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Old 10-07-2010, 05:51 AM   #1
floriano
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PDF & Dictionary Lookup not working

The Kindle 3 features clearly state that dictionary lookups are possible in pdf documents. However, I am not able to look up words in pdf documents. If I press down/up or choose "Menu -> Place cursor on Page" the dictionary tab does NOT appear. I am only able to highlight text or to create a comment.

Does this announced feature work for you? Might it be related to firmware 3.02 which I installed recently?

[Edit] I just found a pdf (which was created by exporting openoffice presentation slides) where I could have a lookup. Why does it depend on the pdf document? The other documents still have text, they are not just images.. [/Edit]

Last edited by floriano; 10-07-2010 at 05:54 AM.
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:15 AM   #2
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Maybe it depends on whether the PDF has been OCRed.

Try reading a PDF in which you can copy out the text and paste it into Notepad when viewing the PDF on your computer.
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:37 PM   #3
floriano
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I can with the mentioned pdf. That is what I wanted to say with "The other documents still have text, they are not just images.. "
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:46 PM   #4
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I'll admit that I haven't used this feature much. The first couple of PDFs I checked seemed to work fine, but the 3rd has issues. I can get definitions for words that use a heading font, but those in the text body don't show often, or bring up a definition for a word the cursor is not next to. In each case where I checked, I was able to do a text search to find words where definitions didn't appear, and the highlight is in the right place, so the text is in there.

What I suspect is happening is that the document was OCR-ed and that the word boundaries aren't lining up well, and Kindle is asking to look up something that starts with whitespace (e.g. " document" or " " instead of "document"). I can see the area of the screen where the definition would appear redraw, so it is attempting some lookup. Since this is a new feature, and it involves dealing with PDFs in a variety of PDF versions and authoring systems in uncountable combinations, Kindle QE may simply not have looked at enough different PDFs to encounter this case, or they found it, but the bug was deferred. It is also possible that the Adobe PDF library that Kindle uses has a bug or inherent limitation that prevents this from working in some cases.

In any case it would not hurt to report the problem to kindle-feedback@amazon.com. Unfortunately I've found that this email address has some restrictions on file attachments, so you may not be able to attach the 'problem' PDF. In my case, I got the PDF on the web and can give them an URL to download from.

I have sent several PDF bug reports and feature requests since getting my K3. One of the automatic responses I got asserted that PDF viewing was 'experimental'. Of course, this adjective is not used in connection with PDF features in any of the documentation or marketing information, but it does convey a sense of the priorities Amazon has concerning them.

Update: I just checked my 'problem' PDF in Acrobat. I first tried to OCR the text on the assumption that it had been OCRed. But it was unable to do so because the page contained only 'renderable text', which I take to mean it actually was generated directly. Indeed, the PDF producer is 'Mac OS X 10.6.4 Quartz PDFContext' and the PDF version is 1.3 (Acrobat 4.x). It also uses a bunch of embedded fonts, most of which are not on my system.

I ran 'PDF Optimizer' to save as PDF v1.4, but it didn't seem to make any difference.

Last edited by tomsem; 10-07-2010 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 08-20-2011, 02:38 PM   #5
looki
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I had the same problem with a web pdf book, but i could fix it with the OCR-Programm Nuance Omnipage 18 by just scanning it again.
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Old 08-20-2011, 11:53 PM   #6
osnova
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PDFs are nothing more than containers that contain all sorts of stuff. There are many different versions of PDFs floating around.
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