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Old 10-29-2009, 01:15 AM   #1
AgentBEATS
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Properly formatted PDFs to Epub

I've been having difficulties when it comes to converting my many pdf files. In general, the majority of my pdf's are formatted well and are very much the most readable they can be.

But after using Calibre to convert them to epub I lose much of the formatting. Gaps appear where there should be none, huge breaks in text etc.

I've read through FAQ's and such and can't seem to figure it out. I know pdf's are the least desirable format to convert from, but aside from the odd image for chapter breaks, there really shouldn't be a reason I lose the paragraph, sentence or whatever structure. Is there something I can do to remedy this?
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:07 AM   #2
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Maybe you can convert pdf to word (rtf) and try with this one.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:45 AM   #3
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What I do with pdf's:
- Use mobipocket creator to convert to html
- Edit the html with notepad++
- Create the epub with Sigil
- Unzip the epub and make further corrections with notepad++
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:33 PM   #4
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I have exported PDFs directly from Acrobat to HTML with some success, but I'm really just waiting for Kovid to finish his sure to be awesome improved PDF conversion thing.
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:33 PM   #5
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I'll try html and rtf, converting straight from pdf to epub just leaves way to much to edit afterwards. Hopefully going through another format first I can keep the form structure.

Thanks for the help
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:50 AM   #6
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I'll try html and rtf, converting straight from pdf to epub just leaves way to much to edit afterwards. Hopefully going through another format first I can keep the form structure.
Hi, AgentBEATS, I did some testing of PDF to RTF. You might be interested to read this short thread which lists some of the problems I found.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57115
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Old 10-30-2009, 02:35 PM   #7
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A lot depends on whether the original PDF was properly tagged. If it wasn't then there's nothing for it but to got through the text searching for bad paragraph marks. If it was, then first export the PDF to html in Acrobat and then feed that to calibre.

Pablo is right, though, even a tagged PDF will need a reasonable amount of html editing to create a professional result, unless whoever created it was particularly scrupulous with the tags and carefully marked each style.
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Old 10-31-2009, 09:52 AM   #8
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In general, the majority of my pdf's are formatted well and are very much the most readable they can be.
Why exactly are you trying to convert them then?

I'd recommend using a method that preserves the look of the PDFs exactly if the PDFs already look good. This could involve just using the PDF itself, if your device is capable, or doing minor tweaks like removing margins and cutting the text into chunks sized for your reader.

Explore options such as sopdf, PDFLRF and PDFread and see if you get results you like.
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Old 10-31-2009, 04:59 PM   #9
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Why exactly are you trying to convert them then?

I'd recommend using a method that preserves the look of the PDFs exactly if the PDFs already look good. This could involve just using the PDF itself, if your device is capable, or doing minor tweaks like removing margins and cutting the text into chunks sized for your reader.

Explore options such as sopdf, PDFLRF and PDFread and see if you get results you like.
The reason I'm trying to convert them is exactly that, the device I'm using doesn't support PDFs. I don't have a proper E-Reader yet, so I'm using my Nintendo DS with DSLibris, which reads epub. Even though it's not proper, it still works fairly well, but suffers due to poorly formatted conversions from my PDFs to Epub.
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:30 PM   #10
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In that case, my suggestion would be to try using PDFLRF to convert to LRF, and then use calibre to convert the LRF to ePub.
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Old 11-01-2009, 11:02 PM   #11
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In that case, my suggestion would be to try using PDFLRF to convert to LRF, and then use calibre to convert the LRF to ePub.
Thanks I'll try that.
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