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Old 02-11-2009, 02:18 PM   #1
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PDF question

From what I've read about pdfs and the kindle, you can convert the pdfs to kindle format, but the conversion doesn't always go so well.

My question is, can you look at pdfs on the kindle without converting them? And if so, can you zoom it, so as to be able to read the print?
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Old 02-11-2009, 02:38 PM   #2
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As you said the Kindle doesn't display the PDFs in their native format. You (or Amazon) can convert them into the .AZW format but that format (on the Kindle) doesn't support any zooming of 'images' -- you can set the font size for text. However, Amazon does have another supported file format called Topaz that does provide for zoomable images, but the general public doesn't have access to the software to create Topaz files. Also the Kindle 2 is supposed to support zoomable images up to the size of the screen.

With all of that said, the size of the Kindle screen is simply too small to provide for a decent image of a PDF document. My advice is use the Kindle for reading regular books and wait for a better reader for PDF documents (or get an iRex).
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:16 PM   #3
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Also the Kindle 2 is supposed to support zoomable images up to the size of the screen.
Does that mean that you zoom the image up any larger than the screen size? So you can't zoom in and have half of the image fill the screen?
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by europas_ice View Post
My question is, can you look at pdfs on the kindle without converting them? And if so, can you zoom it, so as to be able to read the print?
No. The Kindle essentially only supports MOBI (AZW). If your original PDF was images of pages (e.g. scans of actual books) then Amazon will convert it to a MOBI with zoomed images (two or three per page). Otherwise, they will likely "reflow" the PDF into a MOBI (sometimes they still send zoomed images). There is other software that will do the reflow to MOBI or images to MOBI step on your PC.

If the PDF is reflowed, then the standard 6 Kindle fonts sizes are available. Otherwise you are stuck with the images.
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:20 PM   #5
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Does that mean that you zoom the image up any larger than the screen size? So you can't zoom in and have half of the image fill the screen?
See Kindle now Zooms AZW Images. This is a new capability on the Kindle 1 and will presumably be the same on the Kindle 2. Only the full screen zoom is available.
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by europas_ice View Post
From what I've read about pdfs and the kindle, you can convert the pdfs to kindle format, but the conversion doesn't always go so well.

My question is, can you look at pdfs on the kindle without converting them? And if so, can you zoom it, so as to be able to read the print?
If you are looking for a reader to handle PDF, the Kindle is is not the one you want. What you really want is something with a larger then 6" screen and that means one from iRex until others come out with larger screen devices.
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Old 02-14-2009, 02:01 PM   #7
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Unfortunately this is one of the few places the Kindle falls flat. I'm curious to see if it will be any better with the K2
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Old 02-15-2009, 04:16 PM   #8
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If you have a pdf with lots of pictures and diagrams, I don't think you would be happy with any 6" screen reader. You really want something that is a better size to view your PDFs with. Something with a much larger screen like the iRex Digital Reader or Plastic Logic reader (not yet available).
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Old 02-15-2009, 06:00 PM   #9
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As has been mentioned, this is a bit of a weak point of the Kindle. I have a feeling that this will be remedied at some point; it only makes sense.
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Old 02-15-2009, 06:46 PM   #10
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I'm not sure why a 6" screen would be so bad for .pdf -- currently I view lots of .pdf files on my Palm Tungsten T5 (420 x 380) in their native format using PalmPDF. It's not perfect, but it's usable and legible. A six-inch screen would be a huge improvement!
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Old 02-15-2009, 07:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sulpicius View Post
I'm not sure why a 6" screen would be so bad for .pdf -- currently I view lots of .pdf files on my Palm Tungsten T5 (420 x 380) in their native format using PalmPDF. It's not perfect, but it's usable and legible. A six-inch screen would be a huge improvement!
The problem is that the Kindle doesn't have native PDF support. If you want to reflow the text you have to convert it to mobi by doing it yourself or emailing it to your Amazon account. There is also a program called PDFRead that will allow you to turn PDF pages into images and split them in half or thirds to be read in landscape on the Kindle. Sometimes I use this. Also, eink is bad for images. The technology hasn't matured to the point of allowing someone to quickly zoom and and scroll and the quality of the images isn't as good.

The Sony Reader has native PDF support and can now reflow text on PDFs but I don't know how it compares to the converted Kindle documents. It seems to me that whether you're reflowing natively or converting into another format, you're always going to have trouble with headers and notes on the top and bottom of each page getting caught in between the main text.
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Old 02-18-2009, 01:57 AM   #12
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The Sony Reader has native PDF support and can now reflow text on PDFs but I don't know how it compares to the converted Kindle documents.
We'd greatly appreciate it if any experienced user can share screenshots of both devices Kindle, and Sony 700 displaying the PDF file. It is very hard to imagine how it will look like.

Thank you!
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:54 AM   #13
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We'd greatly appreciate it if any experienced user can share screenshots of both devices Kindle, and Sony 700 displaying the PDF file. It is very hard to imagine how it will look like.
If you are running Windows and want to see what a PDF looks like on the Kindle, load it into the Mobipocket Desktop software. In my experience, the results are exactly the same as having Amazon do the conversion.
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Old 02-19-2009, 12:53 AM   #14
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Thank you. Are you referring to the Mobipocket Publisher?

http://www.mobipocket.com/en/Downloa...sp?Language=EN
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:28 AM   #15
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Thank you. Are you referring to the Mobipocket Publisher?

http://www.mobipocket.com/en/Downloa...sp?Language=EN
No, all you need is the Reader. It directly imports the PDF and creates a Mobi version.

The Publisher can do more things and is useful software if you'll be doing a lot of conversion work, though.
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