When PDF was king
The last twenty years PDF was king when it came to sharing documents. But in a time where small screens are everywhere PDF just doesn’t cut it anymore. PDF was made for sharing documents and enable everybody to print a document from every platform and get the same result every time. But how important is printing nowadays? Not to me it is. I hardly ever use my printer these days. Isn’t it much more important to be able to read a document well on every device with every imaginable resolution? I think so and there’s one file format that does just that: ePub.
PDF has one important advantage over ePub. It is very easy to create a PDF file. That wasn’t always the case though. The first years of it’s life, PDF was something you could only create with expensive software from Adobe. That changed. In Mac OS X you can create PDF’s by selecting Print > Save as PDF in the menu. It’s easy. To me that has always been a magic feature of Mac OS X. But now I feel it’s time to move on.
ePub for everybody
ePub is where PDF was about fifteen years ago. ePub is a format recognized by many as ideal for ebooks and sharing documents, but only professionals and a few die-hards know how to create them. I see it as my mission to change this. I want to see a situation where everybody knows how to create ePub files. I would like to be able to say in a couple of years time that creating ePub files has become as simple as it is to create a PDF file today.
ePub is bigger than ebooks
The rise of ePub will not only be about ebooks. ePub is bigger than ebooks. Right now ePub is already used for papers, articles and reports and the signs that ePub is becoming a replacement for PDF are all around for who’s looking. I’ve noticed several websites that have a Download article as ePub button, something you would never have seen only a couple of years ago. I’ve noticed an increase in downloadable ebooks from businesses that now offer ePub documents instead of PDF’s as marketing tools. Download our free Ebook! sounds so much better than Download our free PDF!
Easy ePub creation is a prerequisite for change
I don’t have numbers about the number of ePub files in the world, but I expect that the use of ePub as a vehicle for sharing documents will grow exponentially and will eclipse the use of ePub for ebooks. When that will happen, I have no idea. Perhaps it has already happened. An important prerequisite for this revolution is the availability of cheap and simple ePub creation tools. That will take a couple of years, just as it did with PDF. But I believe that people will eventually get used to these tools and that these tools will be standard on every computer. Just like ereader software has become standard on each and every computer these days.
That’s why I think the days of PDF are numbered. Make way for ePub. And if you need to create an ePub on a Mac, get Eboocz of course. It’s ePub made easy.