View Full Version : Question about creating PDFs (resolved - my error, d'oh)


Prince Hal
02-24-2010, 12:12 AM
I have created a number of pdf's through OpenOffice. They look really good as pdf's, but when I view them in Sony Reader desktop, they look awful. Does anyone have any idea why, or how I can resolve it ?

I have attached a sample below - nonsense clips, but you can see what I mean.

Many thanks for any help that you can give,

Hal.

Resolved: My error. I clipped text as a picture out of other documents and then into Word, and then pdf. If you are really ineterested, read on, but probalby not worthwhile.

frabjous
02-24-2010, 12:27 AM
Both the PDF and the screenshot look terrible to me. (Even In other PDF viewers.)

Exactly how are you creating these with OpenOffice? It looks like, even in the PDF, the text has been changed to a rasterized/pixelated image, and is not true text. This is not normally how Open Office would work when exporting from writer to PDF. Are you doing something funny to make this the case?

Do you know what is creating the torn page look at the bottom? Was that deliberate?

Can you upload the open office source document for this? (The odt file, or whatever.)

Prince Hal
02-24-2010, 09:23 AM
Both the PDF and the screenshot look terrible to me. (Even In other PDF viewers.)

Exactly how are you creating these with OpenOffice? It looks like, even in the PDF, the text has been changed to a rasterized/pixelated image, and is not true text. This is not normally how Open Office would work when exporting from writer to PDF. Are you doing something funny to make this the case?

Do you know what is creating the torn page look at the bottom? Was that deliberate?

Can you upload the open office source document for this? (The odt file, or whatever.)

Many thanks for the reply. The original .rft file loaded into OpenOffice contains clips of text using Snagit. So you are correct, these are basically pictures. I will upload the file now [only upload part of it as it was almost 6mb originally] . So I agree it is not true text. This is the way these rft's are assembled from various other sources. The torn page is also a feature of Snagit that you can ask it to create. Nice for creating an effect.

I am exporting topdf from Open Office 3.1, and am setting the qality to 100%. As I say, looks great in pdf, but then there is something about Sony Reader Desktop that destroys the quality. I would have thought that Sony Reader could not have changed anything in a pdf file.

Anyway, any help would be appreciated.

Hal.

frabjous
02-24-2010, 12:39 PM
It really doesn't look great in PDF. I don't know what PDF viewer you're using, but for anyone with a different screen resolution or zoom setting than yours, it'll look bad.

If I create PDF with the file you just uploaded using OpenOffice, the PDF looks OK at 100% zoom, where the resolution of the image matches the original, but if I either zoom in or zoom out, it looks terrible. I'd guess you think it looks good as a PDF just because your normal PDF software is set to 100% zoom, whereas Sony Reader software's PDF viewer is set to a different zoom setting. See if zooming in or out makes a difference.

I highly recommend trying to obtain the text as text, and not use screen-capture to acquire it. Certainly it's not worth it for the torn page effect. (Probably you could add an image of the torn page bottom at the bottom of the text if you really wanted.)

Is there some reason you have to obtain the text via screen-capture?

Elfwreck
02-24-2010, 01:01 PM
They're 96dpi images instead of text. It might look better with the whitespace cropped out (see attached), but rendering of low-res images is never great for reading.

If you want to work with screencaps (and sometimes, that's useful), find out if you can increase the resolution of the captured image, or zoom in before screencapping. (It's possible you can't screencap res might be based on monitor settings rather than the program you use.)

Ideally: convert *text*, not screen images, to ebooks; only add screencap images where they help prove a point--if you're saying, "this scholar used this exact phrase," you may wish to include a screencap of that phrasing, but otherwise, it's much better to work with text, even if it's patchwork-pieces of text from multiple sources. If you need it to be obvious that they're separate, put (vector-art) boxes around them, rather than using images.

Prince Hal
02-28-2010, 07:32 PM
Many thanks everyone for your help. I was trying to get highlighted parts of books from Sony PRS Desktop reader into a Word file or something similar. The only way I could see to do it was to cut from the Desktop reader (using Snagit for example), and paste into a Word doc. But, the results when transferring this to a Reader again in doc or PDF format was disappointing. But what great help you have given me.

The solution ? Bought a Kindle. The clippings file is in txt format, so I have not problems converting.

Thanks for helping me to decide.

Hal.

rmm200
02-28-2010, 07:49 PM
That has to be the strangest justification I ever heard for buying a Kindle. Glad it works for you. I do hope no one else makes screen shots of text and expects it to look good in a PDF.

