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Old 04-26-2008, 11:08 PM   #1
StephieP
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Cybook & text-based pdfs

I've just ordered my Cybook (the waiting is murder ), and I've been looking at books to purchase to have ready for when it arrives. There are several I own/would love to own, but they are only available as pdf files, and I've read on here Cybook (or any of the readers for that matter) don't handle the format so well. (Part of why I bought Cybook over the others was pdf compatibility listed on their website).

So, I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how I can read these mostly text based pdfs? Do I need to convert? If so, then how/what is the best way? And I'd absolutely love it if anyone had any pictures of their Cybook showing how it handles text based pdf files for comparison.

I searched the forum but nothing I was looking for came up, so if theres a link I missed, I'd appreciate some direction too.

I'm new here, finally delurked, and this is my first post, so hi.

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Old 04-27-2008, 02:28 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by StephieP View Post
I've just ordered my Cybook (the waiting is murder ), and I've been looking at books to purchase to have ready for when it arrives. There are several I own/would love to own, but they are only available as pdf files, and I've read on here Cybook (or any of the readers for that matter) don't handle the format so well. (Part of why I bought Cybook over the others was pdf compatibility listed on their website).

So, I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how I can read these mostly text based pdfs? Do I need to convert? If so, then how/what is the best way? And I'd absolutely love it if anyone had any pictures of their Cybook showing how it handles text based pdf files for comparison.

I searched the forum but nothing I was looking for came up, so if theres a link I missed, I'd appreciate some direction too.

I'm new here, finally delurked, and this is my first post, so hi.
I find the two best ways are either Mobipocket Creator (free) or BookDesigner(also free). Most PDFs I've tried import quite nicely into MobiCreator and look great when converted. For those that don't, import into BookDesigner and edit from there before letting BD convert.

Derek
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Old 04-27-2008, 03:31 AM   #3
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If the PDF books are DRM encrypted, you won't have any conversion options. You can read the PDF books on your computer. I avoid DRM encrypted PDF books as much as possible.
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:45 AM   #4
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If the PDF books are DRM encrypted, you won't have any conversion options. You can read the PDF books on your computer. I avoid DRM encrypted PDF books as much as possible.
I have no idea if they are... What is DRM and how do I find out?

And thanks for the suggestions Derek. I'll definitely try that. Are those programs available for mac users or just pc?
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Old 04-27-2008, 05:27 AM   #5
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I'd suggest giving the PDFs a try on your CyBook.

You may find that you can read them quite comfortably without having to convert.
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Old 04-27-2008, 09:56 AM   #6
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Some pdf's are more readable than others, it depends on the font size. Turn on landscape mode and choose fit width to make the text as large as possible. Even then, in all the ones I've looked at the text is still pretty small, some are unreadable. You only see a portion of a page at a time too.

It's extremely easy to open the mobipocket reader and drag and drop your pdf into it and let it convert automatically. You'll lose some of the formatting.
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Old 04-27-2008, 01:14 PM   #7
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I have no idea if they are... What is DRM and how do I find out?
DRM stands for digital rights management. Many eBooks are sold with DRM encryption on them which limits you to reading them on approved or authenticated devices only. For DRM encrypted PDF files, you'll "authenticate" your computer and any other compatible devices through Adobe's website. The Cybook, the Kindle, and the Sony Reader cannot be authenticated and so there is no way for them to handle DRM encrypted PDF books, and there is no way to circumvent the encryption on DRM encrypted PDF books.

Post a link to one of the books you are interested in and I'll check to see if it has DRM on it.

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Old 04-27-2008, 03:10 PM   #8
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I have no idea if they are... What is DRM and how do I find out?

And thanks for the suggestions Derek. I'll definitely try that. Are those programs available for mac users or just pc?

DRM is Digital Rights Management, AKA 'security' encryption. Basically, what each version - and there are several - does is encrypt the ebook so that *ONLY* a special application can read the ebook - on a given machine, by a given user. And I can appreciate wanting to ensure the purchasing user is the only person who reads the ebook. However, if you happen to own a computer which uses an operating system not supported by the seller of the special application, you're SOL. Macs are most often the pc not supported by these "special" applications, although Linux pcs have this problem as well. So if you buy an ebook in "Secure" Mobipocket format (or Microsoft Reader (.lit) format), you, as a Mac owner, are not going to be able to open or read the ebook on your Mac.

I'm not sure that Mobigen or Mobipocket Creator will work under Windows emulation on the Mac, but I'm pretty sure BookDesigner doesn't. You might want to check with those who own Macs to see what they've done.

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Old 04-27-2008, 03:12 PM   #9
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DRM stands for digital rights management. Many eBooks are sold with DRM encryption on them which limits you to reading them on approved or authenticated devices only. For DRM encrypted PDF files, you'll "authenticate" your computer and any other compatible devices through Adobe's website. The Cybook, the Kindle, and the Sony Reader cannot be authenticated and so there is no way for them to handle DRM encrypted PDF books, and there is no way to circumvent the encryption on DRM encrypted PDF books.

