Modern Ways to Share Print Layouts over the Internet

Often you want to share a print layout over the internet. What are your options?

Digital publishing – The “old” way


Typically you might create a screen PDF and put it on your webserver. Though great for Print, PDF have several shortcomings over the web. In a browser they look strange (double navigation). On mobile devices they do not really offer interactivity. And accessibility depends on how you created the PDF. And so on.


Not really. Go six years back and though Flash was widely spread it was already not the ideal format. Security holes, high CPU requirements (remember the fans of your device starting to howl?) and – maybe worst – they never worked on mobile devices.

Flipbook Services???

Sure, they offer you a one-stop solution. Typically you submit a PDF to them, pay them a fee and they create some kind of interactive format. In the past often Flash, nowadays some kind of HTML.

Have you ever used a flipbook? The issues beside having to pay a fee and maybe having to host it somewhere outside your web infrastructure are in my humble opinion the user experience:

Often these flipbooks only offer two zoom levels, one that lets you hardly read text, the other so large that it is difficult panning around. Text is often an image, which doesn’t make them available to accessibility features like screen readers (to read out loud). “Searching” is mostly not possible in the browser, it’s prefabricated in the UI. And interactivity is limited to maybe videos and audio. And should the flipbook service decide to discontinue the service, you are stuck again.

Digital Publishing the modern way: Pixel-perfect HTML5

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just convert a print layout with three mouse clicks to an interactive, web-friendly format? That allows you to add interactivity, works in a browser, giving you search and magnification?

And of course it should work on all devices, desktop and mobile. And without additional fees. That’s what HTML5 Publications promise to do:

  • Convert out of a Print layout created in QuarkXPress 2016 with just three clicks
  • Export standard HTML5
  • Run on all platforms (mobile and desktop browsers)
  • Text stays text and all typographic and design features are kept, pixel-perfect, as you created them
  • No extra charge (besides QuarkXPress and web space)

Have a look how easily this is created out of QuarkXPress:

If you use PostScript fonts (Type-1 fonts) then these will not work in HTML5. You have two options to replicate your Pritn layout as HTML5 Publication then:

  1. Substitute the Type-1 font with a TrueType font or OpenType font. Both formats will work well and keep typographic features such as kerning.
  2. If you need to keep your Type-1 font, then make sure QuarkXPress exports these text boxes as an image. You can define that in the measurement palette when being in a Digital layout. At the very right for each text box there’s a check box besides a small camera symbol to “Convert to Graphic Upon Export”. Use Item Find/Change to easily change all text boxes to export as image.