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Old 11-27-2006, 03:59 PM   #1
claudioita
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PDF documents made from scans on ebook readers?

Hi

Would like to buy a Sony Portable Reader. Before buying I have some doubt about its functions.
Living in Italy I could not find anywhere an eink reader, so I hope someone can answer me.

My question is: I have many ebook in PDF format. The ebooks are scans of regular books saved in PDF fomat (basically only an image of the pages). They are in various formats from A4 (similar to American Letter size) to smaller formats.

How does the Sony (or other machines) work with those PDF files?
Do you have the function zoom/pan ?
Will a scanned A4 page fit nicely?
If not, again, can you zoom to an acceptable level.

Thanks!
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Old 11-27-2006, 04:52 PM   #2
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Unfortunately, I think you would be disappointed with the results of A4 pdf's on the Sony Reader. The screen is just to small, so even in the two screens/page landscape mode, it just isn't likely to be a pleasant reading experience. Much better if you can use something like Abby FineReader to OCR the content and format it as an rtf file, or if you can reformat the pdf somehow to be something closer to a 4x6 inch page.

The Sony Reader is an amazing e-ink device, and part of the delight is the convenient size. But part of the sacrifice of that is that full page pdf's are just not that great. Zoom would help, although I don't know if it would make for a reasonable reading experience, or just a way to read bits and pieces as needed. The fact that you can (I think) zoom picture files, might indicate that such a thing is possible, but there's no word from Sony yet whether or not that's in the works for a future firmware upgrade.

Has anyone else played with images to see if they can be zoomed on the Reader?
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Old 11-27-2006, 04:56 PM   #3
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claudio, when you said that your PDFs contain images of the scanned books, did you mean that you didn't run them through an OCR program first? If so, you are probably out of luck with the Reader. And you wouldn't be able to resize text either (generally graphics in PDF cannot be meaningfully resized unless they are in vectorized form).
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Old 11-27-2006, 05:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Russell
Has anyone else played with images to see if they can be zoomed on the Reader?
Yup, you have (shocker) 3 levels of zoom on pictures, and panning function, but it's block panning, not pixelwise.
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic
claudio, when you said that your PDFs contain images of the scanned books, did you mean that you didn't run them through an OCR program first? If so, you are probably out of luck with the Reader. And you wouldn't be able to resize text either (generally graphics in PDF cannot be meaningfully resized unless they are in vectorized form).
Yes, exactly. Each page IS an image (no OCR). So far I am reading them with a PocketPC (Qtek 2020, I guess 3,5 Inch) and the result is not satisfying.

I have to zoom the image (THE PAGE) to the maximum width allowed by the pocketPC (in landscape mode) and then pan the image down for reading the whole page. (This way I pan the image only vertically but not horizontaly: hope I 'm clear with this!)

I think a 6 inch screen would be ok. What is not clear from the Sony website is if I can zoom the image (the page of the PDF) to fit up to the border of the screen ... and then pan the image down to read the page.

Can this be done with the Sony portable reader? If not will I have better luck with the Hanlin or Irex (the Iliad is a bit too expensive for me though) or others?

Thanks!
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Old 11-28-2006, 04:03 AM   #6
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Yes, there is a "fit to page width" option for PDFs, but I think you'd still find an A4 image to be too small to read comfortably, unfortunately.
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Old 11-28-2006, 09:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claudioita

I think a 6 inch screen would be ok. What is not clear from the Sony website is if I can zoom the image (the page of the PDF) to fit up to the border of the screen ... and then pan the image down to read the page.

Thanks!
The resolution and quality (sharpness) of the screen is as important as size. At smaller size than a tablet I doubt anything than 1024x600 on a sharp color lcd screen is going to work well and even then it depends.

If you need to read lots of technical stuff/non ocr'able scans I strongly recommend a tablet, and an extra battery, no existing ereader will be good enough (maybe the cybook if available again, but better get a tablet anyway, you can find very good prices on 2-3 year old ones if a new one is too expensive).

Liviu
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Old 11-28-2006, 09:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liviu_5
If you need to read lots of technical stuff/non ocr'able scans I strongly recommend a tablet, and an extra battery, no existing ereader will be good enough (maybe the cybook if available again, but better get a tablet anyway, you can find very good prices on 2-3 year old ones if a new one is too expensive).

Liviu
No, the CyBook is only an 800x600 screen - the same as the Reader. I have one; the PDF viewer on it as a bit flaky, and very slow for complex PDFs.
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