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My sister has a PHD in nursing and she is trying to decide if a Kindle 2 would be good to read the journal articles in PDF form.  I have one downloaded from her but the flow chart is too small to read.  It won't "zoom" either so I can read it.  Is there anything I can do?
 

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Very little. The PDF format was not designed to offer the reflowing text and pictures that the Kindle requires. Conversion to read on the Kindle is generally very unsatisfactory except for files that are all plain text, and even those can look pretty bad.

I'd have to say the Kindle is a poor choice for this application. A laptop would be far more satisfactory.


Mike
 

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sslteach said:
My sister has a PHD in nursing and she is trying to decide if a Kindle 2 would be good to read the journal articles in PDF form. I have one downloaded from her but the flow chart is too small to read. It won't "zoom" either so I can read it. Is there anything I can do?
You might be interested in this podcast. This is my son. To prepare for this course in Jamaica, he put about 120 articles on his Kindle. Many (all?) were PDFs and he formatted them using Mobipocket Creator. About 80% of the articles converted well; there were a few that had too many charts or the font was too small and they didn't work. Even so, it saved him lugging a giant notebook full of photocopied articles.

http://www.thekindlechronicles.com/2009/02/05/29-delancey-nicoll/

Tell your sister that I will be presenting at the INANE conference (International Academy of Nursing Editors) this summer on "Innovations in Content Delivery." The Kindle will be a big part of the presentation.

L
 

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While the Kindle have a wider screen, a PDA or some PDA have better application and reading PDF files and i which you can zoom the small files. But a laptop is far the  best o read those tables as it is fit to the page setting in the PDF so its small.

 

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I've never seen a PDF that converts flawlessly. Take an all text word document and create a Mobipocket file, the only errors will be mistakes in the original. Take the same word document, make a PDF, then convert it for the Kindle, and new formatting errors will appear: usually unexpected line breaks, skipped line breaks, and missing paragraph tabs. Other conversions can be worse with sudden changes in font and italics or contain author and title headings where the natural page break would be. Trying to fit a PDF on the Kindle is like hammering a nail into drywall with the butt end of a screwdriver; you can do it, sort of, but it will be a sloppy job.

I think it is important for readers not to tolerate the kind of errors found in a converted PDF. They give ebooks a bad name as something inferior. Even when it's free or the only format available, the PDF should be ignored.
 

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jmeaders said:
The only fix to this is for Amazon to provide a PDF reader on the Kindle, in my opinion.
That wouldn't work either. The PDF format is inherently incompatible with small screens. Even the Sony reader, which already has native PDF support, has some formatting issues.

The only true fix is to discontinue the PDF. It should be replaced with a reflow format like epub; place it into the obsolescence with 8-track tapes, VHS tapes, cassette tapes, HD-DVD, laserdics, and floppy drives. Readers need to push back against authors and other content providers who still offer PDF files.
 

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Geemont said:
The only true fix is to discontinue the PDF. It should be replaced with a reflow format like epub; place it into the obsolescence with 8-track tapes, VHS tapes, cassette tapes, HD-DVD, laserdics, and floppy drives. Readers need to push back against authors and other content providers who still offer PDF files.
I agree but unfortunately, people have been brainwashed into PDF format. They think it's the bee's knees and cat's meow all rolled up in one. I am on an authors/readers mailing list. Two of the authors have books coming out in 2 weeks -- lots of excitement. I asked if there would be a Kindle version and someone else immediately chimed in with, "Kindle is proprietary -- it would be better to have the book come out in a PDF." WRONG. Unfortunately, it appears that the book is only going to be in print! I am so annoyed. No ebook version at all. What cave is this publisher living in, anyway?

I am working on an online book project with a publisher and they have made the decision to -- guess what? -- publish it as a PDF. When I heard this I almost hit the roof! I had been pushing them to explore putting out a Kindle version but the decision was made to go with a PDF. I was so mad I could spit nails. When I asked why I was told, "Readers tell us they prefer PDF because they can download and print and read the book on paper." I could not believe that convoluted thinking.

Sigh....

L
 

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I think that until the Kindle gets a proper .pdf interpreter, that the results will be less than stellar. Having said that, who knows, perhaps they will patch one in eventually. I think just about any other format would work better for your sisters purposes.
 

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L.Canton said:
I think that until the Kindle gets a proper .pdf interpreter, that the results will be less than stellar. Having said that, who knows, perhaps they will patch one in eventually. I think just about any other format would work better for your sisters purposes.
How do you suggest that a PDF be "properly" interpreted on a smaller screen?
 

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L.Canton said:
I think that until the Kindle gets a proper .pdf interpreter,
I think it's not going to happen, at least not soon. The PDF format is hard-coded with returns at the end of each line and other unfortunate formatting that is based on the file being generated for a specific page size. It doesn't have reflowable text, and that's what the Kindle and other readers need in order to display on a small screen and re-size the text. Some PDF to text converters can't even figure out paragraph break consistently.

The PDF just wasn't designed for this eventuality.

Mike
 

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Some people on Mobileread have been working with some programs to convert PDF files, but it may require having Acrobat Professional, or whatever you call the version that lets you create new PDF.  They set up a new, smaller page size, and convert the original PDF.  Some fussing may be required. 

It's just that some of the ebook readers have slightly different page sizes, and what works for one person may not work for another (different reader, font, font size).  PDF just isn't optimal for ebook readers.
 
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