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Old 01-30-2007, 01:38 PM   #1
Bob Russell
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Sony Reader Guide for creating optimized PDF content - Exclusive Preview

Revealed here is a pre-release version of a Sony document obtained by MobileRead. It is called "User’s Guide to Creating PDFs for the Sony® Reader", and as expected, the information contained covers how to prepare PDF documents that are optimized for the Sony Reader. We expect a similar version to be officially released from Sony in the near future.

While the instructions themselves are in a PDF, the file is not (yet) optimized for the Reader. Here, from the contents, is a list of the topics included:

I. Introduction
Portable Document Format / PDF Creation Software / Sony® Reader screen dimensions and specifications / Font recommendations for the Sony® Reader

II. Creating PDFs from Word Processing Documents
Create word processing documents with optimized dimensions and layout in Microsoft® Word and OpenOffice.org Writer / Generate PDFs with appropriate settings using Adobe PDF or PDF Creator printer

III. Creating PDFs from Presentations
Create presentations with optimized dimensions and layout in Microsoft® PowerPoint and OpenOffice.org Impress / Generate PDFs with appropriate settings using Adobe PDF or PDF Creator printer

IV. Creating PDFs from Professional Layout Applications
Create presentations with optimized dimensions and layout in QuarkXPress® software and Adobe® InDesign / Ensure proper font and image embedding / Generate PDFs with appropriate settings using Adobe PDF or PDF Creator printer

V. Doing more with Adobe® Acrobat
Reformat an existing PDF for use on the Sony® Reader 􀁸 Enhance navigation of your PDF with internal linking / Create a Sony® Reader-optimized PDF preset for streamlined PDF generation / Import an existing Sony® Reader-optimized PDF preset into your system

As we look at the font recommendations, for example, we immediately see that the document can at best hope to be some general guidelines. No matter what is recommended, there will be differences of opinion because individual tastes will vary. For example, I prefer a size 16 serif font like Times Roman. But Sony states general guidelines as follows: "A range of fonts and font sizes will display clearly in PDFs on the Sony Reader. As a general starting point, we recommend using Arial and Times Roman as base fonts at sizes of 7 points. Text is legible at 6 points, though at this size it can lose some clarity. Large fonts will tend to use up screen space rather rapidly given the maximum document dimensions." The idea appears to be that one should use a smaller size in order to maximize the words on a screen as much as possible, while allowing the Sony Reader to scale the text to larger sizes when desired by the user.

It will be very interesting to see how the recommendations are received when analyzed more carefully by the MobileRead community, but this is definitely a welcome addition from Sony. It is not just some casual document thrown together by novices, but is something that appears to be both informative and useful. Kudos to Sony for providing it as part of their commitment to the product.
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File Type: pdf A guide for creating PDFs for the Sony Reader.pdf (1.01 MB, 15447 views)
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:49 PM   #2
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I hope we'll be able to use the little joystick in a better way than it is implemented now!

On an other subject. Is'nt her reader too white (person in the picture)? I'd love mine to be that way!
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Old 01-30-2007, 03:13 PM   #3
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I think SONY should show some self respect and -- once it's ready -- release this PDF with proper page size and also in BBeB format.

btw now that Adobe is making efforts for a reflow support let's lobby for a software upgrade!
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Old 01-30-2007, 03:24 PM   #4
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Anyone tried it yet?
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Old 01-30-2007, 03:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sic
I think SONY should show some self respect and -- once it's ready -- release this PDF with proper page size and also in BBeB format.

btw now that Adobe is making efforts for a reflow support let's lobby for a software upgrade!
I agree. Reflowable support is the only thing really missing here, if they included it in the Sony PRS, it would make the experience a lot better.
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Old 01-30-2007, 03:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yvanleterrible
Is'nt her reader too white (person in the picture)? I'd love mine to be that way!
I chalk it up to sunlight and Marketing photos.
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Old 01-30-2007, 04:30 PM   #7
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Hadrien,
re: reflow
I don't really care if reflowing happens on the reader or in the Connect software, as long as I can get readable document from PDFs that were created with letter or A4 page size.

