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Old 01-23-2010, 02:41 PM   #1
defizr
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Best reading format on a PRS-300

Hi all. Just got a new Sony PRS-300. Given the range of formats that it can handle (Epub, PDF etc.) which is the optimal format for this machine? If I have a book in a non-optimal format is it worth converting it using Calibre?
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Old 01-23-2010, 03:29 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by defizr View Post
Hi all. Just got a new Sony PRS-300. Given the range of formats that it can handle (Epub, PDF etc.) which is the optimal format for this machine? If I have a book in a non-optimal format is it worth converting it using Calibre?
I can only speak from my own experience with my own reader. I've found that PDF works best for me because I can format my ebooks specifically for my reader's screen.

I use StarOffice (the commercial version of OpenOffice.org) to generate my PDFs and it allows me to see on my computer exactly what my ebooks will look like on my reader. This includes fonts, margins, line spacing, and pictures. Once properly formatted, I can use StarOffice to generate a PDF for my reader and it will look on my reader exactly as I intended.

For me, the main disadvantages of PDFs are:

- They are designed for a specific screen size. If I purchase a new ebook reader with a different screen size, for best results I'd have to recreate my ebooks for the new screen size. Although some readers allow you to reflow the text, I've found what works best is to format the PDF for best reading at the default size.

- PDFs are much larger than other formats (with one ebook the PDF version was four times the size of the plain text file, and more than three times larger than the RTF version).

For me, the advantages of PDF outweight the above disadvantages.

I hope this helps.
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Old 01-23-2010, 03:41 PM   #3
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The link http://www.mobileread.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=126 here at mobileread will give you hundreds of free books formatted for Sony's. They have been formatted by readers in the lrf format. That is the old Sony format, and will work great on your 300.

On my 300 I convert everything to ePub, unless it is PDF and then I leave it alone (unless there is a problem. Any books that I buy, I buy in ePub. Anyway, that's what works for me..........
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:31 PM   #4
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If I have an ePub I will load it into the reader and check it. Then I will convert it to lrf via Calibre and check it out that way. I will then take whichever format looks better and maybe tweak it as far as font size (I find 13.5 on small good for me).

It may be a bit of work, but I don't fly through books that fast and I would prefer to take a little extra time to get the book as good as I can for reading.

So to answer your question, there is no 1 best format, imo, I even have a few PDF's that I leave as such as they are perfect.
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:37 PM   #5
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PDF suport is great if your document is already in PDF form. Going forward with books, I really recommend EPub. 100 page manuals are dog-slow in PDF, and pictures and tables don't reflow well if you change font size.

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Old 01-23-2010, 07:20 PM   #6
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I have books in PDF and LRF format but my favourite is ePub. PDF text can be too hard to read in the small font sometimes. When I buy books or borrow from the library, I always get ePub now.
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Old 01-23-2010, 07:52 PM   #7
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Thanks very much for all the replies. This seems like a friendly place to be.
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:46 AM   #8
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Thanks very much for all the replies. This seems like a friendly place to be.

WELCOME to MobileRead!

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Old 01-24-2010, 11:54 AM   #9
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PDF formatting

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Originally Posted by Solitaire1 View Post
I can only speak from my own experience with my own reader. I've found that PDF works best for me because I can format my ebooks specifically for my reader's screen.

This would be great. Can you tell me how you set up Star Office to save a book correctly formatted for the reader. I've tried this in the past but never could get it to work.
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:52 PM   #10
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This would be great. Can you tell me how you set up Star Office to save a book correctly formatted for the reader. I've tried this in the past but never could get it to work.
I will give you the steps and settings I use for my reader, adjust them as needed for your reader (these should also work with OpenOffice.org):

- I create the ebook as an OpenDocument text file, formatting it like any other word processing document and save it in that format. For ease of formatting I use styles, and I use a base font size of 14 points (the smallest text on the page is that size and everything goes up from there).

- I set the page size to 3.5 inches by 4.75 inches, the same size as my reader's screen.

- I set the top, bottom, left, and right margins to 0.2 inches (the minimum margins allowed by StarOffice).

- I don't include headers or footers with my ebooks since the page numbers are already included on the reader's screen, but you can do this if you want.

- Go into the properties for your document (on the menu bar click on "File" > "Properties") and set the title of your ebook. It is located in the Description tab. The name you type here will be the ebook's name on your reader.

- Save the ebook.

Now, when you page preview your ebook, it will look on the screen exactly as it will look on your reader's screen at the small setting. This will allow you to check for formatting problems so that you can correct them.

Added Information: If you set your view to "Print Layout" the ebook will look the same on your screen as it does on your reader, with the added advantage that you can edit your ebook in this view.

Once your ebook is ready, on the menu bar click on "File" > "Export as PDF" and save the ebook as a PDF. You can now load the ebook on your reader.

If you need to make changes to the ebook (such as wanting it in a larger font), just open the original OpenDocument text file, edit it, and export it as a PDF.

One final note, since the ebook's pages are set it is easy to make a table of contents and place it at the beginning of the ebook. I do this for multi-chapter ebooks. All you have to do is mark the chapter text with a style and then use that to generate the table of contents at the beginning of the ebook.

I hope this helps.

Last edited by Solitaire1; 01-26-2010 at 04:52 AM. Reason: To provide additional information.
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