First Look: Content viewer

Last week, we took our first look at the bibliographic page and bibliographic basket of BHL-Europe’s portal. Today, we take a look at the content viewer, which provides the user with several functions and possibilities to display selected books and articles.
View types

The basic view is the one-page view which shows just a single page.  These single pages scroll vertically.  The two-page view opens the book or article with two joined pages and looks more like a printed book. The user can even turn the virtual pages from right to left by clicking on the page.  Pages can also be turned up by using the pages pane or the page scale (see below for more information about this). The thumbnail view is a very user friendly view for quick navigation within a book or selection of illustrations, which shows the page thumbnails in a table with 6 pages per row. The number of rows depends on the number of pages.  In each view type it is possible to zoom in or out. Each type of view is represented by icons in the lower menu to the right of the page scale.

One page view

Thumbnail view


There are several options for navigating through the content. In the left column are two sections, which can be hidden by clicking on the arrow in the middle of the screen.  The “Pages” section at the top has a Table of contents function. Depending on the book data, users are able to look at the pages in a book with page descriptions, such as title page, chapter or figure. In cases where such data is not specified this function displays a scroll down list of page numbers corresponding to the physically scanned pages in the book open in the viewer. The number of pages is connected to the view and display of the physical page depending on which type of view is set up. Another navigation tool is the page scale in the lower menu. Moving the cursor on this scale turns the pages depending on the view type and shows the page info (e.g. the number) corresponding to the table of contents. To the right of the page scale is the small frame “Go to”, allowing users to go to a specified page number. The lower menu is the same as the left block and can be hidden to enlarge the content screen.  The pages can also be turned using the left or right arrow on the left side of the lower menu or on the keyboard. The last means of navigation is to turn the pages directly in the content screen by clicking on the pages in two-pages view or using the mouse scroll log in one-page or thumbnail view. 


When the cursor is on the page, independent of the view type, two icons on top of the page will appear.  One icon is shown as “+” and the other displays several lines. The plus icon adds pages to the basket, which means that it adds images of pages to the download basket. By clicking the plus icon, it is changed to a minus icon and thus users are able to remove selected pages from the download basket. The basket icon is in the top right position in the content viewer menu and shows the number of pages which have been added. Clicking on it makes the light box view appear, giving several possibilities on how to download selected pages. Pages are displayed under the “Your Basket” menu and can easily be removed from the basket.

The download function

It is possible to download the page in three formats, PDF, OCR or JPEG and (in the case of PDF or JPEG) in various resolutions. To complete the download of pages users need to enter an email address to deliver the download link to, and click on the button marked “Download”. In case the user wants to download the entire book without clicking on each page in the content viewer, they can click on the book title, which will lead to the biblio page, where it is possible to download the book in various formats. The download option in the content viewer mainly focuses on specific selected pages as references, contents list, and of course for the illustrations. The pages can also be downloaded by using the actual browser options. The second icon on the page with lines links to the OCR text of the page. 

Taxon finder

The lower section in this left column shows recognized taxa on the page being looked at in the content viewer. This section is powered by uBio web services.


This function is related to the other navigation functions but is more specific.  Search in the content viewer allows searching within the OCR text of the book displayed. The search frame is in the upper menu. If the searched term retrieves positive results, the occurrences of the search term in the text are indicated as a reversed orange tear drop on the page scale. Moving the mouse over this tear drop shows the search term and the exact page where it is mentioned. The best view type for this function is a one-page view.

The search function
The term cannot be highlighted directly in the page, because the pages are displayed as pictures. This function is still on our wish and challenge list.

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