Fixed-Layout v/s Reflowable eBooks - Equiretech

Fixed-Layout v/s Reflowable eBooks

Fixed vs Reflowable

Today many readers prefer reading on their smartphones, tablets, laptops, and eReaders. So publishing a book in digital format has increased more now than ever. It is better to understand the formats required for digital publishing before you dive into the process.

EPUB3 is the advanced and latest format for eBooks. The latest version of EPUB3 has two formats –

Before turning on your publications into eBooks decide which one of the eBook format would befit your work.

Reflowable EPUB

Reflowable or standard EPUB, as the name suggests, is the format where the content of the book or page can flow to automatically adjust to the screen size of the device. You can increase or decrease the font size and the text will flow into the subsequent pages.  The reflowable format is best suited for books that have more text. Books that don’t require images or graphics can use this format.

Reflowable or standard format is best for:

  • Novels
  • Chapter books
  • Fiction
  • Narrative non-fiction
  • Journals

The benefits and drawbacks of reflowable format are listed below for you to choose the best suitable format for your eBook:

S.NOBenefitsDrawbacks
1Can adjust font size and style to befit your device.It’s difficult to incorporate embedded fonts.
2Features a dynamic layout for both text and images.No heavy designs or graphic elements are expected in the standard layout format
3Not much expensive and can be created little easier when compared to Fixed Layout.It’s definitely not advisable for an intricate layout.
4Avails improved adaptation capabilitySupports only simple page layout.
5Reflowable or Standard layout is said to be the best and also most reliable eBook format in the e-Publishing industry for a long run.Producing the Standard Layout Format is not intuitive.
6Regardless of the size and type, this format tends to render the attention of eBook readers often.Mostly text-based format
7Accepted by almost all the distributors as it’s quick, easy, and cheap to produce.Since it’s user-friendly, the author cannot decide on how the images are displayed.
8Most Standard Layout eBooks tend to have small file size henceforth, less or no charges for downloading.
9Most of the fiction and non-fiction like biographies, history, publications, and journals are delivered in Reflowable layout format.
10An author who decides to select Standard Layout has a larger distribution opportunity
11Every time a new device is released, the level of sophistication and style grows.
12Conversion is affordable as the author can opt for the choice of his own.
13Completely User-Friendly.

Fixed-Layout EPUB

Fixed-layout EPUBs are suitable for books that have a lot of images, and graphs. A reader can zoom in the pictures depending on the device but the size of the font cannot be changed. Basically, the content on this format is static. Fixed layout is more time consuming as it has to handle more complicated designs and high-resolution image to display.

Fixed-layout is best suitable for creating

  • Children’s picture books
  • Cookbooks
  • Comics
  • Manga
  • Coffee-table books,
  • Technical manuals
  • Graphic novels

The benefits and drawbacks of Fixed-layout are listed below to help you make an informed choice in selecting the format your eBook:

S.NOBenefitsDrawbacks
1Supports almost all type of fonts and sizeThe proportion of elements will stay the same no matter what device you use.
2Multi-column pages are availableHighly complicated and challenging.
3Author has complete control over the books flow of text, font size, and image.Reader loses the ability to resize the text, margin, and font size.
4This format is the best for books that have various interactive content and graphic-heavy illustrations.Not suitable for all device due to specific styles.
5Fixed-width layouts are much easier to use and easier to customize in terms of designWith large file size it’s said to be more expensive.
6They are Visually rich layout and preserved to be the best quality of printed pages.The Problem in reading as the size of the content is fixed. (Not the case in all device except a few)
7Looks colorful and attractive especially Children books.Distribution Opportunity is said to be very less
8An excellent supporter of embedded fontsFixed Layout is more of time-consuming as it has to handle more of complicated designs and high-resolution image to display.
9Can convert any book with a complex layout to eBook.Since they are larger in size they may be charged extra for downloading in sites like Amazon.
10There is more of demand of fixed layout format Books in the devices like Apple iPad. They, in fact, look fantastic.Most of the low space devices don’t have a proper color display where these high quality fixed pages won’t be at their best.
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