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Old 04-17-2012, 09:18 AM   #1
Ulixes
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M92: some PDFs contain only or mostly blank pages

Hello, this is regarding Onyx Boox M92, firmware version 1. 6.

Generally the Onyx handles PDFs extremely well, including large files and files with graphics. With one big exception: any PDFs I seem to download from Internet Archive (public domain books) do not show at all, just blank pages. They show fine in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

This seems to be a common problem on other e-readers as well. It seems to have something to do with the complexity of these PDFs, as they contain scanned-in pages (?) or contain layers. I am not sure which.

I've tried printing such PDFs using Primo, Cute PDF, and DoPDF starting from FoxIt viewer. The results are extremely disappointing: the process takes hours and only a few pages come out well.

Surely this is a massive problem? For me it means no access on Onyx to thousands of books. If Onyx cannot handle ANY kind of PDFs, it does not do what it says on the box, even though it's a lovely device otherwise.

Have others run into this? Any solutions?
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:31 PM   #2
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Aren't books from InternetArchive usually available in different formats? Did you try the respective djvu? Can you point us to an example?
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:37 PM   #3
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I think this has been discussed here before and the explanation was that pdfs from archive.org usually have two layers in the pdf and this causes the problem. I personally process archive.org's pdfs through ScanTailor into djvu and read them like that. The output is usually more neat and is more easily handled by the device.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:44 PM   #4
oppure
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Hi everyone
I confirm I have the same problem. I just bought an M92 mostly to be able to read technical docs I use on my job in pdf format and take notes on them. I've just discovered that in some files some pages or parts of pages are not displayed at all, this is of course quite disappointing as these same files are perfectly displayed on any pc with adobe reader version 9. The pages which are not displayed do not contain images.
I really hope that onyx developers will fix this issue as soon as possible.
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:17 PM   #5
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Nobody will be able to fix this issue, if you don't upload a test-pdf that demonstrates what's wrong. It would suffice if you uploaded a single page from the pdf that suffers from this issue (e.g. exported with pdftk, a pdf printer or similar software).

In general onyx is only using the official adobe sdk. And if a certain pdf is not properly displayed, it's adobe's fault as far as I understand that...
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:02 PM   #6
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Hi tuxor
of course I understand developers need to have the file that cause the problem to troubleshoot. Unfortunately I cannot post these files due to non disclosure policy. I don't know what pdftk is but I'm pretty sure that printing a page with a pdf printer will generate a completely different pdf file which won't be useful for the developers to analyze.
If there is any software available on the internet that can be used to extract technical data from these pdf file that can then be usefull to troubleshoot this issue please advise me and I will do my best to provide some usefull data to the developing team.
regards

Last edited by oppure; 04-17-2012 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:28 PM   #7
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If there's not a single page (with that problem) in any of your pdf documents that you can disclose, it looks like nobody will be able to look over your problem.

Otherwise, if you find such a page. You could use pdfsam (http://www.pdfsam.org/?page_id=32) to extract that single page from your pdf file and upload it somewhere or directly send it to Booxtor who will redirect it to the dev team.
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:50 PM   #8
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thank you!
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slex View Post
I think this has been discussed here before and the explanation was that pdfs from archive.org usually have two layers in the pdf and this causes the problem. I personally process archive.org's pdfs through ScanTailor into djvu and read them like that. The output is usually more neat and is more easily handled by the device.
If it is indeed a layering problem, I'd ask whether anyone has tried to flatten the document (e.g., with PDFXChange).
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:15 PM   #10
Ulixes
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This is a random example of a PDF that will show only blank pages on Onyx M92:

http://archive.org/details/hiddenchurchofho00waituoft

Any books from this website seem to have the same problem; it's a major website, from which I peruse hundreds of sources.


Note: The pages show correctly in 'thumbnails view', but of course no one reads thumbnails.

I've tried DjVu, but here I have no idea how to download a DjVu file; I can open it and read it, but there does't seem to be a way of downloading.

As a scholar, I don't use ePub or other 'flowing text' formats; I can only read text presented the way it was originally published, with set book pages.

I have tried software to flatten PDFs, with no results, but perhaps I did something wrong.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slex View Post
I think this has been discussed here before and the explanation was that pdfs from archive.org usually have two layers in the pdf and this causes the problem. I personally process archive.org's pdfs through ScanTailor into djvu and read them like that. The output is usually more neat and is more easily handled by the device.
Call me stupid, but I have no idea how to load a PDF into ScanTailor. Just installed it and it will only accept JPGs, it seems .... Can you explain?
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:27 AM   #12
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I have used a pdf printer to flatten the file but I've lost the index, and the documents become just a collection of images with no text, loosing any text search capability. Also the file double its size.
Using a pdf printer to flatten the pdf is ok only if you need to just read the pdf book page after page like a fiction book or similar. For those like me who bought an M92 to look up tech docs at work having to jump from a page to another, making extensive use of the index and the text search function this is not a usefull workaround.
I'm confident that onyx realizes that this is a MAJOR BUG and will fix it in due course.
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxor View Post

In general onyx is only using the official adobe sdk. And if a certain pdf is not properly displayed, it's adobe's fault as far as I understand that...
Is this supposed to be an excuse?
People want to read all kinds of PDFs, so the M92 should come with proper software.
Tablets don't have this kind of problems. Why? Because there are plenty of apps developed by outsiders, so you have actually great apps for handling PDFs.
As I have stated time and again, Onyx uses the wrong operating system - and the way things are working they are always trying to catch up with upcoming problems.



What do you think happens once the problematic PDF is checked by "our lab" and which process has to take place until "the developing team" or "our engineers" find, let alone implement a solution?
Especiallay if it is Adobe's fault?

You and two other guys form the cheerleading crowd for a device that has to disappoint any person with rational expectations.
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:47 AM   #14
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I don't know if this can help, but opening the document that is not properly displayed on the M92 with adobe reader 9 on a pc, selecting the layer navigation panel the panel is blank. So no layers on the document? So problem not related with layers?
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:43 AM   #15
Ulixes
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I don't have the professional version of Adobe Acrobat, just the free Reader. However, the problem does seem to have something to do with layers, as the M92 does show pages - i. e., the blank pages that form the yellow background when opened on a computer screen. When moving to a new page on the M92, black text is shown for a fraction of a second before being covered by the yellow 'background'.

I agree that this is an issue that the M92 ought to address; PDFs from the Internet Archive are not faulty. They're rather common.
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