Embedding Documents on Pages

09Apr09

People constantly email us to say that pdfs won’t download from our website, and it’s usually an issue with their browser, not our pdf. While browsing the New York Times recently, I noticed that they have a documents section where they let you scroll through pages of very long documents, never having to download anything, with a very elegant interface.

There are also several free tools out there, like Scribd (example here) and Docstoc (example here) that are in wide use on a number of sites. Using these could be one way to avoid all those complaints about downloads, and make our content more accessible to a wider audience (And just to be clear, I wouldn’t advocate for replacing pdf downloads with an embedded document entirely). As an added bonus, Scribd also has recommendations for its user community, and tagging and submitting our reports could be an interesting experiment in finding new audiences who wouldn’t otherwise find our content.

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