2. Review of the eReader PDF Viewer
In this section we’ll take a closer look at the features, but also limitations of the included Adobe Reader.
First of all: It’s a very powerful reader and it supports any PDF file in any size. It’s very stable, fast and easy to use. The display quality is excellent, too. So all in all it’s a really great program.
You can magnify, change view mode, change font size, enable text reflow mode and change the rendering settings.
While reading you can add ink notes (write, draw something, or underline a word), add text notes as a bookmark, highlight text or select text and open the dictionary.
You can navigate by bookmarks, page number or history and finally search in the PDF file.
If you open a PDF file in portrait mode the PDF Viewer will zoom out until it fits the whole page on the display. Normally this results in an unreadable tiny font size because the display is much smaller than the page size of books or magazines.
So we press the magnification button and get three options: “Zoom In”, “Page Mode”, “XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL”
“XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL”
With these selections we can activate/deactivate the reflow mode and change the font size. If we select S the PDF gets displayed just as it is. With its custom layout, font size, etc. That’s the only mode you should use to view a PDF file properly!
If we select any of the other modes, like M or L, the PDF Viewer will remove the whole layout, take the text and display the text as flow text, it will reflow the text. This means: The font gets larger and readable, but the layout gets removed. The issue with this mode is it doesn’t work with every PDF. If you have a normal book in PDF format, then use this mode, it should work just fine with some hiccups. If you have a normal newspaper article, then you can use this mode, too, to remove columns. However, if you read some science stuff or odd PDF documents and use the reflow mode, it won’t work properly. It will resize the font, but scramble parts of the page. If some equations are included, too, forget it, it just doesn’t work.
Just as the name implies, the Sony reader has a zoom function. Press it and you can zoom in. You can pan the page with the touchscreen just as on a smartphone but you can’t flip to the next page. However, there’s a lock button. If you lock it, the additional zoom buttons, the user interface, vanishes and you can turn the page and the zoom settings stay, even after a page turn. So if you have a PDF file and only want to read a small part of it, located on every page at the same position then you can use this feature. Else, just use the zoom function to view a graph in detail, or other things magnifyied. (You can’t add notes while in zoom mode)
This function is important to view newspaper articles. Such articles consist of two or three columns. Reading them on the eReader in original view is impossible, the font is too small. Using the zoom tool is awkward because it’s too slow to pan around (an e-Ink display has a slow response time), so you can use the 2-Column Split or 3-Column Split. That way the PDF file gets magnified and you view just a part of it. If you flip to the next page the next part gets displayed, and finally goes to the next page, displaying the first part again. It’s very useful and works pretty well. (Note: These two modes don’t work in landscape mode)
The other remaining modes “Margin Cut” and “Full Page” should do what they’re called like. Margin Cut, tough, hadn't any larger effect on the PDF files I view yet.
The best method to increase font size is to switch to landscape mode. That way the PDF file gets split in an upper and lower part, thus the useable width gets much larger and the font bigger.
The only issue with the landscape mode is that it splits the PDF file in only two parts. If you have a very high and narrow page, then it does not fit the page to the width of the screen, but zooms out and reduces the page size until it can split it in two parts again. It’s stupid that they don’t split it in two or three parts then. This fact is important for the PDF file optimizations discussed later.
Adjust view (options)
In the options dialog you can adjust the view. This means you can change the contrast and brightness, making text lighter or darker, edges harder or software, the background white or gray. You can use one of the 5 presets or use a custom one with custom contrast and brightness settings.
You can highlight a single word or whole sentences with the touchscreen. Ink notes are also supported and only limited by the touchscreen resolution. It’s useful to make a small comment, draw a symbol or underline words. With an included eraser tool you can remove both ink notes and highlighting again. On each page you can add a bookmark, too. This bookmark can be either a text message, written with the on screen keyboard, or an ink message, drawn with the pen.
To manage the notes you can open a list, containing all your notes.
(the handwriting looks ugly because the pen accuracy is low and I have to keep my wrist lifted, I’m used to write on a tablet PC with a Wacom pen, so it’s not my fault
Of course you can search in the PDF file.