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Old 01-31-2009, 09:30 PM   #1
snowgoose
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Using Acrobat for reformatting to e-readers

In many threads here, there seems to be a absolute dread of the costly Acrobat Pro program, so no one seems to have explained what to do if you actually do have access to Acrobat 7, 8 or 9.

Is it feasible to reformat an existing pdf document (free book, no DRM) from full pages to the small size required for e-readers, and flow the text around the now smaller layout, using tools in Acrobat. The pdf format is a print output, so perhaps it is totally non-editable with Acrobat. I can not find much written about re-sizing documents with Acrobat, so any hands-on experience (step by step) would be much appreciated by this newbie. How does one re-size pages, alter the font sizes, in existing pdf books, and re-flow text if feasible.
Thanks. Snowgoose from Canada.

Last edited by snowgoose; 01-31-2009 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 01-31-2009, 10:07 PM   #2
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The full version Adobe Acrobat Standard software does not allows me to reformat an existing PDF file to make the page size smaller, however, I can make existing PDF files more accessible to small screens by adding tags to the PDF file (assuming it is untagged). To do this in Adobe Acrobat 7.0, open up the PDF file, then select Advanced > Accessibility > Add Tags to Document.

After adding tags to a document and saving the document, you can use Adobe's reflow option that will cause the document to reflow to fit the size of the screen on which it is opened. This works very well on my windows mobile devices, which run Adobe Reader for Pocket PCs, but it does not work on my Cybook. Adobe Reader for Pocket PCs includes a reflow option in it, the Cybook PDF viewer software does not offer such an option. Unfortunately, many other eInk readers don't have a reflow option within its PDF reader software, so opening tagged PDF files on one of these devices does not reflow the document to fit the smaller eInk screen.

Since you are working with non-DRMed PDF files, another thing you could do is convert the PDF file to a Word document and then change the size of the page from the default 8-1/2 x 11 size to a size that works better on your preferred screen size. Then create a new PDF file (print to PDF). I have formatted many of my own files to fit my Cybook screen size and then printed them to PDF files and it works pretty well.
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Old 02-01-2009, 05:55 AM   #3
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Acrobat isn't any good when it comes to changing formats. Stick with Mobipocket Creator which does a great job with converting PDF to MOBI or HTML.
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Old 02-01-2009, 05:57 AM   #4
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Mobipocket Creator isn't all that good either.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:15 PM   #5
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Thanks for your inputs. It is worse than I feared. What this realistically means is that one should wait until e-readers come out which are large enough to read existing book pdf files without reformatting (or at best accept poorly reformatted "copies"). Irex Iliac is large enough, it seems, but too expensive right now. I will wait a year more before buying, I think.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowgoose View Post
Thanks for your inputs. It is worse than I feared. What this realistically means is that one should wait until e-readers come out which are large enough to read existing book pdf files without reformatting (or at best accept poorly reformatted "copies"). Irex Iliac is large enough, it seems, but too expensive right now. I will wait a year more before buying, I think.
Snowgoose from Canada
...or wait until the PDF viewer software on eInk readers accommodates the reflow option (I don't have a Sony reader, but I think you might want to check the latest version of Sony Reader to see if it reflows PDF files)

...or purchase a pocket pc or other such device that uses a version of Adobe Reader that handles the reflow option

....or buy a netbook, UMPC, or other computer that can run the full version of Adobe Reader to read PDF files on
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:49 AM   #7
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In my experience, it is best to use the native format for your Reader. For pdf conversion to LRF BookDesigner is the best choice in my opinion.

For PDF reformat, in another thread someone posted a nice conversion method:
1. Export to DOC (I am not sure what is the best tool for this, Adobe Acrobat Pro is very poor, Abby Finereader is better, but very slow).
2. Change page size in MS Word or OpenOffice to your Reader's spec
3. If needed resize and copy pictures from the original PDF.
4. Convert to PDF (OpenOffice does this for free, or look for PDF printer software)
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:44 AM   #8
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Hi snowgoose

To help with your initial answer you can get “better” PDF files with Acrobat pro doing the following (if the PDF is a “text” or “text and images” file):

1 - do what ProfJulie says, ad tags to the file;

2 - take out (crop) all the extra white margins you can in the file - in Acrobat 8 is in document, crop pages.

The unique readers that reflow text PDF files today are the Sony prs 505 and the 700.

For all the others, you can just beneficiate from (2).
The Irex readers have big enough screens to read almost all A4 PDF files without reformatting.

Best regards,
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:13 PM   #9
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I convert to word format, set up the document with the font I like best (Microsoft Sans Serif), and adjust the properties so it show up properly in the reader. Then I use Adobe Acrobat to publish the document in PDF format.
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