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Old 02-03-2011, 02:59 AM   #1
barium
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Dimensions of PRS-350 Screen for PDF Formatting?

Does anyone know what dimensions I can enter in the Adobe Acrobat page layout settings to get a document that's the same size as the PRS-350 screen?

I've been trying to get some of my PDFs to display properly on the PRS-350. They're scanned images, and my OCR attempts have produced bad results, so PDF reflow is useless.

I thought cropping the files might help. BRISS, an app posted elsewhere on this site, makes it easy to crop white spaces in PDF files. After cropping, the fonts are a bit bigger, but still not good enough.

Fit-to-width in landscape mode makes the text perfectly readable in the cropped files. Unfortunately, scrolling each page vertically with fit-to-width zoom enabled is a major pain (the zoom interface has to be up, and you have to use these slow moving arrow keys). Vertical scrolling in regular landscape mode is pretty painless, though - I can live with the overlap.

I'm thinking if I print my PDFs to new PDFs with a paper size that's the same size as the PRS-350 screen, I may end up with a document that will fit the width of the screen in landscape mode by default. In that case, I'll be able to use Sony's built-in automatic page-switcher, which works for portrait PDFs used in landscape mode.
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Old 02-03-2011, 04:39 AM   #2
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Here's what seems to have worked: printing to a PDF file from Acrobat Pro to a PDF file on a smaller page size, and using the tile print feature to get Acrobat to split each page into smaller pieces. This has the same effect, essentially, as Sony's fit to width zoom option. Instead of using the zoom interface to scroll down, though, you can use the page advance feature, because the pages are in smaller pieces. May require Acrobat Pro:

1.) Crop using Briss (try to make every crop rectangle the same size);

2.) Create a new "Adobe PDF Page Size" in Acrobat; I used dimensions of 81mm by 105mm, based on a hand measurement of the device's screen (there are probably better choices you can make here)

3.) Print the PDF to a PDF file in Acrobat, choosing the following page handling options:

Page scaling: tile all pages
Tile scale: ?? you may need to play around with this (I think especially if you use different crop rectangle sizes in step 1); this setting determines how many pieces each page gets cut into. Bigger pages may get cut into 4 tiles instead of two, which screws everything up. I ended up using 73% for my file.

Drawbacks: text quality declines a fair bit; takes FOREVER (I've already logged a few hours and don't have it down yet); not sure what numbers to use for tile scale and page size.

Please note that I have very little experience with Acrobat and probably mixed up several concepts and terms. If you try to follow these instructions, expect to be very frustrated along the way.
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Old 02-03-2011, 04:48 AM   #3
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barium View Post
Here's what seems to have worked: printing to a PDF file from Acrobat Pro to a PDF file on a smaller page size, and using the tile print feature to get Acrobat to split each page into smaller pieces. This has the same effect, essentially, as Sony's fit to width zoom option. Instead of using the zoom interface to scroll down, though, you can use the page advance feature, because the pages are in smaller pieces. May require Acrobat Pro:

1.) Crop using Briss (try to make every crop rectangle the same size);

2.) Create a new "Adobe PDF Page Size" in Acrobat; I used dimensions of 81mm by 105mm, based on a hand measurement of the device's screen (there are probably better choices you can make here)

3.) Print the PDF to a PDF file in Acrobat, choosing the following page handling options:

Page scaling: tile all pages
Tile scale: ?? you may need to play around with this (I think especially if you use different crop rectangle sizes in step 1); this setting determines how many pieces each page gets cut into. Bigger pages may get cut into 4 tiles instead of two, which screws everything up. I ended up using 73% for my file.

Drawbacks: text quality declines a fair bit; takes FOREVER (I've already logged a few hours and don't have it down yet); not sure what numbers to use for tile scale and page size.

Please note that I have very little experience with Acrobat and probably mixed up several concepts and terms. If you try to follow these instructions, expect to be very frustrated along the way.
One program you can try is OpenOffice.org. Its a free open-source office suite, and it is able to save its documents as PDFs. I've been using it for quite a while and I've been very pleased with the results. Unlike other formats, I have complete formatting control over my documents when formatting them, and this carries over to the PDFs I create.

