I am working on a project for a small organization that publishes PDF magazines to ISSUU.com. We are discussing adding infographics to the publication, but some can be tall and can't be used in their full size withing the boundaries of the page. Is there a way to save an infographic or insert it into the publication that will allow the viewer to zoom in on the content? Can we still use PDF, or do we need to publish in something else before uploading to ISSUU? Our publication is small and working off of a PC, not a Mac, but we are working towards expansion. Any advice you can give will help us, if not at the present, then with budgeting for future purchases of better resources and tools.

  • I don't quite understand the question. I don't see how saving the info graphic in another format would help you fit in any better. -- Maybe you could have a text link or cropped image of the info graphic that is linked to an external pdf with the full image or if at all possible, link to a specific page where there is more room ( issuu.com/services/customize/links.html )? – Joonas Apr 30 '13 at 10:19
  • I think there's two parts to this: what can be done to include awkwardly long infographics in publications in general, which we can help with (see answer below), and what features does ISSUU have for magnifying images or attaching files, which probably only ISSUU themselves can answer. – user568458 Apr 30 '13 at 11:04
  • What about embedding a swf? – Amy Blankenship Apr 30 '13 at 15:32

You're not the first to have this problem: a lot of tall 'tower' infographics can be very awkward to re-use. There's a bit of a trend away from them since they can be awkward on social media outside of blogs, tumblr etc as well (they can also be associated, often unfairly, with the trashy end of the market where graphics get long due to lack of quality control rather than an excess of interesting information).

If you've got one of the high quality ones that is long for good reason, here's a few possible options:

  • PDF attachments: Regular PDFs can have attachments - other files embedded in the PDF. There's also such a thing as 'PDF Portfolios' but my experience of these is that they're a bit of an inflexible powerpoint-inspired early 2000s monstrosity. I have no idea if ISSUU supports PDF attachments (you should maybe ask for their advice directly - post an answer here if they suggest any useful tips). I did a short write-up on PDF attachment options for a slightly similar question about including raw data in PDFs, which might help.
  • Ask about reorganising it: Well-designed multi-message infographics usually organise their messages and information into bite-size chunks that lead into each other in some kind of narrative. With the original designer and/or copyright owner's permission (and you should be in contact with them anyway to get permission to re-publishing their work), you may be able to divide the infographic's chunks into panels which can be organised to run across multiple pages of your magazine. Be careful though that you don't ruin it... Some designers might volunteer to quickly do the chopping up and re-organising for you to make sure it looks right to their standards (others never would, or would charge to, varies from person to person).
  • Pull out and magnify sections of interest: If the purpose of including the graphic is to illustrate or demonstrate certain points, have it scaled down on the page as a central column, and use the whitespace on either side of the tower for magnified call-outs for particularly interesting chunks. Then include an easy-to-type short-form link (e.g. bit.ly/some-graphic) to the full thing. So, people get an idea and get the point you're making, and can then go see the full thing if they're interested.
  • Do what books do: Look at how infographics showcase books get around this problem, and talk to ISSUU about the best way to do the digital equivalent. Since these are things the print industry does, someone is bound to have asked before and they should have some suggestions:

    • Rotate it: Placing the graphic landscape across a double-page spread (bare in mind though that it's easier for a reader to turn a book around than a computer monitor)
    • Fold out spreads: Having a fold-out spread for particularly large ones, again rotating the image if necessary. PDFs support varied page spreads, but talk to ISSUU about whether their digital platform does.

Some books get around this problem by being absolutely absurdly massive... (Image from the blog ixycreativity.ro). Not sure if that's an option or not...

enter image description here

  • 1
    I think there is good advice here, but the important advice embedded in the original question is not emphasized enough: ISSUU.com uses a proprietary PDF viewer, so the question isn't "is it supported in the PDF standard?" but rather "is it supported by their viewer?" My guess is "no" partly because allowing and supporting arbitrary binaries embedded within documents becomes a technology nightmare and a large security surface for HAX. – horatio Apr 30 '13 at 16:14
  • Agreed - as I said in my comment to the question and in bold in the first point of my answer, what can be done with ISSUU depends on questions about what ISSUU is capable of which should be addressed to ISSUU staff. – user568458 Apr 30 '13 at 16:44
  • Hi all, thank you for the great responses! I am awaiting reply from ISSUU, but taking a step back, going slightly off topic for a second... I seem to remember viewing an infographic online, I forget where, and without leaving the page I was on was able to zoom in and view the image in greater detail. The concept was very much similar to those old novel miniatures of news papers (real life, not online) that you would have a cheap magnifying glass. The concept we are trying to develop with our newsletter is the appearance of an 8.5x11 page, but filled with greater detail as you zoom in. – Jason Apr 30 '13 at 18:45
  • @Jason If it was on a web page it was probably something like Zoomify, there are loads and loads of little Javascript widgets like that, browse them. But they're based on regular image files (or, images chopped into tiles), not PDFs – user568458 Apr 30 '13 at 21:14

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