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Old 09-06-2007, 02:13 AM   #1
silkcom
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How to convert PDF to LRF

I'd like to start a new thread that I know has been done before, but hopefully I can add a little organization.

Idea:
I'm looking for the best possible way to convert a PDF document (in my case many programming books) to LRF. Ideally when it's done the font resizing works, and the layout is still very close to the same thing. Images are a must, and font retention is important (a lot of programming books include code, and that code is always, I repeat always, in a seperate font. This font change is of the utmost importance to readability, and if it's lost the whole thing is worthless.

How to respond:
I'd really appreciate it if responses are only to give ways to convert documents (no: Use pdf-to-lrf, instead: Download pdf-to-lrf from..., open it, choose these options, click go). I know this seems like I want you to do all the work for me, but come on, that's what forums are really for. You give the answer once, then everyone benefits. Rather than you kind of answering the question, and people continuing to ask questions.

What does this accomplish:
In the end, every comment will build upon the comment before. By the end we'll have step by step directions that anyone can follow (ideally for any platform) to convert their PDF, no more headache when you first get your brand new PRS.

Picky Formatting:
This is an example of a perfect post:

Code:
WINDOWS
1) Download and install: file x, file y
2) Open x, select option x, y, and z
3) Click convert

example PDF
example LRF
Notice the platform is first, and the steps are numbered.

Updates:
I'll keep a record of what I consider to be the best method (trust me i'll be trying every method in hopes of the "perfect" solution), on my wiki: http://www.ourpyramiddiet.com/wiki
I'll keep all answers there, but I'll be sure to mark what I consider the best on top.

What not to post:
For those of you thinking this is a worthless thread, that's fine, just please don't mention it, just go on to respond negatively to someone else's thread. Also, please don't post problems that aren't related to the post, post things like: the font is still a little messed up, not I can't get such and such file to work (start a new thread, or search the threads that are here, most problems are answered). The ultimate goal is to get the best settings, and get the best current methods (And to mention problems with the best current methods in hopes that the program authors will fix them)

And thanks to anyone who helps me make this work. If it works I'll start a new thread for each type of conversion, and my wiki will contain easy to follow instructions made by the pros.
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Old 09-06-2007, 05:49 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silkcom View Post
I know this seems like I want you to do all the work for me, but come on, that's what forums are really for.
No, forums are meant for discussing, not for letting other people do your dirty work.
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Old 09-06-2007, 09:43 AM   #3
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1. Go to http://www.adobe.com and purchase and install Adobe Acrobat
3. load PDF
4. Save PDF as HTML
5. Download and install libprs500
6. use html2lrf to convert
7. load on reader and enjoy
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Old 09-06-2007, 10:46 AM   #4
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The problem is that every PDF is different, and different people have different opinions on what looks best (font size, etc). Why not just post a generic tutorial with the different tools, and let the user try to find what works best for their individual situation?
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Old 09-06-2007, 10:49 AM   #5
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My own reply

I guess I should show what I currently have found as my favorite method:

WINDOWS
1) Download pdflrf (I use pdflrfwin.exe)
2) Open pdflrf
3) Select the file that you want.
4) If you want a smaller file (both in font size and megs), select portrait otherwise select landscape (a little more readable).
5) Save it.

Problems:
My only problem with this is the file size, and that when it's all said and done it's only images of each page. Not bad, but I think we can find a better solution before this is all said and done. No font resizing or anything.

JSWolf, do you know if this comes up with more readable pdf's than the version you put up? (I'll try your version out for myself of course, but as athlonkmf says this is for discussion)
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Old 09-06-2007, 10:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam B. View Post
The problem is that every PDF is different, and different people have different opinions on what looks best (font size, etc). Why not just post a generic tutorial with the different tools, and let the user try to find what works best for their individual situation?
Sure, I'd love to have multiple different answers (because I understand that every PDF is different). Examples, and what is best for each. I just want step my step instructions (even if they aren't click this button, click this button ..). The instructions usually mean that what you're saying actually comes from experience (usually), and they are something that can get a noob more familiar without getting frustrated before they start.
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Old 09-06-2007, 11:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silkcom View Post
I guess I should show what I currently have found as my favorite method:

WINDOWS
1) Download pdflrf (I use pdflrfwin.exe)
2) Open pdflrf
3) Select the file that you want.
4) If you want a smaller file (both in font size and megs), select portrait otherwise select landscape (a little more readable).
5) Save it.

