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eBooks

Acrobat is also tapping into XML's capability to create structured, tagged PDF files—one of the most exciting applications of which is eBooks—because they preserve the natural reading order of electronic documents, regardless of the device on which they're displayed. A burgeoning market, eBooks require advance planning not just to determine if they make financial sense but also to make the production process flow smoothly. It's especially important to give forethought to the design of eBooks, which falls somewhere between print and Web site design: Readers will approach eBooks expecting a structure and reading experience that's comparable to printed books, but also expecting links and bookmarks much like Web site navigational tools. It is through the marriage of PDF and XML that you can provide a balanced design for eBooks.

Structure and Tags

In their “natural” state, PDF files represent dots, which are to be imaged by a marking engine (in a printer or imagesetter, for example) or onscreen. By itself, PDF doesn't know that dots are parts of letters—which are parts of words, which are parts of sentences, and so on. Structured PDF, however, does recognize this hierarchy, or tree, of information so that you can repurpose print files for electronic delivery. For the same reason, structured PDF files do not recognize comments, page numbers and running headers, layout or printing artifacts such as rules separating footnotes from page content, or crop or registration marks.


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