Robert

Prince Hal
02-28-2010, 08:56 PM
That has to be the strangest justification I ever heard for buying a Kindle. Glad it works for you. I do hope no one else makes screen shots of text and expects it to look good in a PDF.

Robert

I agree about th screen shots into PDF. But you don't know until you try. I tried, got some advice from this forum and it doesn't work.

As to the Kindle, well, if you want to take clippings from books and articles, the Sony's don't do it. You need a Kindle or a PocketBook. Simple as that. The Sony just does not do it.

So the choose was simple for me.

Hal.

frabjous
02-28-2010, 11:58 PM
I don't think I understand what's going on here. Are you comparing the PC software that comes with these readers, or the readers themselves?

The software that comes with Sony Readers sucks, no doubt about that. But if the file is not DRMed, you can use a variety of other (free) software to extract text from ebooks that work on it. This is no reflection on Sonys vs other readers.

The file is DRMed, then you shouldn't be taking large snippets from it anyway. (And it'd be rather shocking that a Kindle, or its software, would let you!) I guess quoting small pieces of material under copyright is OK, but if you really just want a small snippet, you can OCR a screen cap, or for that matter, just type it out yourself!

Prince Hal
03-01-2010, 01:16 AM
I don't think I understand what's going on here. Are you comparing the PC software that comes with these readers, or the readers themselves?

The software that comes with Sony Readers sucks, no doubt about that. But if the file is not DRMed, you can use a variety of other (free) software to extract text from ebooks that work on it. This is no reflection on Sonys vs other readers.

The file is DRMed, then you shouldn't be taking large snippets from it anyway. (And it'd be rather shocking that a Kindle, or its software, would let you!) I guess quoting small pieces of material under copyright is OK, but if you really just want a small snippet, you can OCR a screen cap, or for that matter, just type it out yourself!

thanks for the reply. When I an reading an article I like to highlight certain sentances and paragraphs. The kindle allows me to do that and as a bonus saves them to a text file so I can put them into a database. Agreed I could type out the highlighted passages afterwards so long as I have them highlighted. I could do this with the Sony 600 or 900. But it is so much more efficient if the text were already available. Now the Sony reader and the Sony desktop reader do not allow me to do this. I know of no free programs that allow me to do this. So I stumbled on the idea if cutting out the highlighted passages from the Sony desktop reader. Looks good in word, not perfect, and terrible in PDF. I was just clutching at straws trying to get something to work to keep my Sony 900. But as others have said, not. a good idea in the end. I tried. What free profs are you referring to ?

Hal

frabjous
03-01-2010, 02:04 AM
Calibre (free, open source software) will allow you to convert between most ebook formats, and you can convert an entire document to, e.g., rtf or plain text and open it in your Word Processor -- not to mention that its own ebook reader will allow you to copy and paste text.

That's all assuming there's no DRM.

http://calibre-ebook.com/

That's just one example. Depending on what formats these files are in, I might suggest others.

Prince Hal
03-01-2010, 09:51 AM
Calibre (free, open source software) will allow you to convert between most ebook formats, and you can convert an entire document to, e.g., rtf or plain text and open it in your Word Processor -- not to mention that its own ebook reader will allow you to copy and paste text.

That's all assuming there's no DRM.

http://calibre-ebook.com/

That's just one example. Depending on what formats these files are in, I might suggest others.

My apologies, I am not explaining this very well. Grateful again for your reply.

Calibre is great, but it does not read Sony DRM books. There may be ways of stripping the DRM from them, but not sure that is legal.

But my point is, if you want to read a book or an article on a Sony reader e.g. the PRS 600 or 900, highlight text , there is no way to be able to clip that highlight from the book or article to put into Word.

You can sync the reader (handheld) to the desktop version, but then you cannot get it out from the sony desktop reader into word unless you clip using a screen capture e.g. Snagit. I do not believe that you can sync a book on a prs 600/900 with all of its highlights, with Calibre and then take out all highlighted passages to a word doc.

This has been my insurmountable dilemma. Hence the Kindle 2.

Hope that this explains. Thanks for your comments.

Hal.

frabjous
03-01-2010, 11:47 AM
You can't read a DRMed ebook from Sony on a Kindle either, so how does getting a Kindle help?

And for what it's worth, taking clips out of DRMed books and redistributing it just as illegal as removing DRM. You're not supposed to be able to extract text from DRMed books. That's kind of the whole point.

Prince Hal
03-01-2010, 10:19 PM
You can't read a DRMed ebook from Sony on a Kindle either, so how does getting a Kindle help?

