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Old 12-25-2010, 11:12 PM   #1
xristy
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why ePub -> PDF pages as images?

I have occasion to want to generate a searchable PDF from an ePub and thought that would be trivial in Calibre (0.7.35); however, it seems like what is generated from an ePub is a PDF of page images rather than searchable text. Am I doing something wrong or is this just how it is?
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Old 12-26-2010, 06:34 AM   #2
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That should only happen if the ePub consists only of images in the first place.
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:55 PM   #3
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That is what I thought; however, I have run several tests on pure text ePub documents and the resulting PDFs appear to be sequences of images. When I try to select text for highlighting I get an alert:

Quote:
This page contains only an image of a scanned page. There are no text characters. Would you like to run character analysis to try to make the text on this page accessible?
I've attached a simple ePub and PDF generated by Calibre from the ePub to illustrate what I'm seeing. Calibre is version 0.7.35 running on Mac 10.6.5.
Attached Files
File Type: epub Lorem Ipsum - Unknown.epub (91.3 KB, 59 views)
File Type: pdf Lorem Ipsum - Unknown.pdf (1.28 MB, 109 views)
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Old 12-26-2010, 10:43 PM   #4
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Non searchable text and PDF links (internal and external) are a limitation of Qt's PDF printing which calibre uses for PDF output.
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user_none View Post
Non searchable text and PDF links (internal and external) are a limitation of Qt's PDF printing which calibre uses for PDF output.
You've posthumously added to my list of why I left the platform a couple of years ago.

Not that that will help the OP one bit, but man, as if the list of workarounds-to-make-things-function-properly wasn't long enough in OS X.

Last edited by AGB; 12-26-2010 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AGB View Post
You've posthumously added to my list of why I left the platform a couple of years ago.

Not that that will help the OP one bit, but man, as if the list of workarounds-to-make-things-function-properly wasn't long enough in OS X.
This doesn't have anything to do with OS X. This is an issue wtih Qt (the cross platform tool kit by Nokia that calibre uses for various things like the GUI). This same issue will be on all platforms.
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user_none View Post
This doesn't have anything to do with OS X. This is an issue wtih Qt (the cross platform tool kit by Nokia that calibre uses for various things like the GUI). This same issue will be on all platforms.
Oh, I thought Qt was short for Quicktime. In my world, "QT" is Quicktime. Guess I was way too many years on that sucky platform (more than two decades), lol.
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:42 AM   #8
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Well, QT is QuickTime, and Qt is the framework
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manichean View Post
Well, QT is QuickTime, and Qt is the framework
Yeah, well, I learn every day
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:52 AM   #10
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For the record: Windows XP, calibre 0.7.35 and the PDF file you attached was non-searchable and I was unable to cut and paste from it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xristy View Post
I've attached a simple ePub and PDF generated by Calibre from the ePub to illustrate what I'm seeing. Calibre is version 0.7.35 running on Mac 10.6.5.
When I convert your sample ePub to pdf (using calibre) and open it in Adobe, I am able to copy and paste the text from it and I am able to search it. (see attached)

PDF output settings
Paper Size: Letter
Orientation: Portrait

Spoiler:
Quote:
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
In vel rutrum dui. Nunc consectetur metus id odio eleifend
porttitor. Praesent elementum ultricies orci, sollicitudin
sodales neque blandit non. Donec vel purus sit amet leo
pretium fringilla. Ut non massa purus. Ut imperdiet
accumsan eleifend. Mauris at diam nunc, non feugiat odio.
Morbi adipiscing neque et nisi suscipit aliquam. Quisque
dignissim lacinia diam, vitae pharetra magna sagittis in.
Phasellus ut ante in enim volutpat pretium. In et tellus
porttitor ipsum rutrum adipiscing. Donec scelerisque tellus
sed purus pretium tincidunt. Sed varius, sem ac facilisis
euismod, orci tortor gravida risus, et adipiscing purus enim
eget massa. Donec condimentum risus a elit adipiscing
vehicula. Donec ut orci magna. Sed nisi velit, eleifend sit
amet aliquet quis, interdum quis felis.


Quote:
Originally Posted by user_none View Post
Non searchable text and PDF links (internal and external) are a limitation of Qt's PDF printing which calibre uses for PDF output.
Are you saying calibre's viewer has this limit or the resultant pdf? I converted the example file to pdf and can search it and copy the text fine.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Lorem Ipsum - Lorem Ipsum.pdf (132.7 KB, 102 views)

Last edited by DoctorOhh; 12-27-2010 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwanthny View Post
Are you saying calibre's viewer has this limit or the resultant pdf? I converted the example file to pdf and can search it and copy the text fine.
The PDF. I have not seen it produce a searchable file in Linuxor OS X. However, I have never tried in Windows. I will need to investigate this further...
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:12 PM   #12
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That's weird, I converted you epub to pdf in linux and calibre generated a text pdf for me, see attached.

EDIT: Crappy hotel internet is not letting me upload the file, but it has selectable text as per okular.

Last edited by kovidgoyal; 12-27-2010 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
That's weird, I converted you epub to pdf in linux and calibre generated a text pdf for me...
Hm... PDF output is producing non-searchable files. If I use print to PDF via the ebook viewer I get a searchable file. The ebook viewer produces the PDF using the same technique as conversion...

Edit: I'm using OS X.
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:38 PM   #14
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dont have access to an OS X env right now, but it maybe that QtWebKit does something different on OS X
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:10 PM   #15
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I've been playing with it and I've run into some major OS X issues with Qt's printing. I'm still stumped as to why ebook-convert is producing non-searchable PDFs and ebook-viewer can produce searchable ones...
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