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Old 07-24-2006, 04:25 PM   #1
ElaHuguet
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Good looking pdf file

Well, I finally received my iLiad and was able to test the pdf's I've been making for it, I think they look good, I'll attach some photos of the file on the iLiad so you see how it fits (it's slightly skewy, sorry, but without daylight it was hard to catch the light right), it's an almost exact copy of a typical paperback novel.

Measurements:
Page: 120mm x 151mm.
Margins: top 5mm, left & right 14mm, bottom 1mm.
Font: Century Schoolbook, 10pt, justified, space between paragraphs 0.
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Old 07-27-2006, 06:10 AM   #2
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Looks very nice.

I have loads of PDF books (D&D roleplaying stuff) which are all made in A4 size. Is there anyway to resize PDFs to the measurements you mentioned there ?
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Old 07-27-2006, 06:18 AM   #3
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You'd have to take the text out somehow (I've used Select all + Copy, with some files, I guess there are programs that will do it for you too), put it into a text editor (I use Word), configure the page settings, margins, etc. and reconvert to pdf. If you use OpenOffice (which is free, and has the same functions as Word basically), it has a "convert to pdf" function with it, that works fine. I think some people use some form of TeX (LaTeX, or MikTeK) which is apparently great for typesetting and allows using templates, I have to investigate that (next week, I'm on holidays then, lol).

Oh, I meant to upload the pdf file for this book as well, to share with you guys, I'll try to remember tonight when I get home.
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Old 07-27-2006, 08:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janus
I have loads of PDF books (D&D roleplaying stuff) which are all made in A4 size. Is there anyway to resize PDFs to the measurements you mentioned there ?
You're going to have a real tough time doing that. If you're talking about the PDF scans that were sold through RPGNOW or DriveThruRPG (1st and 2nd ed stuff), they are all image-based; each page is a single image of the page. The usual tools that extract text from the page won't work in this case. An OCR program can do the trick, but then you're going to be spending some time fixing the formatting, especially with all the tables and such.

If you're talking about 3rd ed stuff (none of which I've bought), the few works they've released so far are properly exported from their original dtp files, so the above wouldn't apply I think.
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Old 07-27-2006, 09:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmeister0
You're going to have a real tough time doing that. If you're talking about the PDF scans that were sold through RPGNOW or DriveThruRPG (1st and 2nd ed stuff), they are all image-based; each page is a single image of the page. The usual tools that extract text from the page won't work in this case. An OCR program can do the trick, but then you're going to be spending some time fixing the formatting, especially with all the tables and such.

If you're talking about 3rd ed stuff (none of which I've bought), the few works they've released so far are properly exported from their original dtp files, so the above wouldn't apply I think.
Coudn't you do a OCR with Acrobat and then convert to .doc > change size > create PDF?
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Old 07-27-2006, 01:53 PM   #6
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Ok, here are a couple more photos (better this time, I hope), and the pdf file.

@Ath:
You're the pickiest typesetter I've met, more so than me even (which is saying a lot, lol), I'd love to have your opinion on the file. Also, there's a thing which really bugs me, and maybe you know the tool that will let me fix it, which is vertical/page justification, so that when it fixes widows/orphans, it doesn't leave an empty line or two at the bottom? Word has page justification, but also applies it to the last page of each chapter!
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Old 07-28-2006, 05:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaHuguet
@Ath:
You're the pickiest typesetter I've met, more so than me even (which is saying a lot, lol), I'd love to have your opinion on the file.
Are you sure about this? (Donning combat cap ...)

Quote:
which is vertical/page justification, so that when it fixes widows/orphans, it doesn't leave an empty line or two at the bottom?
I don't know of any automatic tool, though I don't see any reason why one couldn't be written. I typically try: (a) look for paragraphs with very long last lines -- and change spacing to allow wider spaces -- may give you a line more; (b) look for paragraphs with short last lines -- and try to squeeze spacing -- loses one a line; (c) make column a little wider -- 1 pt is invisible, and 2 pt is difficult to see. That together with (a) and (b) tends to do the trick. If not, add an empty line at previous heading/subjeading. If nothing works, accept it. (Tweaking line spacing is a no-no: it's far too noticeable.)

