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Old 09-19-2016, 04:22 PM   #1
sygi
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Displaying math formulas in pdfs

When reading pdfs with math formulas on my pocketbook 912, I quite often see that the letters are randomly moved, some letters are missing, like here:



The problem doesn't exist with the same pdf displayed on the computer. I have tried it also on some 9" OnyxBoox and it also showed the scrambled formulas.

What could be a reason for such a strange behavior? How can I fix that?
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Old 09-20-2016, 07:34 PM   #2
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My guess would be that this document has been edited and modified in the PDF format. I would suggest you load it into a app that can save PDF files and save it under a different name. This may rearrange some of the data to make it easier to parse. Other wise you may need to make this into an image. Turn off reflow might help also.

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Old 09-20-2016, 09:25 PM   #3
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It looks like a font problem where the PDF is using a specific font that for some reason can't be used on the two ereaders but can be used on your computer.

Two possible reasons that this could happen:
  • PDF specifies a font that is not embedded. The computer has the font or has a very very close substitute while the ereaders don't have either the specified font or a reasonable substitute. Their substitute has different character spacing and lacks some of the glyphs.
  • PDF specifies a font that is embedded. The computer can access the embedded font but the ereaders can't and are forced to fall back on a substitue font that is a very poor match and is missing needed glyphs.

Either way, it is unlikely that you will be able to tweak the ereaders to do a better job with the file, at least in its current state. It may be possible to create a file that the readers find more to their taste by opening the PDF on you computer in an app that can resave a new PDF with options for handling the font differently; options like embedding all fonts, converting fonts to outlines, rendering all pages as bitmaps, ... .
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Old 09-21-2016, 07:44 PM   #4
sygi
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Thank you for the answers.
@DaleDe: I didn't post edit the pdfs. Most of them probably came out of some latex compiler and were not post-edited either. I don't use pdf reflow (and the problem persist even with zoom=100%).
@dwig: it's a bit strange, as the characters are actually showing, but in the wrong places, but still seems a reasonable explanation. Can you recommend a (linux) tool that does that? (I have found some examples with pdftk and gs). By the way, do you know the way to find which font would be missing?
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Old 09-21-2016, 08:53 PM   #5
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I vaguely recall that those older versions of the Adobe RMSDK-based PDF apps had some bugs when rendering math symbols. I've been searching for the thread that discussed it here (and provided a test PDF file), but I haven't been able to find it. It was many years ago. If that's the problem, the solution would be to try another PDF viewing application. The 912 comes with two pre-installed (AdobeViewer and pdfviewer). You could try both to see if one is better than the other. You can also search this forum for mupdfview, a third-party application for PDF viewing that seems to work pretty well on scientific documents. It's easy to install and use, and is my preferred PDF viewing app on my 902.
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:21 PM   #6
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Thank you for the ideas. Unfortunately neither AdobeViewer, pdfviewer nor mupdfview display the formulas correctly.
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Old 09-22-2016, 12:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sygi View Post
Thank you for the ideas. Unfortunately neither AdobeViewer, pdfviewer nor mupdfview display the formulas correctly.
Hmm, strange. I've read PDFs generated from latex sources many times, and everything looked fine. Maybe it really is an issue with the font.
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