“Square Peg, Round Hole”


Have you ever witnessed a child playing with the educational toy pictured above. The concept is simple. The circles, squares, crosses, stars, triangles etc have a corresponding hole which allows the shape to slide through the lid into the container. However, each shape only fits within the ‘hole’ to which it is respectfully assigned.  There is no amount of ramming, jarring, or smashing that exhibits otherwise – I can verify from experience.


So how do Fisher Price and Flip Page relate? The principles guiding the toy and digital print media are very similar. You simply can’t fit a square peg into a round hole (assuming you don’t have a group of NASA engineers on staff).


We won’t bore you with technical gibberish. Instead, we’ll travel the Layman’s route. Let’s take, for example, an 8.5” x 11” layout since it is a common size for a variety of different print publications. In order to view an 8.5” x 11” publication in its native dimensions you would require a monitor that can account for at least 17” W x 11” H (as spreads) but that would not leave any ‘real estate’ for additional features made available in the top/bottom or side toolbars. Additional buffer space is needed to accommodate those items.  Let us consider the display options. A 21.5” monitor offers the dimensions 18.75” W x 10.5” H. In this case, the peg will not justifiably fit in the hole. On a slightly larger display device we could likely view it in its native dimensions but on anything smaller we cannot.


So where do we go from here? Ramming, jarring and smashing is inherently difficult in the digital realm.  But we are not at a total loss. Flip Page Publishing has purchased the rights to Wayne Szalinski’s ‘electromagnetic shrink ray’ to help with publications that are ideal in print but don’t tailor to digital. But even Wayne couldn’t prevent some issues with reduction based technologies. The shrink ray can manipulate the PDF down to fractions of it size but in doing so everything gets smaller. Images and text included. And really, that doesn’t make us any different than any PDF viewing software on the market. Depending on your personal settings PDF viewers either open the file in zoomed mode or full page mode. We prefer to load a publication in full page mode with the idea being that the reader will find the content and zoom as required.


And you may or may not be aware but we have tools that make the conversion from print to digital incredibly seamless even with the use of the ‘shrink ray’. We’ll cover those in the next newsletter.