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Old 12-07-2009, 10:05 AM   #1
MLDaeni
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PDF questions for PRS 600 (and other 6" devices)

Hi there,

My significant half thinks I might like one of these mobile book readers
(and she wants to offer me one for Christmas.) So far, I took a tour of the
available devices, and I think I am hooked on the idea. The question is, of
course, which one?

I tried some readers in a store and I really feel the "right" size for me is 6".
The larger ones (10" from IREX) felt large and too bulky to carry around
(too expensive, also). I understand that for large sized PDF technical
documents these are the only option (and I have many of these
documents) but still, they feel too large and not very comfortable.

I know that in a few months there will be available several "middle sized"
readers (PRS900, DR800SG from IREX, plastic logic etc), but (1) they seem
to be oriented to the online newspapers with Wifi access or 3G
(2) they are too expensive ~400 euros and (3) they still seem a bit too large
and bulky.

I don't need online access, but just a device to read my books while on a
commute, or at home. So I have decided for a 6" device, which seem the
good size, and of all of them Sony PSR 600 seem on paper the ideal reader
(except for the reflections on the screen).

I intend to use the reader for documents of size around A5 (half of A4).
Many of my documents are technical, with equations, table and graphics,
formatted in PDF.

I tried in a store the Sony PRS 600 and I liked it. The design is great, it
really felt well built and it is about the ideal size to carry around. The
screen seemed ok, I certainly could read without problem the text on the
screen. There were some reflections, as many said in this forum, but
nothing annoying. I haven't tried the famous PRS 550 so the 600's screen
seems OK for me. Unfortunately I did not have a SD card with some sample
documents with me, so I have a few questions for the knowledgeable
people in this forum :-/

- How does text reflow works for PDF? Can I disable it? My documents
contain a lot o equations and graphs and I very much prefer to keep the
original layout of the document, even if this means reading it in lanscape
mode (or the use of frequent zooms)
- Can I follow hyperlinks in PDFs (to other parts of the document, e.g.
references), and then come back to the original place?
- What does autocrop property mean for PDF? I've seen this in the wiki
e-book reader matrix, entry for 6" devices.
- Can I store several bookmarks for a book? For example, I consult often
while reading the table of contents, the index, the bibliography and the
end notes.
- How stable is the PDF implementation for technical documents (I
suppose text documents are easier). Are there many documents that do
not display correctly?

I am also interested in feedback about PDF viewing of technical
documents for other 6" devices (Hanlin, Cybook, Pocketbook, Cooler etc).

Thanks everyone!
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:20 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLDaeni View Post
How does text reflow works for PDF? Can I disable it?

- What does autocrop property mean for PDF? I've seen this in the wiki e-book reader matrix, entry for 6" devices.
The smallest font size gives the PDF without reflow, larger font sizes reflow.

Autocrop means automatically removing the margins. What I put in the E-book Reader Matrix for the PRS-600 is "Full Page; Landscape, Autocrop;". Which means full page in portrait mode without autocrop and landscape "full page" (typically multiple screens worth) with autocrop. I don't have a PRS-600, so that might not be correct, i.e. it might not autocrop in landscape (most devices do this though). For a list of the possible entries, see eBook Reader PDF Capabilities.
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:51 AM   #3
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The smallest font size gives the PDF without reflow, larger font sizes reflow.
Thanks wallcraft. I take this to mean: the smaller font size gives full page view of the PDF, scaled to the dimensions of the screen. Larger font size means reflow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
Autocrop means automatically removing the margins. What I put in the E-book Reader Matrix for the PRS-600 is "Full Page; Landscape, Autocrop;". Which means full page in portrait mode without autocrop and landscape "full page" (typically multiple screens worth) with autocrop. I don't have a PRS-600, so that might not be correct, i.e. it might not autocrop in landscape (most devices do this though). For a list of the possible entries, see eBook Reader PDF Capabilities.
Crop margins in portrait mode would be even more useful, but I guess there are software ways to remove margins in PDF. Too bad PRS 600 cannot remember the zoom level from one page to another. Thanks again.
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:51 AM   #4
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I don't generally read technical pdfs on my 600, but I'll answer what I can:
You can view your pdf portrait or landscape, and the document is smaller than on the computer screen but otherwise unchanged. If it's too small you can choose between zooming or reflowing. There is no autocrop on landscape as far as I can tell on the small letter setting. When you choose medium or higher, margins disappear and text is reflowed (usually really well). If you don't want that, you can use the zoom option, but that's only practical if you want to see something specific and then zoom out, not to read the whole document.
You can have as many bookmarks as you want, and also add notes and search.
Hyperlinks inside a document do work, and you can use "history" to go back to where you started.
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omk3 View Post
I don't generally read technical pdfs on my 600, but I'll answer what I can:
You can view your pdf portrait or landscape, and the document is smaller than on the computer screen but otherwise unchanged. If it's too small you can choose between zooming or reflowing. There is no autocrop on landscape as far as I can tell on the small letter setting. When you choose medium or higher, margins disappear and text is reflowed (usually really well). If you don't want that, you can use the zoom option, but that's only practical if you want to see something specific and then zoom out, not to read the whole document.
You can have as many bookmarks as you want, and also add notes and search.
Hyperlinks inside a document do work, and you can use "history" to go back to where you started.
It seems the device does the right thing most of the time.
Concerning the bookmarks: can I switch from one to another while reading? This is really useful for end notes and references. Thanks.
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:03 PM   #6
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Yes you can, but it is not as simple as pushing a button unfortunately. You have to open the notes (for some reason bookmarks are notes in the 600's mind) and then browse the list of notes and choose the one you want. Alternatively you can remember the page number and jump to the specific page. This can be done with fewer "clicks". Still, it's a matter of usage preference, and I'm sure you'll find the way that suits you best when you start using your device
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:34 PM   #7
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Yes you can, but it is not as simple as pushing a button unfortunately. You have to open the notes (for some reason bookmarks are notes in the 600's mind) and then browse the list of notes and choose the one you want.
Turn on the "notes" bar at the top of the screen, and it's then one tap on the screen to see the list of notes and bookmarks for your book, and one tap to select and goto any given one. It really couldn't be easier.
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:09 PM   #8
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Yes I didn't say it's too complicated. But I really would prefer them to be separate from the notes, because if you have a lot of notes it takes some time to find the bookmarks. Or there could be a way I haven't found yet.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:18 PM   #9
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Thanks everybody. Your comments convinced me that PSR 600 does (almost)
everything I wanted. I know what to expect from it, so I guess I will not be
disappointed too much :-) When I'll get mine I will post a use case review in
the Sony's forum.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:41 PM   #10
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Good luck! I hope you'll love it!
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Old 12-08-2009, 03:03 AM   #11
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Yes I didn't say it's too complicated. But I really would prefer them to be separate from the notes, because if you have a lot of notes it takes some time to find the bookmarks. Or there could be a way I haven't found yet.
On the "Notes" screen, select "Options", and then "Sort", and sort by "type". That way you'll see the bookmarks listed separately from the notes.
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Old 12-08-2009, 05:54 AM   #12
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Thanks HarryT! It seems it really was easy after all.
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