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Old 04-23-2010, 06:34 AM   #1
inovaovao
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Technical books on Amazon and conversion from PDF

By trying several samples of technical books (mostly math and physics) from Amazon, I've noticed that some would display in the Kindle's standard font, had low resolution figures and formulas (often quite terrible, let's call this "FormatOk"), whereas some would show with (probably) the original font and equations looked rather nice and I could change font size (let's call this "FormatGood")!

I have a large amount of technical PDF articles and books that I read on my Kindle DX (and that works ok), but it would be even nicer if one could convert these PDFs in the good quality "FormatGood": text reflowing, font resizing, notes possible, etc. When I've tried Amazon's PDF conversion service, what I got was terrible ("FormatBad") and calibre didn't do any better as far as I could try.

Then does anybody know of a way to convert PDFs to "FormatGood"?
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:51 AM   #2
koland
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I suspect the "formatGood" books you've seen were topaz (as that's the only one to use any font other the built-in ones). The only way to create those is to print the PDF and have Amazon convert it (costs about $195, from what I've gathered).

Otherwise, try something like an PDF to Word or HTML converter (mobipocket does a decent job of html, but can't deal with tables); from Word, convert to HTML and then edit in a good HTML editor to fix your tables and such (but you'll still only get default fonts, so don't bother setting them in the HTML), the convert to mobi.

Or, just put the PDF on the Kindle and view it sideways - on the DX, this is almost 100% size and works pretty well.
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Old 04-24-2010, 03:24 PM   #3
inovaovao
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pdf to topaz to take notes

Quote:
Originally Posted by koland View Post
I suspect the "formatGood" books you've seen were topaz (as that's the only one to use any font other the built-in ones). The only way to create those is to print the PDF and have Amazon convert it (costs about $195, from what I've gathered).

Otherwise, try something like an PDF to Word or HTML converter (mobipocket does a decent job of html, but can't deal with tables); from Word, convert to HTML and then edit in a good HTML editor to fix your tables and such (but you'll still only get default fonts, so don't bother setting them in the HTML), the convert to mobi.

Or, just put the PDF on the Kindle and view it sideways - on the DX, this is almost 100% size and works pretty well.
If the "FormatGood" is topaz, then I wouldn't mind converting to topaz. Problem is: the only discussions about topaz conversion I can find are about cracking topaz's DRM and then convert to something else. Is there any tool available to create topaz files then?

I do know that you can view PDFs on the Kindle and that you can turn it to increase the zoom, but that's not what I'm looking for. My main concern are mathematical formulas rather than tables. And what would be nice is the possibility to take notes!
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Old 04-25-2010, 12:36 PM   #4
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So far, I know of no conversion TO topaz utilities (although whoever did the topaz to html should have no problem going the other way, albeit without being able to create any fonts, which is what you are after.). The biggest issue, though, would be that you need to convert what is text in the PDF (the formulas and such are often text and use special fonts) into graphics in the ebook, which is essentially required in order for the formulas to be readable (although I suspect a bit small). Which means a lot of hand conversion, such as O'Reilly does with their books.

For now, the only real solution for this type of book is probably a tablet PC and Adobe Acrobat Pro (to let you annotate the PDF, which I don't believe any of the free reader software does).
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