Before & After’s reader-friendly PDFs add value to words

Posted March 18th @ 1:20 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

ba-reader-friendly-pdf-fivThursday’s profit tip for authors

John McWade’s Before & After magazine has taken the PDF to a new level of reader-friendly design by optimizing their design newsletter for multiple viewing options. They have developed an realistic alternative to the typical “one size fits all” mentality of PDF formatting.

  • Portrait, or vertical, oriention is the popularl PDF format for ebooks, reports, and white papers. Vertical PDFs ae familiar can be printed on 3-hole paper and stored in 3-ring binders.
  • Landscape, or horizontal, orientation, however, is best for onscreen reading. As ebook authors like Rajesh Setty and Seth Godin have shown, landscape orientation fits most computer monitors, for easy viewing.

To solve the differing needs of different reader, Before & After Magzine’s PDFs contain pages optimized for both portrait and landscape reading and printing. The first pages are formatted for landscape viewing on a computer monitor or saving in a presention-format binder.

ba-table-of-contents-fourAdditional reader-friendly features

In addition, the PDFs also contain pages formatted in a 2-up paper-saver format that allows 2 pages to be printed on a single sheet of paper.

Click the thumbnail image at left to view the table of contents PDF.

When printing, of course, you have to take care that you only print the desired option, must select the right option from the From page and the To Page area of the printer dialog box. Otherwise, you’d be printing 2 copies of each page.

Another convenience feature built into Before & After’s PDF format is an easy way to send copy free a copy to a coworker or friend with just 1 click.

A final way Before & After increases reader satisfaction is by consecutively numbering each page, and including each issue in the table of contents.

Turning design dollars into profit dollars

Graphic design adds value by presenting a unique, appropriate image that encourages prospects to buy. In the case of publications, design not only makes documents look more inviting, but it contributes to easier reading. Visit Before & After Magazine and explore the PDF options. What do you think? Do you think your prospects and clientswould like the idea of offering alternative formats for onscreen and printed reading?


  1. arthur einstein
    March 18, 2010

    Seems like a good idea but I could not immediately locate the PDF optimization link at their site.

    I do know this. We get most of our information non-verbally which means that before someone reads the first word of what you have to say your graphics have already made an impression and set expectations. As a writer I pay lots of attention to graphics for impression, easy comprehension etc.

    Lots of good ideas at the Before & After Magazine website.

  2. Roger C. Parker
    March 19, 2010

    Dear Arthur:
    Sorry for the confusion.

    There isn’t a “PDF optimization link” on their website.

    When you subscribe to the PDF version of Before & After, or purchase an individual issue, you’ll find that the PDF contains 2 sets of pages, formatted differently.

    The first 13 pages are formatted as landscape, or “horizontal,” versions. These pages are intended for onscreen reading, or for horizontal presentation folders, i.e., the spine, or binding, appear at the top of the page.

    Pages 15 to 22, however, are formatted as portrait, or vertical, pages. These “paper saving” sheet contains 2 pages, one above the other.

    It’s an ingenious solution to satisfying the needs of both on-screen readers as well as those who want to print out each issue and save it in a 3-ring binder.

    Thanks for asking! Roger

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