Sorry, no photos on this one.
I thought I’d get the jump on ebook readers and install PDFViewer on my iPod Touch. These together tick the boxes of:
- Easily Portable Device
- Always present / to hand when you have a moment free
- Great, clear screen
- Popular file format (PDF)
- Can be read in bed without lights on
PDFViewer by BigBoss looks like the de-facto standard – it’s the only dedicated PDF viewer out there, and the alternatives view PDFs via Safari or Mail.
So – comments for PDFViewer v0.03? Well – it’s very fast – easily usable. Pages render in under a second when paging left/right, with a pleasing scrolling action. The rendering is crisp and clear, and easy to read.
Now the downers. The most annoying is the lack of a landscape mode: you’re stuck with Portrait. If Landscape was available, the iPod screen is just large enough to read the full width of a page in a legible font without scrolling backwards and forwards. Without… you have to scroll around. Really, really annoying, and probably not that difficult for BigBoss to implement.
The icons for text search and thumbnail views are promising, but don’t work. There’s no Goto Page function. Pinch-zooming DOES work, but unfortunately is a litle dodgy in that it zooms into the top-left of the page, regardless of where you try to zoom into.
It caches one page forwards and one back, which makes for instant scrolling, and also allows you to zoom OUT to view 3 pages side-by-side.
Finally – impressively, it works fast with large files. I ran an 847 page, 64MB PDF document through it, and it didn’t break a sweat or slow at all. Just remember you have to scroll through from Page 1 every time you reload the app!
I’ve just come across a revelation while searching my expenses.
It seems that Copernicus Desktop Search not only indexes Word, PDF, Excel, etc. documents, but will also find the OCR’d metadata in Microsoft Imaging MDI and TIF files.
Now, it’s well-known that you can run a Find within Microsoft Document Imaging to search for OCR’d text; and you can also use Windows search to find the same text in a folder or subfolders.
However – the fact that third-party indexing software like Copernicus supports it is pretty powerful. All the documents you scan and save as compressed images (as I do for all documents over 1 year old), you can also search instantly; making finding a particular amount on an old receipt or statement, 5 seconds’ work. No more Sundays spent on the living room floor surrounded by boxes of receipts and folders.
As an aside: a few years ago I ran a personal project to test the most efficient, reliable way to store my old documents. I found that while Adobe Acrobat 6 Full Image PDF provides better lossless compression of document images, Microsoft MDI wasn’t far behind. And while Acrobat 6 Full Version performed better OCR on typewritten text with good structure, Microsoft Imaging OCR was more effective on random snippets of text (eg. scanned receipts).