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Old 08-30-2007, 10:43 AM   #1
Ylurien
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Reading japanese on the PRS-500

Hello all,

This is my first post to the forum - it`s good to be here! I`ve been lurking for a few days now, reading all about people`s opinions on the PRS-500. I heard enough positive things about it to finally get my own and now that I have it, I want to do more more more!

What I really want to do now is get japanese web pages and text into the reader for reading on the train to and from work every day. I have read a lot about it on the forums, and there seems to be two ways to do this:

1. I could flash the device and install the fonts in the reader that way.
2. I could create a PDF with text copied from the web and embed the fonts into the PDF itself.

Now please bear in mind that I am pretty much a newbie to flashing such devices (I`ve only ever flashed my BIOS) and working with PDFs. Either of the above solutions sounds fine to me, but #2 sounds like less work and less chance of doing something nasty to my PRS-500.

So if anyone could offer a little advice as to which method they feel is preferable, and more importantly, how EXACTLY to get the japanese text into a readable file on my PRS-500, I would be extremely grateful.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 08-31-2007, 10:31 AM   #2
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Welcome to MobileRead, Ylurien!

I'd tend to reluctantly agree that for what you're wanting to do, the PDF approach is the better one to try first (normally I avoid, and recommend avoiding them like the plague). You can find a "Best Known Method" for making PDFs for the Reader here. Hope that helps.

If not, come on back, there's a lot of expertise here and I'm sure we can help you work out what you need to do.
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ylurien View Post
So if anyone could offer a little advice as to which method they feel is preferable, and more importantly, how EXACTLY to get the japanese text into a readable file on my PRS-500, I would be extremely grateful.
I suggest following steps.
- Install OpenOffice.org
- format a text file in OpenOffice.org writer so that the page has the physical dimensions of the Reader screen. If you just create pdf document that is for the A4 page the characters will be too small on the Reader screen.
- set page margins to 0.01cm. You do not want to waste the precious screen space.
- go to menu "file" -> "Export to pdf" and create a document
- Do not be afraid to experiment and play

And ... The most important step of all ... If you find how to make a perfect Japanese document for the Reader publish your findings here on Mobileread so other users

There is also an official Sony document describing how to produce pdf file for Reader.

and do not forget to have a look here
http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/E-book_conversion
and here
http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Sony_Portable_Reader
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:12 PM   #4
Ylurien
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Thanks!

I took your advice Kicar and have been doing a bit of experimenting with japanese document creation. I think I`ve finally found an almost-perfect solution!

First, the process is pretty much as you say, but let me break it down again for the sake of people as new to the process as me:

1. I use Microsoft Word 2007 (I`m sure openoffice.org would work fine as well). You have to download a file called "saveaspdfandxps.exe" from Microsoft Office`s website to be able to save documents as PDF files, though.

2. Copy or type japanese text into a new word document. 24 or 26 point, MS Gothic (MS ゴシック) seems to be easiest to read. Japanese fonts don`t seem to scale well in size once they are on the reader (by hitting the "size" button), so make sure you choose a large enough size before you create the PDF. (Some of the more complex characters with multiple horizontal or vertical strokes don`t come out 100% clear on 24 point, but for veterans of japanese who can guess what the Kanji are and are not reading for study should go with 24. Also, I set the entire body of text to boldtype face to increase clarity.

3. Now you need to save the document. Go to "Save As / PDF" in the menu and be careful of one of the settings here: The options button just above the Publish button will allow you to unclick the "Bitmap text when fonts may not be embedded when saving". When I saved the file with this box ticked, copied the file to my reader and then tried to read it, my reader opened the file and then completely froze - something I hadn`t seen happen on my reader yet. I had to do a cold reset to get it working again as the power off/on switch did nothing after it froze. I`m not sure that the "Bitmap text..." option was the culprit, but it seems to be the only thing that could have caused it (as I`ve saved multiple documents since then and I have had no problems). Anyway, the box is checked by default so you`ll need to uncheck it every time.

4. Everything should be fine now so try opening up the file. You`ll likely notice that depending on the font size you used, turning pages will take more or less time. It appears that the SMALLER the font, the LONGER it takes to turn the page and load/close the document. With 18 pt. fonts, it took about 15 seconds to turn one page. With 26 pt. size it takes about 7 seconds. Does anyone know why it would be taking this long? I guess the reader`s CPU is just not equipped to decode a PDF file`s properties quickly.

Anyway, I`m really happy to be able to do this now! Everyone share your experiences here and maybe we can arrive at an even better way to accomplish this.

Last edited by Ylurien; 08-31-2007 at 11:16 PM.
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Old 09-01-2007, 03:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ylurien View Post
1. I use Microsoft Word 2007 (I`m sure openoffice.org would work fine as well). You have to download a file called "saveaspdfandxps.exe" from Microsoft Office`s website to be able to save documents as PDF files, though.
Whatever works for you is great.
I have suggested OpenOffice.org because anybody can download one for free and it has built-in pdf publishing module.

There are quite a few commercial, shareware, freeware and free pdf creators around, that might offer various interesting options. The quality of the final pdf varies greatly depending on the tool. You might want to experiment here a little bit as well. Perhaps a pdf file generated by other tool (you might want to try the original Adobe Acrobat) will load more quickly or will have a little bit better redability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ylurien View Post
I guess the reader`s CPU is just not equipped to decode a PDF file`s properties quickly.
The processor in the Reader is indeed [relatively] slow. It is enough for simple documents and LRF files and a faster processor would drain the battery faster. When I open a few long documents in rtf format from a memory card my battery seems to be draining very fast. Fortunately the Reader needs to process the rtf file only once and then I can read and read and read ...
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Old 09-01-2007, 11:26 AM   #6
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So I`m running into a new problem, and I have no idea why it would be occurring...

Whenever I make a PDF file containing japanese characters that is over 200K, all of the text in the document just magically disappears when viewing it in preview or after copying it to the reader. I have a font test PDF file that is around 360K and it loads and displays fine, so why would this be happening with documents containing japanese text only? Anyone have a clue?
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Old 09-02-2007, 08:39 AM   #7
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You could try converting your PDF files to LRF using pdflrf. This should fix the slow page turns and maybe your other problem too. Notice however that pdflrf converts the text to images so scaling the text with the size button of the Reader is impossible.
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Old 09-05-2007, 11:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ylurien View Post
So I`m running into a new problem, and I have no idea why it would be occurring...

Whenever I make a PDF file containing japanese characters that is over 200K, all of the text in the document just magically disappears when viewing it in preview or after copying it to the reader. I have a font test PDF file that is around 360K and it loads and displays fine, so why would this be happening with documents containing japanese text only? Anyone have a clue?
Did you embed the font used? If not, it won't work as the Sony doesn't have that font available and would need it to be embedded in the PDF.
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Old 06-03-2008, 11:23 AM   #9
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This should fix the slow page turns and maybe your other problem too.
after playing around a bit i made a small oversight that gave a rather interesting result, when converting to a pdf i forgot to make the text bold so that it's easily visible.. needless to say it was very thin on the screen but whatever kanji/kana were written loaded as fast as normal text.

just to be sure i made the text bold, exported as pdf and tried that one but the text loaded in its trademark slower-than-a-snail manner, could it be that the slow loading is due to the reader 'bold'-ing foreign characters slowly or am i barking up the wrong tree?

Last edited by A169; 06-03-2008 at 11:48 AM.
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