Problems:
My only problem with this is the file size, and that when it's all said and done it's only images of each page. Not bad, but I think we can find a better solution before this is all said and done. No font resizing or anything.

JSWolf, do you know if this comes up with more readable pdf's than the version you put up? (I'll try your version out for myself of course, but as athlonkmf says this is for discussion)
My version of?
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Old 09-06-2007, 11:44 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
My version of?
Your only post. Using Acrobat -> html -> html2lrf. What are the problems with it, how does it work?
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Old 09-06-2007, 01:34 PM   #9
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PDF to test

I've posted some PDF's that are like the books I want to transfer. Feel free to go on my wiki and add more types (these are all free programming books) so we can get more rounded results.

http://www.ourpyramiddiet.com/wiki/d...rom_pdf_to_lrf

That's the page that they are. Try your techniques on them, and we'll find the best solution.
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Old 09-14-2007, 11:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
1. Go to http://www.adobe.com and purchase and install Adobe Acrobat
3. load PDF
4. Save PDF as HTML
5. Download and install libprs500
6. use html2lrf to convert
7. load on reader and enjoy
Well, 1-4 are pretty straightforward. 5 is a little 'iffy' as to source. But there's a lot of details swept under the rug of 6! I'm sorry, but it is simply not that easy to use the libprs500 utils. I've tried several times, step-by-step based on posts here, and have yet to successfully reformat a single e-book. Will there *ever* be a nice, simple (windows-based) gui for conversions? [I know, I'm not a programmer but I can dream, can't I? ]

Also, where the heck is pdflrf or pdflrfwin.exe? I found only references to it, no sticky or link to any such beast. [EDIT: Nevermind, I found it buried in v7 of a not-so-clearly named thread (YaPtLc)]

Last edited by DrMoze; 09-14-2007 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 09-14-2007, 11:45 PM   #11
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pdflrf can be found here.

A good source of information about all converters and links to them can be found in the MobilRead Wiki on the conversion page.
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Old 09-15-2007, 05:29 PM   #12
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Well, 1-4 are pretty straightforward. 5 is a little 'iffy' as to source. But there's a lot of details swept under the rug of 6! I'm sorry, but it is simply not that easy to use the libprs500 utils. I've tried several times, step-by-step based on posts here, and have yet to successfully reformat a single e-book. Will there *ever* be a nice, simple (windows-based) gui for conversions? [I know, I'm not a programmer but I can dream, can't I? ]
The beta GUI for the libprs500 utils includes GUI support for conversions. Download the windows version, install it (& figure out some issue about USB drivers that I don't understand 'cause I'm a Mac guy). Then, open a command line and type 'libprs500-beta' (without the quotes and followed by a carriage return). There's a gui for doing conversions, with point-n-clicky option setting and so on. Give it a shot.
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Old 09-15-2007, 06:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam B. View Post
The problem is that every PDF is different, and different people have different opinions on what looks best (font size, etc). Why not just post a generic tutorial with the different tools, and let the user try to find what works best for their individual situation?
Because there is no one generic way to do it. It depends on the PDF, the person, and what the person is comfortable enough with doing and/or reading. I took a PDF a few weeks abo and tried a conversion to LRF and it failed because it was full of photos that when extracted came out like a negative. Not all did, but most. The text was fine. So I used pdflrf and was able to read the book. It's not a book I plan on ever rereading, but it was a good read. It was one of those Wowio books.
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Old 09-15-2007, 11:35 PM   #14
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I guess it just seems to me that if a PDF viewer can know what text to show, and where to show it, and what images are where (Etc.), that a converter should be able to keep that same layout (basically), and just word wrap to a smaller screen.

Maybe there just aren't good enough programmers working on it? But if someone really did know the PDF format, I know it's rasterized some, but that should also be fixable to a degree, then I wish that they would spend the time (it's not like there isn't enough people wishing it would happen.

(btw. Thanks rwood for showing the link, I should have put that on my post). If it's ever not available I'll throw it up on a website somewhere.
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Old 09-16-2007, 11:24 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silkcom View Post
I guess it just seems to me that if a PDF viewer can know what text to show, and where to show it, and what images are where (Etc.), that a converter should be able to keep that same layout (basically), and just word wrap to a smaller screen.
That's precisely the problem. That kind of description of 'what to put where' is a *rasterized* description. There is no way to translate that into a reflowable format. The only possible are of improvement on the existing pdftohtml converter is better image extraction and placement.
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