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    What are the differences between PDF and EPUB?

    September 2, 2016

September 2, 2016

What are the differences between PDF and EPUB?

BeetleReader epub viewer differences with pdf

Many users are asking how exactly PDF differs from EPUB. They cannot really grasp the initial excitement about latter. This article aims to shed some light over the main differences and similarities between the two formats.

In previous posts, we have already explained what EPUB is and what its main benefits are. However, its most important feature is that has become a standard open format which has lead to its quick adoption by the publishing industry.

PDF is Adobe’s format and stands for portable document format. It is one of the oldest and most popular eBook formats. Perhaps one of the most valued characteristics of PDF is that it is securely locked against editing – very safe for digitally signing documents.

Below are the main differences between the two formats.

  • Accessibility: EPUBs have become more accessible especially for impaired readers, as they function better when it comes to screen reading software.
  • Readability: PDF files offer “a mirror”of the original format. It is just perfect for iPad, PC or Mac. However, when it comes to reading on mobile devices, EPUB files read much better. This comes from the next differentiation point.
  • Reflowable text: EPUB’s text is reflowable (also called ‘responsive design’). This means that the content will reflow depending on the viewing window. It just fits to the dimensions of the screen!
  • Pagination: EPUB offers table of contents navigation or using embedded links in terms of page navigation. Some EPUB reader do not offer page number display or search. BeetleReader has worked specifically on implementing page jump to make it more convenient for users.
  • Linking: As EPUB is an HTML-based format, it may contain links that take the user out to a certain web page.
  • Zoom in/out: Unlike PDF, EPUB does not have zoom in/out function, as the text resizes automatically.
  • Layout: PDF supports static images, tables and other similar elements that retain the original layout of the ebook. However, EPUB has a spectacular feature-support that optimizes the text to display on all devices and browsers.



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