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Old 12-23-2016, 01:24 PM   #16
Hitch
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Originally Posted by willus View Post
For the purpose of re-formatting (potentially eventually into mobi/e-pub) so they are easier to read with an e-book. I've attached example PDFs and related thumbnails from (a) the PDF, (b) the PDF loaded into MS Word, and (c) a re-formatted version of the PDF in MS Word. For each case, I loaded the PDF directly into MS Word (subscription version of Office 365 Home), then did nothing but a 30-second re-format by changing the margins. No editing.
1. Computer-generated, fairly complex layout--two columns, inset graphics/tables.
2. Scanned from a book.
In both cases, I can quickly get to a very readable solution with minimal editing work.
Well, we view things differently. I don't know how you make your eBooks; I can't speak to that.

But--and we've tested this, more than once--when we need to take a PDF to "Word," the cleaner result is pretty much always via Abbyy. Yes, the amount of work sucks, and all that, but at least what I get out, directly into Word, isn't quite as disastrous, under the skin, as the "open PDF in Word" method.

I mean...pehaps you mean that you take the resulting Word file and you clean it up, and then export it to HTML. When I take the 2-col PDF that you've so kindly provided as a sample, put it into Word 2016, and export that result to HTML, it ain't pretty.

At my company, we have a visual that we give to our clients; we tell them that their books/projects are like icebergs. They and their readers all look at the part that's above the waterline. We are simply concerned with what's below the waterline. When I view the part below the waterline in these files--particularly the more-complex example--I'm reasonably sure that I'd get a cleaner result if it had run through Abbyy.

Now, as I've said here more than once, different courses for different horses. Everybody has their OWN way of getting to Point X. And everybody's Point X is different, too. There's only one place that has any "jurisdiction" over our work, and that's the IDPF's ePUBcheck. And even then...well, we all know that tune.

If this works for you, I think that's great. I received a half-disastrous FICTION book (yes, simple fiction) from a major agency, this past summer, that they'd tried to do by this method, for one of their author clients. I'd have thought that if this worked smoothly, they wouldn't have needed us, but...{shrug}. Who knows?

Like I said...different horses. Glad it's working for you. For whatever reason, I don't think it really works for us.

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Old 12-23-2016, 02:12 PM   #17
DaleDe
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you do know that Willis is an expert on PDF (IMHO). He converted the 2 column to a single column first off to clean up the text for conversion. See his posts in the PDF group where he is a programmer as well. Everyone has a right to their opinion but you are not dealing with a newbie in this case.

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Old 12-23-2016, 05:10 PM   #18
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Thank you, Dale. I'm not sure expert is the word, as I haven't made a dime off of any work on PDFs, unlike Hitch, who is a professional in the field.

Hitch, I think you're super smart and I have no doubt you are good at what you do, but remember that this thread was started by a self-admitted newbie who said they have books in PDF form that they'd like to move to their kindle. Your angle is the "this is how you publish a professional e-book" angle, and your standards are high. This is one view point, and it's great that you share your experience in the field--many of us learn a great deal from it--but it's not necessarily the best solution and certainly not the only solution available to the OP and/or other people who might be reading this thread, so I offered another solution (for PDFs).

Throwing ABBYY Fine Reader at a PDF is great, but I think it's fair to say that it is a niche product (outside the publishing world, anyway) for power users. On the other hand, MS Word is a de-facto standard tool that a lot of people already have and know how to use and don't even realize will read PDF files, which is why I posted. Not only does MS Word read PDF files, it does an amazingly good job (my opinion) of turning them into editable source content, which opens the door to a lot of flexibility in what you then do with that content.
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Old 12-23-2016, 05:41 PM   #19
Hitch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
you do know that Willis is an expert on PDF (IMHO). He converted the 2 column to a single column first off to clean up the text for conversion. See his posts in the PDF group where he is a programmer as well. Everyone has a right to their opinion but you are not dealing with a newbie in this case.

Dale
Well, thank you, Dale. I didn't say I was (dealing with a newbie). I said, Different horses, and I meant it. If I sounded like I thought I was talking to a newb, it wasn't intentional. (I'm not having the world's best week or day, and it's possible that it crept in. If so, my sincere apologies to all.)

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Originally Posted by willus View Post
Thank you, Dale. I'm not sure expert is the word, as I haven't made a dime off of any work on PDFs, unlike Hitch, who is a professional in the field.
Meh. Professional/Shmemessional.

Quote:
Hitch, I think you're super smart and I have no doubt you are good at what you do, but remember that this thread was started by a self-admitted newbie who said they have books in PDF form that they'd like to move to their kindle. Your angle is the "this is how you publish a professional e-book" angle, and your standards are high. This is one view point, and it's great that you share your experience in the field--many of us learn a great deal from it--but it's not necessarily the best solution and certainly not the only solution available to the OP and/or other people who might be reading this thread, so I offered another solution (for PDFs).
That's true. And you're right. For the usual suspects, you are 100% correct that putting it into Word probably makes sense. I just...I don't know. I guess my instant reaction is a bit like my gut reaction whenever an (insta-convert!) file shows up at my "house," masquerading as a Word file. In fact, it's cost us so much brain-damage over the years, we even have an article in our FAQ about it--"don't send us faux Word files."

We've received I-don't-know-how-many "Word" files over the years, the results of scanning, of those Websites ("Convert your PDF file to Word now!"), and of course, "save PDF as..." results, that I have an adverse reaction to anything that comes from "insta--" anything.

That, however, is my baggage. And, hell, I've been wrong before. (I know, I know...INCONCEIVABLE! Where's Wally Shawn, when you need him?)

Quote:
Throwing ABBYY Fine Reader at a PDF is great, but I think it's fair to say that it is a niche product (outside the publishing world, anyway) for power users. On the other hand, MS Word is a de-facto standard tool that a lot of people already have and know how to use and don't even realize will read PDF files, which is why I posted. Not only does MS Word read PDF files, it does an amazingly good job (my opinion) of turning them into editable source content, which opens the door to a lot of flexibility in what you then do with that content.
And again--you are correct. Inarguably. Many, many more people will have Word 2016, than will EVER or ever in all of known human history own AFR. Nobody with two brain cells to rub together could ever argue THAT point. And --let me say this about that--IF the user is proficient in Word, (I can't speak for you, but that's a unicorn, at my shop), it's a perfectly good option. Lord knows, you can clean up all that legendary "Word cruft" pretty easily and get a perfectly clean HTML file, IF you are a stone-cold Word power user. Or hell, even someone like me, with some Word expertise under your belt.

So, yes, I misspoke. My sincere apologies. I was all focused on what I've seen, in those types of outputs, and what it would take to go directly from the Word file to HTML, without someone's guiding hand. I should have thought about it in the larger scheme.

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Old 12-23-2016, 05:52 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitch View Post
...So, yes, I misspoke. My sincere apologies. I was all focused on what I've seen, in those types of outputs, and what it would take to go directly from the Word file to HTML, without someone's guiding hand. I should have thought about it in the larger scheme.
You are passionate about what you do, and nobody should fault you for that. Thank you for the thoughtful post. Your points are valid and well taken.
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