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Old 06-19-2007, 04:23 PM   #1
Silvayn
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Question Question about PDF

I'm a prospective buyer of the device, for the sole purpose of reading pdf files from the electronic version of medical journals. After doing some digging and googling, i found that Sony Reader has some troubles with this particular format. I also found a guide on how to make pdf's more Reader compatible, but I'm not sure if all those medical pdf's have permissions for saving as .rtf (not sure how the pdf permissions and protections work, never had to deal with them before) - so I might be stuck with the pdf files in their original form.

So, I'd like to know how bad the native viewing of A4 formated pdf's is. I've attached an (freely accessible) article and I'd be really greatful if someone from the happy owners could load it onto his reader and comment / post some pictures.

Thank you in advance!
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File Type: pdf testmedpdf.pdf (144.7 KB, 287 views)
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:47 PM   #2
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If you take a letter size PDF without any processing and load it on the Sony Reader as is, it will look too small to bother with. That's the issue with PDF, it's a fixed format that's meant for printing and not reading.

But there is good news on the horizon. Sony has said that they are going to be supporting Adobe Digital Edition. So if your publications plan on switching over to DE then you'll be in good shape. Also, it's possible that maybe Sony will fix the PDF display to allow scrolling. I don't know that's going to happen with PDF, but DE should work fine as it's meant for stuff like the Sony.
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:54 PM   #3
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Welcome to MobileRead, Silvayn!

In the meantime, you could always use RasterFarian to slice-n-dice the PDF file's pages to actually fit on the Reader's screen.
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Old 06-20-2007, 04:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvayn View Post

So, I'd like to know how bad the native viewing of A4 formated pdf's is. I've attached an (freely accessible) article and I'd be really greatful if someone from the happy owners could load it onto his reader and comment / post some pictures.

Thank you in advance!
If you upload your pdf (as is) in the reader it will be un-readable.
I see that your pdf is a three column document.

RasterFarian as an option to split a page in 4 differents parts (just for the multicolumn pdfs).

I suggest you to install the latest version RasterFarian (2.5.1 I think), to process yor files, and to look the preview (it is a png image).

Do not care with the contrast and the sharpness of the preview because on the monitor it seems poor but on the Reader it will be perfect.

Bye!
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Old 06-20-2007, 04:54 PM   #5
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Unhappy

The other replies are correct, it's not readable.

Here's a picture anyway. The flash is not grey-ing out the text, that's just how the reader displays this PDF.

In landscape mode, if you have very good eyes, you can barely make out the letters--but it's no way to read.
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Views:	334
Size:	205.4 KB
ID:	4052  
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Old 06-20-2007, 05:09 PM   #6
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Silvayn,
I understand your interest in a Reader for your needs, but you might want to think about the possibility of getting a tablet-PC instead. With that, you won't need to rebuild/reconfigure your PDFs, and you can read the text just fine as-is.

This is at least a short-term solution... I think the e-book readers will do a better job with A4 documents eventually, but IMO they are not really there yet, unless you like a lot of fiddling with your content to get it to fit.
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:22 PM   #7
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PDF conversion to LRF doesn't look very good...

I ran your test .pdf (the AJOG Opinion article) through Docudesk's PDF to LRF conversion tool (free OS X tool available at www.docudesk.com) that will automatically reflow PDF's into LRF (and other text formats too for the pay version). There are several text detection/reflow modes available, I used the "automatic" or default one. I'm afraid that the results weren't too good. The original PDF was not authored to allow easy/coherent reflowing of the text so this automated conversion tool didn't put all the variously placed text blocks together into a single stream of text quite right.

You can download Sony's free connect software to preview this .lrf that I generated to see what it might look like on a Sony Reader. If you're an expert in using Adobe's programs (expensive software at that) to re-format/reflow PDF's, you might be able to get a nice clean PDF -> LRF conversion. Or you can try playing with the Docudesk converter's various settings. This however is likely to get pretty time intensive as you'll have a great deal of manual trial and error to get the results you want if your goal is to replicate the paper completely.

If you only want the text of the paper, you could try just copying all the text in a PDF and pasting into a word processor/text editor and doing some quick easy cleaning up of the formatting. Though in this case, you'd lose most of the formatting that would be especially important in replicating charts/tables and would lose any graphics/graphs. And there is no way to really automate this due to the editing you'd have to do.

RasterFarian is probably your best bet at this point though if you want a fast/automated way to re-create the PDF with all it's carts/graphs/tables perfectly in a more viewable form on the Sony Reader. Only downside is larger file sizes as each page is a graphic instead of text/symbol data.

Dave

Last edited by DaveNB; 11-28-2007 at 04:55 AM.
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:00 AM   #8
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Thank you all for your replies. I'm simply not willing (read lazy) to play with each and every pdf to get it into readable form, simply because of the sheer number of the articles. I still like the device tho, and I'll keep an eye on it - maybe the DE implentation will solve the problem for me.

Thanks again!
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvayn View Post
Thank you all for your replies. I'm simply not willing (read lazy) to play with each and every pdf to get it into readable form, simply because of the sheer number of the articles. I still like the device tho, and I'll keep an eye on it - maybe the DE implentation will solve the problem for me.

Thanks again!
Right decision.
I personally am very happy with my reader but I would hate it if most of the stuff I had to read were in PDF format. As of today, sony reader is not suitable for this format.
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:18 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by astra_lestat View Post
Right decision.
I personally am very happy with my reader but I would hate it if most of the stuff I had to read were in PDF format. As of today, sony reader is not suitable for this format.
I completely agree. If reading A4/Letter PDFs is your main use for a device, the Reader is not the right choice. Have you looked at a Tablet PC with an A4 screen? That would probably be ideal.
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Old 06-21-2007, 12:48 PM   #11
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I'm looking for something small and portable. Also the battery life and readable-in-direct-sunlight display of SonyReader are a big plus for me. Tablet PC would just be a luxury, as I already have a notebook and do not need another portable computer, that can "also" be used for reading stuff.
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Old 06-21-2007, 01:18 PM   #12
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Unfortunately "small" goes against your stated requirement of being able to read A4/Letter PDFs. PDFs won't (generally speaking) "re-flow" like other e-Book formats will; if a PDF document is generated for an A4 page, then an A4 page is what you need to read it on. The best you can do otherwise is to either chop the page in half (or quarters, or whatever) and read each bit separately, or use a smaller screen as a "viewport" which you can scroll around the original page. Neither is a very pleasant viewing experience.

The Sony Reader is a wonderful device - but not for reading A4 PDFs, I regret to say. You really do need an A4 screen for that - there's no getting around that fact.
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Old 06-21-2007, 08:56 PM   #13
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The only thing I can do is recommend you have a look at the iLiad. It has a larger screen with a higher resolution and may possibly be able to display your PDF files readable enough to you. The biggest drawback however is the more then double the price.
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Old 05-18-2008, 06:45 AM   #14
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Try PDFCropper. You can find it at www.pdfcropper.com.
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