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Old 04-13-2007, 01:57 AM   #1
pitolee
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Question RTF and TXT compared to LRF?

Have not yet received my Reader - it's sitting in the head office waiting for a mule...so my question is based on using the Connect software.

When I import RTF or TXT into Connect they seem to come in with acceptable formatting. RTF links and images seem to be maintained.

Quite often when bringing the same rtf or txt file into Book Designer it took some effort to get the format to a similar point.

One problem was that I was using WORD. I noticed that if I had opened the document in WORD for editing that the auto-correct functions changed the quotes to smart-quotes and did something to apostrophes. Even if i converted the file to txt after that it there would be some characters that would show up strangely in BD. Even changing the encoding in BD did not resolve that. Finally I turned off all the auto-correcting functions in WORD.

Another issue/feature is the auto-conversion routines in BD. The RTF document is transformed by BD (seems to make a HTML doc before finishing the conversion). As a result of this conversion it may take me ten or fifteen minutes per document to smooth it out.

It puzzles me that I can import it looking OK into Connect, but not into BD.

I have noticed a 3:1 or higher reduction in file size after conversion to LRF. So my benefits of making it LRF include having the format to my tastes and the smaller file size.

My questions are:

1. Do LRFs with standard fonts flip pages faster than RTFs?

2. Other than file size, what are the downsides of importing and reading RTF or TXT files into the reader?

3. Are there suggestions on pre-processing an RTF file in WORD or other word processor to make the conversion into BD smoother and faster?

Thanks!
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Old 04-13-2007, 03:08 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitolee
My questions are:

1. Do LRFs with standard fonts flip pages faster than RTFs?
I don't believe so. The "page turning speed" is determined by the physical characteristics of the eInk screen. It takes about 2 seconds to turn a page, no matter what.

Quote:
2. Other than file size, what are the downsides of importing and reading RTF or TXT files into the reader?
Text has huge disadvantages. It generally has a hard line break at the end of each line, which looks unpleasant in the Reader, and (for me at least) the font size which the Reader uses for text files is way too small.

RTF files are a LOT better. Their main disadvantages are:

1. The Reader won't display pictures in an RTF file.
2. You don't get a table of contents.
3. They tend to be much larger than the LRF equivalent.

Quote:
Are there suggestions on pre-processing an RTF file in WORD or other word processor to make the conversion into BD smoother and faster?

Thanks!
I don't have any particular suggestions - the editing facilities of BD are fine for my needs. What I do personally is read anything I know I'm only going to read once as an RTF. Stuff that I want to keep in my permanent library I go through the LRF conversion process using BD. A nicely formatted RTF (eg one of Baen's books) I can convert into a reasonable LRF using BD in 5 minutes. Doing a full format of a PG text file (as I describe in detail in my "Tutorial" in the "Book Uploads" forum section) takes me probably 1-2 hours.
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Old 04-13-2007, 05:20 AM   #3
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Everything Harry said.

For most texts I like to preprocess them as RTF in Word before I use BD as I find the editing much faster than in BD.
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Old 04-13-2007, 05:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT
I don't believe so. The "page turning speed" is determined by the physical characteristics of the eInk screen. It takes about 2 seconds to turn a page, no matter what.
Not exactly. It's probably true if you compare RTF/TXT/LRF formats to each other; but with PDF content it's definitely different. Depending on the complexity of the PDF structure and on which tools were used to generate the PDF file (some generate more efficent PDFs than others), you may notice a huge difference in page flipping times.
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Old 04-13-2007, 05:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TadW
Not exactly. It's probably true if you compare RTF/TXT/LRF formats to each other; but with PDF content it's definitely different. Depending on the complexity of the PDF structure and on which tools were used to generate the PDF file (some generate more efficent PDFs than others), you may notice a huge difference in page flipping times.
That's true, but the question I was answering was:

"Do LRFs with standard fonts flip pages faster than RTFs?"

and the answer to that is, I believe, "no".
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Old 04-13-2007, 05:47 AM   #6
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Harry, no offense, this is why I also said it's true for the matter of this discussion. I was not referring to your overall response, to which I agree; I was merely commenting on your specific statement that page turning speed is determined by the physical characteristics of the display, "no matter what".

Anyways, this is pettifogging quibbling. I know you've converted more content into LRF files than I will probably do in my entire life, so my respect to you, and peace
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Old 04-13-2007, 07:04 AM   #7
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I wasn't disagreeing with you - just wanted to make sure that we were all singing from the same hymn-sheet, so to speak .
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Old 04-13-2007, 08:56 AM   #8
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As for the RTF vs. LRF-with-standard-fonts page turning, the LRF seems to me like it may be ever so slightly faster than the RTF, but I wouldn't bet on it, and you'd probably need some sort of high power, computerized timing rig to tell for sure.
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Old 04-13-2007, 03:52 PM   #9
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As for using txt files, while it's true that they often (usually?) have hard-returns at the end of each line, making for strange line breaks on the Sony Reader, there is a terrific program which does an excellent job with all the Project Gutenberg files. It removes all the single hard-returns so that there's only the hard-return at the end of each paragraph, and makes using the text files a breeze.

