Issuu Really Wants to Kill The Document Download

One thing that I find increasingly anachronistic on the Web is the stubborn persistence of the PDF download. I really don’t need to download more junk onto my computer, especially if it is only something I am going to look at once or twice. Every document should just be viewable (and searchable) on the Web. That is why I am a big fan of services like Issuu, Docstoc, and Scribd that let you embed PDFs and other documents on any Webpage.

Today, Issuu (which raised $5 million in October) is introducing something it calls Smart Look, which turns all the document-download links on your site into browser-viewable documents. It works for PDFs, slideshows, or regular text documents. You just insert some code onto your site, and it does the rest. Instead of an embedded viewer, it launches a new overlay window where you can see the document in all of its glory, search it, page through it, and even print it (if you still do that kind of thing).

Once you insert the code, it turns on this feature for all document downloads on your site, instead of requiring you to create an different embedded viewer for each document.

You can check it out some on this sample site or watch the video below: