Read Your PDF Ebooks
While Saving Your Eyes
Tried reading that spiffy PDF ebook you downloaded on your smartphone or small reader yet? Good luck!
Like I mentioned recently there’s lots of reasons that ebook authors should be making ePub format ebooks available to their readers… one of the biggest being that we tend to have our small devices with us at all times!
Sometimes though we get stuck with these PDFs, with no alternative from the author, and have to solve the problem ourselves!
Recently, I needed to proof-read an ebook that I was trying to get read in time for a launch… but I didn’t have a lot of computer time to spare.
So I wanted this PDF on my phone… but I HATE PDFs on my phone due to the scrolling issues I’ve mentioned previously.
So here’s how to fix it.
(Please note this is okay for books you purchased. However, for one you are publishing you should create a file from the original, not utilize a rough conversion like we have to to here.)
Converting Your PDF eBook to ePub or MOBI
Save the PDF of the eBook to your computer.
Install Calibre on your computer. It runs on just about anything.
Click “Add book” and locate the saved PDF.
Now click on the book in the listing and then click “Convert Book“.
In the screen that pops up, be sure in the upper left drop-down (near the menu) it now says that input = PDF. Then in the upper RIGHT drop-down select Output=(Your Choice).
I select ePub for some uses but use MOBI if going to the Kindle.
Use the left side navigation to select “Page Setup”. Here in output profile see if you can find anything similar to your device. For my (HTC Incredible android) phone I usually use “Generic eInk Device”. However, I would use a tablet spec if I was reading them on a tablet so they would be wider.
Click Okay & wait on the little spinny icon in the bottom right corner of the screen to stop spinning (indicating that it has been successfully saved).
Now you have an ePub book that is a LOT more flexible than a PDF.
Now it’s worth noting that this type of conversion is not perfect. There will be some text issues, some layout issues and overall just signs that it was not done originally. Generally, it’s “good enough”.
Why ePub & Mobi Trump PDF on Small Devices
PDFs are an image or picture of the text. Unlike a Word or notepad file they can not have the text size changed without creating a side-to-side scrollbar that makes for a bad reading experience. So when you try to adapt a 8 inch page to read in a 3 inch space you get text that is microscopic!
For Android, reading ePubs with Aldiko is my preference. You can similarly load the .mobi files into the Kindle App.
Converting your PDF eBooks gives you a vastly improved reading experience on not only your smartphones but also the smaller ebook readers. The lines can wrap around so you don’t have to scroll left to right and you can make the font size readable!
Now I (and you) won’t have to throw hate-dates at those stupid PDFs teasing us with their impossibly small text on our phones! Win!
~ Kim ~
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