Saturday, March 26, 2011

Free PDF reader apps: PDF Reader Lite

Parent blog entry: http://kenamored.blogspot.com/2011/03/free-pdf-reader-apps.html

PDF Reader Lite is my favorite free PDF reader app.

PROS:
  • Nice flexibility in ways of getting PDF files onto iPod.
  • Text Reflow allows flowing the text into a single column for reading, which can be a boon. However, images are not displayed in Text Reflow, and "images" which are composed of specialized fonts, such as some chess diagrams, will be displayed in an unusable form.
CONS:

  • PDF Reader Lite lack's Safari's capability of allowing you to tap twice to either zoom in or zoom out on a column of text, a "natural" part of functionality for an iPod. To zoom without changing the total document form of the text, you can either use the spread-and-pinch of the iOS, or use PDF Reader Lite's magnifying glass functionality (tap in the center of the screen to bring that up), both methods of which require more manual futzing around to center a column of text (but see Text Reflow under PROS above).
  • Included manual would benefit from smoother English (see TIPS below, for a clearer explanation of how to move a file) -- author may be a native Chinese language reader based on a screenshot(s) in the manual.
  • Free version can only store or open 10 files. My usage over time will determine whether it's worth upgrading.
TIPS:
  • To move a file from one folder to another: Go into the folder, tap Edit, select the file you want to move by tapping on the circle to its left, tap cut (copy is also possible, if you want the file to appear in multiple folders), tap PDF Documents to go up a level, tap the folder you want to move the file into, tap paste. If you nest folders, extrapolate additional actions accordingly.
  • To get a file from the web, enter the URL of a page having a link to the PDF; don't enter the URL of the PDF. Then, when you click on the PDF link, choose Save Linked File. For example, enter http://www.myersandchang.com/index.php?p=385 (the Myers + Chang restaurant menu page), don't enter http://www.rwmanager.com/uploads/myerschang/DINNER_MENU_102510_1295711602.pdf (the dinner menu PDF).

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