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Old 10-22-2006, 11:11 AM   #1
bspill
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A Novice Question

I'm new to ebooks and this forum, but, I'm interested in purchasing the Sony Reader so that I can increase text size instead of reading some of the "mice type" in many books out there. I'm confused about the ability of the reader to handle PDF files. Can you download a PDF file and than adjust the size of the type?
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Old 10-22-2006, 11:25 AM   #2
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First off let me say that I am new to the reader myself and asked the same questions before I bought my reader.

As I understand it, the reader has limited ability to increase the size of the font. Font size changes need to be made prior to loading a pdf file.

In essence, you have to take a pdf file, create a rtf file (text, word or some other) change the font create a new pdf file set to the size of the reader screen and install the result.

Another option is to rotate the screen so that you view the file in landscape format which allows for a corresponding increase in view size.
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Old 10-22-2006, 11:27 AM   #3
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Not on the Reader itself.

You can rotate the display so it shows half a page at a time, and that makes text in PDF files look bigger, but having to read that way is pretty annoying sometimes and it doesn't always make text big enough.

Try to use TXT or RTF when possible.

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Old 10-22-2006, 11:50 AM   #4
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Well you do have the "zoom" function on the Reader where you can see the font in normal size from the file (Small) or two zoom levels (Medium and Large).
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Old 10-22-2006, 03:24 PM   #5
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If the PDF files you want to read are unprotected (not encrypted and don't prohibit copying text) you can convert them easily to an RTF file. You can set the font size in that to whatever you want with your word processor and then downloand it to the Reader. The reader can also enlarge/reflow the text further with a button press.

PDF files, if placed directly on the reader, only have two zoom levels. One that shows the entire page and one that (theoretically) removes the outside white space. As stated above, you can also rotate the document to display in landscape, which effectively enlarges the print as well.

That all said, if the PDF you have is formatted for 8.5x11 inches you can probably forget about comfortably reading it directly on the reader, unless it has unusually large type. As an example, take your PDF and print it with borders to mimic the screen size of the reader, and see how it looks. Probably not so good.

I've converted a bunch of academic PDFs by just opening them in Adobe Reader, doing a "select all", "copy", then pasting into Word. Bump up the base font to 15 points, save it as an RTF and it's good to go. BUT these files didn't have elaborate formatting, lots of diagrams, etc. Try this with your PDF's and see how they look in Word. If it's OK, the Reader might work for you.

Another option, if you have something that can create PDF's, is to directly reformat them for the screen size of the reader. If you do a search on the forum, you'll see some settings that others have developed that look good on the Reader. It handles PDF's quite well if they are properly sized - in fact the built in owners manual is a PDF file.

If you want to read highly-formatted, graphics intensive 8.5 x 11 inch documents, or those that don't allow you to extract/manipulate the text, I'm not sure the Reader is what you're looking for, but I'll defer to the more knowledgeable forum members.

Best of luck!
Bob

Last edited by BobVA; 10-22-2006 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 10-22-2006, 04:35 PM   #6
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An excellent and comprehensive summation, BobVA. I'd agree that if really complex or graphically intense PDFs are the target, the Reader probably isn't the right tool. Unfortunately, the iLiad, while better, isn't really the right tool either. For that sort of thing we need an A4 screened device, and nobody makes one at the moment, though I am hopeful that one might come along before too long.
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Old 10-24-2006, 04:26 PM   #7
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Thans for all the information. I'm not necessarily buying this to read PDF files, but, I wanted to know what the limitations are. I'm thinking of all the electronic devices that come with Owner Manuals in pdf format rather than printed books (digital cameras, printers, etc.). It would be handy to have all these available on the reader.
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Old 10-26-2006, 02:53 PM   #8
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bspill, that sounds like an incredibly good use for the reader! I have--or had, I don't remember--a hanging file folder, and then a 3 ring binder with owner's manuals. Having them online is a nice touch, but having them in something like the reader would be even better for off-line access. Smart idea
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Old 10-26-2006, 03:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bspill
Thans for all the information. I'm not necessarily buying this to read PDF files, but, I wanted to know what the limitations are. I'm thinking of all the electronic devices that come with Owner Manuals in pdf format rather than printed books (digital cameras, printers, etc.). It would be handy to have all these available on the reader.
Sounds like "the key inside the safe" thing
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Old 10-26-2006, 04:16 PM   #10
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Nah, you just have to put your Reader manual on your Camera, and you're all set!
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Old 10-29-2006, 07:46 AM   #11
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Thankfully, the PDF of the manual is on the CD.
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Old 10-29-2006, 12:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Moates
Thankfully, the PDF of the manual is on the CD.
I've got a directory with PDF's of all my gadget manuals in it. If I didn't get a PDF with the device, I've almost always been able to get a copy on the OEM's support website. This includes the owner's manual for my car!

I keep a copies of this directory on my Treo, the Reader and a thumbdrive in my backpack. It has come in handy a couple of times (particularly for my camera).

One gotcha - some of the manuals, although 3x5 in real life, are formatted in the PDF for printing that size on 8x11 paper - i.e. they are a small printed area surrounded by huge margins. Pretty hard to read on the Reader or my Treo...

Cheers,
Bob
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