• What are the size limits and PDF format restrictions on PDF files I can upload?
  • For free access PDFs the limit is 8Mb and 200 pages. For Public subscription services the limit is 32Mb and 200 or 500 pages (depending on the service level chosen). For Corporate and Enterprise subscribers there are much less restrictive or no limits imposed but we recommend files are no larger than 50Mbytes and no longer than 1000 pages. As the files are viewed online it is important to include a Contents list (also known as a bookmark tree or outline) for fast navigation (requires Complete display option). PDF files uploaded should not be set with Adobe-style protection and should not include embedded media such as 3D models or video clips. To provide video and audio support use links to separately hosted mp4 and mp3 files.
  • What do the options SVG/Text and Image/Text mean?
  • The SVG/Text option converts the file to a scalable format with text that can be searched rapidly with fast zooming and either scalable vector graphics (svg) and/or image format elements, depending on the source material. The Image/Text option is similar but converts pages to images and overlays the text, which is scalable and searchable. In general svg is scales (zooms) better but can be slower to display than the image rendering.
  • Can other file formats, for example Word, Excel or PowerPoint, be uploaded and made secure?
  • Yes - to upload Word, Excel or PowerPoint files they are typically first converted to PDF using the Export to PDF facility in the MS Office suite - this produces the best/highest quality results. The converted files can then be uploaded as PDFs and displayed in HTML5. However, on our Managed service website, WEBDOXX.COM, files can be converted by our team on your behalf, and for PowerPoint files conversion direct to HTML5 can be provided, with full support for animations, transitions and audio - for a fully interactive PowerPoint sample using encrypted HTML5 please click here. Contact us for more details.
  • Can I embed the converted files on my own website with my own access control and branding?
  • Yes - any of the converted pages can be hosted on your own site using iframe embedding. An example can be seen here. For advice on options with such embedding please contact us
  • Can I add my own branding to the online viewer and/or access pages?
  • Branded versions of the access page(s) and/or viewer can be provided by arrangement - a fee would be charged for implementing branding. Contact us for more details and a quotation
  • Can I download the converted PDF for use on my own servers or individual PCs or Mac computers?
  • Yes, if you are a Corporate or Enterprise subscriber, a download link will be included in your FILES listing. The download is a zip file containing all the elements in the basic conversion from PDF to HTML5, plus an encrypted version of the index.html file in case you wish to use this - download a sample zip fileset now to see what this option looks like. The additional template files and security framework we use is NOT included, but for Enterprise Plus clients and Managed Services customers we can provide bespoke secure template files and associated database facilities
  • Can linked videos and audio be protected?
  • Yes, media assets such as mp4 audio-visuals, can be hosted in a special folder and linked from the converted PDF - the videos can only be accessed via the link(s) on the converted secured file on the server and not via direct URL links. For an example of this facility please click here and login with username: guest, password: guest
  • What do the options Public and Private mean?
  • The Public option means that the access page is accessible by anyone to whom the link is provided without the need to login to the service. Private means that the user will need to login to the service access page for that document, so need to be registered with a username and password (or use a shared username/password). Emails sent to registered publishers provide link text like COMPLETE for Public access or COMPLETEPLUS for private access. By clicking on the link provided the full URL of the target document can be displayed and copied if required. Access to such documents is typically further controlled by limiting to users who are members of a specific User Group. See the User Management page for more details
  • Can I download a converted html5 fileset?
  • Yes, for subscribers there is the option to download a zip file containing the basic html5 fileset, including an encrypted version of the index page with its viewer software. There are no additional security facilities provided for such downloaded filesets, so for secure hosting these would need to provide their own facilities or use managed facilities provided by us.
  • What watermarking options are provided?
  • PDF files can have a static watermark added to selected pages or all pages before uploading to the service. A "tiled" watermark on every page adds a significant level of additional security to the source file. Dynamic watermarks are displayed on the web page, as an overlay, as standard for all Private pages. The content of the default dynamic watermark includes currently logged in user's registered name, the current date and time, and the IPaddress used to access the page. The size, font, color, opacity, content and orientation of dynamic watermarks can be amended from the standard version for bespoke display templates. For example, dynamic watermarks could include the user's company name, orientated at 45%, a large pale grey font.
  • How long should file uploads and conversions take?
  • Uploads: the time taken for a file upload is a function of the PDF filesize and the speed of your internet connection. As an example, a 1Mbyte PDF (which equates to 8Mbits) would take 8 seconds to upload if the internet connection was delivering an upload rate of 1Mbps (one megabit per second). Most internet connections are much slower at uploads than downloads, so a connection that states it provides 5Mbps is actually quoting the download speed, not the upload speed - uploading is often only 10%-20% of download speed. So a 10Mbyte PDF (80Mbits) with a 100kbps upload speed would take around 800 seconds to upload (i.e. over 10 minutes). Conversions: with the current Cloud server configuration conversion rates are around 3-5 pages per second plus an overhead of about 5 seconds, so a 100 page PDF will take less that one minute to convert, depending on it precise contents (e.g. number and type of images/graphics)
  • Is there a limit on the number of PDF files I can upload? And can I bulk convert files if I have lots?
  • 5 to 100 files for the Public access service (depending on the service level) increasing to unlimited for Enterprise subscription customers. Each subscription service level has an overall restriction on the amount of disk storage used. Details of storage usage are provided via the FILES menu for logged-in users. We can also arrange for your initial service subscription to allow larger number of file uploads in the first month or more so a larger number of files can be uploaded and converted, and then revert to the agreed monthly subscription setting. If you have 100s of files we can bulk convert them for you, in which case we would normally host your service on our managed service website, www.webdoxx.com
  • What filenames are accepted for uploading?