On the other hand I'd like to push SONY to provide software updates or open up the platform, otherwise we'll end up with a closed device that'll be worthless in 6 month even though we invested 350$ in it and the hardware would not pose such limitations.
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Old 01-30-2007, 05:02 PM   #8
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I've seen indications that we'll see a first Firmware update pretty soon, what it might cover is still a bit fuzzy, but they do seem to be planning to carry through with long term support.

There was some noise about releasing an SDK, but I haven't run across anything on that for a while yet.
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Old 01-30-2007, 05:32 PM   #9
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hehe...It's here too:

http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive..._make_pdf.html
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Old 01-30-2007, 07:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Russell
.....................................

It will be very interesting to see how the recommendations are received when analyzed more carefully by the MobileRead community, but this is definitely a welcome addition from Sony. It is not just some casual document thrown together by novices, but is something that appears to be both informative and useful. Kudos to Sony for providing it as part of their commitment to the product.
Thank you, Bob, for your sharing this info.

I tried to converting a doc file to a PDF as directed in the attached guide. It really works well. It is the first time that I love with pleasure to read a PDF ebook on the reader.

In fact, I converted a PDF ebook to a doc file via BookDesign so that I can render it readable with the reader. It really works.
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Old 01-30-2007, 08:34 PM   #11
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Great resource, thanks for sharing.

A lot of what they said has already been said by others in these forums. It is nice to have it all together in one document.
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Old 01-30-2007, 11:46 PM   #12
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Confused...

This doesn't look quite right, even for a pre-release version. Two points --

1. The document says that the display is 800x600 pixels and each pixel is 151x153 microns. If this is the case, then this display is /exactly/ 90.6x122.4mm. So why devolve to the inch approximations when producing PDFs?

2. Creating a PDF with these dimensions does not optimally fill the screen-space. Although those are the dimensions of the overall display, the status bar at the bottom of the screen alters the aspect-ratio, which someone else on this forum pointed out can be reverse-engineered from the images which come with the device. Toss in the fact that there does seem to be a 1-4px border on each side, and the usable area is probably down to 90x115mm.

What I'd really like to see in a document like this is a micron-accurate measurement of the usable display area. :-)
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llasram
1. The document says that the display is 800x600 pixels and each pixel is 151x153 microns. If this is the case, then this display is /exactly/ 90.6x122.4mm. So why devolve to the inch approximations when producing PDFs?
I'd guess it's because the Reader is currently (officially, at least) a US-only product and Americans are famously "non metric". It's a pity that they use these odd "inch" screen sizes when "90x120mm" is an almost exact "metric" size for the screen.

No disrespect intended to our many American friends here, many of whom I know are perfectly happy to use metric measurements.
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sic
Hadrien,
re: reflow
On the other hand I'd like to push SONY to provide software updates or open up the platform, otherwise we'll end up with a closed device that'll be worthless in 6 month even though we invested 350$ in it and the hardware would not pose such limitations.
I don't follow you, sic. Why will the Reader be "worthless" in 6 months? If one uses it for what it is - IMHO, at least - best at, which is reading RTF-format fiction, it's not going to get "worse" at doing that than it is now, is it?
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Old 01-31-2007, 04:07 AM   #15
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I followed the guidelines for our proposed newsletter, but the outcome doesn't look quite right (I double-checked to make sure that I was using the correct settings). The margins seem too wide, and the font is too small for my eyes to read on the Reader. See attached file (inline links aren't functional, I didn't bother to work more with Adobe Distiller).

Hence I agree with llasram. We should figure out the exact usable screensize for our purposes.

Btw, I'd like to hear your comments on the settings I used for our newsletter: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...6184#post56184
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File Type: pdf Newsletter 200705.pdf (263.0 KB, 2974 views)
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