Last week we gave you an article about several tools to view your PDF files online, but today we’re going to discuss tools to publish PDFs online. These tools usually include viewing functionality but are not to be confused.
Contrary to regular PDF viewers, like Adobe Acrobat Reader, these tools are focused on spreading your PDFs over the internet. They make a launch basis and distribution platform so your (personal) PDFs can be accessed by hundreds of users over the world.
Although these tools are highly similar in concept, they show differences in overall functionality and abilities. Today we’ll review the most prominent of these sites for you, so you may find the one that ultimately fits your every need. Here they are, in no specific order.
What Issuu currently lacks in word of mouth, it makes up for in raw style. You won’t encounter anytime soon a more beautiful and fine-tuned site to publish PDFs online than Issuu – especially graphically. With slick looks, this player will continue to conquer the hearts of many nerds.
You can browse Issuu’s ‘collection’ based on category, rating and overall popularity. The level of Issuu content is very high, and you’ll encounter many professional magazine publications. If you’re looking for a good eBook read, Issuu can help you a long way.
In terms of interface, Issuu heads a more experimental path. Away with the well-known PDF reading set-up, hello eye-candy intuitive experimentation. Issuu allows you to read your PDFs like a real magazine, two by two. You can click the page to zoom in and have a more detailed view. Intuitively flip the pages, or use the OSX-doc-like index at the bottom of the page.
The design, as well as the revolutionary interface makes Issuu my new personal favourite.
Check out a MakeUseOf PDF example on Issuu here.
If Issuu is my ‘new’ personal favourite, whose throne did it take? Reader, meet Scribd, another wonderful PDF publishing site. If you think Issuu is too much mumbo-jumbo, this might be what you’re looking for to publish PDFs online.
The Scribd online reader once again deviates from the conventional interface – although not as extreme. Scribd also allows you to read your PDFs per page, or in a two-by-two ‘book’ format. The ‘scroll’ view is the more interesting part of the interface. Simply move your mouse towards the bottom of the page and click to gently scroll down your page. Although you can summon a graphical index of pages, this mode is more aimed to userswho are off to read instead of scan the documents, and makes a great interface for reading eBooks.
Last month we used Scribd to promote the online viewing of one of our MakeUseOf manuals – The iPhone Guide. The pilot proved a success, with the document even making the Scribd hotlist. Check out a MakeUseOf PDF example on Scribd here.
Google Docs – for those of you who’ve been living under a rock in the past few years – is the cloud computing office application by internet and software giant Google. This free and online suite covers all bases – word processing, spreadsheets, and so on. Not everyone knows this, but besides functionality for txt and doc files, Google Docs perfectly integrates with PDF files.
Strictly following the definition we gave at the start of the article, this site might not be allowed a place in this list. However, because Google Docs allows you to not only “˜view’ your PDF files, but also gives you a (1.0) platform for spreading them, I personally think it should be given the benefit of the doubt.
Alas, a 2.0 platform is not included, but the basic functionality for this application allows you to pretty much do what you want with it – upload your files and make them public. Next, you can share the link with pretty much everyone you know. Embedding the document is sadly not possible. Incredibly simple and easy to use, albeit limited in functionality.
Check out a MakeUseOf PDF example on Google Docs here.
Have you ever published a PDF online? It’s easier than you think! Tell us which site(s) you used and why you did(n’t) like them in the comments section below.