  • Files must be in standard PDF format and should not include Adobe-style protection. Ideally filenames should be as simple and concise as possible, avoiding the use of special characters such as symbols or accented characters or national variants, and using latin alphabet if possible. Filenames with blanks will be amended to include hyphen characters.
  • What security features are provided as standard?
  • There are several elements to the security framework: (i) conversion of the source PDF to HTML5 with page separation, text separation and image or scalable vector graphic (SVG) page element rendering; (ii) encryption of the HTML5 access page using industry-standard javascript-based methods; (iii) provision of session-based secure access to each document using a server-based user management framework; (iv) overlaid user-specific watermarking; (v) usage tracking by user and document; (vi) https based hosting; (vii) optional iframe-based embedding; (viii) optional pre-watermarking of source PDFs; (ix) controls over direct access to resources; (x) non-retention of uploaded PDF files
  • What are the pros and cons of Web-based/Online PDF security?
  • PROs: Very simple automated file conversion and hosting, with no special software or training required; highly scalable (100s or 1000s of users present no extra problems or work); simple and effective user access control; ongoing monitoring of user activity; updating files for end users is very simple and immediate; straightforward branding and tailoring; fully cross-platform, even for less common devices that support an html5 compliant web browser (e.g. linux boxes, consoles, chromebooks etc) ; easy integration of links to other media types. CONs: Requires online connection; standard printing options not available - see the Printing FAQ item for options available; moderate security - for high security publishers should use our offline solutions; online access is not as fast or high quality as our offline solutions; markup and annotation not available; source files have to be uploaded to an offsite server (however these are immediately deleted after conversion) unless a private "enterprise" solution is provided (using a bespoke. private service, hosted on your own server)
  • Can printing be enabled?
  • For security reasons printing is disabled by default, but facilities for printing can be provided for bespoke projects (i.e. not as part of the standard automated service). This can be of the converted HTML5 file or of the original PDF, or of a separately downloaded secure PDF with DRM control and printing permitted. In addition, a print icon can be provided that creates an request to a nominated email address for a pre-printed copy of the document, or to permit printing of the currently viewed screen as an image (complete with on-screen watermark)
  • How do I manage my users?
  • User management is provided for Corporate and Enterprise subscribers via a User Management dashboard facility. See the User Management page for more details
  • How does the service handle sharing of usernames/passwords?
  • The default setting allows users to login from more than one device at the same time. There are several reasons for this being the preferred service access setting, including: (i) web-based access by groups of users can be provided without requiring every user to be separately registered - with manual or auto-login facilities; (ii) in general web browser users do not explicitly log out of services, so unless multiple logins are permitted a genuine user could be locked out until the auto-timeout period had expired (currently 120 minutes); (iii) a user may wish genuinely to log in simultaneously on different devices. However, user access can be restricted to a specific number of browsers/devices on a user-by-user basis - the Concurrency field can have a counter value, e.g. 1, 2 or 3 in it. If there is a value in this field it will restrict the user to a total of that specific number of web browsers/devices (i.e. specific browsers on specific devices). Each time a login occurs on a new device/browser combination the Concurrency field count is reduced by 1. For more details please contact us to discuss your requirements
  • Can I embed the converted PDF for use on my own servers?
  • Yes, simply use an iframe structure on your own site or an auto-redirect - a simple example can be seen here. iframes may not always retain zoom settings on the hosted service, so for some applications auto-redirect may be preferred. A range of timeouts (session-based and inactivity based) and forced logouts can be enabled for managed service projects if these are required
  • How long are free publications retained for online access?
  • Up to 7 days
  • How much does the service cost?
  • There is a free service for trial usage plus a range of subscription service levels for public and private hosting of securely converted PDFs. Please see the Pricing page for more details
  • If I take out a subscription what happens if I want to cancel or suspend my subscription?
  • Subscriptions are monthly (or can be paid for annually in advance) and can be cancelled at any time. Document access for publications that have been generated and stored on the server will be disabled, so user access will no longer be permitted. Document and user registration details will be retained for a period of 3 months and then may be deleted if the subscription is still inactive
  • Can I change my subscription (upgrade or downgrade the service level)?
  • You can upgrade your subscription at any time - simply take out a new subscription using the same email address as before to replace your current subscription service level, or use a new email address to create an additonal (new) subscription and then cancel the previous subscription via PayPal, Worldpay or contact us to cancel your old subscription on your behalf. If a subscription is a downgrade in service level any files that do not qualify under that subscription may be removed from the service.
  • What web browsers are supported?
  • All modern web browsers. The HTML5Test website page lists the level of HTML5 support of the main web browsers for desktops, tablets and mobiles and other devices (e.g. games consoles).
  • My customer is using a modern web browser but cannot access the service - what is the problem?
  • All modern web browsers are supported, but they must have Javascript support enabled and access to third party websites permitted. Check that the Settings for the customer's web browser meets both of these requirements - access has been tested on all modern browsers and technology platforms
  • How many usernames can I register for access to my publications?
  • Free and Public access: no end user usernames/passwords are assigned (access is open); Corporate and Enterprise: Unlimited usernames/passwords
  • Can a download facility be added to the secure viewer?
  • Yes, by arrangement. The download can be the source PDF, a sample PDF, or a fully secure (DRM protected) PDF using our offline Digital Rights Management service. Contact us for more details
  • When I upload a file it ends with an on-screen spinner and never offers me the option to convert the file
  • This might be because the PDF file is corrupt - try opening the file on your PC or Mac using Adobe reader to check it is OK. It might also be because you have a telcoms problem or the file is very large. Please contact us if you need help