The following is a guide to what I've come up with as a solution to making scanned manuscripts and monographs legible on the reader. The overriding goal has been to maximize the size of the content and to minimize white space and visual artifacts.
Open up your book in WinDJView
and go to the print menu. Select Adobe PDF as your printer and in the Properties change Default Setting from Standard
to Smallest File Size
. Back in the print dialog box, make sure only the Center Image checkbox is checked in the Position groupbox. This should help you later when cropping.
Print and open your newly created PDF in Acrobat Professional. If you have a high quality scan (all the pages are straight, no edge marks, etc.) then you might want to skip this step. Otherwise, go to the Advanced menu and select PDF Optimizer. On the left, select the option for scanned pages and check the Optimize Compression of Page Regions
checkbox. The options in this screen should now become available. Leave the quality somewhere in the middle, and activate or disable the other options to Deskew, Background Removal, etc. (depending on what's wrong with your particular doc). You will now be asked to save the file - do so.
Your next task is to crop each page as closely to the content as possible, cutting out as much of the noise, scanned edges, etc. as you can. You can bring up the Advanced Editing Toolbar and use the crop tool there, or access it through the Crop Pages
command in the Document menu. I've generally been able to set a tight crop and apply to all pages (or sometimes apply one setting to odd and a different setting to even pages). Then skim the PDF manually and visually inspect the results (shrink the view to 50% and set the Single Page mode for viewing, then scroll by holding the down arrow). Correct any poorly cropped pages individually using the crop tool.
This next step is important: you have to now print the PDF again. (This is because the acrobat cropping tool only hides the cropped content and RasterFarian will ignore the cropping, and your BBeB will include the blemishes you've cropped out.) Leave the options at default but set the Default setting in Properties from Standard to Smallest File Size again, just in case. The resulting PDF file will probably appear to have large white borders around it, but that should be ok, because RasterFarian will successfully crop them this time. Now pass this final file to RasterFarian and let it work its magic.
This should give you a BBeB file that makes full use of screen real estate, allowing you to adequately read books in landscape mode on the reader that were meant to be printed on legal paper. You'll know you've succeeded when the content comes close to touching the top, bottom, and left edges of the screen. There should be a sizeable white space on the right however because of the mismatch in page proportions. (if the landcsape mode page overlap could be reduced or the status bar at the bottom could be removed, this would allow us to reduce the white space on the right side and increase the image size). Anyway, the resulting image will be small but very highly legible.
The cost of this will be storage space, with the BBeB coming in at approxmately the same size as the PDF it was made from (my largest book of 1400 pages is 70mb!).
Please feel free to add your comments in order to improve this procedure. It's possible that JAP could be very useful, but I've had good results using this procedure (caveat emptor: processor intensive and time consuming. All of this is slow even with a 2Ghz Core Duo iMac). Finally, thanks to Alex for making RasterFarian - now I can finally stop futzing around with my computer and do some actual work.