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Article Written By:
Johann Dowa

Open Source: Libraries For Quick Magazine/Book Apps With PDF Files Or Images

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Book or Magazine type apps can be a great way to break into the app store.  After receiving some feedback from one beginning iOS developer asking about any open source libraries available to do this quickly with PDF files I decided to write this post.

I’ve mentioned one of these options in the past that provides a way to build a book reader with an iBook-like page turning effect, but there are a couple more options that I have found about recently that provide alternatives.

Here they are:

1. This first is probably the most complete and easy way to build a PDF reader – while there are no animation bells and whistles the navigation is excellent, you get full zooming capabilities and everything works well on both iPhone and iPad and even on older devices.  The library is Julius Oklamak‘s PDF viewer, and you can find the Github here with full documentation:
http://github.com/vfr/Reader 

This is a very complete solution.

2. The second is a library that I have mentioned previously which enables iBooks like (although not exact) page flipping animations from Tom Brow.

The library is Leaves and in a previous article I mentioned Leaves a branch adding 2 page display support was mentioned provided by Ole Begemann Which I showed off in this video:

Another branch has been created with multi-page display just like the branch from Ole, but further adding zoom capability which can be found here:
https://github.com/shuhongwu/leaves-zoom-enhanced

A tutorial for creating an application using Leaves can be found here.

3. The third library does not load PDF’s, but rather load images (you can of course convert your PDF to JPEG images).  I mention this library because it is so easy to use so if you are just starting out and want to put out a magazine/book type app out there this library will allow you to create one with finger swiping navigation.  All you need to do is change the image data in the ImageData.Plist and this library will turn the images into a basic iPad photo magazine app.

The project is from Jasper Gregory and the  Github can be found here:
https://github.com/jaspergregory/Ipad-photo-magazine

There are other open source solutions out there, but with one of these solutions you should be able to get your magazine/book app out there quickly even if you’re just a beginning iOS developer.


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