Basic file format that can be downloaded and read on numerous devices.
Choose if: you plan to read only on a desktop PC or Mac.
Note: You will need Adobe Reader to open this file. Software can be downloaded for free from Adobe: http://get.adobe.com/reader/
Opens an interactive (Adobe Flash) link that simulates the actual book, complete with page-turning features.
Choose if: you plan to read from a computer (not a portable device) and have access to the Internet.
Special file format optimized to be read on numerous eReader devices (e.g., Sony Reader, iPhone, iPad, Nook).
Choose if: you plan to read from a portable device and do not have access to the Internet.
What format should you choose?
That depends on your operating system, what type of device you have (PC, Mac, smartphone, tablet, e-reader), and how you prefer to read digital content. The following chart can help you make a selection.
|Apple iOS Devices|||||||
|Barnes & Noble Nook|||||
PDF stands for Portable Document Format and is known as the standard for capturing and reviewing information from almost any application and on any computer system. A PDF displays contents exactly how it was designed, and in the case of books and printed matter, it resembles an actual print product. This is beneficial for online reading because the PDF maintains the design integrity and look of the original printed book or product.
Similar to a full-color PDF, flip-books simulate the actual printed book but with a built-in, virtual page-flipping utility. Users can click and drag any page corner for a realistic page turning effect. Because they are digital, readers benefit from finding content relatively quickly, and (depending on how they are built) readers also get the benefit of a completely interactive document (e.g., embedded with videos and other multimedia features). A keyword search for any text within the flip-book can be done, and a page can be magnified (up to 400%) in order to better see the content. Unlike a PDF and ePUB file, a user must have Internet access in order to view the flip-book.
ePUB is a standard e-book file format that is supported by most e-readers available today. ePUB is a reflowable format, which means that unlike a PDF, a single file can adapt itself to any device and any screen (ideal for reading on mobile devices). Depending on the e-reader device/software one is using, a user may be able to highlight text and attach notes, bookmark pages, and do a keyword search. One can also read ePUB books on a desktop or mobile phone by using e-reader software, many of which can be downloaded for free. Once you download an ePUB file, it is on your device and you do not to be connected to the Internet to read.