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Old 09-11-2014, 08:22 AM   #1
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Thumbs up Onyx Boox M96 - What ALL e-Ink ereaders should aspire to

Definitely two thumbs up to Onyx Boox, they're the first e-ink ebook maker to actually understand what we need/want. I received my M96 two days ago (replacement for an M90 that died (my fault.)) Since then I have fallen in love with it.
  • Fast screen refreshes means not having to wait for the next page
  • open operating system means I can read ANY format
  • I can even EDIT certain formats
  • Any ereader software compatible with android is available
  • true functioning web browser
  • SPEED!!! The M96 is fast to do everything
There are many other reasons to love it, and of the dozen or so ereaders I've used in the past nearly 20 years, this is the best yet!


Bravo Zulu to Onyx Boox.
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:01 PM   #2
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But when it comes to scanned text PDFs, can it reflow the text without doing so with the figures, and also allow you to increase/decrease and embolden the font size? I have only seen Duokan 2014 able to do so (and very well most of the times).
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:45 AM   #3
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true functioning web browser
Is there a video showing that somewhere ?
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:56 AM   #4
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Hi crt,

There is an Duokan app on Android, but it doesn't reflow scanned PDFs on my M96.

Scanned PDFs only contain images, no text. So how can it be reflowed?
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Old 09-12-2014, 12:04 PM   #5
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A PDF containing scanned pages obviously can't be reflowed - it's just a picture.
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Old 09-12-2014, 12:54 PM   #6
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Hi. It can. Since you ask it to reflow a PDF (scanned text), it does so probably by assuming that each dark part is the image of a set of characters. When you 'increase' the size of the 'characters' displayed, it obviously increases the size of the image of the strings displayed, 'cutting' a line into more pieces (each corresponding to a line displayed).
Of course, this is not perfect, and occasionally it fails (parts of one line are next to a part of another line). Also tables and other Figures or mathematics formulas almost always fail to be properly displayed. But pure text is mostly fine.
I have read plenty of such PDF (scanned text) books, among which a dozen of Verne's books translated into my native language, using Duokan on the Kindle keyboard.
I checked one with my android smartphone (using Duokan) and it worked, too. Pity that Duokan has now been taken over by a Chinese company and all purely free e-reading development seems to have ceased...
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Old 09-12-2014, 01:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crt View Post
But when it comes to scanned text PDFs, can it reflow the text without doing so with the figures, and also allow you to increase/decrease and embolden the font size? I have only seen Duokan 2014 able to do so (and very well most of the times).
There is no need for reflowing A4/letter sized pdf on 10" e-ink though, because if zoomed in without margins (in landscape) we can even get slight magnification (compared to the paper) on Kindle DX or M96, no matter one-column, two-column or multi-column pdf.

Two-column pdf (scanned image or textual) can also be read using two-column mode, if we want even bigger letters.


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Hi crt,

There is an Duokan app on Android, but it doesn't reflow scanned PDFs on my M96.

Scanned PDFs only contain images, no text. So how can it be reflowed?
e.g. if our e-reader's app is OCR-ing it page by page as we read it (or using already existent OCR-layer), reflowing and showing OCR-layer only (not pdf image itself), but it's not genuine scan reflow.

Scanned PDF (with or without OCR layer) can genuinely be reflowed using k2pdfopt, beforehand on PC.

Scanned PDF is being cut like a paper pdf would be cut using pair of scissors and then those parts pasted together depending on the targeted screen size.

http://www.willus.com/k2pdfopt/

Another benefit of using k2pdfopt (compared to the reflowing pdf on e-reader itself on the fly) is a lot faster flipping through such reflowed scans(or reflowed textual pdf too) and retained pictures and tables (because e-reader doesn't need to compute anything but just show already reflowed and optimized pages for its size and resolution) .

Also, owners of Kindle or Kobo can jailbreak it and install KPV(kindlepdfviewer) thereon, which uses k2pdfopt's scan reflow module.
It won't be as quick to flip through pdf, though, because scanned pages are reflowed on the fly page by page, but for normal reading, page by page, it should be ok because next page shall be refowed as we read the previous one, otherwise we should wait 5-10 seconds then flip quickly through reflowed page and then wait another 5-10 seconds for the next scanned page to be reflowed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PauN_9O4dM

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=157047

There is also attempt to port KOReader(KPV for touch Kindles) on Android.
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=240617

Last edited by markom; 09-12-2014 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 09-13-2014, 12:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
A PDF containing scanned pages obviously can't be reflowed - it's just a picture.
Not to beat a dead horse, but this does seem to be a common misconception. As Markom pointed out, if the text is regular enough, and there are not too many defects, text re-flow on scanned pages can be done reliably using graphical methods to find the text rows and words within the scanned bitmaps (not OCR). The links below are from willus.com/k2pdfopt (in the middle of the page where the examples are):

Scanned book pages (no OCR layer)

