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Old 01-13-2011, 12:52 PM   #1
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Exclamation Search dictionary function problem

Hi all! This is my problem: the instant search for a meaning or translation doesn't work properly for some pdf documents. In fact if I double tap a word, a group of adjacent words is selected (instead of the single word tapped). In other cases when I double tap a word in some pdf document's, the meaning wont come up at all and the error symbol will flash at the bottom. I'd like to know which pdf property I have to set or modify in order to make the instant search working correctly.
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:11 PM   #2
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The search only works on full text pdfs... if you're using a scanned (and hence assemblage of jpgs) then it won't work because there isn't any text just a picture of text... it would help if you gave a bit more information such as examples...
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by elcreative View Post
it would help if you gave a bit more information such as examples...
I thought I did give examples?

I'll try to be more detailed as I can.. In some .pdf files if I come across a word and double tap this word for the dictionary to define the meaning - instead of highlighting that one word along with the meaning it will highlight the entire sentence, and then some, following the dictionary pop-up menu at the bottom saying the word does not exist (because instead of highlighting the word to be defined it highlights the entire sentence.) And secondly, in other .pdf files if I come across a word and want the dictionary to define it, upon the double tapping of the word all I get is the error symbol at the bottom of the reader nearest the battery life display. This will happen on every word in that specific .pdf file.

Can't I just copy and paste the entire text in these specific .pdf files and paste it in to a new .pdf file? Would this not nullify the .jpeg problem?
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:17 PM   #4
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I suspect it is a 'elcreative' stated that the PDF you are using is a scanned image and not text-based.

If you have a PDF creator program you can attempt to see if it will turn into text but I have no experience with creating or manipulating PDFs.
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:26 PM   #5
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Further more PDF is not exactly a ebook-format.
It was and is designed to exactly represent the layout of a printed page.
But it is no where written, that a word, a sentence or paragraph are stored in a "readable" order within (even a textbased) PDF-File.
So a singel word could be composed out of single letters in no particular order. Only the coordinates given to the letters, compose the word in the layout.
This giving the reader/dictionary software no clue where to start or stop the word.

Last edited by Mark Nord; 01-14-2011 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:53 PM   #6
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I find this issue to be magnified when you are using PDF reflow, i.e. when you have increased the text font size say from S to M. It does not highlight the text that you are expecting. I suspect the reason is similar to Mark's explanation.
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:43 PM   #7
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Examples = name(s) of pdfs, sample file, whatever... generalities don't give enough information.

As for jpegs... they aren't text, they don't contain text, they are pictures... bitmaps not character-based so if you copy and paste you'll just make another jpeg... If that is the problem then you could possibly extract the jpeg and ocr it but whether that's worthwhile is your decision...


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I thought I did give examples?

Can't I just copy and paste the entire text in these specific .pdf files and paste it in to a new .pdf file? Would this not nullify the .jpeg problem?
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by elcreative View Post
As for jpegs... they aren't text, they don't contain text, they are pictures... bitmaps not character-based so if you copy and paste you'll just make another jpeg... If that is the problem then you could possibly extract the jpeg and ocr it but whether that's worthwhile is your decision...
In the .pdf's that cause these errors within my reader, I can copy and paste the text in the .pdf files on my pc. Therefore, they must not be jpeg's if I am able to do so.
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:10 PM   #9
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That's great, why not try calibre and convert to a different format and see if they're searchable in that format, they will most likely be fine...


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In the .pdf's that cause these errors within my reader, I can copy and paste the text in the .pdf files on my pc. Therefore, they must not be jpeg's if I am able to do so.
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:58 PM   #10
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Salt, just tried your pdf in Acrobat to analyse it...weird construction... examining the file, Acrobat says all the text is hidden, it isn't straight text and looking at the structure, it shows as blocks of letters, no spacing etc. I've compared it to other pdfs I have and it's internal structure is totally different. Sorry, no brilliant ideas but I'm not surprised it's causing problems... conversion may cure it...
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:45 AM   #11
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No good.. how do you get Acrobat to give you this information? And also.. I downloaded that calibre program but have no idea where to start.. would you be able to give me some pointers?
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:57 AM   #12
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By Acrobat, I mean Acrobat Pro, the full Adobe creation program not the free reader so unless you have that you can't get at things in the way I did...Calibre has an entire sub-Forum here with a pretty good startup guide, far better than me... hope you get there but I can't think of anything else and this is the first I've come across that is so weird...


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No good.. how do you get Acrobat to give you this information? And also.. I downloaded that calibre program but have no idea where to start.. would you be able to give me some pointers?
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:10 AM   #13
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Due to the weird internal structure, I suppose that calibre-conversation will fail on this particular PDF. AFAIK calibre tries to extract the text form the PDF and is not using any OCR-technics.

I think I remember doreenjoy was recommending an ABBYY product:
FineReader or PDF-Transformer. Both can treat the PDF as picture and use OCR on "reading" the text, not trying to extract it.
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:37 PM   #14
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I found this problem too on my PRS-350, especially in scientific multi-column pdfs. Examples can be found here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti...f/pq010056.pdf or http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/bo...h/screenA4.pdf

What I think is strange is that in the Sony Reader Library Software this problem also occurs. Double-clicking a word marks a whole sentence or at least several words. This can also be found on the reader itself.

More common PDF viewers like PDF-Xchange viewer or Acrobat reader contrary are able to detect the end of a word and to mark one word after a double-click, so the pdf structure seems not to be too strange.

This problem is really a bit annoying as I really like the dictionary feature for scientific texts but because of the marking-problem it gets a bit time-consuming to look up just one word as you have to delete most of the input field... But I must admit I'm afraid there will be no solution for this problem...
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Old 01-14-2011, 02:22 PM   #15
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But I must admit I'm afraid there will be no solution for this problem...
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