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Old 03-31-2024, 11:09 AM   #16
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No, any PDF reflow is an option, never a default and often useless.

The whole point of PDF is an exact view of what the print will look like, hence a physical page size and typically it may use any mix of raster, vector, text with fonts and postscript programming. A scanned image is not as portable. But you need a big enough screen.

It can only be done by epub if it's not really a traditional epub, but the variation of epub3 that actually mimics a PDF.

What resolution will the scanned image use??

Last edited by Quoth; 03-31-2024 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 04-01-2024, 09:56 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Quoth View Post
No, any PDF reflow is an option, never a default and often useless.

The whole point of PDF is an exact view of what the print will look like, hence a physical page size and typically it may use any mix of raster, vector, text with fonts and postscript programming. A scanned image is not as portable. But you need a big enough screen.

It can only be done by epub if it's not really a traditional epub, but the variation of epub3 that actually mimics a PDF.

What resolution will the scanned image use??
I know what the ideal of PDF is. In practice, not every PDF viewer will render a given PDF page identically to the commercially printed page. I have a number of role-playing game rulebooks in print and PDF form, and Acrobat Reader makes occasional mistakes compared to the printed pages. Thus my assertion that the only way to guarantee the ebook precisely retains the printed page layout is to use a raster image of that printed page. Resolution of the scan and of the display largely is orthognoal to this: the scan or the screen could be the size of a postage stamp, or smaller, and still retain the desired page layout. Such a small scan would be illegible to a human reader so on that point I agree: the higher the resolution of the scan, the higher the resolution of the display, and the size of the display are all relevant to the human trying to read the book. But they are not relevant to the book itself.

Standard ePub can encapsulate raster image pages.
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Old 04-01-2024, 05:24 PM   #18
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You are assuming that the producer who created the PDF version of the RPG book used the exact same source as the printed version.
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Old 04-01-2024, 06:41 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by ratinox View Post
I have a number of role-playing game rulebooks in print and PDF form, and Acrobat Reader makes occasional mistakes compared to the printed pages.
Then it's absolutely not the same PDF as was used to print. I've been proofing PDFs on screen for over 20 years. They exactly matched the paper except in quality. Now with a 23″ 4K HDR screen I can nearly get the same quality.


Before PDF we had multipage TIF which does what you claim. But PDFs are better, because no decision about resolution of the text is needed. The text quality varies with the device resolution. The Raster solution (which can be used with PDFs) has the problem that either the chosen resolution is too poor or not as good as the display.

Eink started off at 150 dpi and 167 dpi. Now most mono are 300 dpi, except larger ones. Colour ink is 106 dpi to 150 dpi.

LCD screens vary from 72 dpi to 400 dpi in colour.

If the screen is too small you have the same issue with a raster image as with a PDF shrunk to fit; the text is unreadible. But if the screen is large enough to read the smallest text, then a PDF that's not a a raster scan (those exist) will always beat a raster scan because the text is stored as text, not images, and the the renderer uses the font in the PDF, which can have hints and also sub-pixel addressing or other font specific antialiasing can be used to suit the display resolution. If the screen is big enough it will display actual original page size. A raster scan can't work like that.


If your PDFs don't match the print material then they are pirate or not the same revision or not the same source.

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Old 04-01-2024, 07:27 PM   #20
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You are assuming that the producer who created the PDF version of the RPG book used the exact same source as the printed version.
Yes, since that's what most authors do these days. Maintaining two parallel versions is more than twice the work so why bother? I think the real source of the rendering mistakes is excessively complicated PDFs. These books typically have many layers of background images under the text and the text uses weird fonts from who knows where, and Acrobat just can't deal with it without screwing up little things here and there.
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Old 04-01-2024, 07:32 PM   #21
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If your PDFs don't match the print material then they are pirate or not the same revision or not the same source.
They're definintely not pirated or bootlegs.

They might not be the same revisions as the corresponding print versions. I'll check if any of the printed books list source versions.
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Old 04-02-2024, 11:29 AM   #22
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I think the real source of the rendering mistakes is excessively complicated PDFs. These books typically have many layers of background images under the text and the text uses weird fonts from who knows where, and Acrobat just can't deal with it without screwing up little things here and there.
Unlikely. PDF is an Adobe spec. InDesign is Adobe. The full version of Acrobat to create PDFs is Adobe.
Acrobat reader is Adobe.

PDFs exported from other random programs (not by Adobe) are simpler than the PDFs Adobe tools can make.

Someone messed up. It's not a lack in your Adobe Acrobat reader.
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Old 04-02-2024, 01:46 PM   #23
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Unlikely. PDF is an Adobe spec. InDesign is Adobe. The full version of Acrobat to create PDFs is Adobe.
Acrobat reader is Adobe.

PDFs exported from other random programs (not by Adobe) are simpler than the PDFs Adobe tools can make.

Someone messed up. It's not a lack in your Adobe Acrobat reader.
Fair. Given this? PDF should do what the OP requested.
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Old 04-02-2024, 03:39 PM   #24
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Historically scanners and fax servers used Multipage Tiff. Developed by Aldus in 1987. Obviously it was a pure raster format with lossless compression. Adobe bought Aldus. The last change to TIFF was in 1992.
PDF was a development of Postscript and can have text, fonts, postscript programming, bit map images including TIFF, vectors and layers. One idea was so that the scanner or Fax could put a raster layer and an invisible layer of text could be added for search via OCR.
Aldus Pagemaker used Postscript on the Mac from 1985 to give true WYSIWG, which MS Word has never done, because it uses the local printer metrics.
By 1993 Aldus was owned by Adobe. The first PDF format was 1993!
All systems went toward PDF for files to a printer.
Quark Express and Ventura ate into Adobe Pagemaker share, so in 1999 Adobe released InDesign. It's primarily for paper so is orientated to production of PDFs. PDF output from Word and LO Writer has got so good that now only big publishers, people doing non-book publishing, specialist text books or more money than sense use InDesign. It was fudged for Azw3 and epub2, because it's for fixed layout paper, so it only does print replica and fixed layout epub3 well. Its roots are postscript in Aldus Pagemaker for the Mac for paper print. Postscript is practically the native content of a PDF, but a pdf is an envelope with multiple layers of anything in it, which is why Nebo or Xodo or Okular or Acrobat can add layers with drawing/handwritten/text layers as annotation. Editing what is already there is very hard to impossible.

Why didn't comics / Manga use multpage TIFF? Because those may be a vector or PDF source with maybe bitmaps as well as text. A TIFF is raster based. Compression historically is lossless and per line. Conversion of the comic/manga source to a jpeg or png per page gives adequate quality and when put in a zip gives better compression. Some comics/manga are distributed as mixed bitmap and text which allows TTS of the speech bubbles or zooming them.
Scanners, Fax and CRTs are raster (line structured). Modern screens and arbitrary images (from PDF or other) are arrays, bit maps.

Amazon is the odd man out on PDFs with the Scribe. Also they should never have marketed Print Replica as "Kindle".

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Old 04-02-2024, 04:23 PM   #25
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With a couple of interesting-to-me side branches: Sun Microsystems' NeWS (Network extensible Windowing System) circa 1986 which used an extended version of PostScript directly as a display model. NeXTStep circa 1989 which used Display PostScript. And MacOS X (aka macOS) circa 2001, the direct descendent of NeXTStep, which uses Display PDF.
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