As far as making PDFs for your ereader, all you have to do is make the page size the same as your ereader's screen. From that point, you format the document as if you were going to print it. When you do a page preview, or you edit the document in the Print Layout view, you can see exactly what the PDF ebook will look like on your ereader. If you set the page size the same as the ereader's screen, the size of all items should be real size (as an example, a 12-point font will appear as that size) on your ereader.

When you have the ebook formatted the way you want, save it as an OpenDocument Writer file (OpenOffice.org's default format) and then export it to PDF. It will make an ebook perfectly formatted for your ereader. If you see something that needs to be changed, just open the OpenDocument Writer file, edit it, and re-export it to PDF.

As I said above, I've been very pleased with the results when generating PDFs this way. The main disadvantage I've found is that the ebook is designed for my ereader's default (small) size, it doesn't look as good at the larger sizes. Due to this, I set the size of everything at my preferred size when I format the ebook, rather than trying to increase it on my ereader.
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:55 PM   #5
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Thanks for the link. I wasn't able to find that after quite a bit of searching.

Solitaire - thanks for the detailed tips. They may come in handy when I'm creating a document that contains both figures and text that I want to view on my reader.

The material I'm working with now, though, is scanned pages of text (mostly) in PDF format (8.5*11 pages). OCR doesn't return good results, so I can't use reflow. When I load the original documents in my reader, font sizes are very small because the PDFs have very wide margins. These margins vary somewhat from page to page (because the scanner didn't align the documents consistently when scanning). So to get my reader to display these documents properly, I have to crop and resize the PDFs, which is proving difficult. If anyone has any other tips, please let me know.
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Old 02-04-2011, 05:59 PM   #6
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PDF images produce horrible results on my device when scaling. Have you tried making the images the same resolution as SONY screen and then turning them into a pdf? Obviously the resolution would be different for portrait and landscape modes, but have a native resolution "should" help.
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:56 PM   #7
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Have you tried making the images the same resolution as SONY screen and then turning them into a pdf?
How would I go about doing that? What I have now are documents in PDF format; the original material was scanned and OCR'd. The files aren't an in image file format right now.

I could save them as JPEGs using Acrobat, resize the the resulting JPEGs to put them in the reader's resolution, then create a new PDF with the resized JPEGs. Is that what you're suggesting?
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:18 PM   #8
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How would I go about doing that? What I have now are documents in PDF format; the original material was scanned and OCR'd. The files aren't an in image file format right now.

I could save them as JPEGs using Acrobat, resize the the resulting JPEGs to put them in the reader's resolution, then create a new PDF with the resized JPEGs. Is that what you're suggesting?
That sounds like a royal pain, but might be worth a shot. I have the full version of acrobat and it has optimization options to resize all images to a certain size. Doubt the free version has this, but you never know.
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:09 PM   #9
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For anyone who's curious about this, now or in the future, here's one solution. It requires three free applications (god bless the developers), assuming you have scanned pages in an image format: ScanTailor, BRISS, and PaperCrop. It also requires a little bit of manual work, which is well worth the trouble. If you read a bit about each of these applications, you should be able to figure out how to format a non-OCRable PDF for viewing on a PRS-350. Briefly, here are the steps:

First, use ScanTailor to set margins so that they fit detected content. Use the other features as necessary (e.g. deskew). This is an oustanding application. The developer has posted a 20 minute video tutorial explaining the features in detail.

Next, if ScanTailor's content detection process leaves you with margins that are wider than necessary (for me page headers and footers that were set far from the rest of the text caused this problem), use BRISS to do a batch crop. Depending on your source material, you may need to draw several or only a few crop boxes.

Finally, use PaperCrop to split the pages in half. This does gracefully what Acrobat's tile printing feature couldn't do (that feature is designed for a different purpose). One problem is that it can resize your text a bit, which reduces its quality. I'm trying to figure out how to prevent resizing.

Thanks again for the suggestions and help.

Edit: changing the device resolution in PaperCrop from 800*600 to 720*550 helps the text distortion a bit, but it's not perfect. Does anyone know the resolution of the PRS-350 display in pixels? 800*600 is the screen's actual resolution, but I think its effective resolution is lower because of the status bar.

Last edited by barium; 02-05-2011 at 11:41 PM.
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