Techtechpdffileformat

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 08:23 PM

Ya know, pdf format really, really sucks.

It's awesome for publishers and business where format means more than content and comprehension,

but if you're trying to read it anywhere but in a printed format as determined by the publisher, it is next to useless.

The keys and functions for electronic reading are barely supported. Trying to read it on my Kindle is a constant battle of zoom/unzoom.

Musings of a curmudgeon.

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Reply Ya know, pdf format really, really sucks. (Original post)
exindy Mar 2017 OP
Aldar Mar 2017 #1
cologeek Mar 2017 #2
MumblyPeg Mar 2017 #3
exindy Mar 2017 #7
It Guy Mar 2017 #4
exindy Mar 2017 #6
JJ667 Mar 2017 #8
exindy Mar 2017 #9
It Guy Mar 2017 #10
Muddling Through Mar 2017 #5
GordieG Mar 2017 #11
Currentsitguy Mar 2017 #12
exindy Mar 2017 #13
Currentsitguy Mar 2017 #14
exindy Mar 2017 #15
Currentsitguy Mar 2017 #16

Response to exindy (Original post)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 08:29 PM

1. no problem reading it on a PC

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Response to Aldar (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 08:32 PM

2. Same here.

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Response to exindy (Original post)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 08:36 PM

3. it has sucked

since inception... along with almost everything else adobe and java. bloated ass junkware

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Response to MumblyPeg (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 09:13 PM

7. Java is another issue, isn't it?

Some guy at UCSD learned about p-code and thought it was a great idea for portability instead of a great academic exercise.

That beast should have had a stake driven thru its heart long ago.

And then there was Pascal. A wonderful language for learning how to program but that's about it.

Yep, wear the curmudgeon badge proudly.

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Response to exindy (Original post)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 08:43 PM

4. Limited functionality means limited back doors to hack into to change a document.

This fact has a lot to do with your issues.

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Response to It Guy (Reply #4)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 09:07 PM

6. You would think that a program that big

would be able to have a setting that says: Optimize for display.

One that wouldn't affect the content, just the rendition of the content based on the parameters of the medium.

Eg, I am trying to study a reference manual for my camera. The manual is in a printed format 3.5 wide and 5.5 high. My PC can display much more than that in a window but it doesn't matter because the format has been fixed by the publisher.

Now picture trying to read a reference manual which is formatted for 11 x 14 page size on a Kindle screen that is 7 inches high.

The quality of the content of the reference manual, its organization, is a different issue.

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Response to exindy (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 09:20 PM

8. Your looking for HTML

You are looking for HTML if you want to optimize for display on the current device. PDF is designed for a "display it as it would print" model.

Somebody really needs to produce a useful crossbreed, a single fixed file that can contain multiple pages and all of the font/formatting information but in an XML based display optimizing format.

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Response to JJ667 (Reply #8)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 09:29 PM

9. Exactly.

Adobe won't make the effort to provide the functions.

And the 3rd party people haven't been able to reverse engineer it in such a way that the locks can be maintained.

Perhaps both groups believe that the copyright applies to the format as well as the content without doing a reasonableness judgement. From their standpoint they just lock it all.

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Response to exindy (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 09:32 PM

10. Using a Kindle is probably much like using an iPad. That's what I do most of my surfing on.

Using a Kindle is the other part of the problem. They still operate with an OS that's extremely limited in what it can do and this is by design. Knowing what I know about manufacturing and especially planned obsolescence, you can bet that your frustration of your Kindle was banked on.

By the time your aggravation with the device becomes apparent, it's way past the time for a refund.

All kinds of sneaky stuff is done to incrementally add to consumer frustrations and this is especially so for software driven machines. It's by design that hardware becomes obsolete because software. You can bet there's collusion between hardware and software companies to keep bouncing the consumer back and forth. This is how they keep their profits going.

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Response to exindy (Original post)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 09:06 PM

5. And, it won't stay off my d*** lawn!

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Response to exindy (Original post)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 09:41 PM

11. The problem is your Kindle

 

For the PC, Mac, and iPad, pdf is fantastic. It allows me to carry hundreds of files that open in a wink. I can make legions of comments with no problem.

Reading pdf on iPhones is a battle, probably like your Kindle.

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Response to exindy (Original post)

Tue Mar 14, 2017, 10:45 AM

12. If layout isn't an issue

Why not just covert it to epub?

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Response to Currentsitguy (Reply #12)

Tue Mar 14, 2017, 12:04 PM

13. The functional difference between pdf and epub is determined by the goal

In the case of epub, the goal is display on an electronic medium and so the underlying format allows for a means to change font, page size, etc. That means if I'm reading a book (of any kind) on a kindle it optimizes for the kindle screen and on a smart phone it optimizes for that. A PC window is handled the same way.

Then there's extra goodies like word definition lookups or cut and paste for quoting, etc. In effect the document is word based.

The pdf is optimized for the printed page. That is a fixed parameter by the author. When being read without any capability for restructuring the function is more like a screen shot of the printed page, like a bunch of jpegs with hotspots. That image can be zoomed and scrolled but it comes at a cost of readability. Zoom out to fit the screen size and in the case of a large print page, the characters become too small to see. Zoom in for readability and the user has to move the image around.

When trying to learn a new topic the handling requirements distract from the content.

As far as conversion? There are some 3rd party softwares that attempt it (like converting to html or docx) but none do it well.

In my current situation, trying to learn how to use 2 different compact (bridge) digital cameras, the manuals for each are on hardcopy (that I have) and pdf that I downloaded. But the pdf for both are set up for size dictated by the size of the box the manual came in. So my "screen shot pages" have so little content that I'm spending all my time moving around the manual.

And I don't want to talk about the manual content itself. Written as a reference manual rather than a tutorial. Organized based on the dial on the camera doing an action rather than organized based on a function to be performed. Engineers.

Sorry for being a bit verbose.

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Response to exindy (Reply #13)

Tue Mar 14, 2017, 01:07 PM

14. OK, well manuals are a different issue

I was thinking in terms of novels, where layout isn't an issue.

In those cases I have found Calibre is a pretty decent program, both as a converter and an organizer.

When I am forced into PDF, if I find they aren't OCR'ed, I'll tend to break them and have the text recognized so at least it is searchable.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Reply #14)

Tue Mar 14, 2017, 02:34 PM

15. As I speak, looking at the manuals now

to decide a good organization for learning. Next step is the OCR.

My OCR works off tif and so a screen capture of the pdf page and a save in tif format, combining pages into chapters should work well. Means I can peel off the image examples before the OCR and save them for use in the result. I'll just skip the pages I'm not likely to use.

Then I'll probably use word on the front end and save in html. Do some touchups with the html editor afterwards.

It'll be a good learning aid as well. Probably take a week or two for each camera. Just in time for my trip into SW Utah. I'll use the kindle for functional lookups as needed. I'll keep the original pdf on it also.

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Response to exindy (Reply #15)

Tue Mar 14, 2017, 03:47 PM

16. Cool

If you haven't tried it yet take a look at ABBYY Finereader. It's a very good Scan and OCR package that can read and interpret most common formats.

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Techtechpdffileformat