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Old 12-18-2012, 11:38 AM   #1
Zistmo
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Kindle Paperwhite and PDFs - The Problems

I am tired of reading that a 6” e-reader is not a good tool to deal with pdf files. I think the problem with ereaders and pdfs is not the hardware, but the software, as I will try to show.

The width of my Kindle Paperwhite (KPW) is exactly the same of a classic paperback. The length of a line of text is 9cm in the book, that is exactly the width of the screen in the Kindle. Moreover, the screen resolution of the KPW is exactly the same of the iPad 2/mini. You can find other tablets with better resolution (Nexus, Samsung...), but I am afraid that it does not make a big difference. With a tablet you probably can get some extra processing power that can be good for heavy pdfs loaded with pictures, but not so necessary for basic pdfs with text and some graphics.

After a sad experience with a Kobo Glo, I tried a Sony PRS-T2 and I was not convince enough to replace my Kindle Keyboard (KK) with it either. But one week ago I decided to give a try to the new Kindle Paperwhite. The first impression was very good (contrast settings still there, easy bookmarks, highlights and annotations, fantastic interface...) but a closer look reveals some serious problems, and I would not recommend the KPW to frequent pdf users that want to switch from their KK to a new device.


1. Terrible text rendering in some files.

Many pdf files that look great in my KK are almost unusable on the KPW, despite the fact that it has an improved screen with higher resolution. The feeling is just the opposite (above old KK, below the new KPW):








2. End of page frustration in landscape mode.

Again, something that was fine on the KK and that is not alright on the KPW. When you reach the end of a page the KPW sticks that edge to the border of the screen. That means that text that has been already read is shown again... and that sometimes it is not easy to find the exact point to continue reading!


[Images exceed guidelines for size - MODERATOR]


3. Lack of some nice features that would improve the browsing experience:
— Slide bar navigation (like in the Kobo)
— Improvements in the table of contents (i.e. tree structure)
— “View notes & marks” easier to reach in the menu (in landscape mode)


4. Less important but something that is worse on the KPW as well: Wider margin in landscape mode (pictures)


In my opinion, if Amazon fix these issues in future firmware update/s, the Kindle Paperwhite will be a very good pdf reader. Until that day, if it comes, my I vote for the tablets as well (but in that case I would probably wait as well for the future iPad mini with retina display).

But I still think that the main problem here is poor software implementation, not the hardware.
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Last edited by Dr. Drib; 04-06-2014 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:43 AM   #2
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I've posted this in other threads here but this is the proper procedure to read PDF's on Kindles:

If you really want to convert PDF files to Kindle format, first subscribe here to Adobe Export for $ 20.00 per year:

http://success.adobe.com/en/na/sem/s...121218164421:s

Then send your resulting Word file after your own editing to your Kindle using the email address on the Manage Your Kindle page at Amazon.

That will give you a perfect Kindle file allowing Kindle fonts, highlighting, notes, bookmarks, etc.

From that Adobe page:

"Adobe ExportPDF makes the most of richly formatted PDF files with the ability to preserve paragraphs, tables, images, and even multi-column text."
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zistmo View Post
...

In my opinion, if Amazon fix these issues in future firmware update/s, the Kindle Paperwhite will be a very good pdf reader. Until that day, if it comes, my I vote for the tablets as well (but in that case I would probably wait as well for the future iPad mini with retina display).

But I still think that the main problem here is poor software implementation, not the hardware.
You should just install kindlepdfviewer on your KK and enjoy, or if you read a lot of A4 pdfs then buy used DX and install kindlepdfviewer there too.
It is two or three times cheaper solution than new Icarus Excel or iPad.

Even before kindlepdfviewer I have been reading scanned pdfs for a few years on 6" readers, but those pdfs are books with page width under 16 cm, so after cropping the margins and printing in landscape mode I've got about the same letter size as in paper books and I can use highlighting, annotation, hand-drawing, dictionary, search etc. on Sony Prs T1 and page turning is very quick.

A4 pdfs are not pleasure to read that way because letters are to small for 6", but we can use reflow with k2pdfopt that will usually yield good results.

For A4 pdfs I use Kindle DX with kindlepdfviewer (usually outdoors) or tablet/notebook(usually indoors).

With kindlepdfviewer on Kindle DX (landscape mode) we can get the same letter size as on A4 paper or usually even magnification after cropping the margins in about half a minute.

I don't have problems with LCDs but those who can't read for a longer periods on tablets/notebooks because of eye fatigue and need to do a lot of annotation of A4 pdfs, should try to read on Kindle Dx and simultaneously annotate/highlight in tablet/notebook or use them for color pictures, dictionaries, search etc. if they need it faster.

