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Old 12-13-2010, 10:27 AM   #46
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PDFs reflow. I read reflowable PDFs on my smartphone. If they don't reflow on your reader, either they were not made properly, or your reader has substandard third-party PDF reading SW on it.
Well, the only pdf I would dream of reading are technical ones. Where reflow totally screw up.
Even for normal book, you would still have the header / footer getting in the way, and get an even more badly formated result than with mobi or ePub.
Reflow totally kill the point of pdf.
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:52 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by EowynCarter View Post
Well, the only pdf I would dream of reading are technical ones. Where reflow totally screw up.
Even for normal book, you would still have the header / footer getting in the way, and get an even more badly formated result than with mobi or ePub.
Reflow totally kill the point of pdf.
I've read tagged PDFs of fiction novels, without any of those problems. No annoying headers... no badly-formatted text... no broken lines. And you can still print them, if you want. As I said before, problems like that are generally caused by improperly-prepared PDFs. Don't condemn the format because some people don't know how to make them properly, and others use sub-standard software to view them.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:45 PM   #48
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Actually you're defeating your own argument... the reason most tech PDFs don't reflow correctly is what's been pointed out several times in the thread... they aren't designed correctly... there is no reason why technical data can't reflow properly if the layout design includes this capability... it's not the format but the people using it and the tools they use...


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Originally Posted by EowynCarter View Post
Well, the only pdf I would dream of reading are technical ones. Where reflow totally screw up.
Even for normal book, you would still have the header / footer getting in the way, and get an even more badly formated result than with mobi or ePub.
Reflow totally kill the point of pdf.
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:34 PM   #49
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Of course it is the formats fault in some sense. As far as i know there is no mandatory way to distinguish between a re-flowable and a non-re-flowable pdf. So since that is not built in in the format we will automatically get the situation that different tools will export in different ways. Also the lack of a free implementation of re-flow have been a hinder and this lack is indirectly related to the format.
One can scan the pbook, convert scanned pages to PNG images, add a perfectly standard xhtml wrapper around each and every scanned page, and produce an ePub that completely goes against anything that we expect of the "inherently" re-flowable format. Except for the file size, one could not tell the difference until it is tried on a reader with the smaller screen. It might show just fine on iPod or iRex.
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:14 AM   #50
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I've read tagged PDFs of fiction novels, without any of those problems. No annoying headers... no badly-formatted text... no broken lines. And you can still print them, if you want. As I said before, problems like that are generally caused by improperly-prepared PDFs. Don't condemn the format because some people don't know how to make them properly, and others use sub-standard software to view them.
So, the reflow can deal with footers and header ?

Still, the one advantage the pdf have (ie the fixed layout the allows for proper hyphenation / typography) is lost when re-flowing.
Just as trying to get some fixed layout with epUB wouldn't do. It's just not what the format was meant for.

Last edited by EowynCarter; 12-15-2010 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:24 AM   #51
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One can scan the pbook, convert scanned pages to PNG images, add a perfectly standard xhtml wrapper around each and every scanned page, and produce an ePub that completely goes against anything that we expect of the "inherently" re-flowable format. Except for the file size, one could not tell the difference until it is tried on a reader with the smaller screen. It might show just fine on iPod or iRex.
And? ePub is intended for re-flow. pdf was not designed for re-flow.
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:10 AM   #52
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And? ePub is intended for re-flow. pdf was not designed for re-flow.
I agree. Most of the "problematic" PDF's were produced in the era when the target media was paper or (page organized) window on computer screen. When nobody thought of mobile devices and smaller screens as targets.

However, we have to recognize that there is
- a historical tendency to "control the last pixel on the target media"
- that not so small group of end-users respond well (see enthusiasm with which ahi's eInk screen targeted PDF's were received) to such practices.

I think that problems associated with PDF can be attributed more to that clash of goals ("should show up 'good-enough' on maximum number of target platforms" vs. "should show 'perfect' on at least one platform, 'best effort' on the rest") than to the format itself.
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:27 AM   #53
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This year, Santa was especially nice to me... he gave me an iPad and a Nook Color, which allowed me to do tests on... wait for it... PDFs, in the form of magazines and ebooks.

I played a PDF ebook on the iPad and the NC, and it rendered perfectly.

I discovered the magazine PDFs I had would not play properly on the iPad: They formatted correctly, but the body text came out garbled (you may have seen the effect that looks like the letters in the sentence have been mixed about and run together, rendering the lines unreadable). This was after trying 4 different reading apps (Adobe does not yet make an app for the iPad).

However, on the Nook Color, these same PDF mags rendered perfectly.
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