Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Flipping Your Ebooks on Their Ear Eases Reading

Filed under: Accessibility 100 — by at 2:15 pm on Thursday, April 2, 2009

Accessibility 100Electronic books or ebooks are a great way to share your expertise and to generate an income. However, how many are sitting on computer hard drives around the world, unread? Your work and expertise wasted.


An ebook page partially visible

To minimize paper clutter, I rarely print ebooks. Instead, I prefer reading them on my computer. However, that typically means much scrolling from page to page, which requires fairly fine muscle control – and some days I don’t have it.

A two-column ebook page partially visible Even worst are ebook with column layouts as they require constantly scrolling up and down.

Many ebooks are sitting in my electronic library, unread. Who knows the gems of wisdom wasting away in there!

An ebook with landscape page orientation, completely visible

A few days ago I downloaded Milana Leshinsky’s Unlock Your Business Growth and immediately noticed a refreshing difference! The entire page was visible without needing to scroll. I read all 42 pages right then.

What was the difference? The page orientation was landscape, not portrait! I was amazed by how turning the page sideways made such a huge difference. Hitting the “next page” button was all that I had to do. It was so easy, so refreshing.

Portable Document Format (PDF) is the commonly used format for creating ebooks. However, for many individuals, PDF means Pretty Damn Frustrating. Creating accessible PDFs will be covered in a future Accessibility 100 post.

Accessibility 100 is a series of 100 easy-to-implement, free and inexpensive tips for improving accessibility for people with disabilities. This is a community project. Feel free to leave your comments, questions and ideas for future Accessibility 100 posts.

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Comment by Cyndi in BC

April 2, 2009 @ 2:40 pm

Thanks Glenda,

It’s amazing how the simplest little things make life so much easier!

Comment by Glenda

April 2, 2009 @ 2:49 pm

Yes, definitely amazing! I would have never guessed flipping the page would make that much difference.

Comment by Chris Foley

April 3, 2009 @ 3:56 am

Glenda, if you’ve having trouble flipping pdf pages, there’s a product called AirTurn, which is a wireless pedal switch designed for pianists to turn pages hands-free when reading music from tablet pcs. It might just make your ebook-page-flipping easier. Here’s their website:

Comment by dani

April 7, 2009 @ 5:27 pm

I think better to produce pdf version for small screen device targeted. And it’s different with the desktop version.

Comment by Tim O'Brien

April 21, 2009 @ 5:46 pm

Have you checked out Adobe Reader’s Reflow command? It takes the text (when the PDF is properly formatted) and reflows it to fit the screen width, no matter how much magnification there is. This is much easier to use on the computer. See this post for more details:pogue asks why are pdfs still in portrait orientation.

Comment by Glenda

April 22, 2009 @ 10:46 am

Great point Tim. I’ll try that next time I encounter an ebook in portrait orientation. Although, how many PDFs are created correctly? 😉

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