New digital formats for standards – Try them out

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Most standards are sold as printed hard copies or as PDFs. Both are great formats and continue to have their place in the lives of standards users.

These days, a large amount of published material appears in other digital formats. A few national standards bodies have trialled online standards portals where standards appear as web pages, and others, including ourselves, have released standards as ebooks.

We want to understand what you think about digital standards. To this end, we have completed a small pilot with a standard appearing in two new formats. We do this both to gauge usefulness and as food for thought for standards customers on what the future might hold. We’re keen to hear your feedback on what works, what doesn’t, and what features you would like to see in a digital edition.

For our pilot we have used a standard that the Ministry of Business, Information and Employment (Building Service Performance) has recently sponsored access to: NZS 4514:2009 Interconnected smoke alarms. The PDF is currently available to view and print for no charge here.

Web-based standard and ebook

The two new formats are available here at no charge.

  • To navigate the web-based standard, use the contents sidebar (or separate contents page if viewing on a mobile).
  • To view the ebook, download the zip file, unzip it, then either transfer the EPUB file to your e-reader or open the file with an e-reader app. (At this stage, our ebooks cannot be viewed through Kindle.) On Android devices, Google Play Books is a free app, and on Apple IOS devices, iBooks is the pre-installed ebook reader. There are plenty of other ebook reading apps, and the file should work on any that host EPUB files. Mobile devices vary in how easily they recognise downloaded files. It is often best to upload the file to your chosen reader’s library from a computer first.


Please have a look at the standard in the alternative formats and let us know what you think.

Complete the (very short!) survey, which closes on July 20.

Published in building.