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Formats & Standards

Different mobile devices, media platforms, and industries require different content formats and standards, and this can form a tangled web of specifications. Getting them right can mean the difference between straightforward success and an unnecessarily complex, delayed, and expensive content development process.

Formats: the keys to cross-platform delivery

The wrong format can make it impossible to read your content on a specific device, or mean noncompliance with a law or corporate requirement. And proprietary and open source formats support varying degrees of interactivity and accessibility.

Aptara works with all mobile device types—smartphones, eReaders, and tablets—both Android and Apple operating systems, and all requisite formats:

  • EPUB3
  • HTML5
  • iBook Author (.iba)
  • Inkling
  • KF8
  • Kindle (.mobi)
  • PDF
  • NIMAS

By considering the distribution channel, the device, and reader expectations, Aptara’s experts determine which formats are right for your digital content distribution requirements.

Standards: making sense of alphabet soup

XML is an industry standard for coding text in print files for multiple outputs, which now include mobile devices. In some cases, XML has been supplanted—or surpassed—by newer standards, including HTML5.

HTML5 has emerged as the standard for mobile content delivery. With support for searchable and interactive multimedia, you can take your content far beyond the traditional web and PDF “page-turning” experiences. HTML5-based content is portable to all mobile platforms from a single source file, continues to support legacy browsers, and is “future-proof.”

EPUB 3, which is based on HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript, is the best formatting choice for adding interactivity and multimedia content to your eBooks.

For books with sophisticated illustrations or photography, Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo have developed precise, “fixed-layout” formats for the Kindle, iPad, NOOK, and Kobo color devices. These standards retain the fidelity of the printed page in digital form. That’s important for reproducing designs for which the aspect ratio must not change—especially layouts built around pedagogical methodology in textbooks.

In the financial industry, XBRL, or eXtensible Business Reporting Language, is mandated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to speed the processing of financial data. XBRL reduces errors; allows financial and compliance professionals to receive, find, compare, analyze, and report data; and even handles shareholder communications accurately and efficiently. Aptara has more XBRL content engineers than any organization in the world.

All formats and all standards for all devices

XML, HTML5, CSS3, or a combination thereof; EPUB, KF8, and other fixed formats for eReaders; XBRL and NIMAS—Aptara is expert in all best-of-breed standards. And because “best-of-breed” for formats and standards can be a moving target as their specifications are updated, Aptara remains involved with the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), EPUB 3, and EDUPUB working groups to ensure that our content technologists remain ahead of industry best practices.