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Old 01-24-2011, 07:57 PM   #1
nataliew
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Converting PDF to Epub

Hello! I have a Sony PRS505 and using Calibre have been trying to convert a PDF book to Epub but it comes out all garbled. If I leave it a PDF and preview it on Calibre, looks perfect but when I send it to my Sony, the pages are blank. Any suggestions? I've read PDF books on it many times and haven't had a problem.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:47 PM   #2
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I've also had issues with doing PDF conversions to anything. Sometimes, what Calibre provides seems to work fine, but quite often it doesn't. Using Adobe Acrobat Pro doesn't produce clean results either...
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Old 01-25-2011, 05:50 PM   #3
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It seems to be hit and miss when converting from PDF to ePub. A lot probably depends on the type of PDF and how the layers are used. I've never really liked any of the conversions I've done, especially if I used calibre.

Sometimes playing around with calibre's Line Unwrapping Factor field on the PDF Input tab helps. However it is certainly non-intuitive to use and requires trial and error--mostly error in my case.
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:26 PM   #4
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Calibre is not great at extracting the text from a PDF, but you could use a PDF text extractor, take the text into OpenOffice, tidy it up and save as epub...
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:23 PM   #5
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Hi there everyone. Problems with pdf files on my reader led me to this thread. And - lo and behold - TGS offers what sounds like some great advice!

Two steps. 1: choose a "PDF text extractor." I've never even heard of such a thing! A quick Google search shows that there infinite kinds, meaning (probably) lots of trash as well. Any recommendations for a good one?

2: Use OpenOffice to save as epub. I had no idea that OpenOffice saved in that format. And here I am struggling with my blasted Microsoft Word!

Suggesting freeware is wonderful: it means you can experiment without breaking the budget. Thanks a million!
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:44 PM   #6
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I have a 505 and a 950. I'm really happy with my 950 for this very reason, but I did have some success converting PDF books I really wanted to read.

It was a little work, but I would use calibre to convert the PDF to an RTF. Then I used Word to do some fancy search and replacing. I could usually get rid of the all the dropped paragraphs and sentences and easily get rid of any annoying headers and footers. Sometimes I still found some weird things like non-capitalized names etc. Usually I could take care of those as well.

Once my RTF file looked reasonably good I would convert it to LRF or EPUB.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMaloney View Post
Two steps. 1: choose a "PDF text extractor." I've never even heard of such a thing! A quick Google search shows that there infinite kinds, meaning (probably) lots of trash as well. Any recommendations for a good one?
The easiest way is just to "Save as Text" from Acrobat, which will yield a text file with no formatting and you can make that pretty in OpenOffice.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:53 AM   #8
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If you're using Window, then PDFzilla - a program for converting PDFs to a variety of (non-eBook) formats - is available free until 5 February 2011. If nothing else, it will give you a "second opinion" on how well your PDF can be converted.

I haven't tried the program yet, but what I've got in mind is to convert a source PDF to an interim format (say RTF) where I can tidy up and/or edit the document, and then convert the interim format to an eBook format using Calibre.

If you're interested, have a look at http://www.pdfzilla.com.
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:19 PM   #9
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The problem is that I am currently working with a pdf in a foreign language. Converting to text turns the accents and foreign characters into garbledy-gook!

Plus, my real interest is to start generating a Table of Contents for these rather long documents I have to carry around with me. I use the Table a lot to hop back and forth through what can be hundreds of pages.

And the whole "structure detection" language of XPath is really very daunting!

For now, I can search for the exact word-string in the chapter title and leave a bookmark ("table-as-I-go")...
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:31 PM   #10
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If you can get your PDF into a reasonable EPUB file, then you can use the free program Sigil to highlight your chapter headings and create a ToC. That's what I do. Clean-up PDF with Acrobat Pro. Convert to EPUB with calibre. Clean-up conversion and add ToC with Sigil.
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:53 AM   #11
vastav
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMaloney View Post
Plus, my real interest is to start generating a Table of Contents for these rather long documents I have to carry around with me. I use the Table a lot to hop back and forth through what can be hundreds of pages.

And the whole "structure detection" language of XPath is really very daunting!
If your PDFs have bookmarks then pdf2epub plugin will automatically convert it to TOC in ePub. If you do not have bookmarks then it is easy to create it in Acrobat before doing the ePub conversion. The plugin also pays attention to the tags in the PDF, if you care about them. Going through Save As text option in Acrobat may be a crude thing to do since you will lose all formatting and content structure in the conversion process.
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