.

Summary of Key Features

  • You can either publish a document as public or private.
  • You can upload multiple files.
  • You can upload revisions smoothly.
  • You can upload cloud-based files from Google docs, Facebook and Gmail too.
  • You can set reader permissions and decide if your content can be copy and pasted from the site, if people can leave comments and reviews on your work, and even whether or not your title is available to download.
  • Scribd supports multiple formats and if your document is in another format you can convert it to PDF.
  • You can embed a PDF file (either yours or someone else’s) on your website. Scribd also turns documents into beautifully formatted webpages.
  • Scribd makes your content readable on iPhone, iPad, Android, and other mobile devices.

Google Drive

 

Google-Drive

Google Drive is absolutely fantastic, as I have already said before Google Docs vs. Microsoft Word: The Death Match for Research Writing Google Docs vs. Microsoft Word: The Death Match for Research Writing Online solutions are becoming the norm. We decided to see how Microsoft Word stacks up against Google Docs. Which one will do the better research paper? Read More . But one really cool feature is the ability to upload your Microsoft documents and then re-download them as a PDF file! The formatting is kept intact, and when you have the PDF, you can go ahead (if you wish) and delete the MS Office versions.

Microsoft Office also has a direct Export/Create PDF option as well.

Google Drive and its suite of tools help you publish your PDF documents by converting various file formats into PDF which can then be shared by a wider audience. Access can be revoked at any time. You can also embed the file on your website.

Summary of Key Features

  • Convert multiple formats into a PDF file.
  • Publish your documents for public consumption, and revoke that access at any time.
  • Embed a PDF file on your website or blog
  • Edit the original file and see the published file update automatically.
  • Control who can edit the PDF file.

Box

Box is very underrated Box Introduces Box Notes For Saving Ideas Directly Into The App Box Introduces Box Notes For Saving Ideas Directly Into The App Box Notes enables you to write notes and anything that comes to mind, and have it saved directly into your Box cloud storage account, with that newly minted 50GB to help you keep it. Read More , most probably due to its more well-known rivals, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive. But if you take a look at Box, it actually has some really good features. One of which is the ability to embed PDF files inside a widget.

So I went to my rarely-used Box account, knocked off the dust, dug out an old H.P. Lovecraft story PDF, and turned it into a widget.

You can choose whether or not to have the widget in a light color or a dark color, and there are different sizes available. Specify Small, Medium, Large, or Custom, and it will automatically size itself.

Summary of Key Features

  • Have a special URL made for a shared document. This URL can be customized again to whatever you want.
  • Protect the shared link with a password to stop unauthorized eyes.
  • Set a date for the link to expire.
  • Enable or disable downloading of your documents.

Beamium

 

Beamium

Beamium is a very nice drag-and-drop interface where you can easily and quickly upload your PDF files. It works as a nice alternative to Powerpoint 10 Tips for Making Better PowerPoint Presentations with Office 2016 10 Tips for Making Better PowerPoint Presentations with Office 2016 Microsoft PowerPoint continues to set new standards. New features in PowerPoint 2016 manifest its top spot as the best option for smart and creative presentations. Read More . You upload your slides as a single PDF file (which you can easily convert using the Google Docs method above). You are then given a unique presentation code (or a direct URL), which you hand out to everyone wanting to attend your event.

Those attendees then go to the Beamium site, enter the code, and they see what you see. As your presentation gets into full swing, and you go from slide to slide, the viewers see it too. You can even activate a small laser point dot if you feel the need to make sure everyone is looking at the right area.

Beamium is not a fully-featured bells-and-whistles operation. It is very basic, and perhaps that is why it is so appealing.

Summary of Key Features

  • Keep your files on the Beamium site for more than 14 days by registering for an account.
  • No software to download. Purely web-based, which means it is cross-platform.
  • Service is rather basic, so it will appeal to those who are not very tech savvy.
  • Presentations are displayed in full-screen.
  • It takes less than 2 clicks of the mouse to start viewing a presentation.

Publitas

publitas

Are you a budding Perry White, editor of the Daily Planet? If so, and you are looking for a stable way to take your publication online, then try out a Dutch company called Publitas. It is a service which will host your PDF magazine publications, and enable customers to buy them through a checkout system. They can then read your sensational scoops either online or offline. You can also upload free publications, such as the supermarket catalogue seen above.

