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Downloading organising and reading pdfs on an Android tablet

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AndyT

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I wonder if anyone has encountered the same challenge as I have and worked out a really tidy approach?

I like to read old scanned books about woodworking etc such as are available in our sticky (https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums...rking-books-plans-reference-sites-t59067.html). I used to read these on a laptop or PC in Adobe reader. Some are just about readable on a Kindle but it fails on some pdfs that are collections of big images.

I now have an Android tablet which ought to be better but it is increasing the degree of muddle and confusion.

I can download a pdf using Firefox, and then open it in the built in pdf reader app - but that seems slow and crude. Also I can't start the reader app and find the book I was reading.

I have installed FBReader which is fine for books from Gutenberg but it seems to only download from the Internet Archive in epub format which is often pretty well messed up for old books with lots of illustrations.

Can anyone help?

I feel that if I try and solve this by adding more software I shall just get even more confused but I'm hoping someone has sussed this one already, for downloading pdfs, keeping track of them and reading them.
 

Peter T

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I use a Samsung Galaxy 10.1 android tablet.

I don't particularly like the Android version of Firefox, but that's just a personal preference. I use Boat Browser and it seems to download pdf files OK.

To view them I use Kingsoft Office free download which, again, has workrd fine on all the files I've downloaded so far.

For organisation I use es file explorer, again a free download.

Good luck,
 

Reggie

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If you are using android, there is a real life adobe reader that you can download from the play store. Don't be confused between pdf and e-books, they're not the same thing and a pdf will likely be fairly poor on any e-reader, generally if it's text only then you're ok, if it's got a bunch of images on pages or worse, the whole pdf is made from scanned images, then it will not be a good experience.

However, android should cope a lot better than an ebook reader with a real pdf and adobe reader software. What tablet do you have?
 

Eric The Viking

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Polaris Office will also handle PDFs (read only), and create them. It's pre-installed on my Galaxy Note 10.1.

The issues with PDFs containing scans you may well find to be insurmountable. The PDF format wasn't intended to do this really (it's more like a desktop publishing reader with other bolt-ons). Such docs are a very inefficient use of storage and make huge demands on the working memory of the device, for caching pages ahead of you reading them, for example. I've a nasty feeling too, that some PDF creators just make a sequential file, so to get to page 67, the reader has to load and discard pages 1-66 first. I know you can create a faster structure, I think by chaining documents (ironically), but people scanning-in books on the subcontinent are unlikely to give much thought to the optimum structure, even if their PDF-creating software would let them.

It's entirely possible too that you don't have enough memory configured as CPU RAM to handle them well, and/or the PDF reader has its own memory limitations. I don't yet know if Android will let you alter this -- I certainly can't get at it easily on mine (not enabled Root account yet). Task switching (suspended apps in RAM), obviously, will cut down the available RAM, too.

Also (finally!), a note in the Acrobat readme reminded me: PDFs are rendered for the screen. If you can, run the reader at "low res", for example in a floating window (can do this with Samsung devices running Jellybean), and only go full-screen as needed. This will (ought to!) dramatically cut down the amount of memory needed for rendering, and the power required, too.

I think you've hit a catch#22 though: If it's got enough clean detail it'll be slow and awkward; if it's fast enough, the detail will be missing, especially in the plates. The answer would've been considered 'Irish" ten years ago -(now probably "racist") - you're starting from the wrong place.

Sorry.

E.

PS: You'd have to hope that a 'proper' Adobe PDF reader for Android had the best memory management and fewest compromises in its coding. The reader is here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.adobe.reader&hl=en_GB, and one of the things in the penultimate version release notes is supposedly "Performance improvements on high DPI devices".
 

AndyT

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Thanks guys, I think I'm getting there. I have installed the Adobe reader and found how to make it list 'all PDFs' That gives me a list of all the PDF format books that I have on the tablet ( a Nexus 7) even though the different ways I have downloaded them mean that the files are scattered round several locations.

I'm well aware that PDF is not an ideal eBook format but I'd far rather read an image of the original Victorian page than the automatically garbled OCR text.


Now I can get back to a growing selection of old books on metalworking lathes!
 
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