Scribd makes a play for pdfs on the web

Regardless of whether you have Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader, clicking on a weblink to a pdf ends up being a tortuous process while you wait for the app and related document to load up in your browser. It’s no different when someone sends you a pdf as an attachment.

Let’s face it, the skinny format of pdf is now putting on weight as befitting its age. This is why I think Scribd’s latest move is very smart.

Up until now, I’ve paid little heed to this free online service that allowed you to publish docs to the web. Initially all published docs were made public and privacy within a chosen group was not an option. So unless you wanted to broadcast to the world it simply didn’t work. By and large, unless it was a white paper or marketing doc, do many folks have docs to regularly publish [excluding blogs].

However, they have now done two things to catch my attention. Firstly private publishing is now included as standard in the free service. Hence, if I want to send a doc to someone, I can do so as a published scribd doc and simply send them the link.

But as importantly, if you wish to publish a pdf, Scribd has introduced iPaper, which is a very slick, fast and bloat free way of making the doc available. With no install required [other than a flash player], the document can be view directly inside the browser and is rendered in a very slick fashion. Removing the need to send the 150mb pdf file, you can simply publish the pdf via Scridb and allow your invitees to view the doc inside their browser effortlessly. Book view is undoubtedly the most visually impressive way to inspect items.

Offering embedding code which enables you to direct place documents inside a web page for immediate viewing is similarly smart.

Definitely one to watch.

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