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Old 10-03-2006, 12:48 AM   #1
Syldaril
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Lightbulb Improving pdf display on Sony's Reader.

I just got my Reader today and I am super excited about its wonderful screen and its amazing potential. I am, however, a bit disappointed about the way it handles some pdf files.
I have a ton a technical ebooks in pdf format (math, chemistry, biology) and most of them just don't display right on the Reader. I suspect that the Reader, in an attempt to downsample and shrink the original pages, adds considerable degradation to the pdf.
Now my question is: how should I manipulate my original pdfs in order to improve legibility on the reader? Would it help to resize them to 800x600 and/or downsample them to 170dpi?
Could anyone help? I am still learning the technicalities of image editing and manipulations! Thanks

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Old 10-03-2006, 01:36 AM   #2
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Do you have the same documents in some other format, such as LaTeX or HTML? If so you could regenerate PDFs with more suitable formatting (I'm about to experiment with htmldoc and will report my results).
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Old 10-03-2006, 02:00 AM   #3
Syldaril
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No, all I have is plain old pdf's. I have noticed that converting individual pdf pages to jpeg and then viewing them on the reader do occasionally considerably improve their appearance... just experimenting

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Old 10-03-2006, 03:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syldaril
I suspect that the Reader, in an attempt to downsample and shrink the original pages, adds considerable degradation to the pdf.
This is a bit misleading: PDF's simply don't work well on screens of a different size than that for which the files were produced -- PDF is after all a page-description language. If the files you have were made for letter sized pages with, say, 300 dpi print quality, viewing them on a half-sized screen, and with half that resolution is just not a good idea.

It's even worse if your PDF's contain image files, because then you have an image sampling to take into account.

Quote:
... how should I manipulate my original pdfs in order to improve legibility on the reader? Would it help to resize them to 800x600 and/or downsample them to 170dpi?
If the files are image-type PDFs, forget it. You can't improve anything. Resampling the images will only lose information and legibility. You could,
perhaps, cut the images up into Reader-sized chunks and arrange them in reading order, but that will be a lot of work.

For typeset PDFs, downsampling is not possible. Rescaling may be possible, but it won't do anything -- as the PDF reader will scale everything to fit the Reader screen anyway, there won't be much change. Instead you need to change the relative text size on the page. Try to crop unneeded margin space (using Acrobat Professional, and the Tools | Advanced Editing | Crop Tool). That allows the Reader to make the text block relatively larger on the screen. But even then, it will be 'good' only of the remaining text block doesn't containing material that was produced for higher resolution than, say, 150 dpi. If the text was quite small already on the original full-size print, you're unlikely to see much improvement.

The alternative is to read pages half at a time in landscape mode -- I'm fairly certain this is possible on the Reader. See your manual for the magic key button press sequence to do that.

I've been using the iLiad for some time, which has many similarities to the Sony Reader: the only PDF files that are anywhere near decent to read on this device are those created for its particular screen size. Anything else, I read on a full-page computer screen or print out.
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Old 10-03-2006, 11:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syldaril
I have noticed that converting individual pdf pages to jpeg and then viewing them on the reader do occasionally considerably improve their appearance....
Have you noticed that you've got 3 levels of zoom available on the pic viewer? The jogstick allows panning. It's set blocks of panning, rather than true pixel by pixel type, but it works reasonably well.
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Old 10-03-2006, 11:04 AM   #6
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I agree with you ath: all the regular typeset pdfs I have tried so far have looked horrible - even in landscape mode - to my great disappointment. When I think that I wanted to use the Reader with all the pdf ebooks I have....

Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh
Have you noticed that you've got 3 levels of zoom available on the pic viewer? The jogstick allows panning. It's set blocks of panning, rather than true pixel by pixel type, but it works reasonably well.
With all the pdfs I have troed I could only use the small and medium zoom levels. It would be nice to be able to view pdfs at native size (just like for jpegs) and to be able to pan with the joystick (again, like with jpegs), then the Reader would't have to 'shrink' the pages down anymore.

Syldaril.

PS: I will take a few shots later today and upload the pics to help describe the problem with pdfs.

Last edited by Syldaril; 10-03-2006 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 10-28-2006, 06:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh
Have you noticed that you've got 3 levels of zoom available on the pic viewer? The jogstick allows panning. It's set blocks of panning, rather than true pixel by pixel type, but it works reasonably well.
There are also three levels of zoom in the PDF viewer. However, when switching from page to page, the zoom selection is lost. What's more odd/frustrating is that the zoom setting is maintained when using the numbered buttons or when press-and-holding the forward or back buttons to jump 10 pages.

If this one feature would be fixed, reading PDFs on the Reader wouldn't be half bad...
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