Post a link to one of the books you are interested in and I'll check to see if it has DRM on it.
That's not quite accurate. If you've got the latest version of Acrobat Pro and the security password, you can - sometimes - successfully export the PDF file to HTML, Word, RTF or TXT format. Once that's done, you can then use Mobipocket Creator or BookDesigner to re-format to the ebook format you need.

Derek
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Old 04-27-2008, 03:32 PM   #10
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But not many PDF conversions come out perfect. There are usually errors such as bprken words, run on words, run on paragraphs, broken paragraphs, fl & fi not as text, and other issues. Even Adobe Acrobat Pro won't always do it perfectly and show some/all of this issues.
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Old 04-27-2008, 03:41 PM   #11
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That's not quite accurate. If you've got the latest version of Acrobat Pro and the security password, you can - sometimes - successfully export the PDF file to HTML, Word, RTF or TXT format. Once that's done, you can then use Mobipocket Creator or BookDesigner to re-format to the ebook format you need.

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Are you talking about protected files or DRM encrypted PDF files? As far as I know DRM encrypted files don't have passwords.
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:24 PM   #12
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Are you talking about protected files or DRM encrypted PDF files? As far as I know DRM encrypted files don't have passwords.
It's been so long since I've had to deal with a) setting up my password for PDF files and b) decrypting PDF ebooks, I could have it wrong. I tend to shy away from any "purchased" PDF ebook for just those reasons. Long live HTML and Mobi!

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Old 04-27-2008, 05:30 PM   #13
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It's been so long since I've had to deal with a) setting up my password for PDF files and b) decrypting PDF ebooks, I could have it wrong. I tend to shy away from any "purchased" PDF ebook for just those reasons. Long live HTML and Mobi! Derek
I know what you mean. I avoid purchasing PDF eBooks too, but I check DRM encrypted PDF books out of the library sometimes if I can't get it in Mobipocket format.
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Old 04-27-2008, 08:38 PM   #14
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Sparrow, I don't have the Cybook yet, I only just ordered it. I figure I might as well convert some files in the mean time so when it does arrive I'm ready to go and start reading.

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It's extremely easy to open the mobipocket reader and drag and drop your pdf into it and let it convert automatically. You'll lose some of the formatting.
I don't really care about the formatting so much, as long as it's readable. Before deciding to get a e-reader I've been copy-pasting stuff into word and printing it out in the tiniest font and margin size, so I don't think small sized text should pose too much of a problem. I'll definitely give Mobipocket a try.

Oh, that would suck, thanks for giving me a heads up ProfJulie. I'm thinking of ordering some e-books from www.lulu.com. I've tried copy pasting into word and that works (at least for one of them) so I could always convert the word doc. The formating is lost, but it's not that big of a deal. The site has this in it's faq. So I think it might be dependent on the author. I'll just have to hope for the best I guess...? I think it'll be fine.

The main reason I bought the Cybook was so I can read fanfic and free fiction easily, and I don't think it should be hard to convert word docs or html. I was just curious about the few purchased ebooks I have.

Derek, I have a home PC, it's just I tend to store my ebooks on my mac(easier to read comfortably), so that shouldn't really pose too much of a problem, at least not once my Cybook arrives. The main site I was buying from doesn't list anything about needing special programs to read the files. It just has one download option. Would it be normal for it to be DMR without letting your readers know the supported files needed to access it? That would suck majorly what with me being primarily a mac user. ):

I don't normally buy the ebooks either, it's just the only way I can read a few of these books since they are self-published. One author has her stories available on the web for free and I did read quite a lot for free, however I fully enjoyed them and wouldn't mind supporting the author (the one that has the free stories online only asks 4 dollars a book, so its not like it would be horrible if I can't read her stuff on my Cybook. The other author also has reasonable prices (7 or 8 dollars). So in total for the lot of 9 books I think it would cost about $40. Which is what I would pay for maybe 4 or 5 paperbacks (maybe even more expensive after sales tax and/or shipping is thrown in.

You guys helped me a great deal. Just one more quick question. What's the best way to convert a word doc? Will Mobipocket convert that, or do I need to convert/save them as html files first, before converting? Or do I need to even bother with all that? How does the CYbook do with reading htm compared to, say, mobipocket.

Heh, I figure I'll do all this converting stuff now and not have to worry about it after my Cybook comes in. How long is the wait usually? I've heard about a month from some people, has anyone waited longer than that for it?

PS: You guys are so great and informative. I'm so glad I found this forum.
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Old 04-28-2008, 05:34 AM   #15
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Will Mobipocket convert that, or do I need to convert/save them as html files first, before converting? Or do I need to even bother with all that?
Hello,

Yes you can convert .doc files with Mobipocket reader.

Concerning reading PDF, I use my cybook daily to read technical documents (A4 with a few pictures/diagrams) and I am very happy with it. You just have to select Lanscape mode and Fit Width; each page will be devided into 3 parts that you can scroll.
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