Reusing existing PDFs

Extract PDF text for search

Reusing existing PDFs
Import content from the universal PDF format to quickly convert to 'print replica' fixed layout ebooks.

Any set of PDFs can be used as a starting point regardless of their age, the application that made them (e.g. QuarkXPress, iBooks Author or unknown) and there is no restriction on the fonts that have been used or colour mode (e.g. CMYK graphics).

Only the trim size of the PDF page is used. Any bleed areas and trim marks will be cropped off on import meaning existing print PDFs can be quickly re-purposed as eBooks.

Most PDFs contain selectable text and when they do this text carries through to become searchable in the resulting ebook. PDFs without text may first be passed through a optical character recognition (OCR) tool like Adobe Acrobat.

Either a single PDF containing multiple pages or multiple PDFs can be used and if working with a ‘black plate change’ workflow it is possible to overlay text PDFs over base artwork PDFs on the same page.

Spread PDFs can be used and split back out into facing pages or alternatively, for landscape documents, a single page to view can be used.

PDFs are placed onto a newly created ‘FLO_PDF’ layer which can be mixed more InDesign content and other CircularFLO layers containing hyperlinks, animations etc. with your PDF artworks as required.

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Reusing existing PDFs

Placing PDFs into InDesign

Reusing existing PDFs
CircularFLO offers lots of options to convert existing print PDFs to Fixed-Layout EPUB.

Place multiple PDFs and multipage PDFs


Crop print PDFs for ebook exporting.

Use either page PDFs and spread PDFs

Layer PDFs on top of each other

Extracting PDF text for search.

CircularFLO uses InDesign to assemble and prepare existing PDF content by placing them into  pages into InDesign.

Text from placed PDFs is retrieved and can be viewed and edited in the InDesign Script Label panel. Show the Script Label  panel using InDesign Window menu > Utilities > Script Label.

CircularFLO PDF Tools to convert PDFs to Fixed-Layout EPUB.

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Reusing existing PDFs

Pros and Cons of PDFs in ebooks

Reusing existing PDFs
PDF support means we can make ebooks from older backlist titles, but it may not always be the best approach.

Pros of working with PDF

Ability to use output from other layout applications such as QuarkXPress. Simpler preparation especially for older backlist books, no need to find all links or to activate fonts, simple tools to quickly build pages, embedded text for search is available. Hyperlinks can be retrieved with CircularFLO tools.

Cons of working with PDF  

Accessibility will be reduced. Text will not be live and selectable, it is harder to add animation and other interactions to parts of the page.

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Reusing existing PDFs