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Old 04-13-2011, 09:48 PM   #1
jodykihara
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Difference between Adobe PDF eBook and PDF?

Hi everyone
Forgive the dumb question - I'm actually very familiar with PDFs as I've worked in document production (and know ins and outs to Acrotbat Pro that most people don't) - what I don't understand is whether a 'PDF E-book' is just a PDF with password protection?

Some e-tailers have their e-books available in both Epub and PDF format. What puzzles me is, if a person buys the PDF version, what's to stop them from copying it and sending it to other people? Or is that the difference with a 'PDF eBook' - some encryption that prevents people from doing this?

thanks for your help!
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:35 PM   #2
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An Adobe PDF ebook is more or less PDF /A with encryption. The encryption scheme is stronger than "passworded" PDFs, but has been circumvented. So you can obtain a DRM-free version of any Adobe PDF ebook you buy, and this is readable by just about any PDF Reader (since PDF/A is very basic). See Apprentice Alf's Blog for more info on DRM of all common kinds. Note that most DRM schemes for ebooks have been circumvented, and all can in principle be circumvented, so there is nothing except copyright law preventing someone from redistributing ebooks.

For more on what exactly Adobe Digital Edition PDFs can contain, see Q&A: What PDF version for eBooks? and the ADE FAQ.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:16 AM   #3
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An eBook PDF should also be reflowable but there is no actual standard that requires this. ADE attempts to reflow any PDF but without adequate data in the PDF itself it can only achieve spotty results.

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Old 04-15-2011, 12:54 PM   #4
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Hm, I was wondering about reflowing, too - someone reviewed my book on a site and complained that the formatting was all messed up, and when I messaged her to ask about it, she said she had a PDF version of it. Since then, I've been steering clear of PDFs (can't say I'm happy receiving bad reviews because of them!). Is there any way to optimize the reflowability (if that's even a word?)
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jodykihara View Post
Hm, I was wondering about reflowing, too - someone reviewed my book on a site and complained that the formatting was all messed up, and when I messaged her to ask about it, she said she had a PDF version of it. Since then, I've been steering clear of PDFs (can't say I'm happy receiving bad reviews because of them!). Is there any way to optimize the reflowability (if that's even a word?)
You need to start with a tool that understands how to make the document reflow. For example Framemaker can add the appropriate reflow tags. Adobe Acrobat can also do it. However editing the pdf directly can mess up reflow. Adobe documents talk about reflow. Sure some of the new readers can try and reflow without these smart tags but the results are not always what they could be.

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Old 04-21-2011, 07:59 PM   #6
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Just FYI, RMSDK has always ignored the reflow tags within PDF file and tried to reflow based upon just the document structure. However that being said if you are doing content where reflow is important to your users, then any of the (x)HTML based formats such as ePub (or .mobi if you have to ) are far better than PDF.
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Old 04-22-2011, 02:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jim Lester View Post
if you are doing content where reflow is important to your users, then any of the (x)HTML based formats such as ePub (or .mobi if you have to ) are far better than PDF.
I agree... unfortunately, some people still want PDF. (not sure why, though, if they have an e-reader!)
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