There are different pricing plans, a free plan, and 4 paid plans. The free plan is extremely generous including cloud hosting on Amazon S3 4 Great Uses for Amazon's S3 Web Services 4 Great Uses for Amazon's S3 Web Services Despite Amazon being most well known for their retail services, they actually offer a host of web services for developers and home users that take advantage of Amazons experience and scalability with massive amounts of... Read More , embedding your PDF’s on a website, and publishing as many as you want.

Summary of Key Features

  • Extremely intuitive to use.
  • Very fast to load, due to HTML5.
  • Touch optimized for mobiles and tablets – pinch to zoom in and out.
  • Add links so readers can be directly taken to other parts of the publication.
  • Add videos to make the publication more interactive.
  • Page flip effect makes it feel as if you are reading a real book.

Slidesnack

SlideSnack is another PDF hosting site which gives you an embeddable widget for websites. But a few things let this one down. First you MUST make an account (OK, it’s free, but still…). Second, the embeddable option is considered to be a Pro feature. If you use the Free embeddable option, it will only display the first 20 pages of the PDF, and each page will be watermarked 13 Easy & Free Ways to Watermark Photos 13 Easy & Free Ways to Watermark Photos Have you ever needed or wanted to mark an image as yours to prevent others from duplicating it and/or claiming it as their own? You might already know that this is called watermarking. The process... Read More .

Despite all that, the interface is nice, it is fast to upload your file, and if you prefer to keep your file on SlideSnack servers, then you will get a shortcode for your file. The site also offers you some basic stats tools so you can see if anyone is coming to visit.

Summary of Key Features

  • Unlock the premium options with SnackTools Points.
  • Share on YouTube as a Mp4 file.
  • Record a voiceover.
  • Easy to customize templates.
  • Free plan gives you a maximum of 10,000 views.

Slides

slides

Slides is yet another site for making your slide presentations, and one option gives you the chance to import your PDF documents. Each page will then be turned into a slide, where you then have a multitude of options to make it the way you want it. Add text, more images, tables, graphs, you name it.

Each file uploaded is public, unless you pay for the Pro plan. In that case, you can make the presentation private.

Summary of Key Features

  • No need to download anything. Everything is done in the browser.
  • Optimized for mobiles and tablets.
  • Slides can be embedded on a website.
  • Download slides to view offline.
  • Presentations can be remote-controlled by touch-enabled device.

What Do You Use To Host Your PDF Files?

After many many years of dominance in the presentation field, Powerpoint 7 Tips for Creating Professional PowerPoint Templates 7 Tips for Creating Professional PowerPoint Templates Nobody benefits from a boring PowerPoint presentation. Use these tips to make sure your efforts always grab their audience. Read More is starting to be seen as tired and boring. Other services, like the ones above, are barging into Powerpoint territory, determined to show that there are other options out there.

So let us know in the comments below what your preferred solution is. Are you a die-hard Powerpoint fanatic 10 Tips for Using PowerPoint Online 10 Tips for Using PowerPoint Online You can collaborate easily in real-time with PowerPoint Online. Take your PowerPoint experience to the web browser with these tips for better presentations. Read More , or do you like one of the new tools?

Image Credit: Topher McCulloch (CC BY 2.0)

  1. Arka Der Stepanian
    June 20, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Hi Mark, Arka here from Publitas.com. Thanks for pro-actively mentioning us in your article!

    I'd like to share two minor but important corrections for your part about Publitas. We don't enable customers to:
    1. Sell publications. While our customers can sell products through their online publications (often retailers with weekly ads like the Blokker example you've used or retailers with catalogs such as CB2: http://catalogs.cb2.com/june-catalog-2016/product/993635), it is not possible to sell the actual publications themselves using Publitas.
    2. Read publications offline. While users can download the original PDF of the online publications to save that on their device and view offline, it is not possible to view the actual publication offline.

    Would you be able to correct this in your review to make sure the right information is being shared about our services?

    Thanks so much,

    Arka Der Stepanian (@aderstepanian on Twitter).

  2. David B.
    May 25, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    What is the best way to display a PDF in a WordPress.com blog?

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