How to make a flipbook from PDF


A lot of digital publishing journeys start with this simple question. How do I make a flipbook from a PDF?

Then, usually after just a short period of research a whole range of other questions arise:

  • Should I use digital publishing software or a digital publishing service?
  • How do I convert a PDF to flipbook?
  • How do I convert PDF to HTML5?
  • How can I make my PDF friendly on mobile?
  • Do I really want a flip book or do I want my publication on all different devices?

These are all great questions, and you have come to the right place to get them answered.

Should I use digital publishing software or a digital publishing service?

Both digital publishing software and digital publishing services have their pros and cons:

Digital publishing software


  • Generally cheaper than a digital publishing service
  • Single up front fee
  • No ongoing fees (usually)
  • Runs on your local machine
  • Choose your own hosting provider


  • Technology is locked to when you purchased the software
  • No online support to help you
  • You need to supply the hosting
  • Search and organisation of your PDFs is limited
  • No options for security

Digital Publishing Service


  • Access easily through your browser
  • Technology is kept up to date with the latest browser updates
  • New features are added all the time
  • Hosting is included
  • Good support options – including production assistance
  • Easily organise your publications


  • Generally incurs an ongoing cost
  • Presentation is limited to what the service offers
  • More effort to move if you want to change providers

We recommend choosing an online publishing solution over digital publishing software for many reasons, but mainly, any publications you create will live in the cloud and get updated automatically to support all of the new devices being released every month. You should get all the benefits of bug fixes and upgrades without having to re-install your software or re-convert your publications.

How do I convert a PDF to flipbook?

Regardless of using software or a service, converting your PDF into a flipbook is generally a seamless process. Typically you would select or upload your PDF, and it will get converted automatically into a flipbook.

How do I convert PDF to HTML5?

Some flipbook software and even providers say that they convert PDF into HTML5 – but what does that really mean? Even if you convert your PDF into a flipbook, then it is likely the flipbook is written in HTML5 as that is the latest web language. What you are probably asking in reality is, how do I convert my PDF into a mobile friendly version. In other words, Can I take my PDF and turn it into a mobile responsive format – a reflowable format so it is easy to read even on mobile phones? Realview offers mobile friendly versions by extracting articles from PDFs.

Do I really want a realistic flip book or do I want my publication on all different devices?

Let’s re-word this question. How important is a flipping page and a swooshing sound to you? Or, how annoying is the skeuomorphic representation and sound of paper to your readers? If your flipbook looks lovely and acts just like real paper but is slow and annoying to use, will you keep your readers? A fast slide may be more modern and consistent across devices – and less annoying.

So how do I make a flipbook from PDF?

You can either get standalone software or use on online PDF to flipbook service. Either will enable you to select a PDF and have it automatically converted into a flipbook you can display on your website. The easiest way is to use an online digital publishing platform such as Realview which enables you to drag and drop a PDF and a hosted, hyperlinked, interactive flipbook is created in minutes.

Yes, creating a PDF flipbook from your PDF should be as simple as uploading to a reputable digital publishing services provider. Good providers should be able to convert your PDF in near real time to a format that will then be readable on every device you can imagine. Of course, this does not mean your PDF is suited to be read on every device – pinching and scrolling on mobile is not the best solution, however a good digital publishing platform should offer solutions to solve that as well.

Once your flipbook is ready, you may even want to add some interactivity – at least some hyperlinks or maybe even some video to engage your readers, but either way, this whole process should only take minutes.

If you are ready to try your hand at digital publishing, why not create a free Realview account and upload your PDF?