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Old 02-12-2012, 03:21 AM   #1
Bronzato
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Creating a well-formatted PDF

Hi folks,

I have a Word document that I created (of 3 pages, only texts). Usually, I used a software (PrimoPDF) to convert my doc to a pdf.

I have 2 problems:

1. When I transfer this pdf to my reader (SONY PRS-T1), the fonts are tiny and I need to change fonts on my device when reading this pdf to have a reasonable font size for reading.

2. I noticed that when I go to the next page on this pdf it takes time to complete (about 3 or 4 seconds) and I didn't have som much time on other "commercial" eBooks (for turning pages I mean).

Does someone can help me creating a pdf with descent formatting?

Thank you very much!
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:41 AM   #2
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Why are you creating a PDF? PDF is not an ebook format; it is the worst possible choice of format for an ebook.

If you really must use it, you need to set the correct page size for the device that you're formatting it for.
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Old 02-12-2012, 04:06 AM   #3
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You are right, maybe EPUB is a better choice? I'm really a novice, excuse me. I finally downloaded the Calibre software and it seems that this software reformat my Word document to the EPUB format. It seems ok when reading this file on my reader but I noticed that the page breaks are sometimes badly placed. Sometimes I have a title at the last line of a page (on my reader) and I have the paragraph at the next page. Is there a way to avoid this? Maybe edit this EPUB file in Calibre?

Thanks.
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Old 02-12-2012, 04:10 AM   #4
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The best thing to do is save from Word as "Filtered HTML" and then use Calibre to convert that to ePub.
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Old 02-12-2012, 04:27 AM   #5
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Thank you very much. I'll try it.
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Old 02-12-2012, 04:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronzato View Post
Sometimes I have a title at the last line of a page (on my reader) and I have the paragraph at the next page. Is there a way to avoid this? Maybe edit this EPUB file in Calibre?
Every Epub is a zipped collection of a number of files, one of them has the name *.css (* -> insert the actual name of your file here). This is a style sheet and tells your reading device how to arrange your text.

You may insert there something like this:

h2 {
page-break-before: always;
page-break-inside: avoid;
page-break-after: avoid;
font-size: 150%;
text-align: center;
margin-top: 0em;
margin-bottom: 0.75em;
}

Tag all your titles as h2 in your html file. The first three lines tell your reader, to make a page break before every title, but never inside and never afterwards.
This is of course only an example, you can change everything there. Play around a little bit with the settings to see what's happening.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:33 AM   #7
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Come on, PDF isn't such a bad format. It can even reflow if it was saved as a tagged PDF. Of course, it all depends on the software that came installed on the e-reader and how it interprets it. If you bought your e-reader in 2007, don't expect to be able to read PDFs saved with more recent profiles. At least not without a firmware update (if there even is one available).

Some e-readers display PDF files using the PDF's built-in info, like page size, instead of stretching it either by width or height. This is the most idiotic issue I've ever heard of! If the PDF was built with a blueprint-like page size, the e-reader only displays a corner. Pff... Why isn't there an option to zoom in to a custom location for the entire book AND KEEP THAT ZOOM LEVEL? I think all e-readers should run Android. Then if one app doesn't read ePub 3 or PDF 10.1, just look for another one that does.


Anyway, what is this "PrimoPDF" you speak of? It's supposed to be free but it competes with NitroPDF? Yeah... Guess which one received better attention from the developers?

Adobe Acrobat is still PDF's granddaddy and always will be (they invented it). It integrates really well with Word 2010 - speaking of which, their (Filtered) HTML exporting doesn't preserve all the formatting. You'd think a big company like Microsoft would get it right. I think they did it intentionally to keep everyone from using something other than .doc and .docx. Even the .odt export is crippled.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSpider View Post
Adobe Acrobat is still PDF's granddaddy and always will be (they invented it). It integrates really well with Word 2010
Adobe Acrobat is an extremely expensive piece of software for someone who just wants to convert a 3 page Word document into something readable on an eBook reader. It costs several hundred US$.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:38 AM   #9
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Calibre is a great for managing and converting ebooks, but it's not a full-blown editor.
If the source files are simple word documents, the easiest and fastest way to quickly create an ePub is Sigil. Simply select all text in Word, copy it to the clipboard and then open Sigil and paste it into the default Section0001.xhtml in Book View mode. Add some metadata (title, author etc.), save it as an ePub and you're done.

(If you see unwanted page-breaks in Sigil, check your Word doc for hard line breaks and replace them with spaces.)
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Adobe Acrobat is an extremely expensive piece of software for someone who just wants to convert a 3 page Word document into something readable on an eBook reader. It costs several hundred US$.
https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/i...bat_pro&loc=en

"The trial version is fully functional and offers every feature of the product for you to test-drive."
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronzato View Post
...When I transfer this pdf to my reader (SONY PRS-T1), the fonts are tiny ...
... because you setup the document in Word inappropriately.

As HarryT said, PDF is a poor choice when producing documents to be read on ereaders. Some ereaders can do some "tricks" to help matters, but in general PDFs must be created for a specific display size, screen or paper. A PDF formatted for a letter sized piece of paper, the normal defaults in Word and PrimoPDF, just won't be readable on a small screen.

If you want to keep your MS Word > PDF via PrimoPDF workflow you must choose an appropriate page size, appropriate font sizes, and appropriate margin widths if you want decent results. Even then, the resulting PDF will display well on only one size reader.

There is an infinite variety of actual sizes that will work. What's critical is how they relate to each other. These sizes should work:
page size: 3"w x 4"h or 3.5"w x 4.75"h
margins: 1/8"-1/4" on all sides (left, right, top. & bottom)
minimum text size: 10pt. (you might get by with 8pt)
Using those dimensions and a properly configured PrimoPDF you should get a PDF that is readable on most 6" ereaders.

If you use a larger page size you must use a proportionally larger text size. With letter size paper you might get decent results if you use 1/2" margins and a 24-30pt minimum text size

Last edited by dwig; 02-12-2012 at 09:33 PM.
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