At first glance, PDF-based platforms often seem practical: the documents look like in the printed books, can be quickly converted into digital format and you can work with them somehow. But this comparison shows the big differences between ebooks in beook and PDF documents.
The ebook platform beook was developed from the very beginning with a focus on "optimal learning". Reading a novel in beook makes little sense. On the other hand, learning and non-fiction books can be studied, in which contexts are eminently important and annotations or own contents are to be added in a structured form. In this context, beook can play its trump cards.
The PDF was originally conceived as an exchange format for finished documents, so it is only of limited use for learning content.
beook, made for learning: a digital teaching aid should be a living basis for working with!
Due to its structure, a PDF has many elements that are technically unrelated to each other; even if, for example, there are two letters next to each other. Adding content such as notes and markers will also end up in this pool of many elements; or, if necessary, they will simply be placed on top of it.
In beook, annotations with a reference "in" the content are stored. For example, a selected subset can be updated in the text, so that it can slide further down in the text. beook will continue to display the correct subset as marked after the update. Image annotations are also always directly "on" the image. If the image changes its size or place, the annotation moves with it.
The structure of an ebook can be extended with own pages. They will receive your entry in the table of contents and are therefore equivalent to existing content.
Content in beook benefits from "complete pages". You only need to change pages to switch from one topic to the next, no scrolling is necessary within a topic. Thus, beook supports concentrated reading and makes it easier to keep a good overview of the content.
A PDF always has defined page sizes. However, these are not in relation to the actual content and lead to unnecessary interruptions in the reading flow.
A clean table of contents is the best guide - but PDFs do not guarantee that a table of contents exists at all. The overview column is very important for beook. It not only contains the textual table of contents, but also guides users through the directories of notes, markers and image/media resources to the desired content. Especially the visual access via pictures is so far unique - and especially useful for everyone with photographic memory!
beook allows you to search in the right place: Whether only in the current ebook, via a partial selection or via all ebooks, the search functionality offers the desired flexibility. Due to the database based content, the search queries are very fast and can be displayed in a clearly arranged list. A tedious jumping from result to result as it is known in PDF contexts is completely superfluous. And after selecting a search result hit, the complete list of results remains available. Efficient searching for successful learning.
Flow Layout ebook content can be displayed on desktop devices, tablets and smartphones. Flow layout content is the "king" among ebooks and guarantees the best ebook experience for the reader.
A PDF is always layout preserving, which is exactly why the PDF format has been developed: A document should look the same on all devices and platforms. beook also offers this possibility through fixed layout conversions, which can be created from PDF or InDesign-Epub. This keeps the elements in place.
To optimize the reading flow, subchapters can be merged into fixed layout-ebooks on a single page. This saves the user unnecessary page changes.
The file size of PDFs with integrated videos or other media can quickly reach cumbersome dimensions. If the contents are only linked, PDFs always pose the question of availability or copyright protection.
beook has a media management system that is transparent for users. Media content can be downloaded individually, also to control the memory usage of the device according to your own needs. The ebook publishers can also determine which content may be used offline at all. In the simplest case, all media can be installed with a single click and are then ready for offline use.
Updating of content - personal content can also be taken over from other editions
Content of ebooks are stored in beook structured in the database on the device. This allows you to update your ebooks and take over the personal content correctly. Even with new editions of books whose content structure has changed - e. g. in which new chapters have been added and sections have been omitted - personal content can still be placed and displayed at the "original position" by means of assignment tables defined by the publisher.
PDF solutions are document-based environments that do not know the content structure of the documents and store personal content directly in the PDF document. In the case of updates, if supported by the reader at all, only the added elements on the same page can be kept in the same place. However, there is no question of a real takeover.
ebooks must be more than books that are read on a screen. Especially on the subject of exercises, beook offers almost unlimited possibilities. The task entry is done via Excel or the web application beook author and can be done very efficiently and clearly. It is often also possible to extract the exercises directly from the layout. In the ebook, users can thus be offered text, assignment, drawing, sequence sorting, crossword puzzles and other task types for learning content. Tasks with unique solutions can be corrected by the user himself, for all tasks the correct answers can be displayed.
A PDF offers form functionalities for the input of texts, checkboxes and other elements, but due to its static nature it cannot offer the same high interactivity.
ebooks in beook always have a clear structure. The content pages are also semantically structured due to the HTML structure. These two elements contribute to a higher accessibility. On iOS devices with appropriate barrier-free settings, beook offers the best access for everyone.
PDFs can also be made accessible in a post-processing process. However, updates and new editions require this step to be repeated again and again, which can quickly lead to high costs depending on the degree of automation.
The cloud functionality is integrated in beook. After the first activation of the cloud, the user doesn't have to worry about anything anymore. Content is encrypted and synchronized when chapters are changed and the app is closed. In this way, a backup of personal data is always available in the cloud and all his devices have the same status. The cloud synchronization in beook transfers only the personal content, not the complete teaching material. This saves data during transmission.
PDFs can be transferred to other devices using common cloud solutions. However, with every change, no matter how small, the complete document must be transmitted again.
The sharing function in beook allows you to send your own content to other users. With the recipients, the content received is placed directly at the appropriate place in the ebook. Your own pages and notes can be easily passed on to users of a certain group. Sharing is currently only possible for users with extended rights; prospective customers register with ionesoft.
Third party software can also offer this functionality for PDFs. However, the disadvantage remains that elements can only be used due to page numbers and coordinates. The lack of structure is once again a major disadvantage.
Additions to content with video/audio or other HTML plug-ins can be made directly in the ebook creation workflow via Excel. This means that these enrichments can be automatically added again, even during updates. In standard PDF production, there is no such convenient option available.
Content in beook has a high level of copy protection. ebooks in beook cannot be shared with other users, neither inside nor outside the app. The data does not lie in a file on the computer, but exists only in a structured but fragmented form.
Adobe DRM is probably the most widely used copy protection for PDF and EPUB, but requires an Adobe identity to which the corresponding document is linked. Protected content can only be used in Adobe Digital Editions or in a few ebook readers. PDFs that do not have this protection can usually be distributed to any number of people without any further problems.
In addition to the advantage that the sale only runs through the publishers and thus no royalties accrue to app stores, the publisher also retains control over ebook licenses. Temporary licenses can also be issued and previously issued licenses can be revoked.
For PDF, this control can be obtained with Adobe DRM.
What you have in a PDF can be seen immediately after creation, can be used and can be saved as security. With ebooks, the beook editors are entitled to the original file. This is based on the EPUB-3 standard and can be used as required. The difficulty is not to find a platform that supports the EPUB format, but to find one where you can really do something with EPUB-ebooks!
beook is available on all common operating systems. This means that the same content can be prepared once and offered and used on all platforms with the same functionality and operation. This is a last important advantage compared to PDFs, where there is hardly any high-quality reader for all platforms.
Other ebook platforms mostly use the PDF format, or the content is accessed in a browser. This only works with an active Internet connection. In beook, all content can be used offline at any time, whether in the classroom on Windows and Mac computers, or on the go on a tablet or smartphone.