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Old 08-24-2010, 06:25 PM   #1
cleanskin
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PDF panning really needs improvement!

One of the main reasons I purchased the Kindle DX Graphite was for reading PDF versions for some of my textbooks while I am on the go, outside the house. Unfortunately, the PDF readability is not working out the way I had hoped because of the limited zoom and pan functions. If Amazon doesn't plan to improve their panning function in the near future, I will unfortunately have to return this DX.

I can accept the fact that I need to zoom into each page to better read columns of text. The big problem, however, is the restricted panning ability while zoomed. Most textbooks have two columns of text per page. I would like to zoom in and read each column at a time (I can read in ultra fine print, but I can only do so for a limited time without eyestrain).

Because the current firmware only allows panning to occur in large increments with little overlap, I can only read one column and not pan to the other. At 150% zoom, if I pan from the left column to the right column, it actually only shows half of the right column and the rest is cut off. This is also true if I need to see a figure or diagram at the top or bottom of the page. There isn't a way to see them not cut off unless I go back to 'fit-to-screen' again. I have also tried viewing the Kindle in landscape mode and while it makes the text larger, when I pan downward, there is still not enough overlap (hardly at all actually), so diagrams and graphs get cut through the middle.

The only solution I have found is to return to 'fit-to-screen', select the column I wish to read with the rectangle, and then zoom back in again at 150%. But this is cumbersome and time consuming when attempting to read several pages of text.

The Kindle DX is great for reading novels, but it is not ready for textbooks until the panning function is improved to point where we can quickly read any section of a page. I purchased the Kindle DX with the understanding of its obvious limitations for textbook reading (dim grayscale - e.g. difficult to interpret color coded graphs and diagrams; small screen (for a textbook) - e.g. can't read most pages without zooming 150%). But I was not aware that the panning function is so limited. It would not be difficult for Amazon to implement a better panning function with more overlap between frames. I hope they upgrade their firmware with this improved function soon. Otherwise, I sadly must return this reader.

Have any of you also run into this problem while reading PDFs?
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:49 PM   #2
stjoe
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To pan in smaller increment, hold down SHIFT key and move the 5-way stick to left/right or up/down.

One more tip: to go back to "fit-to-screen" size, you dont need to go to the menu using Aa button, just press Back button when you are in zoom mode
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:52 AM   #3
cleanskin
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Hey Joe, thanks for the help!

Right after I read your post, I noticed that the Kindle gives these instructions on the bottom of the screen when you open the zoom menu. But for some of the PDFs I am using, it always says at the bottom: "Some elements on this page could not be displayed" and never shows the instructions on how to 'nudge'.

What is strange is that the images that the Kindle has problems with seem quite arbitrary. They are not high resolution (less than VGA) and do not appear to be any different than graphics or images viewed inside of other PDFs. Adobe Reader views the PDFs fine on the PC. Anyone know a solution to make these graphics viewable on the Kindle?
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