[Windows] Convert PDFs into 3D flipbooks with 3D Page Flipbook

2013-04-05_232637PDFs are a very common format used by many people. Maybe too many people. If you want to do something to make yourself, your work, your product, your company, etc., then consider not using PDFs and instead using 3D flipbooks. And to help you do that is 3D Page Flipbook.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

3D Page Flipbook allows users to easily convert PDFs into Flash-based 3D flipbooks and save them as website-ready HTML (with accompanying SWF files and images), standalone executable that can be run on any computer, or uploaded onto 3DP, an online 3D flipbook sharing service run by the developer.

The following is an example of a flipbook created with 3D Page Flipbook:

2013-04-05_234619Take note 3D Page Flipbook comes in two editions, Standard and Professional. The difference between Standard and Professional can be found in the chart to your right. There is also a free Lite version that includes the same basic features but has a watermark on outputs. We specifically reviewed Standard for this article.

Pros

  • Allows users to turn PDFs, PPTs, and image files (JPG/JPEG, PNG, BMP) into 3D flipbooks
  • 3D flipbooks can be outputted in website-ready HTML format with associated SWF and images (with an optional mobile mode, so flipbooks can be viewed on mobile devices, and EPUB), EXE (standalone executable, allowing flipbooks to be viewable on any computer), website-ready HTML format in a ZIP file, burned to CD/DVD, or uploaded to 3DP, an online flipbook sharing service run by the developer
  • Output flipbooks can be zoomed, searched, and autoplayed; can have table of contents, bookmarked, or printed; can be downloaded or shared via Facebook, Google+, Twitter, MySpace, NetVibes, Digg, emailed, or embeded; be viewed in full screen; and more
  • Gives users a large amount of control over the behavior of flipbooks, such as title, background color or design, how quickly autoflip works, what buttons (search, zoom, autoplay, etc.) to include in output, pageflip sound, etc.
  • Can convert multiple PDFs into one flipbook
  • Supports batch processing; multiple PDFs can be converted into their own flipbooks at the same time2013-04-05_230118
  • Can password protect whole flipbooks or password protect only specific pages in flipbooks
  • Is very easy to use despite having a good amount of customization options; you don’t have to mess with customization options, if you don’t want, and simply convert PDF to flipbook in a few clicks
  • Flipbooks are SEO friendly and support Google Analytics

Cons

  • Mobile ready mode doesn’t work properly, as least not on my Nexus S
  • Must have Adobe Flash installed via Internet Explorer to create flipbooks with this program
  • Needs Microsoft PowerPoint installed to convert PPT -> flipbook
  • Only JPG/JPEG, PNG, and BMP supported for images — doesn’t support GIF or other less popular formats
  • Using the developer’s 3DP flipbook sharing service is expensive: $1 per flipbook displayed for one month or $9.99 per month for 1,000 flipbooks
  • Has a really dumb way of accessing batch convert. You cannot access batch convert from the main “Create New” page of the program. You need to be inside a project before you can access batch convert. What makes this stupid is batch convert is completely unrelated to any project you may have open, so there is no reason you should be forced to open a project before you can use batch convert.
  • Is buggy. Was able to convert three out of four PDFs I tested just fine; the fourth one would not convert for some reason. Plus if you enable mobile mode during batch convert and output to EXE, the program will bug out because you cannot have mobile mode of EXE — only ZIP/HTML can work with mobile mode.
  • $99 is quite expensive, especially for people looking to use this for non-commercial purposes
  • You need to purchase Pro ($299) if you want more customization and advanced options

Discussion

2013-04-05_2326543D Page Flipbook is a program that allows you to convert PDFs/PPTs/images into 3D flipbooks. The program is aimed at commercial users who own websites or products and use PDFs often but can be used by non-commercial users, too. The idea behind this program is for you to differentiate yourself from the competition — whether that be in the work place, at school, or in an industry — by using 3D flipbooks instead of commonly used PDFs. In that regard, 3D Page Flipbook works fairly well.

