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Old 12-21-2010, 04:05 PM   #1
jordan13589
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Create readable .mobi files out of pdfs

So I've been trying to work on transferring my pdfs to the kindle 3, but I have run into some problems with formatting. When I transfer a pdf that is mostly text to a .mobi, and I then need to make the text bigger on the kindle to read the new .mobi file, it works fine. However, when I try to use calibre to make a .mobi file out of a pdf that has images throughout the text, or a pdf with multiple columns of text, the new .mobi file loses its ability to change text size when on the kindle; when I try to change the text size, the pdf image remains as a full page and won't change in size.

The only other option I am aware of is to keep them as pdfs and read them as is on the kindle. I prefer not to do this, though, as I find pdfs difficult to read and rarely worth the effort.

Is there any way to change the calibre instructions or directly alter the pdf so that the new .mobi file will have a pdf with images and will still change text size? Or a way to make a pdf with multiple columns into one stream of text? Or a way to unattach the images so that they lay above or below the text on the kindle?

Thanks.
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:53 PM   #2
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Hi,
I found the best way to read a pdf document is to

1) Open the pdf using Acrobat 8
2) Save it as .htm or .html
3) use Calibre to convert it for my K3

The best thing is that you don't have to do any editing at all and if you want to increase the fonts, you can use the Kindle to do that.

Hope that helps.
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:09 PM   #3
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Unfortunately such conversion is not always perfect and requires full version of Acrobat (that costs money).

PDF files are just not meant to be converted into reflowable text.
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:35 PM   #4
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this is the one million dollar question. I've been looking around for THE best way to do that, but since PDFs come in so many layouts, there are several options, these are just a couple off the top of my head:
1) Mostly text, simple formatting: send it to Amazon for conversion.
2) Two columns: I must confess I haven't tried sending such a PDF to Amazon. I use Briss, particularly if there are graphics or tables involved. This breaks the PDF into chunks you can easily see in your K screen. You can still use the dictionary to look up words and usually highlight text too. Haven't tried to send a Briss'd PDF to Amazon, though. I wonder what would happen.
3) No columns, but tables: in this case I use sopdf, which automates the process: it just cuts every page in two and rotates it so you don't have to change the orientation of your Kindle. I use it for PDFs is just want to quickly read (technical stuff, mostly). Looking up words in the dictionary is a hit-and-miss and you can't underline text.
4) Text with headers: I use pdfReflow to transform the PDF into html, then Calibre for the final transformation into mobi.
I have Adobe Acrobat at work, so sometimes it comes in handy. But since I don't have it at home I only use it to format work-related stuff. I don't know, I don't think it's that convenient, though. It's just me, I guess.
Anyway, I've been trying to arm myself with different tools to use in different circumstances. I'm new to this, so I guess over time I'll settle in one or two methods. Maybe someone will invent the magic pill!
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