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8 PDF Alternatives: Mobile-Friendly, Interactive & Trackable

Learn what are the best alternatives to PDF file format and why you can't afford to keep using PDFs if you hope to achieve your goals.

Dominika Krukowska

4 minute read

What is the best alternative to PDF format
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Short answer

What are the best alternatives to PDF?

While many opt for formats like ePub, MOBI, or DOCX, the best alternative to PDF is transitioning to an interactive web experience. It's mobile-friendly, engaging, and offers tracking capabilities.

This shift enhances user engagement and provides valuable insights that can be used to improve your content performance.

PDFs are holding back your content’s potential

We've all been there: crafting, sharing, downloading, and even (admit it) struggling with those pesky PDFs. They've been our go-to for so long, offering consistency and ease whenever we needed to whip up a short document.

But here’s the thing: technology has evolved and what was once the gold standard might now be weighing you down.

By sticking just to PDFs, you risk missing out on the engaging, interactive experiences that today's audience craves.

Dive into this post, and you'll uncover the limitations of traditional formats and the potential of interactive web content.

Let’s go!

Why are PDFs bad for business?

PDFs are bad for use in business because of:

  • Editing challenges: Adjusting content in a PDF isn't straightforward. It requires precision, and even small errors can mess up the layout.

  • Collaboration issues: Trying to work on a PDF with your team at the same time? It's a bit of a juggle. PDFs aren't made for group edits.

  • Problems with content extraction: Extracting specific content, like text or images, from a PDF is time-consuming and often frustrating.

  • Design costs: If you're having professionals design your PDFs, even minor revisions can be surprisingly costly.

  • Static nature: In an age of dynamic and interactive content, PDFs remain unchanging, potentially missing the mark with modern audiences.

  • No mobile responsiveness: Reading a PDF on a mobile device isn't always seamless. It often involves a lot of zooming in and out.

  • Inflexibility: Made a typo in your PDF? Time to start over. It's not as easy as hitting "backspace".

  • Lack of insights: After sharing a PDF, there's no way to measure reader engagement. This lack of feedback can be a missed opportunity for improvement.

What are the best alternatives to PDF for business communication?

As we navigate the changing digital landscape, it's clear that our old pal PDF isn't the only player in the game.

While it's had a good run, there are fresh formats on the block that might better suit our modern communication needs.

That said, some formats are better than others in the context of business communication. So I took the liberty of ranking them for you from most to least effective.

Let's take a quick peek:

  1. Storydoc: Storydoc is web content based on HTML/HTML5. It's incredibly versatile, ensuring content is accessible and consistent across different devices.

  2. EPUB: A favorite for e-books and digital publications. It's adaptable, making reading on various screen sizes a breeze.

  3. Flipbook: A dynamic digital version of traditional print publications. Perfect for creating engaging catalogs, magazines, or brochures online.

  4. XPS: Microsoft's answer to PDF, it's integrated into Windows and offers similar features.

  5. DOCX: Microsoft Word's format, it's widely used and offers rich text capabilities.

  6. MOBI: Primarily used for Amazon's Kindle devices, it's another e-book favorite.

  7. ODT: OpenDocument Text, an open standard format that's free and works seamlessly with various software.

  8. RTF: Rich Text Format, a universal format that retains document formatting, making it compatible across different word processing programs.

The hard truth is that as long as you stick to PDFs or a PDF-like static content format you’re positioning yourself to lose your audience’s attention.

The real transformation happens when you transition to an interactive web experience. It's about crafting content that doesn't just inform but engages, resonates, and offers a two-way street of interaction.

Here’s what an interactive Storydoc looks like as compared to a static PDF:

Static PDF or PPT
Interactive Storydoc

What are the best tools for creating better documents than PDF?

Nowadays, the way we present information can be as impactful as the content itself. As we transition from static documents to dynamic, interactive experiences, to ace it, you need the right tools by your side.

Here's a handpicked list of platforms that are redefining the boundaries of content creation:

  1. Storydoc: By transforming traditional slide decks into immersive web stories, Storydoc offers a narrative-driven experience. Its AI-enhanced design capabilities and a focus on engagement ensure that your content isn't just consumed but truly resonated with.

  2. Pitch: A fresh take on presentations, Pitch emphasizes collaboration, speed, and design. It's tailored for teams, enabling them to share ideas seamlessly and with visual flair.

  3. Genially: A platform that brings your content to life. Genially offers a range of tools to create interactive presentations, infographics, and more.

  4. Merging design with technology, offers an automated design process. It intuitively understands your content, ensuring your presentations are both informative and aesthetically pleasing.

  5. Canva: A favorite in the design community, Canva offers an intuitive platform with a vast template library. From presentations to graphics, it provides the tools to make your content shine.

  6. Visme: Tailored for visual storytelling, Visme provides a wide variety of high-quality images, dynamic charts, and interactive elements, making data presentation both insightful and engaging.

Interactive templates for business documents

Making the leap from traditional PDFs can be scary. But here's the good news: business document templates can make the transition easier, offering a structured yet customizable approach to interactive content.

Check out the library below and find the perfect fit for your next business document.

No templates found
Dominika Krukowska

Hi, I'm Dominika, Content Specialist at Storydoc. As a creative professional with experience in fashion, I'm here to show you how to amplify your brand message through the power of storytelling and eye-catching visuals.

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