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Putting pdf science textbooks with equations on to a Kindle accurately

  1. Mar 12, 2012 #1
    Hi guys,

    I'm trying to put pdf science textbooks on to a kindle. They have difficult equations and subscripts/superscripts and pictures of atoms and things which however I try seem to become a jumble.

    So far I have tried:
    1. Using Calibre - dodgy results, equations handled very badly
    2. Using OCR via Acrobat and Abby Finereader to make either a word doc, html file, etc - then send that to Kindle via Calibre or Amazon's convert system: didn't work, OCR seems unable to cope with symbols like chemical equilibrium or subscripts
    3. Sending to Amazon with 'Convert' in the subject
    4. Using Briss which crops but still they look too small and awkward
    5. Using the raw pdf on the kindle in landscape mode (i cannot get past the awkward way it turns pages)

    I would happily buy some software if I could be sure it could cope with algebra etc. I thought that I could convert it to LaTeX somehow but cannot find a converter from pdf...

    Please help me, I'm getting desperate!
    Anyone with the same problem, get in touch and hopefully we can get some expert advice on this topic!

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 12, 2012 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    why not send a pm to benjamin crowell (bcrowell) on PF? He has a set of Physics books in PDF format that are freely downloadable from his website: lightandmatter.com

    His pdf files work well on the iPad but not so well on B&N ereader (I think they have a backlevel pdf reader) as some fonts seem to be missing.
  4. Mar 14, 2012 #3
    I'm a writer, and I can tell you that publishing for Kindle and other ereaders is a bit of an art form. Since the author can't know what the screen or font size is of the reader viewing their work, it is impossible to format text as one would for a regular print edition. In fact, it is a requirement that nearly all standard formatting--especially line and page breaks--be stripped before publication. The only thing that might help you is to convert all of your formulae to image files like jpeg, and keep the horizontal size within the resolution limits of the smallest Kindle screen. The last time I checked, the recommended maximum image size for the Kindle (as posted on the Amazon DTP site) is 450 pixels wide by 550 high. If you can somehow convert all of your non-standard text to images with screen capture or whatever, and then stay within those bounds, it might work out for you. I know that's not much help, but this has been my experience. There are several free ebooks on the Kindle site detailing how to properly format text and images for their products--you might want to search those out.

    Here is some info that might be of interest as well: http://www.publetariat.com/book/export/html/335
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  5. Mar 19, 2012 #4
    The bottom line is that the only good way to read PDFs on the Kindle is with the Kindle's built in PDF reader. It actually works very well.

    The problem is that if the pages are very big, you either are going to be very frustrated reading on a small Kindle screen or you are going to have to bite the bullet and buy the Kindle DX, which has a standard paper-sized screen.
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