Our Superficial Review of Surface: It Works with Tizra!

The new Microsoft Surface tablet was on the doorstep at Tizra HQ this morning, and we took a little time to run it through some basic tests.  Overall, our feeling was in line with the reviews: Nice hardware, and potentially attractive for those looking for a more mobile way to use MS Office.  Still a ways to go on software, though.

We tried the Windows RT version of Internet Explorer 10 on a few Tizra sites, and overall they worked as expected, though interactions with the new reading interface we've just developed (more on this soon) were sluggish.  Part of it may be incompatibility with some underlying scripts, which will be tuned as IE 10 becomes more of a factor.  Part of it was probably just our unfamiliarity with new Metro interface.

So for now, our minds are open on Surface as a device, but more importantly, we're thrilled to see another major player striving mightily to develop better ways for users to interact with the great content our customers deliver through Tizra.

Tizra Gets Logical

As those who regularly commute between the worlds of print and digital are painfully aware, important things are often lost in translation.  For example, digital people tend to think in terms of "physical" page numbers (the ones you see in your text editor as a document scrolls by on screen), whereas print people tend to think in terms of "logical" page numbers (Roman numerals for introduction and other front matter, Arabic for the rest, like you see in books).

For many of our customers, this hasn't been a problem, in part because we make it so easy for users to deep link directly to specific pages using standard URLs.

But for others, it can cause real confusion. Think of teachers assigning reading to their classes using multiple pagination schemes.

Now Tizra's added the ability for publishers to have it both ways: every page is linkable as always, but logical page numbering is also supported. That means when the teacher says "go to page viii in your textbook," it means the same thing as when they post this link in their Learning Management System.

The feature is simple to use, because it takes advantage of the page numbering features already built into the standards for the PDF file format. Once the feature is activated on your Tizra site, any PDF you load with logical page numbering in it will automatically be displayed with that numbering in Tizra's online reader and tables of contents.

How you get the required information into your PDFs will depend on your software, but it's generally a matter of a few clicks. For example in Adobe Acrobat, you can select a range of pages in the thumbnail view, then right click to pop up the page numbering dialog, which lets you specify how those pages should be numbered.

Once that's done, Tizra can import the logical page numbers and display them on your site, as in the table of contents below (Figure 1).
Figure 1

Click on the table of contents heading Introduction (Figure 1, above) and the Tizra online content reader (Figure 2, below) displays Page iii (of 10), where "iii" is the logical/printed page number and "10" is the total number of pages in the PDF. 
Note the printed page number circled in the bottom right-hand corner of the page.

Figure 2

You can even jump to logical page numbers (as always, if users have access to the page). For example: entering "iv"  in the Go field (Figure 3) will bring the reader to logical/printed page number iv.

Figure 3
To get started with logical page numbering, please contact Tizra.

Tizra is at the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair

Tizra is in Germany!  On Tuesday, October 9th, we are at the Tools of Change Frankfurt Conference. 

For the rest of the week -- Wednesday, October 10th through Sunday, October 14th -- you can find us at the Frankfurt Book Fair, at the American Collective Stand - Hall 8.0 S949. 

If you are also in Frankfurt, we'd love to connect!  Please email or call us at +1 401-400-2989 and we'll happily set up some time.

Hope to see you there.

Entrance to the Frankfurt Book Fair "Festhalle."