Using 3D Page Flipbook is very easy. It has a lot of customization options, but you don’t need to customize anything if you don’t want. All default settings are satisfactory, so you can simply load your PDF and output as flipbook if you don’t know/don’t want to customize settings. Indeed, with a few clicks you will be able to get a 3D flipbook version of your PDF. And 3D Page Flipbook has multiple output options — website-ready HTML (with optional mobile-ready and EPUB mode), ZIP, EXE, or upload to 3DP online flipbook-sharing service — so you shouldn’t run into major compatibility issues with your flipbooks.

The biggest problem I have with 3D Page Flipbook is its dependencies:

  • You must have Adobe Flash installed via Internet Explorer to be able to create flipbooks with 3D Page Flipbook, otherwise you will get a blank white screen. Having Flash installed in other browsers, e.g. Firefox, is not good enough.
  • You must have PowerPoint installed to do PPT -> flipbook

Other than that, there aren’t too many major issues aside from two bugs I ran into (see ‘Cons’ above) and the fact that I believe this product is a bit overpriced.

That said, let me provide an opinion as to if you should use flipbooks instead of PDFs or PPT: no, you shouldn’t. As mentioned earlier, yes using a flipbook instead of PDF/PPT will set you apart from the crowd. However, you have to realize people are used to reading PDFs/PPTs. Anyone that comes across a PDF or PPT will know how to read/view it. People are not used to 3D flipbooks. While using a flipbooks created by 3D Page Flipbook isn’t necessarily hard, it is different (e.g. you have to manually zoom in to be able to read the text). People don’t like different. Using a flipbook is a gamble. You may indeed set yourself apart from the crowd. Or you scare away customers and/or not impress your audience. Is that a risk worth taking? I personally think “no”, but that is up to you to decide.

Conclusion and download link

3D Page Flipbook is a good product for converting PDFs into flipbooks, although it is still rough around the edges as demonstrated with the bugs that is has. Do I recommend it? Hmm, hard to say. I like how easy the program is to use but it is overpriced in my opinion. I’ll let you decide on if you should get this program or not. The good thing is there is a free Lite version you can try, if you want, and the shareware versions come with 30-day trials you can give a try before you purchase.

Price: Free (Lite), $99 (Standard), $299 (Professional)

Version reviewed: 2.6.2

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/Win7/Win8

Download size: 42.5 MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: Too large to scan in VirusTotal

Is it portable? No

3D Page Flipbook homepage | Lite version homepage

Share this post

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

3 comments

  1. David Roper

    I have always thought that this is the way an OS should be. The first page looking like a TOC with page numbers to go to the applications instead of a Tree or WIN8 tiles etc. As you add or install an application, it adds itself to the TOC and installs. Later, you search the TOC for it and click. Everybody knows how to use a Book and every book has a Table of Contents.

  2. Giovanni

    Hi Ashraf!!

    A good FREE ALTERNATIVE is this:

    http://www.flashbookmaker.com/free-flashbook-creator/index.html

    As you can see it can convert a TXT file into a Flipbook with animations and sound, which can then be published to any websites of yours and easily viewed in any web browser, or even shared via email/CD-ROM.

    So if you have a PDF file, first convert it into a TXT file with the excellent freeware UNIPDF, and then use the above FREE tool to create a compelling FLIPBOOK from it, without paying a dime though.

    Another good FREE tool designed to create professional PDF PRESENTATIONS with page transition effects, page advance time and background music is also this one:

    http://www.rttsoftware.com/pdfrizator.html

    And what if you could record VIDEOS from a connected webcam and then make printed FlipBooks of them on the fly for FREE??

    http://www.donationcoder.com/Software/Mouser/FlipSuite/index.html

    To create great online presentations in FLASH format for FREE, without having OFFICE installed in your machine, you can use this FREE app:

    http://www.powerbullet.com/index.php

    Enjoy!!