Scanned pages as processed by k2pdfopt (no OCR performed)
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Old 09-14-2014, 11:58 AM   #9
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Hi again.
1. Duokan for Android (I used the so called 'HD' version) does have Text Reflow on scanned PDF images. Simply go to one of the pages with 'text' during normal reading and tap at the center. A small bar appears at the bottom with various icons/capabilities (e.g., crop page). We don't need them. Just above this bar at the bottom right of the page as small reddish 'T' icon appears. This is text-reflow. Tap on it and you will see what I mean
2. I had used k2pdfopt in the past. Good but has 2 important problems compared to Duokan: (a) You need to use a computer to run it before taking the result to an e-reader; this is cumbersome, when Duokan does it on the same device (the e-reader),
(b) It always produces images, which means that if you have a 'normal' PDF, increasing the PDF text means that you increase the image of the text, with an ugly result; Duokan recognizes 'normal' text and allows you to increase its size using normal fonts with an excellent result.
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Old 09-15-2014, 09:52 AM   #10
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Hi again.
1. Duokan for Android (I used the so called 'HD' version) does have Text Reflow on scanned PDF images. Simply go to one of the pages with 'text' during normal reading and tap at the center. A small bar appears at the bottom with various icons/capabilities (e.g., crop page). We don't need them. Just above this bar at the bottom right of the page as small reddish 'T' icon appears. This is text-reflow. Tap on it and you will see what I mean
It would be interesting to see a video of this in action. I did a quick search and could not find anything. Does Duokan actually OCR the text in real time, or does it do something like Adobe's clear type where it vectorizes it? If it OCRs the text, does it try to match the original font? How fast and accurate is the OCR? What happens if the document has scanned equations or parts that don't OCR well?
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2. I had used k2pdfopt in the past. Good but has 2 important problems compared to Duokan: (a) You need to use a computer to run it before taking the result to an e-reader; this is cumbersome, when Duokan does it on the same device (the e-reader),
(b) It always produces images, which means that if you have a 'normal' PDF, increasing the PDF text means that you increase the image of the text, with an ugly result; Duokan recognizes 'normal' text and allows you to increase its size using normal fonts with an excellent result.
Both of these "problems" could also be seen as advantages (e.g. k2pdfopt, by running on a PC, does not require the user to jailbreak their e-reader). It depends on what the user wants. The k2pdfopt re-flow engine is implemented on some e-reader software (e.g. KOReader), as markom pointed out.
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Old 09-15-2014, 10:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willus View Post
It would be interesting to see a video of this in action. I did a quick search and could not find anything. Does Duokan actually OCR the text in real time, or does it do something like Adobe's clear type where it vectorizes it? If it OCRs the text, does it try to match the original font? How fast and accurate is the OCR? What happens if the document has scanned equations or parts that don't OCR well?

Both of these "problems" could also be seen as advantages (e.g. k2pdfopt, by running on a PC, does not require the user to jailbreak their e-reader). It depends on what the user wants. The k2pdfopt re-flow engine is implemented on some e-reader software (e.g. KOReader), as markom pointed out.
IMO the biggest advantage of running k2pdfopt on PC beforehand is quicker flipping through such reflowed scan, because underpowered e-readers (compared to better tablets) only have to show optimized pdf without much computing on their side.

e.g. I can usually use Sony's Prs-t1 landscape mode for A5 pdfs but if I want to use pen for scribbling I have to leave this zoomed mode for normal view getting back to it after scribbling, also page flipping is not nearly as fast as with using pdf optimized with k2pdfopt's fitwidth mode or reflow mode.


There is Duokan for iOS 7+ too.

Textual pdfs (vectors) are being reflowed without pictures as majority of e-readers (with pdf reflow capability) do, text is searchable, highlightable... .

Scanned pdfs are quickly reflowed.
I have joined three of your two-column templates and this six paged pdf has been reflowed on iPad 4 instantaneously, with pictures included, but some words are joined together as can be seen in attachments.

Here's captured screen of your two-column template(converted beforehand to bitmap without a OCR layer) and couple of increased values for bigger letter size.

Some text has been shown as picture.
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Last edited by markom; 09-15-2014 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 09-15-2014, 08:59 PM   #12
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So I had guessed based on what markom wrote in an earlier post that duokan uses OCR to re-flow, but now it seems like maybe it doesn't? Does it do graphical text re-flow on scanned text a la k2pdfopt (no OCR), or is it doing real-time OCR? How long has it been able to re-flow scanned text?
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:20 PM   #13
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So I had guessed based on what markom wrote in an earlier post that duokan uses OCR to re-flow, but now it seems like maybe it doesn't? Does it do graphical text re-flow on scanned text a la k2pdfopt (no OCR), or is it doing real-time OCR? How long has it been able to re-flow scanned text?
It uses graphical reflow a la k2pdfopt only on pdf scans without ocr layer in the background.

It is very fast on iPad 4 and it almost instantly changes size of letters (about 8 possible levels) and distance between sentences(three levels).

For pdf scans with ocr layer in the background it is similar as for textual pdfs, Duokan reflows and shows ocr layer (pictures lost).

Last edited by markom; 09-15-2014 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:05 AM   #14
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It uses graphical reflow a la k2pdfopt only on pdf scans without ocr layer in the background.

It is very fast on iPad 4 and it almost instantly changes size of letters (about 8 possible levels) and distance between sentences(three levels).
I tried duokan on an iPad 3 and it is definitely satisfactory for real time reading in terms of speed--impressively fast, but it didn't always piece the words together quite correctly in the example I tried (see attachments from my source file that I posted earlier in this thread--duokan images are screenshots from an iPad 3; k2pdfopt images are from the default settings). I did not realize that duokan had the capability to graphically re-flow text. How long has duokan had this feature?
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:35 PM   #15
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I have to disagree. I am most disappointed in the M96. I had hoped that the sdreen would be much whiter. It is the same grayish green shade that my 5 year old Pocket Book Pro 902 has. I am returning mine.
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