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Communications of the ACM

CACM online

A Preference For PDF

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Credit: Adobe Systems

When it comes to electronic formats, Communications readers prefer PDF to HTML, according to data on a year's worth of published articles. PDF's faithful reproduction of magazine pages appears to give it an edge. Legacy is another factor. Every article in Communications' 52-year history is available in PDF, while HTML versions date back to 1999. Also, members are accustomed to accessing ACM's many transactions, proceedings, and journals exclusively in PDF.

The table shows how the most popular articles published over a 12-month span were accessed from the DL and Communications' Web site.


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Armando Fox

What about ebook formats like Mobi and ePub?

I prefer PDF now because my preferred way to read CACM is on my Kindle DX. But PDF is a distant second compared to Mobi, the markup-oriented format that allows contents, layout reflowing, etc. in the ebook reader.

I don't think it would be much more work to create this format than it is to create HTML (indeed Amazon has an HTML-to-Mobi converter, but it's not great since the HTML version has already lost information).

Since early adopters of ebook readers are probably disproportionately represented among CACM readers, it would be great if you'd investigate this option.


i agree - please create a MOBI formatted version of the CACM! i can't read the pdf version on my kindle 3 as the text is just too small..

David Roman

ACM is currently experimenting with various e-reader formats. Some Communications articles are presently available in EPUB and PRC formats, and ACM is monitoring their usage. These format will be accessible from the Abstract page of select articles in the ACM Digital Library (

Kevin Birch

Please, please, please release more CACM content in MOBI format! I would really love to read it on my Kindle 3.

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