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Old 06-20-2010, 01:26 PM   #1
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Looking for eBook for Scanned PDFs

I'm looking for a relatively inexpensive eInk eBook reader to read PDFs of the books I've scanned to PDF. The scanned books have not been run through OCR and edited so they are just a series of images of the pages and will not flow. I need something that can zoom in on the images so they will fill the width of the screen and scroll up and down once zoomed. A 6" would probably be big enough unless the image can be rotated to landscape; then a 5" would probably do. Landscape would have the advantage of being able to use the cover as a kickstand to hold the reader up at an angle for hands off reading (except to change pages). I would rather not have to lug around a 9".

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Old 06-20-2010, 06:13 PM   #2
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are they multi-column pdf's?
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Old 06-20-2010, 06:58 PM   #3
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are they multi-column pdf's?
No. They are multipage scans of book pages. Basically, each page is a "photo" of the original page. Even if all the zoom did was eliminate the white margins, that would allow the text of the page to fill the screen and that might be enough if on a 6" screen.
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Old 06-20-2010, 08:58 PM   #4
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Even if all the zoom did was eliminate the white margins, that would allow the text of the page to fill the screen and that might be enough if on a 6" screen.
If you can't find an ereader that automatically zooms to eliminate white margins, you can easily remove white margins from pdfs yourself using ImageMagick (free program). The IM command to remove white margins from a single pdf input.pdf and output the trimmed pdf to output.pdf is:

convert -fuzz 15% -bordercolor white -trim input.pdf output.pdf

Or you could remove the white margins from a whole folder of pdfs using the following IM command:

mogrify -fuzz 15% -bordercolor white -trim *.pdf

Hope that helps.
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:10 PM   #5
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I went to your link and have no clue what to download. The number of choices is overwhelming to me. Can you somehow simplify it for me?

Ok, I managed to figure out where and what to download. I also unzipped it to a folder on my desktop. Now what the heck do I do with it?

Keep in mind not all people are computer literate beyond "push that button." I'm one of them. Apparently this is one of those programs written by geeks for geeks and people like me are going to have to have it explained step by little step in great detail.

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Old 06-21-2010, 04:46 AM   #6
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in my opinion you will not be able to read scanned books pdfs on anything smaller than 8" (I'm talking about the display, of course) - I first started looking for an e-reader with needs very similar to yours, and what I came up with was iRex DR800 - it's expensive but all bigger screens were/still are even more expensive and cumbersome (like iRex DR1000 or QUE or Kindle DX (which is ugly and I don't like it)).

I don't know if you ever held an e-reader - 5" or 6" is really small, reading a zoomed non-reflowable pdf is a pain on those (IMO), especially if you're going to read a lot of them.

iRex DR800 is not perfect (it lacks continuous page view, but the community is working on hacking the firmware so this feature should be enabled in the future - if I understand correctly), but it has features that ensure a pretty good pdf reading experience as it is.
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Old 06-21-2010, 10:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
I went to your link and have no clue what to download. The number of choices is overwhelming to me. Can you somehow simplify it for me?

Ok, I managed to figure out where and what to download. I also unzipped it to a folder on my desktop. Now what the heck do I do with it?

Keep in mind not all people are computer literate beyond "push that button." I'm one of them. Apparently this is one of those programs written by geeks for geeks and people like me are going to have to have it explained step by little step in great detail.
Here's the step-by-step (I'm assuming you're running Windows XP... if you have a different OS, let me know):

1) Download ImageMagick (IM)
For Windows XP, this would be: http://www.imagemagick.org/download/...indows-dll.exe
2) Install IM
Should be able to just double-click the downloaded .exe and follow the on-screen instructions to install.
3) Open a run command window in the directory of your pdf
In Windows XP there are two ways to do this:
a. The long way
Start -> Run -> type "cmd" and press enter -> A command window opens
Within the command window you type "cd [path to folder with pdf]" (for example: "cd C:\My_Pdfs\"
b. The easier way
Install this tool: Windows XP Cmd Here Powertoy
It will allow you to right-click a folder in Windows Explorer and click "open command window here". That way you don't have to manually navigate to the pdf folder using the "cd" command.
4) With the command window opened in the folder with your pdf, run the command:
convert -fuzz 15% -bordercolor white -trim input.pdf output.pdf
Where input.pdf is the name of the pdf you want trimmed, and output.pdf is the name of the trimmed pdf. You can also overwrite input.pdf (so that after trimming there is only one version of the pdf left... the trimmed one) by running:
mogrify -fuzz 15% -bordercolor white -trim input.pdf

Let me know if any of that wasn't clear.

