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Old 10-02-2010, 09:41 AM   #1
JoshLessard
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Converting PDFs

Hey everyone. I'm a brand new Kindle 3 owner, and I'm wondering about the PDF conversion service Amazon offers (i.e., email a PDF to your Kindle address with "convert" in the subject). Is there any danger in emailing a PDF book to yourself for conversion (i.e., does Amazon care if the PDF document is copyrighted)?

If so, are there any decent PDF-to-Mobi tools? Can Calibre do this reasonably?

Thanks.
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:38 AM   #2
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Why would you bother? The K3 reads PDF natively. It doesn't do it any worse than any other small screen PDF reader. (That's the problem with PDF. Unless it's been tagged, it needs a big screen.)

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Old 10-02-2010, 12:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshLessard View Post
Hey everyone. I'm a brand new Kindle 3 owner, and I'm wondering about the PDF conversion service Amazon offers (i.e., email a PDF to your Kindle address with "convert" in the subject). Is there any danger in emailing a PDF book to yourself for conversion (i.e., does Amazon care if the PDF document is copyrighted)?

If so, are there any decent PDF-to-Mobi tools? Can Calibre do this reasonably?

Thanks.
http://calibre-ebook.com/download
--
Alan
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Old 10-02-2010, 12:43 PM   #4
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I've found PDF-to-mobi conversion an exercise in frustration and rarely even attempt it any more. Reading order is not always defined properly, headers/footers get mixed in with the main text, tables are mangled, etc.

Instead, I take a few minutes to crop margins/headers/footers before putting the PDF on my Kindle. With the cropping, I can read a lot of material in fit-to-screen view (the default), or for larger text, in landscape mode. Text can be small, but it works for me.
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Old 10-02-2010, 02:50 PM   #5
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What do people use to crop margins from PDFs? I've been trying to use the pdfcrop python script but it doesn't seem to do anything. Surely there is something out there that can do this in an automated way without needing me to tell it where the margin ends.
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Old 10-02-2010, 03:16 PM   #6
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i've used both the amazon conversion and Calibre, and they are both great *sometimes*. while using Caliebre, i discovered that when converting, i should ALWAYS turn off headers and footers (choose the book you want, select "convert individually" (or not..), and on the left side choose Structure Detection - then, check "remove Header" and "remove Footer". if you know regular expressions, this page is much easier, but not needed.

regarding the output... sometimes it's better than others. sometimes the amazon tool works much better than Calibre, and sometimes... it's the other way round. the only way to find out to keep experimenting. i've now done about ~50 conversions, and i found the i have to check each book to see how the output came out. it's the price of not just clicking the "buy" button


also, if they do care whether it's copyrighted or not, i haven't heard. no one's said anything to me yet.

good luck!
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Old 10-03-2010, 04:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enn View Post
 
What do people use to crop margins from PDFs? (...)
I use PDFill PDF Tools ("4. Rotate or Crop PDF Pages") to manually crop PDF pages .
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Old 10-03-2010, 05:16 AM   #8
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I use a Perlscript called pdfcrop. It removes all the margins, but you can use the --margins switch to tell him how much additional margin you want.

Last edited by Genmutant; 10-03-2010 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 10-03-2010, 05:39 AM   #9
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ahh I didnt realise you could remove footers in calibre!
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:30 PM   #10
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I use a utility a found a year or two back for the Sony ereaders called pdflrfwin. For some reason it was pulled, but now is available updated and named sopdf(or something very similary is available). There are long threads about these utilities in the Sony forum and should be in the pdf forum also as they are about pdfs. They cut the pdf in half and resize for a Sony size screen, keeping the other parameters. After converting to lrf, the book will convert nicely to mobi to be used on a Kindle. Sony and Jetbook seem to now have reflow and handle pdf's nicely, I don't know about Nook, but Kindle3 seems to handle them the worst, so this utility is really nice if you are using pdf documents.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enn View Post
What do people use to crop margins from PDFs?
I use the OSX Preview tool - it lets you crop pdfs interactively:
http://www.macworld.com/article/1392...eviewcrop.html

If you aren't on OSX there's also a public domain tool called Briss that I haven't tried, but looks good:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/briss/
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:23 AM   #12
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I found out yesterday that you can use Calibre to convert PDF's to RTF. That then allows you to go in and reformat the RTF. Then reconvert it back to PDF (if you want) or straight to MOBI, which is what I do.
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Korny View Post
I use the OSX Preview tool - it lets you crop pdfs interactively:
http://www.macworld.com/article/1392...eviewcrop.html
Sweet! Didn't know you could do this. I had an absolute nightmare converting PDFs as Calibre's remove header/footer function didn't seem to work for me.

Also converting to RTF, good idea! RTF is probably the best source format to convert to epub/mobi as it is pageless and allows for text formatting. Does it allow markdown like TXT files?
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