Problems converting a PDF file into a flip book?

Jani / Tips and tutorials / April 4th, 2013 / 9 Comments »

Basic RGB

Not all PDF files convert flawlessly. Sometimes the entire PDF file or some pages from a PDF file are converted to images instead of SWF files. Usually when this happens you will notice a difference in quality between pages when you open the flip book in full screen and use the zoom in feature.

Technically, what happens is that some highlights and effects aren’t recognized by the flash player and therefore they can’t be converted to SWF files (each page in your flipbook is a SWF file).

When this happens, the solution I personally use and recommend (it works every time) is to rasterize each page from the PDF file.

How to do that:

1. Open the PDF file with Adobe Acrobat Pro.

2. Save each page from the PDF file. File -> Save As -> Image->JPEG.

Rasterize PDF

3. Click on Settings and make sure that maximum quality is set for the JPG, then click OK.

JPEG settings

4. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader again if you closed it and go to Create -> Combine Files into Single PDF.
Select all images, choose the maximum size allowed and combine the files.

Combine flies into single PDF

5. Finally save the PDF file and upload it to FlipSnack. It will work like a charm.

Note: If you had links inside your PDF you will need to insert them again after you’re done with this process.

Obviously, you don’t need to rasterize the entire PDF if you have problems with just a few pages. If that’s the case, open the PDF creator program and rasterize the problematic pages only (or elements in those pages).
In Photoshop you can do that by flattening layers from a page.

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About Jani

Janina is passionate about PR, digital publishing and online marketing. She loves the seaside, crafts, books, adventures and summer nights.

9 Responses to “Problems converting a PDF file into a flip book?”

  1. Jared says:

    I followed these instructions using maximum quality settings. The result produced was less than optimal. Jagged text and low-res logos. I used maximum JPG settings and then when recombining pages used maximum PDF settings. Must have something to do with over compression? Not sure.

  2. Jani says:

    Hi Jared! Try using the original images then, or export them straight from PhotoShop/ inDesign or the program you used to create the PDF.

  3. Adam says:

    I am using Adobe Acrobat 8.0 on a HP pc. I cannot get to save it as a JPG or JPEG, I can only make a copy. How do I do this? Do I need to use Adobe Acrobat Pro?

  4. Jani says:

    Yes Adam, you need Adobe Acrobat Pro to do that.

  5. Pilar says:

    which is the image size and resolution suitable for my document look clear and legible without having to zoom in ? thanks

  6. Jani says:

    Hello Pilar, The size at which an image/pdf appears on your screen depends only on two things – the pixel dimensions of the image and the display resolution of the device that you’re using to read the flipbook. So if you want to have a great resolution without having to zoom in, you need to check what size the flipbook is displayed on your computer and make the image/ text the same size.
    I hope this answers your question.

  7. Dina says:

    Problem: Flash conversion of pdf created with Microsoft Publisher showed a blank background on some of the pages. All pages rendered correctly in non-flash flipsnack (as seen on my android tablet or in a browser with flash disabled). This conversion error also occurred using the issuu converter.

    Fixes that didn’t work: Adobe Pro conversion, rasterizing (poor text quality), higher/lower dpi

    Fix that worked: Eliminate any “background” on the pages.

    In Publisher, I had been using the “background” menu action to set the page background. This sets the background for the page(s) using a tint, picture, or texture. When I changed this to “no background” then used the “insert picture” to add a jpg on each page layered below all other images, all pages rendered correctly in flash. (simply take a screenshot of the background and save as jpg using your image application, don’t forget to set all pages to “no background”)

    Hope this helps, n=1 !

  8. Jani says:

    @Dina, thank you for taking the time to write this!

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