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(Windows, Linux, OSX, ARM)
(GUIs; Native Kindle PDF Viewer)
K2pdfopt (Kindle 2 PDF Optimizer) is a stand-alone program which optimizes the format of PDF (or DJVU) files for viewing on small (e.g. 6-inch) mobile reader and smartphone screens such as the Kindle's. The output from k2pdfopt is a new (optimized) PDF file. K2pdfopt is meant for text-based files on a white background which may also have graphics or figures, and it works equally well on native and/or scanned or bitmapped PDF or DJVU files. It is fully automated and can batch-process PDF/DJVU files. K2pdfopt works by converting each page of the PDF/DJVU file to a bitmap and then scanning the bitmap for viewable areas (rectangular regions) and cutting and cropping these regions and assembling them into multiple smaller pages without excess margins so that the viewing region is maximized. Making use of this method, k2pdfopt can re-flow text lines, even on scanned documents (see the Winnie the Pooh example below). You can see another example of how k2pdfopt works on this help page.
As of v1.50, k2pdfopt will also embed OCR text into the PDF so that text can be searched and highlighted, and v1.60 can create output files with the native PDF instructions from the source file (if the source file is PDF). Any kind of PDF/DJVU file (best if it has a primarily white background) can be converted. K2pdfopt works especially well on two-column or multi-column PDF/DJVU files such as IEEE and other technical journal articles (see examples below--it auto-detects two-column regions on the page), but even single-column files will often be significantly improved and much easier to read (see examples). K2pdfopt has the advantage over other PDF converters in that it fully preserves the rendered PDF fonts and graphics from the original file, unlike programs that convert the PDF to an e-book format. Also, because k2pdfopt is completely independent of language or fonts, it will work equally well on documents in any language.
HOW TO USE K2PDFOPT
See my k2pdfopt help page for more detailed help.
Note that if you have a Kindle 2, it must have the latest firmware that allows it to view native PDF files.
OTHER PDF/CONVERTING SOFTWARE
If you're not getting what you want out of k2pdfopt, other utilities may be useful as alternatives to or in conjunction with k2pdfopt, but be sure to "check under the hood" of k2pdfopt--it has many options that make it useful as a generic tool to manipulate PDF files (see my k2pdfopt help pages). Similar utilities to k2pdfopt are PaperCrop (review here), PDFRead, Cut2Col (converts 2-column PDFs to 1-column using an intuitive GUI, written in Java), and SoPDF (open-source PDF-to-Sony reader app written in C++, command-line based). Cut2Col, SoPDF, and, PaperCrop (as of v0.51) all add cropping directives to the PDF file so that all of the original contents are still in the PDF file (in text form and searchable if they started that way)--they are just custom cropped on each new page. K2pdfopt now has this same native PDF output option as of v1.60. Jpdftweak is an excellent "swiss army knife" for PDF files that I use to extract or merge pages from different PDF files. Or try running k2pdfopt with the -mode copy option to optimize scanned PDFs or convert DJVU files to PDF. Briss and PDF Scissors are open-source PDF cropping apps. Calibre is a free, professional mobi-book organizer and converter. PdfMasher is a PDF text-to-mobi converter that claims to be smarter than calibre (or at least to give the user more control over the conversion). The Big List of Free Kindle Tools was posted by freewaregenius.com on 8-28-11.
RECOMMENDED PDF READER: SUMATRA (Windows only)
Some people are surprised to learn that Adobe Reader is not the only choice for viewing PDFs on their PC. I've tried Adobe and Foxit, but I prefer open source, and Krzysztof Kowalczyk's Sumatra PDF reader is a small, efficient, yet feature-rich open-source PDF reader that does everything I want. Sumatra also displays several file types other than PDF, including XPS, DJVU, CBZ, CBR, and PS/EPS (PS/EPS requires Ghostscript). It is a refreshing alternative to Adobe's bloatware. I highly recommend it.
This page last modified
Wednesday, 24-Apr-2013 22:52:55 CDT