-Edit-
For clarification, IM white margin trimming should work on pdfs that are composed of image scans (which is what I think you have based on the first post). For pdfs that contain fonts and formatting (i.e. processed by OCR) I'm not sure if this will work... you would probably have to convert the pdf pages to images before trimming. Let me know if you have a problem trimming your pdfs.

Last edited by lilman; 06-22-2010 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:59 PM   #8
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I really don't think ImageMagick is the right tool for this job. It'll rasterize the PDF, for one. There are custom tools for whitespace cropping like SoPDF and BRISS that are both more user-friendly, and keep the PDF in a text-format (if it started that way anyway).

If you do start out with a scan, I'd still recommend BRISS, since it provides a very nice GUI for selecting the crop region, which I think is probably more effective than using ImageMagick's fuzz detection to determine the crop region.

I describe them, and a bunch of other methods I've found effective in this blog post:

Reading PDFs on portables

It relies heavily on things I've learned as a MobileRead member.

Last edited by frabjous; 06-22-2010 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:42 PM   #9
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Ok, guys, I appreciate you all trying to help with cropping my PDFs but the programs are just too cottonpickin' complicated for this old broad! I am not a computer geek and anything beyond "download and click to have the progream install itself" and, once installed, "open and push buttons" is completely beyond me and trying to wade through a long list of steps everytime I need to use it just isn't going to work for me. For example, I downloaded and unzipped Briss. I got a folder from that full of .jar files. No .exe. No directions (yes, I read the .txt files). So how am I supposed to know how to use the darned thing?

Please pardon my frustration and realize I'm not directing it at any of you. What will work best for me is to simply have a reader I can set the level of zoom for the book I'm reading then just read the darned thing. I know e-book readers are in their infancy but if the stupid things can have WiFi and 3G and play music, what the hell is so damned difficult about a simple zoom?
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:56 PM   #10
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any of the PocketBook models offer Persistent Zoom. Set the zoom level for the book and it stays when you turn the page. You have a ton of choices of zoom level and you can choose to zoom to height /width /or page. you can also of course turn it to landscape also. some pdfs are best viewed this way with zoom to width.
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
Ok, guys, I appreciate you all trying to help with cropping my PDFs but the programs are just too cottonpickin' complicated for this old broad! I am not a computer geek and anything beyond "download and click to have the progream install itself" and, once installed, "open and push buttons" is completely beyond me and trying to wade through a long list of steps everytime I need to use it just isn't going to work for me. For example, I downloaded and unzipped Briss. I got a folder from that full of .jar files. No .exe. No directions (yes, I read the .txt files). So how am I supposed to know how to use the darned thing?
The .txt files have directions, but I'd understand if they didn't mean much to you.

If you have Java installed, I'm fairly sure you should just be able to double click on the the briss-***.jar file (where *** is the version number), and it should work just as well as an .exe would.

You can't run it without Java installed. if you need Java, click here.

Unfortunately, e-Ink isn't the greatest technology for manually setting a zoom level, since it updates so slowly, but nevertheless, I agree with you: it really is more complicated than it seems like it should be.
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:05 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dulin's Books View Post
any of the PocketBook models offer Persistent Zoom. Set the zoom level for the book and it stays when you turn the page. You have a ton of choices of zoom level and you can choose to zoom to height /width /or page. you can also of course turn it to landscape also. some pdfs are best viewed this way with zoom to width.
Sounds intriguing. How does one scroll down the page when zoomed?
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:40 PM   #13
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you just turn pages as you would normally. the device just scrolls through the "sub-pages" with each turn and then turns to the next page.
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:32 PM   #14
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Hmmm... I wonder if the PocketBook firmware would work on the Mentor. They look very similar.
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Old 06-23-2010, 03:29 PM   #15
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BRISS is another option for cropping PDFs, and it works well.
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