Use Scribd to embed a document viewer within a post

Scribd can be used to host documents and embed a document viewer into a post.

One of my staff’s goals is to bring the same variety of storytelling models to the web that they offer in print. That means exploring a lot of new tools that make online interactivity much easier than it used to be (back in the good ol’ Adobe Flash Action Script coding days). As they do this, I’m asking them to share the tools and their process in a series of short Q&A posts. If your staff experiments with one of these or another online multimedia tool, please share.

Which multimedia tool did you use?


What does it do?

Scribd allows you to upload documents online and embed them to WordPress.

What story did you use it for, and why did you choose this particular tool for this story?

My story was about two girls who won first place at a regional creative writing competition. It seemed like a no-brainer that their contest submissions should be available to our readers somehow. I wanted to be able to include their pieces within the same post as the article while also making it obvious that they weren’t part of the article itself. Scribd was the perfect tool.

What did you find the tool does well?

Well, it gets the job done! I was able to upload straight from Word (other similar sites asked me to make a PDF first), and the formatting was preserved.

What were your frustrations with the tool?

I had hoped to make the Scribd embeds longer vertically than horizontally — like an actual sheet of paper — and then align one to the right and one to the left with the text wrapping around. While I found it easy to change the dimensions on the embed, I couldn’t figure out how to wrap the text (although this might say more about my inability to comprehend code than the tool itself).

In which scenarios would you recommend this tool to others?

Any story that would benefit from the inclusion of an outside document. Writing competitions are an obvious one, but I can also see Scribd being helpful when analyzing legislation or new school policies. Not sure how likely this is to happen in a high school context, but if anyone happens to find letters from a young J.D. Salinger — or, for that matter, any handwritten letters, notes, whatever — it would be cool to include those as Scribd embeds as well.

— Q&A with senior Amrutha Dorai, El Estoque Editor-in-Chief

Michelle Balmeo

Michelle Balmeo, MJE, is the adviser of The Whirlwind newsmagazine and online news publication at West Albany High School in Albany, Ore. She's done some print stuff, some video stuff, and some web stuff over the past 16 years as a student media adviser.

Michelle Balmeo has 66 posts and counting. See all posts by Michelle Balmeo

One thought on “Use Scribd to embed a document viewer within a post

  • March 11, 2014 at 10:46 am

    I’ve just started using Scribd’s embed tool in my WordPress blog posts. I write and it’s esp nice to embed the typical preview one has to follow a link to, within my article. Then the reader can follow the link if they’re interested in knowing/seeing more.

    I liked the added suggestions, “handwritten letters, notes, whatever…would be cool to Scribd embeds as well…”

    Nice article 🙂 thanks so much!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.