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Old 10-24-2010, 02:43 PM   #1
wiggysam
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hello all. This is my first post so please be patient. I am sure you get this all the time but here goes anyway. Currently on the hunt for a reader and really like the look of the 350 but I have a query. Most of my books (text only mainly) are on pdf format and after reading some of the posts this seems not to be the best format for the sony. I am not really keen on fiddling about a lot to get it to fit on screen then turning the reader on its side to read it.
is there any other way or a better format maybe to get my files to look the way i thought they would i.e. portarit and not fiddled with (??)

thanks



Craig
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Old 10-24-2010, 02:53 PM   #2
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Sony actually reads PDF books fairly well - I have never needed to read them in landscape mode!

The zoom (lock) feature will be your friend.

Welcome to Mobileread, by the way!
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Old 10-24-2010, 03:17 PM   #3
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hi thanks for replying. Does it not show the whole page at a time when viewing a pdf? I haven't seen it myself this is only what i have heard.

cheers
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Old 10-24-2010, 03:28 PM   #4
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Yes, Sony readers and Kindles show the entire PDF page in portrait mode. You can zoom, but that sucks. Imagine trying to view a web page designed for large PC monitors on a smartphone. Not a good experience. Yes you can view a PDF in landscape and that makes the page wider but you have to scroll at least once to see the rest of the page.

Bottomline is that PDFs tend not to reflow text very well. Ebook readers are designed for viewing reflowable text. Therefore ebook readers and PDFs are not a good match.

Do you make your own books? You mentioned that most of your books are text only and in PDF format. If you can convert them in ePub, RTF, HTML they will look great on the 350. If the PDFs were created from scanned images, then there is little you can do to make them readable on a 5" eInk screen.

If your books were created by you, which program did you use. Did you use MS Word to create them and then save them as PDFs? If so save them as RTFs or HTML. You can also use calibre to convert to ePub.

Bottomline is that PDFs will generally look like a POS on a small eInk screen. They even look bad on the larger eInk screens in most cases.

Last edited by jswinden; 10-24-2010 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 10-24-2010, 03:29 PM   #5
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It shows the entire page only in Small font, which is kind of tiny, although you can use the zoom feature to make the page (a bit) larger. PDF books reflow well, though not perfectly, in medium size. For instance, the last PDF book I read in Medium displayed almost as well as an Epub, with the odd difference that the title + page number defaulted to the bottom of each printed page that way, rather than the original top. On my 650, with medium size selected, each printed page equals either two or three screens.

Last edited by SeaBookGuy; 10-24-2010 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 10-24-2010, 04:06 PM   #6
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thanks again. Not my own books no just acquired them all in that format. There are no images with them except the cover shot, a jpg if i remember correctly. I could try to convert them to something else. What about LIT is that a good one - is that the 'sony' one bbeb or something?
Final question I did not purchase these books, someone did but not me. i am assuming the 350 or other readers will still allow me to load them up and view them, sounds stupid but I don't want to invest in one then have to source all the material I have again.

thanks again


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Old 10-24-2010, 04:14 PM   #7
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Converting PDF's is very tricky! I have not tried it (yet), but understand that a two-step process to Epub via Mobi can work okay? You might also check out the Briss site for dealing with PDF's.

Are these books protected with DRM? If so, you could still read them, but would have to authorize your new device. If not, then no worries at all.
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Old 10-24-2010, 04:38 PM   #8
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The native format for the 350 is ePub, though it will view others. calibre can do a decent job of converting non-DRMed PDFs that are text only, assuming they are not scanned images.
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Old 10-24-2010, 04:47 PM   #9
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If your pdfs are text only (apart from the cover image) they might convert ok to epub or may even be reflowable.

Also the Sony has fairly good pdf support in the new models including 2 and 3 column mode where it zooms to the column width of the first column. When you press the next page button or (touch the screen) it moves down to the next part of that column's text, press next page again and it goes to the next column.

Here's a review of the PRS-650 vs. Kindle 3 http://www.pcpro.co.uk/blogs/2010/09...y-handle-pdfs/

The best thing you can try is to put the pdfs on an SD memory card and bring it to a shop and try it in one of the display models(of the PRS-650 as PRS-350 doesn't have a memory card slot). It will give you good idea of how it will work on the PRS-350.
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Old 10-24-2010, 06:21 PM   #10
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hi again. How will I know if they (pdfs) are protected? I read the comparison (650v kindle)- I take it the 350 does the same as the 650 with the pdfs (screen options)? If so then that should be fine.

thanks again everybody for your answers. Ireland, Scotlnd, Texas and Seattle truly a global community

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Old 10-24-2010, 06:55 PM   #11
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One way to check for DRM is to open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader and select the File-->Properties... menu item. This opens the Document Properties dialog box. Click the Security tab which displays a list of security settings for the document.

Another way is to use calibre to attempt to convert it. If it cannot convert due to DRM it will give you an error message to that effect.

Here is an example of a protected PDF.

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Last edited by jswinden; 10-24-2010 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:28 PM   #12
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I've been reading quite a few PDFs on my 350. I find that using the "cut margins" feature (in the Zoom dialog box) works on most of them. When the margins are trimmed, the font gets larger and it's easier to see the text.

I have vision problems that make it difficult for me to read small print, so I usually read PDFs in landscape mode, which splits the text of each PDF page onto two landscape screens. It's not that difficult.

I think you'll find that all eReaders have issues with PDF display. Sony is one of the better choices because you have a lot of options (zoom, margin cut, landscape) that combine in different ways to make most PDFs readable.

I've had bad luck converting the PDFs I have, so I just use them as is. Most of my converstions ended up as one huge paragraph with no line breaks.
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:55 PM   #13
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I am quite surprised how good the PDF capability is on my new 650 compared to my old 505.
The 650 (and 350) can now reflow text as before but also zoom(with zoom lock capability for successive pages), do margin cut(like some utilities) , set 2 column or 3 column mode for magazine style pdfs in both portrait and landscape modes.
For text only pdf this is quite adequate, for more complicated pdfs a bigger screen is the best option as the reflow mucks up the order usually.
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Old 10-25-2010, 04:30 AM   #14
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I only picked my PRS-350 on Saturday, only just tried a couple of PDFs. Some software development reference manuals, with a mix of text, images, a variety of formatting. Worked incredibly well, must say that I'm quite impressed.
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:21 PM   #15
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I have one book that's a double-column PDF ... small is too small to read, and medium doesn't reflow well as there's a header on each page; the columns get mixed together like a shuffled deck of cards. However ... when I do quadrant views and zoom (lock) it works incredibly well - more page turns, but no way does it require shifting to landscape mode at all!
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