View Full Version : Need to create ePub from PDF with equations, diagrams and tables

04-24-2013, 07:14 AM

As the title suggests I would like to create ePub from PDF's which I have licensed. Problem is most of these PDF's are Engineering Books, which means they are full of mathematical equations, tables and diagrams.
I have used Calibre but it ruins the formatting and doesn't display Mathematical equations at all.
I also tried using Adobe professional ---> Turning PDFs to RTF/HTML but in all cases equations and diagrams are badly affected!

Is there a way of dealing with this? I have heard that ePub3 natively supports mathematical equations? Is there an easy solution for conversion?
Any sort of help would be appreciated. Looking forward.


04-24-2013, 09:00 AM
I don't think that there is any current automated system that will help you.

Yes, ePub3 is supposed to support MathML, but

(a) few readers support the full ePub 3 spec (non yet fully support the ePub 2 spec!)
(b) PDFs are glyphs on a plane if you're lucky (if unlucky, just bitmaps). There's usually no semantic mark-up that would help convert the equations to MathsML.

04-24-2013, 09:52 AM
About the only way to do it is to make images of equations, tables and diagrams. Most PDF readers have a snapshot function which will allow you to do that relatively easily. But if the book is full of them, it will be a lot of work. Displaying math symbols and equations and even tables is the bleeding edge, still.

You can turn the tables into HTML alright, but the table may be too small to use or cut off on some devices. When I have the original, I will often just make a image of it. If I can see it on my small device, I know it will be readable, if not always pleasant, on any device.

04-25-2013, 10:17 PM
PDF is nearly a final static format.
Since all PDFs are created from other formats, why not convert from original formats?
If you don't have the original format, the conversion from such PDF is almost impossible.

04-25-2013, 10:21 PM
Just one other thing to think about - would it work for your purposes (which are, I'm assuming, to read them on a small reader) to convert them into different PDFs, customising them to a six inch screen instead of an A4 page?