This is a preview of your story

Powered by


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
Trusted by top companies:
client logo: meta
client logo: RTL
client logo: Yotpo
client logo: NetApp
client logo:
client logo: deliverlight

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 stifling the potential of your digital content

You can’t be responsible for creating business content without having to make a PDF from time to time.

Why do we make PDFs?

Well, they look great for print. But most out readers read it on their computer. So why?

We do it because everyone does. But does that make it good? I venture to say it does not.

PDF looks good, but not as good as an interactive designed webpage. They were made for print, and not for reading online.

This means that PDF was always meant to be a static document, but no one reads printed papers anymore. We read online, on our computers, and increasingly on our phones.

Why deprive your readers of the immersive content experience online has to offer? Videos, animations, tabs, sliders, chat, live data, calculators, and more.

You may think your PDFs are working great, but how would you validate that? PDFs offer no analytics, but online alternatives do.

Dive into this post, and you'll discover the potential of interactive web content and save your readers from yet another frustrating PDF experience.

Let’s go!

Static PDF
Interactive web content

Why are PDFs bad for business?

PDFs are engagement killers and information black holes. They offer a horrible reading experience on both desktop and mobile, and they are impossible to track, analyze, and improve.

But we regularly bear hefty costs for making these documents. It’s time to modernize.

1) Editing is a challenge

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

2) Collaboration is frustrating

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.

3) Long content delivery time

When creating aPDF content writers rely on designers to put it all together. You can expect thousands of small revisions to aggregate into days, weeks, or even months.

4) Huge design costs

If you have an agency or a professional design your PDF the cost can become significant. For a 50-page report, the price can get to $15,000.

5) Dull content experience

In an age of dynamic and interactive content, PDFs remain static and unchanging (pun intended). No videos, no animation, and no way to actively engage.

Here's an example of an interactive alternative to PDF:

6) Horrible mobile experience

Reading a PDF on a mobile device is hard work. It involves a lot of pinching to zoom in and out (and growling through clenched teeth).

But this does not have to be the experience you offer your audience. Web content is perfectly readable on mobile.

Here's mobile experience provided by PDF compared with an online web story:

Static PPT example
Static PPT
Interactive Storydoc one-pager
Interactive Storydoc

7) Once sent PDFs can’t be changed

Sent your PDF then found out that there’s a typo? Too bad, it’s there forever. Be more careful next time. Need to update some stats? Sorry, send a new one.

With online content you control the final version. Any change you make to the document on your content platform will apply to the version you've sent out.

If you're using Storydoc then you can even make persinalized versions for a single document using dynamic variables without needing to create multiple duplicates.

Storydoc analytics pa

8) PDFs are information black holes

After sharing a PDF, there's no way to measure reader engagement. This lack of feedback prevents you from learning if you’ve done a good job and robs you of the opportunity to learn and improve.

You don't have to fly blind. With interactive web content you also get full visibility into how readers engage with your content.

With Storydoc you even get built-in instant analytics:

Storydoc analytics pa

What are the best alternatives to PDF for business communication?

PDFs had a their time in the sun, but now there are fresh formats better suited for modern communication with modern audiences.

Even though, 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.

Best PDF alternatives:

  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. Flipbook format is 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.

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.

Top platforms 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.

Grab a business document template

Create your best presentation to date

Try Storydoc interactive presentation maker for 14 days free (keep any presentation you make forever!)