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Old 05-02-2010, 01:07 AM   #1
mrmojo
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calibre software makes te prs-300 good for pdf's?

Hi,

I'm thinking of getting a prs-300, but i've read it stink for pdf's. i've also read that using a piece of software called calibre you can convert the pdf's to e-pub, and read them easily on the prs-300.

True, false? Coudl calibre convert a 20 meg text book pdf with images so that i could more or less easily read it on the prs-300?
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Old 05-02-2010, 04:57 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmojo View Post
Hi,

I'm thinking of getting a prs-300, but i've read it stink for pdf's. i've also read that using a piece of software called calibre you can convert the pdf's to e-pub, and read them easily on the prs-300.

True, false? Coudl calibre convert a 20 meg text book pdf with images so that i could more or less easily read it on the prs-300?
Every conversion program I've seen (including Calibre) has problems converting most PDF docs to ePub (or other format) for use on a 5 or 6 inch reader.

Test it out before you buy. Install Calibre and convert the docs your talking about. Then view them on the built in ebook viewer in Calibre. If the result is suitable, great!

If your textbook has multiple columns or extensive graphics it would most likely be best viewed on a large reader with proper pdf support.
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:29 AM   #3
jswinden
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No Sony Reader is great for PDFs. The 900 is usable, especially in landscape mode, but the nature of PDFs makes them difficult to adapt to a small screen.

Originally PDFs were designed for 8.5 x 11 inch paper for the express purpose of being able to electronically distribute copy protected documents. They were designed to be printed and not designed to be read comfortably on a computer monitor. As such they often have large margins of 1+ inches all around. Unfortunately they typically don't work well with smaller screen devices like most dedicated eBook readers. IMHO they don't work well with netbook tablet PCs or the iPad either because the screens are too small. There are exceptions of course as some PDFs were designed with a smaller size that better lends itself to a small screen. One example is the manual for my Canon T1i camera wherein the manual is only 3 x 5.5 inches. It works great on my 300.

Questions to ask yourself:
  • Does the PDF have large margins that you cannot crop? If yes, it probably won't look good on the 300.
  • Does the PDF have two or more columns of text? If yes, it probably won't look good on the 300.
  • Is the PDF a poorly done scan of printed material? If yes, it probably won't look good on the 300.
  • Can the PDF be converted to a text only format like ePub without destroying its flow of text? If yes, it will work on the 300.

Last edited by jswinden; 05-02-2010 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 05-02-2010, 03:15 PM   #4
mrmojo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jswinden View Post
No Sony Reader is great for PDFs. The 900 is usable, especially in landscape mode, but the nature of PDFs makes them difficult to adapt to a small screen.

Originally PDFs were designed for 8.5 x 11 inch paper for the express purpose of being able to electronically distribute copy protected documents. They were designed to be printed and not designed to be read comfortably on a computer monitor. As such they often have large margins of 1+ inches all around. Unfortunately they typically don't work well with smaller screen devices like most dedicated eBook readers. IMHO they don't work well with netbook tablet PCs or the iPad either because the screens are too small. There are exceptions of course as some PDFs were designed with a smaller size that better lends itself to a small screen. One example is the manual for my Canon T1i camera wherein the manual is only 3 x 5.5 inches. It works great on my 300.

Questions to ask yourself:
  • Does the PDF have large margins that you cannot crop? If yes, it probably won't look good on the 300.
  • Does the PDF have two or more columns of text? If yes, it probably won't look good on the 300.
  • Is the PDF a poorly done scan of printed material? If yes, it probably won't look good on the 300.
  • Can the PDF be converted to a text only format like ePub without destroying its flow of text? If yes, it will work on the 300.
what if it's an all text pdf -- either one that's a scanned image of text or a scanned image that has had OCR software applied to it, so that the text is really text (and not a image). A 5" reader would still be no good?
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Old 05-04-2010, 11:49 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by mrmojo View Post
what if it's an all text pdf -- either one that's a scanned image of text or a scanned image that has had OCR software applied to it, so that the text is really text (and not a image). A 5" reader would still be no good?
Read my last bullet. If you convert the text only PDF to ePub then it will reflow and work well on a 5" screen. If you leave a text only PDF as a PDF, it might or might not reflow correctly or be very legible on a 5" screen. A lot depends on the page size, margin sizes, number of text columns, and the quality of the PDF. One thing to consider is that a PDF is a much larger sized file than an equivelant ePub file. A 200 page text only PDF will be much slower to display and turn pages than a 200 page ePub.

In general, PDFs are bloated files not designed for ebook readers and they don't work that well on them. However, occasionally you will find one that does.

If the PDF is a "scanned image of text" then it probably won't be very readable on a 5" reader and the text won't be able to reflow. These are the worst kind of PDFs to view on any device, especially an ebook reader.

Last edited by jswinden; 05-04-2010 at 11:53 AM.
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