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Old 12-20-2006, 05:58 PM   #1
alex_d
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PDFrasterFarian - makes A4/Letter PDFs usable

--- THE LATEST VERSION IS 2.5.x ---
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10402


I was upset with the Reader's PDF support, and tried to figure out what could be done about it. Indeed, many people say PDFs are hard to read because of the small letters. This is not true! (Just try printing something on a laser printer.) Instead, Sony royally messed up the font rendering. This little script is the solution.

PDFrasterFarian renders (rasterizes) PDFs on the computer the correct way, then runs the results through several image processing filters to greatly increase boldness, contrast, and legibility. The result is a BBeB .lrf ebook file that you'll have actual pleasure reading.


The advantages of converting the vector-based PDF into a bitmap book are:

+Far better legibility
+Fast page turns (~2s no matter what)
+Autocropping (which doesn't get reset with each page turn)
+Can display the PDF as half a page per screen, or even a quarter of a page per screen (and one page per screen too, of course)
+Automatic international font support
+100% preserved formatting and graphics
+Table of contents
+You can enter the correct title (also author... you can use this for sorting)
+Fixes PDFs that the Reader can't normally read (eg Google's books)


Disadvantages:

+Conversion takes time (5-20 minutes per 100 pages, but it's twice as fast with a dual-core chip)
+Only one layout per file supported. Ie, can't switch from portrait to landscape mid-read. This is a limitation of rastered, as opposed to vector, graphics.
+File size may increase, especially when splitting each page into many screens. However, not by much.


--INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS--
1. Unzip the rar archive.
2. Double-click 'install' or 'install.cmd'
3. Please take some ritalin and read.
-------------------------------------

The install/uninstall scripts put a context menu option for pdfs into windows explorer. If you right-click a PDF and choose to convert, the script will ask and explain in detail a few parameters before converting. When it's done, out pops a .lrf.

Last edited by alex_d; 06-04-2007 at 03:08 AM.
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Old 12-20-2006, 06:28 PM   #2
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Jah Rastafari!
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Old 12-21-2006, 11:41 PM   #3
neilm2
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I love it! As a bonus, PDFrasterFarian converts Google books...

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...2109#post52109
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Old 12-22-2006, 10:24 AM   #4
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Yes, pics. Oh, please. Oh, please!

Who else has tried this?!
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Old 12-23-2006, 12:25 AM   #5
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Ok, I finally got a chance to take some pics. As you can see, with v1.0 it goes from unreadable to legible, but with v2.0 I'll finally get the image post-processing to where I want it to be (plus, the boldness is adjustable). v2 should be done within a few days.

image 1 is the unaltered PDF
image 2 is PDFrasterFarian v2.0
image 3 is PDFrasterFarian v1.0
image 4 is the pBook which I also happen to own (which is good, since I got the pdf off bittorrent)
Attached Thumbnails
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Name:	4 - PDFrasterFarian v2.0.jpg
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ID:	2512   Click image for larger version

Name:	3 - PDFrasterFarian v1.0.jpg
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ID:	2513   Click image for larger version

Name:	1 - pBook.jpg
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ID:	2514   Click image for larger version

Name:	5 - side-by-side].jpg
Views:	1676
Size:	136.2 KB
ID:	2515  

Last edited by alex_d; 12-23-2006 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 12-23-2006, 11:02 AM   #6
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Alex, it's crazy how much more readable pdf files are after your script converts the to lrf. It's even crazier that Google Books pdfs don't display at all on the Reader untill you convert them with your script. Sony should build this kind of conversion into the Connect software. Anyway, thanks for building this. I can't wait for v2!
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Old 12-24-2006, 02:48 PM   #7
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This is great! I was really bummed out when I discovered Google's downloadable books were unusable on the reader. Gutenberg and manybooks.net are good sources, but it's nice to be able to have old books retain their original typesetting and illustrations.
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Old 12-26-2006, 01:16 AM   #8
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how exaclty do you use it?
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Old 12-26-2006, 07:45 AM   #9
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Yes please... some instructions for the lost... thanks!
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Old 12-26-2006, 11:50 PM   #10
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PDFrasterFarian v2.0 is now almost done. Please help test the Beta in this thread.

RTbar and valkyriesound... are you asking about how to get started or how to choose the right options? To get started, double-click 'install' or 'install.cmd.' Then, right-click a PDF file in Windows Explorer and click PDFrasterFarian. v2.0 explains all this, and hopefully explains the other parameters as well. Let me know if you're still having problems.

Neilm, yeah, Sony really should bundle this type of conversion. Of course, I think it can make the Reader render things right in the first place. (although I guess page turns will still be slow).

Last edited by alex_d; 12-26-2006 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilm2
Alex, it's crazy how much more readable pdf files are after your script converts the to lrf. It's even crazier that Google Books pdfs don't display at all on the Reader untill you convert them with your script. Sony should build this kind of conversion into the Connect software. Anyway, thanks for building this. I can't wait for v2!
Sony just needs to add support for JPEG 2000 stream decoding in their PDF viewer (Google) and fix their PDF rendering engine to recognize it is rendering for a 16 level monochromatic display and that 255 should not cause error distribution.

Neither of these should have presented a technical challenge to Sony. I'm curious as to why they haven't patched these issues yet.

Hey Sony, if you need help: check out my work on the same issues on the iLiad.
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Old 12-30-2006, 12:54 AM   #12
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Man oh man SOOO close masny mags are still not quite legible in portrait "ok" in landscape but landscape is not ideal. Looks like I am going to just have to get aggressive with the cropping :-) is there a way in acrobat to individually crop "dynamically" by drawing on each page ? right now I have to goto document crop and pick each page seperately or "global" changes. would rather just skim through it and "draw" my crop and then tell it to have at it when I am done.

Excellent work on this BTW !! truly nice peice of kit you put together.

the only thing I can ask for is more speed :-)

Chris Taylor
http://www.nerys.com/
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Old 12-30-2006, 01:53 AM   #13
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Nasty Problem with this program. well technically its just a nuisance but I hate it :-) (the bug not the program)

So far every single file I convert it FLIPS page 1 and 2 ie its puts page 2 as the first page and page 2 as the second page. ??? this time I even told it to PREVIEW page 1 and it indeed showed me the proper page but when it was all done I still had page 2 FIRST in the reader and connect software ???

Suggestions?
Chris Taylor
http://www.nerys.com/
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Old 12-31-2006, 12:01 AM   #14
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whoa... no idea what's causing the 1 vs 2 page problem. what version of pdfrasterfarian are you using? (use v2. it's not "final," but in all respects it's better than v1). If you have this problem with v2... and you have this problem with every document.... i'm at a loss, but i guess try posting one of your pdfs. i've never encountered this myself (with v1 either, frankly).

i'm also looking into making pdfrasterfarian faster, we'll see how it goes.

p.s. yeah, go for the aggressive cropping. that and a boldness value of 5 (in v2) seems to do the trick for me with my mags in portrait. I haven't found a good utility for manual cropping, but JAP comes close. I keep wanting to see if SNeS (its author) and I could do something to use his cropping gui and my post-processing. Maybe you can send him a pm with kind words.

scotty... im guessing they don't support jpeg2000 because it'd be very slow, much slower than on iliad (then again, all pdfs are slow). as for 255 causing dithering.... really, it does that? how dumb of sony!

Last edited by alex_d; 12-31-2006 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 12-31-2006, 03:08 AM   #15
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Damn I made a short 7 pager test sample to show you and now its putting TWO PAGES before page one. the PDF looks fine but the converted file has the pages out of order. goto www.nerys.com/stuff and click on sony reader then test conversion

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