*
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
September 23, 2018, 09:18:39 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Recent

Author Topic: PDF or ePub for hobby scans  (Read 506 times)

Offline italwars

  • mad scientist
  • Posts: 518
PDF or ePub for hobby scans
« on: April 04, 2018, 01:12:37 AM »
Hello
I m a totally (and uneducated/lazy) newcomer when I have to use IT with our hobby..but recently I began to scan my paper archive (uniform plates, some few Maps, old articlrs ecc) and above all to download OOP, antiquarian books from Gallica, Scribd (somebody suggest me also to try Google) i find Great 1900 s texts on French Colonial, NWF ecc..the purpose being to use them as sources for wargame projects but also for entertaimment reading. I have a MAC PC and a tablet..which i suppose could Be useful also for painting reference over my table instead of books...untill now i downloaded and saved everything in PDF..but i noticed that also An EPUB option is available...so please which is your experience and what do you suggest me?
Thanks in advance

Offline fred

  • Supporting Adventurer
  • mastermind
  • *
  • Posts: 1713
    • Miniature Gaming
Re: PDF or ePub for hobby scans
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2018, 09:51:04 AM »
Id go with PDF. Especially if you are including images.

Offline italwars

  • mad scientist
  • Posts: 518
Re: PDF or ePub for hobby scans
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2018, 05:00:18 PM »
thanks Fred for your suggestion
in fact being my sources mainly scans of antiquarian books with images and maps PDF allow me to copy a map and enlarge/modify it...toady i made some first tries with already downloaded materila from my PC to a tablet..as to read something before sleeping..but i noticed that download to the tablet is very slow if not impossible for a pair of heavy books

Offline fred

  • Supporting Adventurer
  • mastermind
  • *
  • Posts: 1713
    • Miniature Gaming
Re: PDF or ePub for hobby scans
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2018, 05:28:30 PM »
As you have found the downside of PDF can be that you end up with a large file size, which can be slow on a tablet.

You may want to scan the words and the maps separately - keeping the maps at a high resolution, so that you can see lots of detail. But for the text either scan at a lower resolution, or use some OCR (optical character recognition) software to convert the scanned image into text, which will be much smaller in file size - although you are likely to loose the formatting and fonts etc of the original.

Offline Daeothar

  • Supporting Adventurer
  • scatterbrained genius
  • *
  • Posts: 2897
  • Hahaah! Fear me, if you dare!
    • 1999legacy.com
Re: PDF or ePub for hobby scans
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2018, 09:30:28 AM »
As you have found the downside of PDF can be that you end up with a large file size, which can be slow on a tablet.

You may want to scan the words and the maps separately - keeping the maps at a high resolution, so that you can see lots of detail. But for the text either scan at a lower resolution, or use some OCR (optical character recognition) software to convert the scanned image into text, which will be much smaller in file size - although you are likely to loose the formatting and fonts etc of the original.

This can work, but bear in mind that OCR software is everything but perfect, even the high end products. Which means you get a lot of typo's and misreads, especially if the original font has serifs or is in any other way elaborate. Most OCR software I've seen tends to struggle with the more exotic or old fonts (especially when the ink has bled a bit on/in the paper).

I've found that reading texts like that ranges from mildly annoying to wildly infuriating. Especially since, as fred pointed out already, usually all interpunction and other formatting will be lost. And I'm sure that you're willing to correct and fix everything before reading.

Epub files are vastly superior to PDF's for reading, as they can be searched, bookmarked etc, and the file size is minimal. You can change the font size and type any way you like as well, which greatly enhances readability.

On the downside, it has to be fed either the original digital text files (usually by the publisher) or through the aforementioned OCR software. But when this has already been done, it is highly likely that the text will have been cleaned up and formatted again for it to be readable.

Then there are the PDF's. They will basically provide you with a copy of the original books. These cannot be searched, as the text will be in an image, but bookmarking a page will usually still be possible. When looking at book repositories online, most older books will be in a very low res PDF format. A single page will be in the 20Kb to 100Kb range, which is acceptable even on tablets, but beat in mind that hefty books will still translate to hefty files. If you have a 500 page book, it can still amount to about 50Mb worth of file.

