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Old 02-16-2007, 06:03 PM   #1
icecubex
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Ebook readers and the Arxiv

Hey guys;

I'm just on the brink of getting an ebook reader. A chief thing I would want to do with one would be to store papers from the Arxiv for viewing (mainly maths, so I don't need worry too much about coloured illustrations or the like). So, here is my question: what's the deal with combining the two?

I mean, I presume it's good to have latex source files available, but is it a terribly tortuous process to recompile the files so that they look right on the readers, and/or do the results look any good?

Thank you, darlings, for any help that you might be able offer,

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Old 02-21-2007, 07:58 PM   #2
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(I sent this to the other thread but my post never appeared there for some reason)

I don't know the format of the arxiv tex files but if you have the source you can either change the document size to a5paper in the document class declaration or if the template doesn't support it, use something like this:
Code:
\usepackage[a5paper,hmargin=0.2cm,vmargin=0.2cm]{geometry}
Afterwards you might need to crop your pdf. I found some instructions in this post but I've never tried to do that.

If you want non-standard sizes then the geometry package is the way to go.
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:48 AM   #3
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I suggest reading PDFrasterFarian - makes A4/Letter PDFs usable. If you provide a link to a typical Arxiv PDF (e.g. in the above Sony Reader thread) some kind soul might try it out and/or post screenshots.
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:40 PM   #4
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Typical arxiv papers in PDF look great on Iliad if you zoom in to the text area (cropping the margins/running headers/footers). We are talking about effective 7.5pts font then.

Alternatively, if you rotate to landscape and enable continuous mode, it looks just the same as if you took it printed out on A4 or letter and taped into a continuous scroll, sliding through it with a half-page-height window.

Simple addition of a \usepackage{geometry} with the appropriate paper size arguments to your TeX source does the trick, nothing torturous (unless the original document uses various packages you don't have -- but I presume you have no problems reprocessing the document from TeX for printing).

Ergonomics and UI intuitiveness of iliad are terrific already at this stage, and responsiveness improves with the ongoing upgrades.
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Old 02-22-2007, 01:30 PM   #5
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Wallcraft, thank you for your suggestion. I might act on it soooonish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BACbKA
Typical arxiv papers in PDF look great on Iliad if you zoom in to the text area (cropping the margins/running headers/footers). We are talking about effective 7.5pts font then.
You're talking from an iliad point of view I'm guessing? I mean, if I purchased a sony reader, clipped off all the margins&c., then maybe I might get things fit readably? (i'm guessing not).

HAH, actually, I've just remembered that usually when I'm printing out PDFs I do them 2-to a page. So yeah, an A5-sized screen would probably do me just fine. But then, hmm....

Quote:
Originally Posted by BACbKA
Alternatively, if you rotate to landscape and enable continuous mode, it looks just the same as if you took it printed out on A4 or letter and taped into a continuous scroll, sliding through it with a half-page-height window.
This continuous mode is an iLiad specific thing right?

Well, after some thought, it seems that I might have to think about alternatives to sony, and reexamine my bias against the iLiad. Hmmm. Maybe even wait for the next generation.

Last edited by icecubex; 02-22-2007 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 02-22-2007, 02:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
A5-sized screen
it's a common misconception, apparently inflicted by the same marketing strategies as those that call a monitor with 20.1" image area a 23-inch monitor.

Iliad outer dimensions are even slightly bigger than A5 (less than 5mm each of the 4 ways). However, if you take the current PDF viewer, and look at the actual area not occupied by the on-screen navigational controls, then it will be just about like A6 in height, and about an inch wider than A6.

Look up the contents howto threads, they will tell you the exact dimensions in mm/inches. Try formatting existing articles with it.

One word of caution to take back something I told about the reformat being not torturous: if the latex source has a lot of display math that is wide enough, it will overflow the right margin and you'll have to manually split it. But as I said, the zoom-in works well enough so that I don't bother to hack into things too deeply.
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Old 02-22-2007, 02:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icecubex
This continuous mode is an iLiad specific thing right?
I have never seen a sony reader so I don't know. But you can try xpdf, right-click on the document, and check the "continuous view" option while resizing the viewable window to match the landscape viewport of iliad.
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Old 02-22-2007, 03:02 PM   #8
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I'm pretty sure the Sony Reader doesn't have a continuous mode -- it's page by page only.
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Old 02-22-2007, 08:39 PM   #9
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I read papers from quant-ph on the sony reader. I recompile them from source, simply changing the paper and font sizes to something I'm comfortable with. It's pretty easy and at one point I was thinking of writing a script to automate d/ling the papers and putting them on the reader. However, I found that not being able to annotate makes me usually end up with paper copies anyway, so I've stopped using the reader for papers.
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Old 03-04-2007, 09:13 PM   #10
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I use the iliad for reading papers from the arxive. It works very nicely. You can just take the pdf, rotate it and zoom a little bit, and you have it a little bit smaller than printed. This requires pressing three buttons with the stylus. You can also annotate, which works fine, too, even though it might require getting used to it a little bit. I had my iliad for less then a week, but I already read quite a few papers from it and I really like it.
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