Last edited by markom; 12-18-2012 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:53 AM   #4
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Thank you very much Simaru. I don't want to convert my pdf files at all. I just want to be able to read them in my kindle as they are. I don't want to have 2 different files with different formats for every single document in my library.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:20 PM   #5
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Thanks Markom as well. I will probably try to install kindlepdfviewer. It seems not easy at first sight (I have no experience with jailbreaking) and I am a bit afraid of doing something wrong... but it could be a nice improvement for the KK. It's a pity that there is nothing similar (yet) for the KPW. I really like its size and the touch interface.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirmaru View Post
I've posted this in other threads here but this is the proper procedure to read PDF's on Kindles:

If you really want to convert PDF files to Kindle format, first subscribe here to Adobe Export for $ 20.00 per year:

http://success.adobe.com/en/na/sem/s...121218164421:s

Then send your resulting Word file after your own editing to your Kindle using the email address on the Manage Your Kindle page at Amazon.

That will give you a perfect Kindle file allowing Kindle fonts, highlighting, notes, bookmarks, etc.

From that Adobe page:

"Adobe ExportPDF makes the most of richly formatted PDF files with the ability to preserve paragraphs, tables, images, and even multi-column text."

Hi Sirmaru, I read your post with interest as I believe you have the answer to my problem. I have a Word document already on my PC that I want to transfer to my Kindle Paperwhite. You say I have to transfer this by using my Kindle email address on the Manage Your Kindle page at Amazon.

Please will you be more specific. i.e. Where is my email address shown on the Manage Your Kindle page and How do I access the Word file on my PC to send to the email address?
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:36 AM   #7
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Sending files to your Kindle

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisLong View Post
Hi Sirmaru, I read your post with interest as I believe you have the answer to my problem. I have a Word document already on my PC that I want to transfer to my Kindle Paperwhite. You say I have to transfer this by using my Kindle email address on the Manage Your Kindle page at Amazon.

Please will you be more specific. i.e. Where is my email address shown on the Manage Your Kindle page and How do I access the Word file on my PC to send to the email address?
Go to Manage Your Kindle at the amazon site. Then go to Manage Your Devices and the email address will show under each device.

Finally, send an email to that address with the word file as an attachment and wait a few minutes to download it to your Kindle.
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:50 PM   #8
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i think that most of the negative comments about the 6" kindles and pdfs are in the department of original pdf documents in A4 and letter size. these documents have huge margins (usually 1") and when reduced to fit the 6" kindles, looks way to small. the majority of other complaints have to do with graphics (such as in technical books to show a screen shot of a program). when reduced to this size, the graphics are not much help at all. if the original (technical) book was sized as a paperback book it shouldn't be a problem. but such books are never to be found. when was the last time you found a book on microsoft office programs, for example, that are paperback sized?
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:23 PM   #9
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Make sure that you enable the email address you are sending FROM in the Personal Documents Settings page, too, or the email will not go through.
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Old 11-29-2013, 02:55 AM   #10
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I kinda knew that font rendering on the PW was awful and that the margins were huge, but damn... Even basic features like scrolling don't even work right? Wth!

The best solution is probably to save the PDF as a bunch of images. But then you lose the ability to search, highlight and look up words in the dictionary. Not to mention the fact that the picture viewer doesn't remember the last page where it was left off... You would need to pack the images in a .mobi file, and then prepare yourself for the screen to cut off right at the middle of the lines (because the pages would be simple images, after all).

Kindle PW sucks. Just buy a tablet and be done with it.
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:44 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by rem736 View Post
i think that most of the negative comments about the 6" kindles and pdfs are in the department of original pdf documents in A4 and letter size. these documents have huge margins (usually 1") and when reduced to fit the 6" kindles, looks way to small. the majority of other complaints have to do with graphics (such as in technical books to show a screen shot of a program). when reduced to this size, the graphics are not much help at all. if the original (technical) book was sized as a paperback book it shouldn't be a problem. but such books are never to be found. when was the last time you found a book on microsoft office programs, for example, that are paperback sized?
Using k2pdfopt app beforehand for 6" readers will usually quickly and easily solve the problem of A5 or other smaller than A4 pdf books with big margins.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...5&postcount=14

example of microsoft office bible 188 x 236 mm (7.4 x 9.3 inch) pdf page (text proper width without margins is 5.2 inch), croped with only a few clicks in k2pdfopt GUI, for 6" kindles(1-5) landscape size (120 x 90 mm or 4.7 x 3.5 inch), without reflow and then with reflow.



As we can see k2pdfopt not only automatically crops the white margins completely but also reduces those bigger darker frames to be the same width as other part of text so that text proper is of bigger size i.e. fits the screen completely.

It also makes the page turning faster for slower e-readers with poor pdf capabilities, because e-reader doesn't have to calculate croppings, landscape mode, reflows etc. itself, but only has to show already perfectly tailored page for its screen size and resolution.

Last edited by markom; 11-30-2013 at 01:27 PM.
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