Classroom slide decks are a core element in training delivery, and all our packages include them in the Fixed Layout [FXL] EPUB3 format. We do not supply legacy formats such as PowerPoint and Rich Media PDF as they have serious disadvantages:
- Content that can be freely edited by instructors, deleting things they don't like or adding images stolen from the Web; is not acceptable in a professional environment. Auditors and insurers need to know that every delegate is shown exactly the same information.
- Training materials often include licensed and restricted content that cannot be shared in editable formats.
- PDF has been the default 'document' format for years but adding video and interactivity to a PDF file relied on Flash Player, and that technology is now dead and gone. Animation in PDF is extremely limited, even fading in a bullet-point list is a major programming problem!
EPUB is the modern file format for eBooks, and an open standard that does not rely on a single company. EPUB files are self-contained and come in two types. Flowable EPUBs are used for novels, and they adapt the page layout to fit on small eBook readers and mobiles - not good for a slide deck where text and graphics must stay aligned. Fixed Layout EPUB solves that problem; it includes all the fonts, graphics, animations, video etc. so that pages look the same every time.
Using installed Reader apps
To view a downloaded EPUB file on your computer or mobile device you normally "import" it into an eBook reading app. On MacOS and iOS, Apple Books works perfectly. On other platforms we recommend the free Thorium Reader app. Once imported to your virtual bookshelf, EPUBs can be displayed full-screen and navigated as normal with your mouse or keyboard. No network connections are required so this is ideal for travelling instructors, but it does mean installing an application and manually keeping the EPUB files updated on each device.
Under the hood an EPUB file is a collection of HTML web pages and supporting materials - so a modern Web browser such as Chrome or Edge is able to display them perfectly - if only it could open the file!
UVSAR has developed software to do precisely that, and more:
- EPUB slide decks can load and display in the browser without any extra plugins.
- Content is served directly from the training provider's own secure corporate website so is easily version-controlled.
- Fully supported EPUB3 feature set - embedded fonts, animations, video, links, etc.
- Total full-screen display and standard navigation commands, including the normal keystrokes from PowerPoint/Pages, and wireless Presenter Pilot remotes.
- If multiple monitors are connected, such as a laptop with a projector or flat-screen TV, EPUBVIEW provides a unique Control Panel with on-screen tools and instructor notes, all synchronized to the full-screen slide display.
- On supported browsers the Control Panel can detect and target specific monitors automatically.
EPUBVIEW needs to run on a secure [https] web server that is only accessible to the instructing staff, such as a corporate Intranet site or a password-protected area of a public website. This server holds the software itself, written in PHP, and the EPUB files being viewed. Instructors only need a Web browser based on the Chromium engine (Google Chrome, Edge, Brave, etc.). Content display works on Safari but without multi-monitor detection; Firefox and Internet Explorer are not supported.
Our EPUB slide decks include extra code to support EPUBVIEW features such as instructor notes. EPUBs from other sources will display but without those features.
The software is freely available to all purchasers of our Course Delivery Packages.