Ever want to post a PDF document online for people to read without making someone download it first? There are some excellent zero-effort sites for doing just that, such as Scribd, but not everyone likes to use third-party services for that kind of stuff. With CodeBox, however, you can host a PDF on your own site, and it even includes some nice effects.
The CodeBox site has a free PDF to Flash Page conversion utility that will create everything you need to get your PDF ready for online consumption. You just have to upload your PDF to their servers (a 10MB limit), and then you can play with some of the conversion options that they have available (page height/width, zoom factor, colors, etc…). It’s all pretty simple to do, and the end result is rather nice. You’ll end up with a single ZIP file that you’ll just have to extract and drop on your site. It already comes pre-configured with an index.html file that embeds the PDF for you.
What makes this PDF to Flash conversion a little more unique is the fact that it wraps your PDF in a book-like interface complete with a page turning effect. This will obviously be compared to the style iBooks uses on the iPhone/iPod/iPad, and I knew you guys would probably want to test it out the end result without having to go through the conversion process yourself (although it is pretty quick). Here’s a quick demo page I set up using one of Larry and Sergey’s Google-related papers from Stanford. Make sure when you try it out you aren’t just hitting the “next” button, and instead actually try grabbing the page with your mouse and turning it.
For the most part I’d say this works out rather nicely, but the animation isn’t quite as smooth as I’d like it to be. Hopefully the developer will continue to fine tune it over time, but other than that it has all the basic navigation options you’d want from a utility like this.