For (a) and (b), dependning on tool, I also try tweaked paragraph setups. For instance, if normal para allows space in range 80% to 133% with 100% as default, using 75%-95%-120% may shorten it, and 85%-105%-135% may make it longer. Tweaking spaces manually (changing a word space to something narrower, or vice versa) can also help. But at some point, enough is enough.
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Old 07-28-2006, 06:05 PM   #8
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Great, thanks for the suggestions, I'll try that... as to line justification, I found that if I did the whole page (obviously not just a line or two), and only changed it by 0.1 pt more, you can't really tell the difference, but it does mean doing it manually to a whole LOAD of pages, lol. The page justification function in Word does this automatically, but then I have to fix all the chapter endings (with section jumps and changing to normal page justif.). I hoped for a tool with enough intelligence to do the same as paragraph justification, which doesn't bugger up the last line!
My other solution is to mess about with, for example, the chapter heading spacing, since if I change it just slightly, sometimes it fixes the whole chapter (you know, one line jumping to the next page causing a domino effect).
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Old 07-28-2006, 06:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaHuguet
I'd love to have your opinion on the file.
As I don't have an iLiad yet, it's difficult to evaluate how well it works on that device. All I can do is look at the pages on a PC screen. 100% size looks too small (though the iLiad resolution hopefully fixes that), so I use 120%.

Quick impression:

Word spacing seems to be the biggest problem. Either ragged right + manual tweaking of the worst remaining places to even things out, or keep justification but do automatic hyphenation run, possibly followed by proof-reading to check that it didn't end up too badly.

Para indent feels a tad too large, and pages with much dialogue feel restless (and in a few places a very short preceding line looks odd). Perhaps smaller indent: 1 em (i.e. body size)?

There are some places with spaces after em dashes ... should probably be closed up. (I bet there are a few with space before, too). And there are one or two quotations inside quotations where the outer double quote needs a hair space to set off the immediately following inner single quote (p. 125, l. 2
for instance). And one or two places where small caps probably should be used (italics in letter text (p. 5, l. 12: But I _must_ have ...)

Further tweaking is possible, but until word spacing is decent, I don't think it matters that much. (E.g. vertical ellipses, poetry, letters, perhaps some added tracking of all caps words, etc.)

And I have a nagging feeling that the typeface really needs more space between lines ... perhaps it's an effect of the already wide word spacing. Century Schoolbook is fairly wide already, and that width needs to be balanced. I wonder how this would look in Georgia ...

ADDED LATER: something like this, I suspect ... (see attachment). I've just taken the first two pages of chapter 2, and tried them out in some variations.
(a) Georgia 10/12, ragged right. InDesign helps a lot with evening out ragged setting: don't expect Word to do as well. A shade to tight, I think. (b) Same again, this time with left justification. Ragged looks better. (c) Same as b, but 10/12.2 which is an improvement on the page. (d) 10/12.5 looks even better, but wih less text on the page, so perhaps (e) 9.5/12 which doesn't work too well on a PC screen, but hopefully will stand up better on the iLiad.
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File Type: pdf Georgia-test.pdf (77.0 KB, 234 views)

