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Old 11-28-2012, 12:16 PM   #1
Lyn2012
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Paperwhite text options

I'm thinking about getting a Paperwhite but am worried about the limited fonts, font sizes, margins, and line spacing options available. I am used to a Kobo which has all of these available on a sliding scale (and easily added custom fonts) so I don't have the problem that one font size is too large and the next too small for example (as was always the case on my Sony 650). I'm wondering if there's a way round or hack, (that's easy to do), to provide the Paperwhite with more variations in fonts, sizes, line spacing etc.?
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:22 PM   #2
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Kindles always had/have fonts that are designed to look good and are easy to read on a digital display. Kobo, I believe, aims for fonts that look like print books, but that are not neccessary optimized or designed for digital displays. It comes down to personal preference. Maybe you could look at a K4 or a Touch to see if size and line spacing suits you. The PW has basically the same options, but more fonts. If you insist on a specific font you could always embed the one you like - you are going to have to convert your existing epub library to mobi anyway. Comparing the font size options from your Sony to a Kindle is not really fair, unless you seen it with your own eyes. The options on my prs-300 concerning fonts are horrific - the only way I am still using it is with prs+ (plus I am waiting for PW to be available for order again). The x50 Sonys got maybe a little better?

Bottom line, if you won't be happy with a K4 or Touch, the added fonts on the PW won't make much difference. Just remember that switching brands always comes with pros and cons ...
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:23 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by DuckieTigger View Post
Kindles always had/have fonts that are designed to look good and are easy to read on a digital display. Kobo, I believe, aims for fonts that look like print books, but that are not neccessary optimized or designed for digital displays. It comes down to personal preference. Maybe you could look at a K4 or a Touch to see if size and line spacing suits you. The PW has basically the same options, but more fonts. If you insist on a specific font you could always embed the one you like - you are going to have to convert your existing epub library to mobi anyway. Comparing the font size options from your Sony to a Kindle is not really fair, unless you seen it with your own eyes. The options on my prs-300 concerning fonts are horrific - the only way I am still using it is with prs+ (plus I am waiting for PW to be available for order again). The x50 Sonys got maybe a little better?

Bottom line, if you won't be happy with a K4 or Touch, the added fonts on the PW won't make much difference. Just remember that switching brands always comes with pros and cons ...
As I only like sans-serif fonts, my options are always very limited, with preloaded fonts the vast majority are serif. I won't know if the PW options available are good enough until I actually spend time reading with the device - a quick trial under store lighting conditions is useless - and my PW is still on order.

Over my 2 years with the 650 I always embedded my own fonts but my main reason for upgrading was to get away from the necessity of doing this. The Kobo is wonderful, so flexible with the range of size, margins etc., but the very limited 3 margin options on the PW is worrying. I could cope with only 3 if they were within the range I need, but I suspect that they're probably not. The same applies to the font size options. The number of variations would be fine if I could exclude the very large and very small sizes leaving the 8 options available for use in the mid range sizes. Hence my query as to whether the options can be altered somehow.

In reality, I would happily stick with the Kobo Glo but the light is far too bright for me even on the lowest setting. My reason for posting was to find out if there are any options available to me if I am dissatisfied with my PW when it arrives next month.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:55 AM   #4
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Over my 2 years with the 650 I always embedded my own fonts but my main reason for upgrading was to get away from the necessity of doing this. The Kobo is wonderful, so flexible with the range of size, margins etc., but the very limited 3 margin options on the PW is worrying. I could cope with only 3 if they were within the range I need, but I suspect that they're probably not. The same applies to the font size options. The number of variations would be fine if I could exclude the very large and very small sizes leaving the 8 options available for use in the mid range sizes. Hence my query as to whether the options can be altered somehow.
Given that you're going to have to convert your ePub books to Mobi/KF8 format to read them on your PW, I really don't see the problem. You can ensure that the margin and font sizes are set to your preferred values during the conversion process.

