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Old 07-29-2011, 02:54 PM   #1
morbo3000
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How do I make all .pdf's in my calibre library open in calibre instead of preview

On my mac, some of the pdf's in my calibre library open in the calibre ebook reader. Some in preview. How do I force it to open in the calibre library? Is there a reason that Calibre reader would be better or worse then Preview?

Thanks!
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:10 PM   #2
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Hi morbo3000. Welcome to the forum!

In calibre Preferences, Behavior - to the right is a list of formats. Check the one for PDF and any others you want calibre's reader to open. Which only happens if you select it in the booklist and view while in calibre.

If you're in the Mac OS and doubleclick a PDF file, that will open it in whatever application is set to open that kind of file, such as Preview. To change this in the OS, select the file, command i (for Get Info) and in the middle of the Info window you'll see "Open with:" next to a triangle. Click the triangle then select the application you want from the menu, such as Adobe Reader. There's also a choice for using this to open all files of this kind with that app all the time or just this once.

Last edited by unboggling; 07-29-2011 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:48 PM   #3
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There's a distinction between the calibre application and that subset of it which is used within calibre to view books while the calibre application is open and active. I noticed that if you quit the calibre application while viewing a book in calibre's reader, the reader mini-app stays open until you quit it too. I don't know of a way to use the calibre reader otherwise without having the calibre app open first. If in the Mac OS Finder Get Info box you select calibre as the app to open all pdf's, then doubleclick a pdf file in the Finder, that will open calibre if it's not already open. But that won't automatically open that file in calibre's reader, as far as I know. I haven't tried that because it's more useful to me to view the original file (if outside calibre) in Acrobat.
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Old 07-29-2011, 04:35 PM   #4
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Thanks! I've been in the process of moving stuff out of programs like evernote and devonthink that are generalists.. i.e. notes, pdf's, mp3s, anything... and then save things in proprietary formats, or save them in their own database. In exchange, I'm putting things in programs that fit their file type or use. So, Calibre is my iTunes for pdf's.

Do you think that's the best choice? Or are there better programs for that purpose?

Thanks again!
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Old 07-29-2011, 04:39 PM   #5
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@unblogging. Just read your second reply. My purpose is not to read external pdf's in Calibre's reader. Rather, to open the pdf's (and anything else I throw at it for that matter) in Calibre's reader. As I said above, I want Calibre to be my iTunes for ebooks, which means I want most everything, except for work documents and job applications, etc, to be imported into Calibre.

As a side-note, I put the Calibre folder in Dropbox so that it is automatically backed up. And can be surfed from my iPod if the pdf reader (Good Reader) I'm using can read it as-is. Pretty cool.
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:45 PM   #6
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@morbo. OK. Now I understand you better. Personally I'd recommend using calibre exclusively for books with occasional exceptions for things like loose short stories or author-reading-order lists. Anything not a book or highly relevant to a set of books, I keep out in the operating system in folders labeled archives or working, and subfolders as necessary.
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:47 PM   #7
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You probably do NOT want to use Calibre to read PDF files - just to store and index them. The reason is that if you ask Calibre to use its own viewer for PDF files, it first internally converts them to ePub, and then opens the result in the Calire viewer (which is really just an ePub viewer). This has the disadvantages that the conversion can take some time, and often PDF->Epub conversions do not work well.

What you would be better doing is to tell Calibre (as mentioned earlier) to use your system level viewer for PDF files. You then get the same viewer whether you open the PDF file from within Calibre or externally to Calibre.
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Old 07-29-2011, 06:05 PM   #8
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itimpi, good point. The pdf-originating books I keep in calibre are mostly fiction and very light on graphics, not counting comic books which mostly convert well to epub. I convert all incoming books to epub format, and if it doesn't convert well, keep it outside of my calibre libraries. From epub format it's easy to convert to any other needed format on demand. Tech manuals, textbooks, stuff with large technical drawings, I store and view outside calibre. If necessary I'd keep a separate Tech PDF library, but I haven't found it necessary yet.

Last edited by unboggling; 07-29-2011 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 07-30-2011, 01:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itimpi View Post
What you would be better doing is to tell Calibre (as mentioned earlier) to use your system level viewer for PDF files. You then get the same viewer whether you open the PDF file from within Calibre or externally to Calibre.
I have to itimpi's suggestion.
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Old 07-30-2011, 11:39 AM   #10
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I use the system viewer as my standard.
Sometimes I will have Calibre's viewer open the PDF just to see how bad a default conversion might be.
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