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Turn a text file into an animated 3D ebook with Toolwiz FlipBook

17 May 2012, Mike Williams

Plain, ordinary text files aren’t normally the most interesting of ways to convey information, but if you’d like to change that then Toolwiz FlipBook may be able to help.

Just point the program at a particular TXT file, and in a click it’ll be converted into an executable file. And launching this on any Windows PC will display your file’s contents in a 3D book. Readers can navigate the book via keyboard or mouse, and will see an animated flipping effect as the pages turn.

Exactly how useful this might be is open to question. FlipBook only imports text files, for instance, so your books can never include any graphics (the program doesn’t even allow you to customise the image on the book’s cover). If you want to produce a more engaging document then it might be better to author a PDF file, instead, which will provide far greater scope for creativity than you have here.

You can browse through your book with the keyboard, mouse, or the main navigation menu

FlipBook’s final creations aren’t too impressive, either. The books only have a marginal 3D effect. And the page flipping animation is poorly implemented: run a book on a high-end PC and pages flip so quickly you can barely see it happen.

Toolwiz FlipBook also suffers from a total absence of documentation. What happens if you check the builder’s “Find the chapter automatically” option? Hold down the left mouse button while dragging over a book’s page and you can scribble on it, but is there a way to save these annotations? And is that connected with the mysterious “Comment Mode” menu link, which didn’t seem to do anything when we clicked on it? We’ve no idea.

If you already have a bunch of text files, though – stories you’ve written for your kids, say – then Toolwiz FlipBook does provide a quick and easy way to make them look at least a little more appealing. And who knows? When the Help file finally arrives in some future update you may discover even more useful features just waiting to be accessed.

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