Over the last few years, the way people read has evolved significantly. Consumers are using a wide range of digital devices and content formats to access books, presentations, brochures, and other types of content.
They also want to be able to access files that are not heavy to download, are responsive on mobile, and enhance readability on their device of choice.
Consumers want the convenience of reading during their daily commute, a quick work break, or while waiting for a salon appointment. Being able to read anytime, anywhere has become a common consumer expectation.
Publishers and content creators, too, are evolving content formats to make them more interactive and engaging for readers. They are looking for formats that enable superior storytelling. For instance, more consumers are seeking interactive content, whether for children, as edutainment, or in the form of a graphic novel.
One format that has enabled easy readability for decades is the humble PDF. However, there is a growing trend among readers accessing interactive content via the ePUB format.
So, ePUB vs. PDF – how do they compare? What is the optimal way to access both formats, and which ones should content creators prioritize?
ePUB vs. PDF: The key differences:
There are some basic differences between the two formats, though both have their pros and cons:
- PDF files typically tend to be much heavier and larger in size than ePUB files. This is because EPUB extensions or files are stored in a zip file. They use HTML to process, making them much smaller in size. On the other hand, when one opens a PDF on different devices, the PDF will need to be physically resized by the user. The portability of ePUB is thus overall superior.
- A PDF is very compatible with the printing process. The content appears just as it does online in terms of the fonts, image placements, text placements, headlines, contents, and the overall layout. On the other hand, it is not as easy to print an ePUB file. The advantage of an ePUB file is that the content shifts seamlessly when opened on different devices. However, when printing, it may not flow as seamlessly.
- The overall digital reading view is much superior via ePUB because it features reflowable text that automatically optimizes according to the screen resolution of the device being used. On the other hand, in the case of PDFs, one has to physically zoom in and zoom out to be able to view it optimally. Hence, when it comes to ePUB vs. PDF in terms of digital readability, ePUB wins.
- Due to the more basic nature of PDFs, they are much easier to edit. On the other hand, ePUB documents do need some knowledge of coding and HTML features. Hence, it is better to leverage a professional digital publishing platform if one is a content creator, author, or publishing house using ePUB to create content.
- The most important and valuable advantage of using the ePUB format is the limitless potential for integrating rich multimedia. This includes videos, audio, and interactive content, thus making it an inclusive and widely accessible format. This innovation is increasingly making ePUB the go-to choice for eBook publishers and other digital content creators today. On the other hand, PDF has a static approach to content, limiting the scope to playing with text, images, and hyperlinks to external websites.
ePUB vs. PDF: What do they have in common?
ePUB and PDF are two of the most popular file formats used by a mix of independent content creators, authors, businesses, ePublishing houses, and professionals to treat a wide range of content.
They are also the file formats of choice when consumers want to access content on multiple devices due to the ease of use and compatibility with various devices. Plus, they can also be viewed offline.
How to read PDF files?
You can view a PDF using software like Adobe Acrobat Reader. In case you do not have access to it, you can choose from a wide range of alternative readers.
You can double-click on the PDF that you want to view. Once it is opened, you may need to physically adjust the file to amplify the size, fit it onto your screen, or reduce the size based on your reading needs. You can also zoom in to enlarge a part of the page if needed.
How to read ePUB files?
ePUB files can be viewed across a wide range of devices by using an eReader platform or app. One can just download the eReader or app and double-click on the ePUB files to start reading.
Using an eReader is helpful because ePub files also tend to have videos, audio, rich images, and other interactive content. The reflowable content adapts based on the device being used.
ePUB vs. PDF: Choose the right format:
PDFs are best used when creating content with text and static images. The content can also be hyperlinked to various websites for quick referencing.
Another reason to work with PDFs is when you want to take physical print-outs. PDF is a format that is easily compatible with the printing process.
On the other hand, the ePUB format is a boon for modern-day ePublishing needs, where interactivity is a growing demand amongst readers.
ePUBs support videos, audio and rich images, thus paving the way for interactive storytelling that transcends traditional book formats. ePUB is the growing format of choice for authors, content creators, and contemporary ePublishing houses.
When creating content, choosing the right format is important. Having said that, more and more readers and content creators are embracing the ePUB format to bring more interactivity to their content.
Content creators, authors, and ePublishing houses can leverage end-to-end publishing platforms such as Kitaboo to store, create and distribute content to a wider audience and enhance reach.
Even the top players from the traditional publishing industry are embracing eBooks, which can rightfully be considered the future of reading and the publishing world.