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Old 09-10-2011, 10:52 AM   #1
AZBookworm
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PDFs from different sources - which is best

I download PDFs from different places on-line. Most are not scientific technical in nature. More informational. ie... articles from Scrib, Gutenberg Press, etc.

When I visit an interesting website and don't have time to read the news item right away, I print/save as a PDF on my Mac to be read later. I am pages and pages behind!

All the forum threads I have read seem to be directed to text book PDFs. My needs are different. Not really text books. But loads of defined text in a pdf format.

I want to be able to drag/drop from my Mac to an eReader. Don't want an iPad. I want a true eReader since reading without my eyes tiring from the screen. And be able to read outside.

I have read that Kindle would work. Maybe Sony. Just can't find a working Sony in a store to try.

Anyone with similar needs that found a perfect solution?
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Old 09-10-2011, 12:40 PM   #2
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All eink readers render PDFs equally badly. You'll find the experience tends to be best on the largest screen you can afford. I'd love to be able to recommend the Boox M90, but it crashes too often to be a happy experience. Take a look at the Kindle DX. If it's too pricey, any 6" ereader will work, but it will be frustrating trying to read PDFs on a small screen.
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by AZBookworm View Post
When I visit an interesting website and don't have time to read the news item right away, I print/save as a PDF on my Mac to be read later.

How does your pdf print driver work? Are you able to define the page size of these pdf files? If yes, print them in a page size of 9x12 cm and they will be readable without problems on the 6" devices. Or you could save them as html-files, some readers can read those, too.
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:49 PM   #4
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PDFs are often heavy with various types of rendered content (graphics, text-as-image, etc). My experience with various ebook readers and tablets is as follows:

- PDFs need quite a bit of power to render and read them properly. Most e-ink readers and many lower priced tablets don't have this power so they have to take shortcuts (badly rendered) or they take forever to load, zoom, scroll, or turn pages.

- You need a larger screen. I wouldn't want to read many PDF files on anything less than an iPad sized screen. As it is, the text can often be quite small on my iPad, and zooming and scrolling around a page can be a little tedious. I've used various 7" tablets and the screen size simply isn't large enough to contain the page properly. Some people don't see this as a problem like I do though

- Shorter PDF files like the ones you are describing should open faster on a lower priced ebook reader, but it can still take some time to render each page... I'd recommend getting hands on with anything you're looking at to see if the page rendering time is an issue for you.

Basically, if you want e-ink, I'd have to recommend the kindle dx or the Sony PRS-900/950. I don't, however, have any experience with how they render PDFs. Your best chance at getting the pages rendered properly is to get an LCD tablet unfortunately.
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:33 PM   #5
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I use www.sendtoreader.com with my kindle. Works great for me.
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:05 AM   #6
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What about not saving the pages as PDF? If you save them as HTML they will convert better. Otherwise the only thing is to buy a Kindle DX. As long as the PDFs are sized in an 8.5X11" format, the issues are similar (to textbooks).

BTW, Gutenberg has nonpdf formats available too.
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
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All eink readers render PDFs equally badly. You'll find the experience tends to be best on the largest screen you can afford.
They don't render PDFs equally badly; some are much worse than others. They do, however, range from "just barely tolerable if you have sharp eyes and a love for tiny text" to "atrocious; don't even bother." None of them are good, and yes, screen size is the #1 aspect of the more-tolerable ereaders.

Back to the original poster:

The problem with PDFs on ereaders is that the rendering depends a lot on how the PDF was made--which the receiver has no control over. PDFs created from Office 97 or later tend to be fine; the ereaders that have reflow deal with those fairly well. PDFs created with InDesign tend to be untagged and reflow is more troublesome, and leaves in the headers & footers on every page. (And that's for normal text. InDesign magazines tend to have extra artwork bits showing up in odd places.) PDFs made from scans... well, you have a page. It doesn't change no matter how much you poke at it, unless you have a reader with zoom instead of reflow, in which case, you can scroll around the page to read it. (Do any of the newer ereaders have zoom instead of/in addition to reflow?)
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