I have the Blackmask DVD and I must say that I'm surprised at the size discrpancies between the same books in txt format from PG and in LRF format from the Blackmask DVD. It seems that about half of the LRF files from Blackmask are smaller (by a factor of up to 3:1) but some are larger by a factor of about 1/3. I haven't spent any time investigating why this might be, but I think it might have to do with extensive tables of contents in some books which the Blackmask LRF files seem to have turned into large fonts with lots of empty space between the entries.

I don't have the patience to compare the different files side by side, but those I have checked at least have the same opening and closing paragraphs.

So it isn't always that LRF files are smaller.
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Old 04-13-2007, 04:39 PM   #10
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LRF supports zlib compression, which is pretty efficient for text.
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Old 04-13-2007, 08:56 PM   #11
pitolee
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Talking Thanks for the input

Thank you, all of you, for your rapid answers.

So for uncomplicated novels without images or toc rtf or lrf are roughly identical in speed - though not in size. So rtf files would not necessarily have to be converted to lrf for a quick read.

TXT files are a different issue - either the gutenberg converter or what I have tried: a pass through WORD searching/replacing triple hard returns with a symbol then searching/replacing single hard returns with a space then replacing the symbol with hard return. More work.

I appreciate HarryT's comment:

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT
What I do personally is read anything I know I'm only going to read once as an RTF. Stuff that I want to keep in my permanent library I go through the LRF conversion process using BD.
What happens when you are a dedicated book collector? Then, I guess the solution is to slowly convert everything to LRF and hope the second generation Baen eBook reader can decipher them...

Thanks

P.S. I'm still interested in the different page turn speeds, but I've asked a more direct question in another thread.
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Old 04-14-2007, 02:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitolee
Thank you, all of you, for your rapid answers.

So for uncomplicated novels without images or toc rtf or lrf are roughly identical in speed - though not in size. So rtf files would not necessarily have to be converted to lrf for a quick read.
Absolutely, yes.

Quote:
TXT files are a different issue - either the gutenberg converter or what I have tried: a pass through WORD searching/replacing triple hard returns with a symbol then searching/replacing single hard returns with a space then replacing the symbol with hard return. More work.
If you look on the forum Wiki you'll find a link to a "Word" macro that Stingo wrote, and a number of us added to, which does a great job of converting a text file to a readable RTF for the Reader - getting rid of the line breaks, bumping up the font size, etc. That works extremely well.
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Old 04-14-2007, 09:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitolee
What happens when you are a dedicated book collector? Then, I guess the solution is to slowly convert everything to LRF and hope the second generation Baen eBook reader can decipher them...
Oooorrrrr you just keep the RTF that you made the LRF from and store it away in an archival area on the hard drive (or if you have THAT many) or a CD/DVD. Unlike paper, electrons take up, oh, probably less than half the space of actual paper. Maybe even less than a third!

Packratting texts is probably one of the easiest things to do when done correctly and makes more sense than, say, collecting Battlemech miniatures. (Oh, gotta remember to dust soon...)

At our house the procedure is
1) clean RTF,
2) copy into a seperate area,
3) convert the original into LRF (But only if it will be read more than once, holds pictures that are needed for the document, or will reside for a long time in the reader. Otherwise it's left as RTF.) and then
4) delete the RTF from the directory.
Supplemental 5) Make sure you read the file first if there might be some conflict over who gets the reader next. (If they don't know about it, they can't fight over it.)
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Old 04-14-2007, 11:25 AM   #14
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I like LRF, almost everything on my Reader is LRF. I will convert books I have not read yet even if I know that I will never pass them along to others (such as the ones I bought from Steve Jordan's web site.) Why? Because I enjoy a well formed book and the Reader provides a better experience for me with an LRF book than it does with an RTF book. With LRF and BookDesigner I get the title in the top right corner, the chapter title in the bottom right corner, and each chapter is started on its own page. These things make the reading easier for me.

For archive purposes I try to stay with RTF. Otherwise HTML or TXT. I had a large collection of PDB from the Samsung Palm based cell phone and they were easy enough to convert as I still had most of the originals. (Then again how many people want to read an ISO standards manual on their phone?)
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Old 04-14-2007, 12:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
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For archive purposes I try to stay with RTF. Otherwise HTML or TXT.
Agreed. LRF for reading, but an "open" format such as RTF or HTML for long-term storage. I don't know what I'll be reading my books on in 10 years time, but I can pretty sure I'll be able to convert any of these formats to whatever it may be. Unfortunately I can't say that about LRF!
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