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View Poll Results: Which Format do you convert PDF to?
LRF 14 27.45%
ePUB 12 23.53%
MOBI 14 27.45%
Other eBook format 1 1.96%
None, reflow is OK for me. 1 1.96%
None, my display is big enough. 1 1.96%
None, I don't read PDF on my device 8 15.69%
Voters: 51. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-21-2009, 01:06 PM   #1
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Question PDF -> LRF, ePUB, MOBI?

Hello,

My attempts with PDF reflow where everything but helpful. I guess it's just a marketing gimmick which needs to be on the feature list.

So now I am considering to use Calibre to convert PDF documents into something more useful for my Sony PRS-505.

Only which of the three possible output formats (LRF, ePUB, MOBI) is best suited for PDF conversions?

Any experience? Any inside knowledge from the Author of the program?

Martin
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Old 07-21-2009, 01:12 PM   #2
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I did not realise that the PRS-505 can use .mobi formats?

I doubt it makes much difference - they are all re-flowable formats so hopefully the Calibre output will look similar in all cases.
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Old 07-21-2009, 01:17 PM   #3
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Lightbulb No MOBI of course...

Quote:
Originally Posted by itimpi View Post
I did not realise that the PRS-505 can use .mobi formats?
Upps... That's my other device that displays MOBI . Well it's down to 2 then .

Martin

Last edited by krischik; 07-21-2009 at 01:20 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-21-2009, 01:21 PM   #4
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I use OCR software to convert PDF to Word, then convert to whatever strikes my fancy. Usually Mobi.
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Old 07-21-2009, 01:24 PM   #5
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PDF is not a good format to convert from. A novel length PDF file will not convert without errors and it's not worth it for my time and effort to try to find/fix those errors.
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Old 07-21-2009, 01:27 PM   #6
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There is pdf2html (or something like that). Last i used it, the output was kinda bloated, but it is a start to get things to a convertible format.
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Old 07-21-2009, 02:22 PM   #7
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I mostly just use reflow--after I add tags to the PDF. Without them, it keeps the original line breaks, and sometimes breaks lines mid-word. Sometimes I just crop the pages down so there's less white space; I can read 6x9 books on my 505 fairly comfortably after I crop them down a bit.

If I want to convert them (happens sometimes), I'll convert to Word, fix the formatting there, and then re-convert to another format--probably LRF because that's fastest. I'm not yet comfortable enough with BookDesigner to get the formatting all fixed up.
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:57 PM   #8
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It depends on the book you are converting from. If it's a novel or written like one I use abbyy PDF Transform to html and take it from there. But if it's textbook like, with formulas and unusual formatting I don't believe there is a way to convert it from PDF while keeping the formulas etc. from getting massed up. The only way is to keep it in PDF and use a pdf viewer.
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myle00 View Post
It depends on the book you are converting from.
Right now it is StudioBuildingApps.pdf

Currently the result (LRF) is better readabe then a reflow. If you ignore the obsolete headings and footings.
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:35 PM   #10
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From a quick scan of the document, it doesn't look like something I would even attempt to convert. Mind you, I'm probably the least competent converting member at MR. What would put me off from it are the columns, graphs and drawings, many hyperlinks, and it would have about a billion hard page breaks to remove.

Since the Sony reads PDF as one of its formats, then I imagine that if it looks awful on there, it will look awful no matter what you do to it. But like I said, I'm really bad at converting.
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:51 PM   #11
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Really, when you get down to it, unless the layout is very basic and the source material good quality, it is more useful to view the pdf in a viewer than expecting a great conversion. But, I do enjoy experimenting and trying to find the perfect solution. :P

This is doubly true for pdf's that are more textbook than novel. I doubt a converted pdf would properly show the formulas and tables you would need. But, keep trying and mess around. Maybe you will strike gold.
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:08 PM   #12
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Kind of a biased poll, I typically leave my PDF as PDF. I usally use soPDF and that is good enough.

If you need to crop more you can use Calibre's pdfmanipulator, or use PaperCrop which converts a PDF to PDF.

PaperCrop also has a rewflow built in feature that reflows images. It's a great too.

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Old 07-24-2009, 12:37 AM   #13
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Calibre .6 does a much better job of converting pdf than previous releases. PDF will likely need some cleaning up after conversion though, and for this reason epub is probably the most flexible format, since it's just a zipped container with html files. Unzip, edit, re-zip.

The biggest problem with pdf is that many books have page headers and footers. Best way to get rid of this is cropping, but most software only changes the page boundaries, header and footer text is still there, and will show up in the converted file. Not sure whether Calibre's pdfmanipulate function or papercrop crops the hidden text away. The only way I've found so far to remove the cropped text is to use Acrobat Pro's pdf optimize feature, which can remove the hidden text.

I've also had some luck using Acrobat Pro to convert the PDF to HTML. This depends on the quality of the PDF whether it will work though - a lot of PDFs will fail to convert. If it does work then it does a better job than Calibre's built in pdftohtml. Image extraction in particular works quite well. Then you can convert the zipped html to epub or whatever.
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