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Old 02-15-2012, 10:05 PM   #1
ReaderEater
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Calibre reading several PDF files as 'unknown'?

There's about 1 in every 5 PDF files that I try to important into Calibre to convert to MOBI files, but I seem to be having a problem with a few of them. It says something like cannot read metadata and the file is imported as unknown. Is there a way to fix this? I'd really like to read these in my kindle because these are titles that aren't available on it.

By the way, to save people the trouble of asking me if I tried sending them to kindle for conversion. Yes I have. Same outcome with the same PDF's. They just come back as PDF's without conversion.

Last edited by ReaderEater; 02-15-2012 at 10:07 PM. Reason: Left out info.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:16 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ReaderEater View Post
There's about 1 in every 5 PDF files that I try to important into Calibre to convert to MOBI files, but I seem to be having a problem with a few of them. It says something like cannot read metadata and the file is imported as unknown. Is there a way to fix this? I'd really like to read these in my kindle because these are titles that aren't available on it.

By the way, to save people the trouble of asking me if I tried sending them to kindle for conversion. Yes I have. Same outcome with the same PDF's. They just come back as PDF's without conversion.
You have read the sticky about PDF?

'Unknown' may be either the metadata can't be read or it does not exist.

OK
Fix the entry in Calibre by hand.
Then convert to Mobi
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:50 PM   #3
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You have read the sticky about PDF?

'Unknown' may be either the metadata can't be read or it does not exist.

OK
Fix the entry in Calibre by hand.
Then convert to Mobi
Can you tell me exactly how to do that please?
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:11 PM   #4
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Can you tell me exactly how to do that please?
Open the metadata editor. Type the correct data in the correct places.
Save
Now convert
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:12 PM   #5
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Select Edit metadata -> Edit metadata individually

Add the missing info (at least title and author - and hit the arrows to get the sorted versions), and then (if it is a "published" work) select download metadata. You may want to add plugins that search additional sites for metadata.

This is a good idea even for ebooks that have metadata.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
Select Edit metadata -> Edit metadata individually

Add the missing info (at least title and author - and hit the arrows to get the sorted versions), and then (if it is a "published" work) select download metadata. You may want to add plugins that search additional sites for metadata.

This is a good idea even for ebooks that have metadata.
Pardon me but, where is the meta-data editor located?

Also, and forgive my ignorance with this. But as long as I create a meta-data title, it will be good to go? The file itself already has a title, but I guess the meta-data portion of said title is not translating?
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:51 PM   #7
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How do you alter the source format?

I tried to convert after altering the book title with meta-data converter and said it couldn't be converted because no suitable source format could be located. All I need is this, and I should be cool.
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:16 AM   #8
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I'm pretty sure these are not DRM protected files since I can read them in Adobe without problems.

Anyway, I have tried everything, altering the file extension, nothing. Re-saving while doing the former, nothing. Downloading meta-data (which worked well). Nothing. I keep getting the message 'Could not convert 1 of 1 books, because no suitable source format was found'.

Can someone please tell me what I am not doing right?

Just so you guys know, I am using a imac circa 2007 with osx 4.11 and the latest caibre version for this OS installed. Thanks.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:55 PM   #9
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Have you tried unchecking read metatdata from file contents rather than file name and reimporting the books?

Preferences->adding books

Helen
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:52 PM   #10
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Have you tried unchecking read metatdata from file contents rather than file name and reimporting the books?

Preferences->adding books

Helen
Thanks, but same exact error occurs after unchecking the meta-data option. And when I try to manually add PDF as a file format in meta-data section, I get a box with a question mark in it. I don't get it, it reads as a PDF everywhere else. Even on the kindle. The reason I want to convert it to MOBI is because PDF's tend to look way too small on kindle and there is, as most of you know, no text reflow option on the kindle.

Last edited by ReaderEater; 02-16-2012 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:36 PM   #11
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I can't replicate your problem on a Windows PC if the filename extension of the imported file is .pdf.

When I rename a generic file to .pdf before I import it, Calibre accepts it as a PDF and then when I right click on the ebook and select Convert books -> Convert individually the normal convert window comes up with input format: PDF and output format: EPUB. When I actually try to convert I get an error message that the PDF is encrypted (so Calibre does not even detect that the file isn't a PDF at all).

However, if I import (by drag and drop) a non-ebook format (e.g. .mbp or .apnx) then the Formats: shows up as MBP (or APNX). In that case only, when I right click on the ebook and select Convert books -> Convert individually I get "no suitable source format found". So, I think your imported file is not being detected as a PDF and so far as I can tell "detected" just means "look at the filename extension" (which is the standard method on a Windows PC). The way you can tell is to look at what Calibre lists under Formats: when you highlight (select) that particular ebook. This should be part of the sub-window that shows the cover and some properties and the metadata (e.g. the description of the ebook) if there is any. If it says PDF, then try clicking the "click to open" after Path:. This should bring up a new window on Calibre's internal folder for this ebook. Does this window have a file identified (by Windows) as PDF in it, and if so can you read it with your standard PDF reader? If it does not say PDF, what does it list instead? It is possible that there will be no Formats: at all, because an empty ebook can be input to Calibre. If any of this is confusing, try comparing what come up in the ebook description sub-window for a PDF that you could convert and what comes up for one that you could not convert.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
I can't replicate your problem on a Windows PC if the filename extension of the imported file is .pdf.

When I rename a generic file to .pdf before I import it, Calibre accepts it as a PDF and then when I right click on the ebook and select Convert books -> Convert individually the normal convert window comes up with input format: PDF and output format: EPUB. When I actually try to convert I get an error message that the PDF is encrypted (so Calibre does not even detect that the file isn't a PDF at all).

However, if I import (by drag and drop) a non-ebook format (e.g. .mbp or .apnx) then the Formats: shows up as MBP (or APNX). In that case only, when I right click on the ebook and select Convert books -> Convert individually I get "no suitable source format found". So, I think your imported file is not being detected as a PDF and so far as I can tell "detected" just means "look at the filename extension" (which is the standard method on a Windows PC). The way you can tell is to look at what Calibre lists under Formats: when you highlight (select) that particular ebook. This should be part of the sub-window that shows the cover and some properties and the metadata (e.g. the description of the ebook) if there is any. If it says PDF, then try clicking the "click to open" after Path:. This should bring up a new window on Calibre's internal folder for this ebook. Does this window have a file identified (by Windows) as PDF in it, and if so can you read it with your standard PDF reader? If it does not say PDF, what does it list instead? It is possible that there will be no Formats: at all, because an empty ebook can be input to Calibre. If any of this is confusing, try comparing what come up in the ebook description sub-window for a PDF that you could convert and what comes up for one that you could not convert.
If you private message me your email address I can email you a couple of the books i'm having trouble with and you can see if they work in your calibre.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:39 AM   #13
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hey everyone, I seem to have found the solution to the problem.

For some really strange reason when I would import the PDF files normally, using the red plus sign, the meta-data and file extension wouldn't read.

BUT when I drag the file from finder, into calibre, everything works absolutely perfectly! How about that!
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