Pancake.io: publish any document on the web to its own URL (with a little help from Dropbox)

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Let’s say that you have a PDF, PowerPoint file, text file or any other document that you want to publish on the web to it’s own URL that you could send to people.

Let’s also say that you would like it to be displayed properly in a web reader for PDFs or a web presentation viewer for PowerPoint, etc.

Let’s moreover say that this document is a work in progress, and that you would like to be able to change or edit it and have the changes be instantly reflected online.

If the hypotheticals above sound good to you then let me introduce Pancake.io, a free service that can connect to and publish specific files in your public Dropbox folder on the internet and add a nice embedded web viewer for good measure.

Pancake.io screenshot1PowerPoint presentation on Pancake.io

How it works: once you register with Pancake.io, it will request permission to create a folder called Pancake.io in your Dropbox account. From that point on any file from the supported formats that you put in that folder will be displayed in it’s own URL (within the Pancake.io domain). You can send these URLs to friends and collaborators, and they are publicly accessible to anyone who has the URL. The technically inclined can even use their own CSS file to customize the look of the web page.

Supported filetypes: TXT, MD (markdown), JPG, JPEG, PNG, GIF, PDF, DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, and PPTX.

Wish list: or how this service can be even better

  • Thumbnails for documents would be nice (esp. images).
  • Also the ability to create subfolders in the Pancake Dropbox folder and have a URL be generated for the folder rather than the document, where contents are displayed as thumbnailed galleries.

The verdict: actually a very nice service. I like the fact that the web content is integrated with your desktop, allowing you to change it at will at any time. For those who like to send their friends and colleagues PowerPoint presentations, PDF documents or what have you it is a good way to keep control of the message and to have the ability to add to it later on, etc.

[Thanks go to reader Panzer for letting us know about this service]

Compatibility: a browser plus a Dropbox account installed on your machine.

Go to the Pancake.io site to sign up.