Is there a way to format .pdf files to make them more readable?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Captain America, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. Captain America macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Location:
    Philly
    #1
    So I've got a few books in .pdf format, and it's a bit of a pain in the ass to try and read them as they are, what with having to scroll back and forth to read lines.

    As always, thanks for the help.
     
  2. Stealthipad macrumors 68040

    Stealthipad

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    #2
    I do not think so. A PDF is kind of like a picture at the point where you are looking at it and would need to be reformatted just before it was made into a PDF by it's native software.
     
  3. Captain America thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Location:
    Philly
    #3
    But wouldn't there be some sort of way to de-PDF a file and convert it or something? Lol.
     
  4. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #4
    Depends on how the file was created. PDF is designed specifically to preserve layout, and not let devices alter it (as opposed to say a Word document, where pagination and margins can be altered and it will re-flow depending on those changes).

    Some PDF eBooks are simply scans (not even OCRs) of physical books. With those, there is no way to make any changes. Each page is essentially a "photograph" of a physical page, like a JPG file - you can scale bigger/smaller, but you can't re-flow the text because it isn't "text" data.

    If your PDF does contain text, you can "extract" the text with Adobe Acrobat or other 3rd party software, put it in Word, lay it out as you want, and make a new PDF (again using Acrobat or 3rd party tools). It's a lot of work though.
     
  5. YorkshireLass macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #5
    Goodreader for iPhone has a text flow function just for this purpose - you can read 'plain' text of your pdf and switch back and forth with the 'real' image, if you want to annotate the document. It's in Beta but it seems to work OK on research-type papers which tend to have text fields all over the place.
     
  6. Captain America thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Location:
    Philly
    #6
    Solved the problem. Downloaded a program called "Calibre", dropped the .PDF files in there and converted them to epub. Now they look perfect. My day has just been made a little bit better :D
     

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