Home > Mobile > A little PDF’d off

A little PDF’d off

November 28, 2006 Leave a comment Go to comments

OK – so, did I mention that ClearVue PDF sucks?

The main, screen-stabbingly annoying problem is that it renders each screen display on-demand, rather than rendering, say, a whole page at a time. So – every time you scroll, or zoom, you have to wait while the little progress bar fills from the left of the screen, to the right, and then the updated display appears. Given it also doesn’t support fit-to-screen rendering of PDF text, this makes it unusable for PDF documents or books.

Enter PocketXPDF, as recommended on Modaco. Aside from much smoother rendering, it also renders a page at a time (so scrolling/zooming is instantaneous), and supports “Display text only” for text or e-book reading.

However, it still falls a little short, since it appears to process CRLFs at the end of each line, even though this may break up the paragraph structure because the “Fit to screen” is also inserting NewLines. Combined with the complete stripping of all formatting, it is quite distracting, and I’m testing whether this is a feature of the PDFs I’m testing.

Also – although you can define hardware keys to move backwards/forwards a page (avoiding the need to shift your grip to press the tiny icons on the screen each page) – then tough: although this is possible for the normal view, it seems not to work when in “Fit to Screen” mode.

So – if you’re looking for a PDF reader without this drawback – one which renders an e-book in ‘Fit to screen’, while still retaining bold/italic/etc formatting, and intelligently processing CRLFs to leave you with nice, unbroken paragraphs – in short, one which lets you read your PDF book easily…. yes, you’ve guessed it, it’s back to the P910i, and PDF+, which is installed as-standard in the ROM. I’ll admit it’s not perfect – rendering is often a little ugly with font/emphasis changes, although still clearly legible; and you still have to touch the screen for back/forwards a page; but overall, it is easier to use if, say, you’re standing on the Tube, reading an e-book.

Another use case in which the Hermes is still a backwards step. 😦

Categories: Mobile
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