pdf wtf imho
September 14, 2010 10:38 PM   Subscribe

I want to read pdfs on my iphone, but unless the pdf was created with larger than normal text, it's generally too small to read. They don't use the available space efficiently and there is often large margins that could have been used to enlarge the font. Here are some shots of what I'm talking about. I've read that epub is the format I am looking for but haven't been able to find my pdfs as epubs (the books I get are mostly textbooks or from small authors that sell their books on their own sites (like Smashing Magazine), not through e\retailers who may have multiple formats), and converting via online services or desktop apps like Calibre have not been successful, especially for large documents...

It's not the reader programs for the phone. I've tried quite a few, and they all have the same problem but Goodreader is the best it gets, I think (it allows me to zoom and still navigate).

The only way I've been able to make some readable is by copying the text, pasting into a text editor, making the font larger by about 6-8, decreasing the margins and then printing it as a pdf, but most of the documents I want to read have images, too (probably nsfw shot of this better pdf here). Plus, this is tedious and I easily have dozens that this would need to be done to. The Stanza desktop app will sort of do this for me but it removes images.

Does anyone know of a good large (20mb+) pdf to epub converter (almost all epubs I've converted hang or crash the phone) or an easy way of making pdfs readable on the iphone? Does anyone know how to easily make pdf margins smaller and text bigger while keeping the same general layout? I am using Win 7. I don't mind paying for software that could do this if I was confident it would work.

posted by dozo to Technology (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Stanza Desktop works well for me (I also use the Stanza reader on my iPhone, but you certainly don't have to). I've converted rather large pdfs to epub easily, and without a problem regarding size.
posted by mewithoutyou at 11:42 PM on September 14, 2010

I use calibre to convert to ePub.

I am sire goodreader has a reflow option to solve this.might be worth poking Round goodreader some more
posted by moochoo at 11:46 PM on September 14, 2010

Best answer: Goodreader has an option that allows you to zoom and then lock the orientation and zoom level so you can scroll through a PDF easily. Turning the iPhone on its side makes for a good reading experience for me. It's only really suitable for single column text, but it works great.

Goodreader also allows text reflowing, which should work on most properly marked up PDFs.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:47 AM on September 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

If you're a Mac user, this Macword article offers an Automator-based solution (see tip no. 5.) (via this Apple support forum post)
posted by JohnFredra at 6:12 AM on September 15, 2010

Response by poster: The reflowing is close but removes images. Locking the zoom level to allow navigation seems to be the best I'm going to get until I get a better phone.

BTW, Goodreader f'ing rocks. A dollar? Sheeeeit.
posted by dozo at 2:40 PM on September 15, 2010

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