The plus though, is that you'll basically be reading the original book; the original pictures, font, layout etc will all be there.

In the end, there is no best way of reading a book; it's up to personal preference and the capabilities of your devices.

But to avoid irritation, I'd personally suggest not putting the time and effort into OCR-ing entire books... ::)

'He who stumbles around in darkness with a stick is blind. But he who sticks out in darkness is...fluorescent'

Painting Goal for 2018: 100 miniatures - Tally per 08-09-2018: 67

Offline italwars

  • mad scientist
  • Posts: 518
Re: PDF or ePub for hobby scans
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2018, 08:15:56 PM »
thanks for all your answers...and especially the good final suggestion from Daeothar...unfortunatly i just spent entire days and nights downloading and saving on my PC fantastic PDF of antiquarian big 500 pages books with plentiful maps and illustrations- that i dreamed from ages..from Gallica,Internet Archive  and on Scribd (a paid subscribtion) just to discover that for the big majority of them it is almost impossible to totally download again the text and then read  iton my tablet...really disappointed..maybe in the future by buying a sort of E reader or a better good tablet i could fix the problem?...  i cannot believe that all those scans available from Public Libraries are only intended to be read on line or at your desk table.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 08:24:42 PM by italwars »

Offline ink the troll

  • scientist
  • Posts: 389
  • Location: walltown
Re: PDF or ePub for hobby scans
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2018, 09:28:18 AM »
You could try to split the larger pdf files into multiple smaller ones.
There are some software solutions for that (years ago I used one called pdf sam, no idea if it is available for MAC or if it is still any good at all), some will allow for cutting, merging & visual resorting of the files.

Another slightly less elegant way is to print to pdf- instead of actually printing out the file/ document, you'll essentially be saving it as (another) pdf.
Like with normal printing you can choose to only print/ save pages 5 to 176 for example. If you do that several times- say one new pdf file for every chapter- you'll be effectively splitting your one huge file into several smaller ones.

While I don't own one, I guess you will be able to print to pdf on a mac as well: e.g.  if you open your Book A.pdf with its 500+ pages and dozens of colour plates that will take forever to load, click on the print button/ menu and look if you can find something like 'save as pdf' or 'print to pdf'. Click that and have a look at the options, there should be an option for choosing how many copies to print, what pages to print (you'll usually have to uncheck 'print all' and then specify what pages to print).
Just make sure your printer is switched off, so you don't accidentally start printing out the book.
sanity is for cowards

Online Lost Egg

  • scientist
  • Posts: 286
Re: PDF or ePub for hobby scans
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2018, 09:43:11 AM »
If you have a Mac and want to break a pdf down into smaller chunks you can do it in Preview. Just open the pdf and make sure you have thumbnails on the side of the pages then just click the first page you want, hold shift then click the last page then just drag and drop to your home screen, that should copy the selected pages into there own pdf.

Offline Daeothar

  • Supporting Adventurer
  • scatterbrained genius
  • *
  • Posts: 2897
  • Hahaah! Fear me, if you dare!
    • 1999legacy.com
Re: PDF or ePub for hobby scans
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2018, 09:43:17 AM »
...years ago I used one called pdf sam, no idea if it is available for MAC or if it is still any good at all...

Oh, it's still very good; I used it all the time at my last job and at home as well. I only used the free version, but the paid for one has even more options of course.

I can't comment on whether or not it is available for Mac, or if iOS has other options for editing/toying around with PDFs. Adobe and Apple have a very complicated history together... ::)

+++EDIT+++ I just got ninja'd by Lost Egg; apparently there IS a way in iOS to deal with PDFs ;)
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 09:45:39 AM by Daeothar »

Offline italwars

  • mad scientist
  • Posts: 518
Re: PDF or ePub for hobby scans
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2018, 04:48:52 PM »
thanks ....all very good suggestions..and thanks again for the time dedicated to answer such a primaeval like me as concern that sort of things :'(...well trying even to understand a new PDF app gives me an immediate keck..or, at least, a strong headeache....but a different/powerful/better hardware to buy?...maybe my cheap Lenovo is only a toy