Last edited by ath; 07-29-2006 at 03:21 AM. Reason: Added some samples
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Old 07-29-2006, 03:12 AM   #10
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Thanks a bunch, Ath, I appreciate that, some comments:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ath
As I don't have an iLiad yet, it's difficult to evaluate how well it works on that device. All I can do is look at the pages on a PC screen. 100% size looks too small (though the iLiad resolution hopefully fixes that), so I use 120%.
If you look at the photos I attached it can give you an idea as to how it works out, but it's basically a normal sized font on a typical book, the iLiad's resolution does fix it, the books I've read on pc have to have larger than 10pt to be comfortable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ath
Word spacing seems to be the biggest problem. Either ragged right + manual tweaking of the worst remaining places to even things out, or keep justification but do automatic hyphenation run, possibly followed by proof-reading to check that it didn't end up too badly.
I've always liked full justification, so what exactly is "automatic hyphenation"? I'll have to google that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ath
Para indent feels a tad too large, and pages with much dialogue feel restless (and in a few places a very short preceding line looks odd). Perhaps smaller indent: 1 em (i.e. body size)?
Hmmm... you might be right, I'll fiddle with the indent, it's set at 5mm right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ath
There are some places with spaces after em dashes ... should probably be closed up. (I bet there are a few with space before, too). And there are one or two quotations inside quotations where the outer double quote needs a hair space to set off the immediately following inner single quote (p. 125, l. 2
for instance). And one or two places where small caps probably should be used (italics in letter text (p. 5, l. 12: But I _must_ have ...)
Ah, the em dashes and the spaces were worrying me! I wasn't sure if they carried a space or not, I meant to look that up too, the text came with "--" which I changed to a short dash, but they all had a space after them, and the long dashes too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ath
Further tweaking is possible, but until word spacing is decent, I don't think it matters that much. (E.g. vertical ellipses, poetry, letters, perhaps some added tracking of all caps words, etc.)
LOL, ok, I'll get back to you then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ath
And I have a nagging feeling that the typeface really needs more space between lines ... perhaps it's an effect of the already wide word spacing. Century Schoolbook is fairly wide already, and that width needs to be balanced. I wonder how this would look in Georgia ...
Hmmm... I like Century quite a lot, but you're right that I found it a bit tight in some cases (not all the time, though) when I actually read the book on the iLiad... I'll have a look at Georgia, or at opening up a little.

Thanks again for taking the time to review my file, much appreciated. Most people just say "ummm, nice" or "maybe a little larger" and that's it... same thing happens to my husband with his icons, he only gets a full critical review from me, and it helps him improve.
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Old 07-29-2006, 03:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaHuguet
If you look at the photos I attached it can give you an idea as to how it works out,
I didn't think of that until later ... those pages looks about the same as they do on the PC, so I expect that spacing issues are approximately the same.
(I've experimented a bit with Georgia in InDesign, but with your page size and margins ... se previous posting)

Quote:
I've always liked full justification, so what exactly is "automatic hyphenation"?
Hyphenation not done manually :-) ... in MS Word, select Tools | Language | Hyphenation ... but be sure to set text language to UK English (with some reservation for menu titles, as I don't have an English version of Word.) Manual hyphenation is better, as you can decide to hyphenate at, say, 'over-excitement', instead of 'overex-citement'. But it takes much more time.
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Old 07-29-2006, 03:36 AM   #12
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LOL, thanks, I googled it and found an MS document on autom. hyphenation... I have to try it out later, and see how much work it gives me. Since I'm going to have to format every single book (there are so few e-books where I really like the original format), that I need to find a way to make it as simple as possible in order to make it workable. I think InDesign should turn out a lot better than Word, I have to download the demo and check it out.
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Old 07-31-2006, 02:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaHuguet
@Ath:
You're the pickiest typesetter I've met, more so than me even (which is saying a lot, lol), I'd love to have your opinion on the file. Also, there's a thing which really bugs me, and maybe you know the tool that will let me fix it, which is vertical/page justification, so that when it fixes widows/orphans, it doesn't leave an empty line or two at the bottom? Word has page justification, but also applies it to the last page of each chapter!
How does this look on the iLiad? It is the same file you attached, just converted to html. The links to the chapters seem to work. Does it allow you to zoom?

- James
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Old 07-31-2006, 02:41 PM   #14
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The problem with html, at the moment, is that it doesn't paginate well, so lines get eaten at the end of each page. And no, I can't zoom, zoom isn't working in any viewer, although I can change the font to larger/smaller. That's why I'm using pdf, for now.
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Old 07-31-2006, 02:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaHuguet
The problem with html, at the moment, is that it doesn't paginate well, so lines get eaten at the end of each page. And no, I can't zoom, zoom isn't working in any viewer, although I can change the font to larger/smaller. That's why I'm using pdf, for now.
Well, you can open an .htm file with Openoffice, change the page format to the right size, then make a pdf. The htm file won't show the resizing, but the .pdf maker will adjust the size properly. .htm problem solved.
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