Personally I very, very rarely change the formatting option on my PW. The defaults are generally absolutely fine (for me).
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:59 PM   #5
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Given that you're going to have to convert your ePub books to Mobi/KF8 format to read them on your PW, I really don't see the problem. You can ensure that the margin and font sizes are set to your preferred values during the conversion process.

Personally I very, very rarely change the formatting option on my PW. The defaults are generally absolutely fine (for me).
Yes I know I can do this once, but what I don't want is to have to do it with each new book I purchase.

I change the size, and line spacing, sometimes even the font just about every time I pick up my reader to get the optimum reading experience for the conditions on that particular day, both external lighting conditions and my own eyes (whether or not they are particularly tired that day). This is why the ease of changing settings and the options available are VERY important to me. I couldn't care a less whether the device has wifi, or annotation facility - and even less about Facebook and Evernote capability that Sony seems to rate so highly!
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:19 PM   #6
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I suggest that you get a PW and see if it suits you. Amazon have an excellent returns policy; if you don't like it, return it.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:25 PM   #7
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I suggest that you get a PW and see if it suits you. Amazon have an excellent returns policy; if you don't like it, return it.
+1
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:52 PM   #8
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Kobo, I believe, aims for fonts that look like print books, but that are not neccessary optimized or designed for digital displays.
That's simply not true anymore (if it ever was). The Kobo Glo (from the beginning) has shipped with fonts optimized for e-ink displays AND provides a font-tweaking capability completely unavailable on the Kindle, which lets the user adjust stroke weight and other settings to fine-tune the on-screen appearance according to personal preferences. Recent firmware upgrades have brought that capability to the Kobo Touch, as well, and both the Touch and the Glo also offer simple drag-and-drop installation of any TrueType fonts that happen to be on your computer.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:24 AM   #9
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That's simply not true anymore (if it ever was). The Kobo Glo (from the beginning) has shipped with fonts optimized for e-ink displays AND provides a font-tweaking capability completely unavailable on the Kindle, which lets the user adjust stroke weight and other settings to fine-tune the on-screen appearance according to personal preferences. Recent firmware upgrades have brought that capability to the Kobo Touch, as well, and both the Touch and the Glo also offer simple drag-and-drop installation of any TrueType fonts that happen to be on your computer.
Agreed. In some cases it can be an advantage to have few choices for font, size, spacing - but only if one you like is among them. Reasons could be: more than one person per ereader, more than one ereader per person, different settings for one ereader and one person depending on lighting condition, tiredness. Also makes me wonder a tiny little bit why you would need to have options to make fonts not meant for eink look good on it anyway? But then, since Kobo allows for any including "bad" fonts to be installed, it probably is nice to have.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:45 AM   #10
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Also makes me wonder a tiny little bit why you would need to have options to make fonts not meant for eink look good on it anyway?
There really isn't a lot of tweaking that has to be done for fonts on E Ink devices; there's nothing special about E Ink that makes it a particularly difficult display technology for fonts, and any font tweaking really only matters at small sizes.

The latest Kindles and Kobos both have high-resolution screens, and any font that look good at whatever size the user chooses are appropriate for those devices.

Yes, there was a time, in the era of lower-resolution displays, when font designers did adjust fonts to make them easier to read at normal point-sizes.

For instance, Microsoft designed Georgia and Verdana for use on low-resolution display devices, as alternatives to Times and Helvetica -- but that was back in 1993, almost 20 years ago, when 640x480 pixels was a common screen size.

The Pearl E Ink screens in current Kindle and Kobo models are XGA, 1024x768, and use much smaller screens (six-inch diagonally) than those old VGA CRTs. With that pixel density (212 dpi), just about any sans-serif font, and serif fonts with all but the most delicate serifs, will look crisp at normal reading sizes. The notion that a font has to be fine-tuned for modern E Ink displays is mostly marketing hype.

That said, Kobo does offer more fonts, more font tweaking, and easier installation of user-selected fonts, than does Kindle, and the Kobo Glo comes with the OpenDyslexic font preinstalled, for those who might benefit from it.

All best wishes.

Rob

Last edited by RobertJSawyer; 11-30-2012 at 12:14 PM.
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