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Old 06-19-2009, 11:51 AM   #16
Gideon
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It's not a consistent crop, unfortunately. Because of how the pages scan you don't always have a consistent left/right gutter. You can't even say "odd or even" because some pages will have gutters much different than the other even ones. This is partially the occasional bad scan and partially an issue that arises with large books where the binding places where you can scan it a bit differently as you move through the book.

Adobe as a "remove whitespace" option which is a good way to take care of almost all pages, and then you just scan through the document looking for alterations that you fix manually. The trick here is being able to do this with a certain amount of speed. Removing whitespace takes care of about 90% of the pages fairly well so it only takes about 15 minutes to fix the rest.

All of my subsequent scans have been MUCH better than those I posted earlier for a couple of reasons (different book, harder surface to work on, and just getting used to it again) but the DX is so sensitive to any graphic data in the white area that the white area has to be perfectly clean for you to get a good display image. If there is so much as a few bits of graphic an inch away from the text than it will seriously screw up the display as the DX won't crop it and for most scans you really need the page to be pretty close to entirely text to be easily readable.

The ideal solution would be going through each image and cropping either as scanned (as DDHarriman suggested) or using an image editor to go through and carefully crop each image and then lay it back on top of a white background so they are all the exact same size and centered properly. The second part could probably be handled by a photoshop action/macro of some sort but I don't know how one could automatically crop properly otherwise. And it's moot because I simply don't have any sophisticated graphics programs anymore.

Too, there is an issue of speed. Ultimately, my goal is to scan a significant part of my book collection that I might be able to box some of it away and still have access to it. So I need to develop a 'fast' way to do this, or at least a way that allows me to do other things while it happens. So if I'm scanning, I can do this rather painlessly why watching some movies (did that yesterday, was nice to be forced to do something kind of relaxing!) but if I crop pages as I go then I have to give scanning my undivided attention for two/three hours - which will result in better scans, but the end result may not be much better as most the subsequent processes happen automatically once I set them in motion (except picking out the bad "whitespace" crops, which only takes about 15 minutes). So I can tell Acrobat to start procedure "x" and do something else while it happens.

I'll give Finereader a go - I've never really used much of the software besides the basic scanning stuff that comes with the OpticBook, but I'll probably scan something else today and see how it goes. I spent so much time working out the workflow that I'm not certain how long it actually takes from start to finish.
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Old 06-19-2009, 07:22 PM   #17
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There's a Win-only free app called IrfanView that is said to have batch processing of various touchups, including cropping. My understanding of the process is that you put the scanned image files (NOT the pdf) into a folder, then the batch process is started. It can, apparently, apply the alternations to odd or even numbers, though I have never used it so I can't speak from experience here, only hearsay.

Sorry for not being able to speak from experience, but I use mostly Macs so am loath to break out the Vista laptop for this, but if it will improve the DX PDF experience, then I probably will find the time.
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Old 06-19-2009, 07:24 PM   #18
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No no... I'm a Mac user myself. I dredge out Parallels only when I have to. So if you have some Mac solutions I'm all ears!
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Old 06-19-2009, 07:33 PM   #19
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Re: Mac solutions - I'm looking, believe me!

I sure wish Acrobat had a 'destructive' crop option - maybe after all the cropping via their regular crop feature has been done and approved.

(Might Acrobat 9 have that feature? I haven't upgraded to it because it seemed more collaborative in nature and I have no need of that.)
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Old 06-19-2009, 10:21 PM   #20
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A possible solution!

I checked out the Adobe Acrobat forums and ran across a similar problem and the only solution that was found is to crop, print the resulting PDF to postscript, then distill that postscript file to make a new PDF.

Kind of clumsy, but maybe not too bad. I'm off to test it myself.

Hope it works!
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Old 06-20-2009, 06:04 PM   #21
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Testing it now... Adobe wouldn't print to PS (well, it might have but it gave me an error message and froze up.) Printed to PS with Preview instead. Then ran it thorough Distiller.

Creates and enormous PDF (165 megs from a 22.5 mb file). It does make a nice evenly spaced PDf (well, gutters are still all over, but the pages are equal sized). (So if anyone knows how to center the data of a document... this would be a good place to speak up, not a big deal as far as the Kindle goes)

There was an error... fixed it, did it again. This time the file was the same size (22.5 mb). Weird.

Anyway, came out looking great. Running OCR at the moment and voila. You solved it! Thanks!
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Old 06-20-2009, 08:20 PM   #22
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Okay... spoke to soon.

The Kindle doesn't recognize the whitespace in the documents, and oddly enough - neither does Acrobat! Running the optimizer made it recognize it SOME times but not reliably.

So it looks like this isn't the best option.
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Old 07-13-2009, 01:42 PM   #23
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Sorry for the time lag...

I was able to trim the margins off a PDF within Acrobat Pro 8 and then Export to PS. Then I right-clicked the PS file and was given the option to create a PDF from it. I clicked on that and the PDF was created of the file with the reduced margins intact.

When I transferred that file to my DX and the trimmed version is what shows. What I had trimmed remained trimmed.

So, I'm sorry it didn't work for you, but the short process seems to work fine for me (at least for this one PDF. It's 193 pages long, btw, and a tad over 8MB). The PDF is much easier to read since the type is now larger on the screen.

This was all done on the Vista laptop (which is what my Opticbook is plugged into) and with Acrobat Pro 8.

Hope you can find a process that works for you.
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Old 07-13-2009, 04:39 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gideon View Post
Okay... spoke to soon.

The Kindle doesn't recognize the whitespace in the documents, and oddly enough - neither does Acrobat! Running the optimizer made it recognize it SOME times but not reliably.

So it looks like this isn't the best option.
I'd thought for sure that Acrobat would recognize something like this.
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:05 PM   #25
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kevindorsey,

It works fine for me so I'm not sure what problems Gideon may be having.
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:12 PM   #26
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I am using a small program "Photoelf" which has a very fast cropping function. You can set a window size that can be moved over the page with the mouse and then its one click to crop, save and bring up the next image in your folder. I use this technique regularly to crop out page numbers when scanning books for OCR. So I do a rough crop with the Plustek and a fine crop with Photoelf.
www.photoelf.com
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