I am totally new to eBooks / digital publishing.

I want to publish a book on a software/programming topic. It makes zero sense for it to be paperback, because I want readers to be able to copy and paste code from the book to their software editors. I also would like to include animated GIFs in the eBook, so it's more interactive, etc.

Given the above requirements, does anyone have a recommendation for which platform to publish to and which format to publish the eBook in? I here a lot of people use MS Word to write the eBook and export to PDF. But I don't think PDF supports GIFs, so I think I am looking for something else.

It's 2018, I want to publish an eBook with GIFs/animations!

If someone could add the following tags to this question:

gif, animation

that'd be great...

  • 1
    Coincidentally, this question was bumped to the homepage right about the same time you submitted yours.
    – beaker
    Commented Jun 17, 2018 at 15:54

2 Answers 2


I suggest you of using LaTeX for such work. LaTeX handles multiple types of documents, text and media environments (complex equations as well as images, videos, plots, program source code (you can find packages to provide syntax highlight)), languages. You can also meaningfully use a Version Control System with its source code (like Git). And the end, you can export your book as PDF, PostScript, or other formats.

There are compilers and integrated editors for every major desktop operating system, for example, various Linux Distributions, Windows, or even macOS.

  • can latex include gifs/animations? Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 18:56

For very structured pages (manuals with pictures, magazines, encyclopedias, newspapers), use the DjVu format. You can use the DjVuLibre application library to create it. Or python-djvulibre if you like to program in Python.

For pure text with the minimum of images, use Epub format. It also supports animations (gif / mp4).

You can use the Sigil program to create it. It runs in Windows and also in Linux. Or use Python and python-epub-builder library.

PS: Some PDF version can display animations, but it's pretty obscure. The PDF format was primarily designed as a print format. Animations are useless for print.

  • i wouldn't say "animations are useless for print", that's like being in 1850 and saying "pictures are useless for print" :) but yes useless or rather impossible for a paperback. Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 18:57

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