And for what it's worth, taking clips out of DRMed books and redistributing it just as illegal as removing DRM. You're not supposed to be able to extract text from DRMed books. That's kind of the whole point.

Mmm, not sure why this is getting heated. Apologies if I have offended.

My point is this. I only have a few Sony bought and DRM'd books. It would be great to clip and paste from them. Doesn't work. But most of my "books" are articles that I make into e-books - so no DRM. So I am not at all that bothered about cutting and pasting from Sony DRMs. You are right, having a Kindle doesn't help in that respect.

But the key point is regarding cutting an pasting from my own created "books" from articles on the web for example. The Sony PRS 600 and 900 do not allow this. Only the Kindle and PocketBooks.

As to the DRM issue. Well I believe you are allowed to photocopy paper books up to 10% for personal use and not for redistribution. This is all I want to do: some clips from books. Whether you clip them or hand copy them, surely it is the same. So long as you do not distribute them, and use them for your own personal use, it's okay. Otherwise how could students at college or university get along if they cannot quuote from a book ? If they can do it from a paper book, surely they are not restricted from doing the same from an e-book, DRM'd or not.

If this is not the case, then Amazon and PocketBook are both in breach of a law somewhere, but I don't see either of them being dragged through the High Court.

So, I hope that explains. The Sony's are great readers, they just don't do what I want them to do. I recently read a 400 page book and probably clipped out sentances and paragraphs that amounted to 5 pages in total. The Kindle does what I want it to I hate the keyboard, and would prefer a native Word.

Best regards,

Hal.

frabjous
03-02-2010, 12:26 AM
I wasn't really trying to make it heated. I just didn't want other readers of the thread to get a misleading impression of the legimate advantages of Kindles vs. Sonys.

But for the record, is it really possible to highlight text inside a DRMed book on Kindle and save that text as a text file? Is there any restriction to how much you can highlight?

Prince Hal
03-02-2010, 10:10 AM
I wasn't really trying to make it heated. I just didn't want other readers of the thread to get a misleading impression of the legimate advantages of Kindles vs. Sonys.

But for the record, is it really possible to highlight text inside a DRMed book on Kindle and save that text as a text file? Is there any restriction to how much you can highlight?

Sure is. Whether DRM'd books for Kindle or those you make yourself. You highlight and it is added to the "My Clippings" file. As to the extent, I am not sure. One thread in MobileRead suggests "40 pages" per book, but I have never verified that. I have never clipped beyond a paragraph (i.e. a full screen on the Kindle) and probably no more than maybe 5 or so pages altogether from anyone book. It clips to the My Clippings file with the title of the book and the location within it of the clipping. The Sony only takes the first 100 characters of the highlighted text in addition to any note that you may add.

Just to redress the imbalance, the Sony is a really nice machine. I have owned a 505, which I liked much better than the Kindle (other than it does not have the clipping feature). The metal casing is really nice to hold. The PRS900 I had for 3 days was beautiful. Metal case (though plastic back due to the 3G radio I presume), great screen size, came with screen cover, zipper hard case and a charger. I thought for $399 this was great value - probably in imho better value than a $299 PRS 600 (though you can get them for as low as $262 online). The screen glare for me was a killer. Touch screen was great, note taking excellent. I like the Sony bookstore too. Oh, and a removable battery on the 900 and expansion slots.

So, yep, I had to do a great deal of compromise for the Kindle, because I wanted the clipping function. Really dislike the keyboard, no expansion, no removable battery. Love the page turn keys though, think the design is good - it feels classy and not a toy, great screen clarity, nice price, good accessories.

I was hoping Sony would come up with the clippings feature, but couldn't wait on the off chance.

As to my wonderful idea about cutting and pasting from the Sony Reader desktop ? Well, one of those "also ran" ideas I suppose. Got quite excited about. Consigned to the trash bin of "don't call us, we'll call you".

I hope this balances things a "touch".:rofl:

Best regards,

Hal.

rmm200
03-02-2010, 04:08 PM
I do sort of wish you would change the title of this thread... Nothing you have discussed indicate good pdfs are poor on Sony.

Robert

Prince Hal
03-02-2010, 09:28 PM
I do sort of wish you would change the title of this thread... Nothing you have discussed indicate good pdfs are poor on Sony.

Robert

Chjanged title. Thanks.

frabjous
03-02-2010, 09:56 PM
The title has not changed for me....

Prince Hal
03-02-2010, 11:30 PM
Yep, it just changed the title of the first post. Any one know how I can change the thread title ?