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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a psychology major heavily involved in research, so I'm constantly printing PDFs of long papers from my university's online psych journal database. I'm getting a Kindle 2 in a few days, and I'm hoping that I can use the free e-mail PDF conversion to read these files on my Kindle. I'd like to know what kind of success rate people have had with this conversion service. If files usually don't transfer well, this might be a deal breaker for me...I'd most likely swap out my Kindle 2 for a DX. Thoughts?

 

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I've not used amazon to do any of my pdf converting but if IIRC the conversion doesn't do so well with tables and graphs.

IMO if you use a lot of pdfs you'd be an ideal candidate for the DX.
 

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My biggest problems have come with multiple columns of text on the page. And it doesn't matter if I convert it myself with mobipocket creator or use their converter. It just becomes a mess.
 

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I've not found anything that converts PDFs worth a darn.  IMO not a format that lends itself well to conversion.
 

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My stuff that is all one column of text on the page works great. Most of my pdfs have converted fine. But then there are those difficult few I've learned to live without.
 

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There is no such beast as a perfect PDF conversion.  All files converted from PDF will have errors. 

Once, as as test, I created a Mobipocket ebook from a freely available Word document.  I didn't find any errors.  Then I used then same Word document and made it a PDF.  I put the PDF into Mobipocket Creator and had it converted into a Kindle compatible ebook.  Lo and behold!  There were new formatting errors that didn't exist in the original document or first Mobipocket ebook.  Once a PDF, always as PDF.

Now some people will say that the formatting errors aren't serious enough to hinder reading, and I guess it will come down to personal choice, but as I see it  there are other books available well formatted editions so I can always say no to PDF converted ebooks.  But I'm not a student will a required reading list.

If you absolutely,  positively have to read PDF files, either invest in a good printer or try the Kindle DX .
 

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I don't expect perfect. I expect pretty good and easy enough to read. I've converted over 100 pdf documents and the vast majority are fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's good to hear that the PDF conversion is acceptable. Is there a way to convert HTML files to ebook format? If so, I may go that route with most of my files.  I know the DX would be a better choice for what I want to use the kindle for, but the size is a turn-off for me. I'd much prefer something I can throw in my purse!

On a related note, can anyone suggest a good conversion software?
 

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Oh. . .sorry. . .don't know. . . .but there are macophiles hanging out here that can probably say.  Calibre and/or Stanza are, I believe, for Mac but I don't know anything about either one.
 

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apcrist said:
whoops...is there anything similar for a Mac?
Right now, only calibre works on a Mac. I've had problems with formatting depending on the source documentation, usually it drops the tab indents, but the program is still being updated frequently. However, I think html is OK, though I have not done a lot of testing to be completely sure.

I forgot about Stanza. It does a crap job converting files to html. It adds a "-" between all syllables in the html code.

The other option is to use VMWare Fusion and have Windows as a virtual machine to run Mobipocket Creator.
 

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Geemont said:
Right now, only calibre works on a Mac. I've had problems with formatting depending on the source documentation, usually it drops the tab indents, but the program is still being updated frequently. However, I think html is OK, though I have not done a lot of testing to be completely sure.

I forgot about Stanza. It does a crap job converting files to html. It adds a "-" between all syllables in the html code.

The other option is to use VMWare Fusion and have Windows as a virtual machine to run Mobipocket Creator.
Calibre converts html great.
 

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Hi apcrist,

As a psychology graduate, I HIGHLY recommend you get the DX instead.  The PDF conversions will probably not meet your expections on the Kindle2.  (Speaking from experience.)  Anyway, enjoy your new Kindle!
 

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Forster said:
I've not found anything that converts PDFs worth a darn. IMO not a format that lends itself well to conversion.
I'll second that. Even Adobe Acrobat can't manage to export a PDF back to a Word file without mangling it.

Mike
 

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I work with and create PDFs all the time since I create them for authors to publish their books. You have to understand that a PDF maintains none of the underlying formatting code that a word processor file has. Depending on how the PDF was created, at worst you have one big image per page, and at best, you have the digital equivalent of a bunch of letters stuck on a page like magnets to a refrigerator. A PDF is meant to display on any device because of its conversion to this neutral format. So there's no way to do a perfect conversion from PDF because all the necessary formatting information doesn't exist in a PDF.
 
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