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Old 07-08-2014, 04:07 PM   #1
garpu
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Converting PDFS to ebooks (preferably epub or mobi)


Is there a trick to converting PDFs to an ebook format and still have it legible?

My tools: Calibre, a Kindle (e-ink, bog standard one), Slackware. Heuristic processing in Calibre makes it a tad better, but there are usually fluctuations.

Any tips or advice? Upgrading the kindle to some other tablet isn't really feasible so long as the Kindle works.
 
Old 07-09-2014, 05:23 AM   #2
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I have a lazy way out of that - non kosher, I am sure.

Open in Acrobat Reader. Copy & paste into LibreOffice (with epub extension). Hack to your heart's content. Export as something and read into calibre or write as an epub.
 
Old 07-09-2014, 08:40 AM   #3
garpu
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You know, that might actually work...Or use Scrivener for it.
 
Old 07-09-2014, 10:38 AM   #4
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There's pandoc, but it depends on a ton of Haskell.

http://slackbuilds.org/repository/14.1/office/pandoc/

Edit:
No, don't think it can convert from pdf to epub. Must learn to read things properly before giving advice.

Last edited by brianL; 07-09-2014 at 10:44 AM.
 
Old 07-10-2014, 05:01 AM   #5
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The problem is, everything can write pdf, because Adobe released the code. Very little can read them into an editor, because the standard is so obfuscated that it's next to impossible to do. Adobe decided internally how this was to work, and (guessing gave the standard to their lawyers who probably wrote the standard you can read.
 
Old 07-10-2014, 12:48 PM   #6
garpu
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Hrm...seems like my options are buy a better tablet/reader once the Kindle dies or learn to like weird artifacts and letter combinations.
 
Old 07-11-2014, 04:36 AM   #7
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FWIW, there are android and apple tablets here. Both handle epub and pdf, but handle epub better than pdf (text resizing, page movement, more inventive links).

Personally, I find the Apple a bit Nazi. It PRESUMES you are buying all your e-books and buying all music from itunes and suchlike.If you don't like iBooks, that's tough; they make it difficult for anyone to offer options; TTS is also a disaster if you don't like their voices. Downloading and saving a file seems to be impossible.
 
Old 07-11-2014, 11:13 AM   #8
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Note that Libreoffice has an extension called writer2epub. If you don't have it you can get it via Libreoffice's extension manager located in the Tools menu.
jdk
 
Old 07-12-2014, 12:46 AM   #9
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Seeing as though I'm Linux-only these days, Apple's not an option. NOt overly enthused with android, either.
 
Old 07-12-2014, 03:43 AM   #10
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Me neither. but it's a neat package for a tablet.
 
Old 07-13-2014, 05:33 PM   #11
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Honestly, the best source to work from is a word-processor document . . . if you can possibly manage that, do that.

The main problem is that PDF is, at its core and by design, a page layout/formatting language, designed to tell a printer what to do. An electronic book-reader is an entirely different beast, and its book-file formats are basically HTML-driven. So, there is a gigantic "impedance mismatch" between the two. Any attempt at "conversion," then, is likely to produce very unsatisfactory results.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 07-13-2014 at 05:34 PM.
 
Old 10-09-2014, 11:48 PM   #12
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If anyone's reading I figured something out that seems to work well.

In Calibre, there are options to specify output format for a specific device. Instead of "generic eInk device," I chose my model of Kindle. Also, heuristic processing cleans up things a bunch.
 
Old 10-10-2014, 04:23 AM   #13
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I am reading. We only have to decide if I fit your definition of somebody .

Allow me to correct myself. Apple IOS 8.0.2 doesn't seem to like pdf any more. iBooks had some on my wife's tablet; they are gone after the update.

Calibre is good. I recently tried it with a massive index file for pdf --> epub conversion and it did get most of the way through before barfing.The PDF spec is wilfully legalistic and obscure. I honestly expected a middle finger in the early stages.
 
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Old 10-11-2014, 12:19 AM   #14
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Yeah, Calibre's nice for organization and the like, but for conversion, it can be touchy. For instance, if I try to convert something from PDF to MOBI, it'll throw an error. But if I go from PDF to epub to mobi, it'll convert just fine.

I haven't heard about PDF going away in iOS 8.0. My fiance and his dad are both iOS users, so I would've heard the cussing, if it was an issue.
 
Old 10-11-2014, 02:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garpu View Post
Yeah, Calibre's nice for organization and the like, but for conversion, it can be touchy. For instance, if I try to convert something from PDF to MOBI, it'll throw an error. But if I go from PDF to epub to mobi, it'll convert just fine.
I don't have that experience at all. I'm using a Kindle now (to replace my worn-out Cybook3) When I use Calibre to convert pdf files to the Kindle format (mobi) I get no errors. I'm using Calibre 2.5. I don't use the Mobi Output option but when Calibre converts the pdf to a Kindle format epub it comes out as a mobi file.
jdk
 
  


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