Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Kindle's new PDF Pan and Zoom feature with software update v2.5.x

The new Pan and Zoom features can be very effective.  The default setting is "Fit to screen" and most will tend to start at the zoom steps of 150-200-300%, all of which require identifying the section you want zoomed in, using a fixed-size box.  You start the zoom process with the Aa Text-key at the bottom near the Spacebar.

After selecting the zoom option, when moving the zoom-area box with the 5-way button, the movement in any direction seems to be in large, fixed increments although the area you want may be a bit more to the left, right, top, bottom than where the box stops.

  What can be missed is the text given at the bottom of the screen which says that we can press, at the same time, the Shift key with the left hand and the 5-way button with the right, to 'nudge' the box in much smaller increments in any direction.
  This "nudging" procedure works when panning a page also.

  You can click on any of the 3 images to see the larger ones.

When the first zoom step is too large for useful viewing
I saw one complaint that the first setting of 150% was already too large for a document tried.  In cases like that, an auto- or manual-rotation to Landscape mode will often give readable, if not ideal results.

  With the Kindle DX, the width of the Landscape orientation isn't much narrower than the 8.5" width of a normal letter-size document, so that actually usually works well.  See examples at KDX screenshots.

 Some PDF document makers manage to make the print too small even for those reading on paper, and that's when the larger zoom-ins will of course work much better.

  It's worth noting for those who work with many PDFs that refurbished 9.7" Kindle DX's are currently being sold by Amazon for $350-$370 (this changes) with a 1-yr warranty.  The price depends on the model.  For links to the right pages, see Refurbished DX info page

 With the smaller 6" Kindle model, obviously too small for most PDFs, use of the Landscape mode (manual-rotation via the Aa Text-key) is essential, but the zoom-ins work especially well if the fixed-box at a zoom-level can cover enough of the area you want.

Sometimes the best choice may be missed.
  The step that can be missed, with the complaint mentioned, is the last option on the zoom-level line:   "Actual size."  Since PDFs are usually sized for an 8-1/2 x 11" piece of paper, this option gives a larger font while requiring (and allowing) panning to the sides.
  Some don't want to have to pan or scroll but would the fonts be made larger, with adequate spacing, without requiring this if you want to be able to see the full page rather than only a section of it.

Examples of a page with very tiny print and the relative size change after a 300% zoom-in:

Page with TINY font
Before zooming in

After zooming in 300%
on a section of the page

The last two 'galleries' at the photo site (though these are screenshots and not photos, which is why the background is white rather than grayish) are for various screenshots used for this blog.

Amazon's Help section for the Pan and Zoom feature

Amazon gives the steps used to zoom in and out on PDFs.
To get back to your normal view, after viewing PDFs in zoom mode, press Aa text-key again, and select the first item, "Fit to Print."

Here, also, are Amazon's steps for the simple image-zoom on a picture in a NON-PDF book:
' To zoom on an image in a book, magazine or newspaper:

1. Position the cursor over the picture using the 5-way controller. You'll see a magnifying glass icon appear.
2. Press the 5-way to zoom the image.
3. Press the 5-way to return to your content. '

If interested in more about Kindle software update v2.5.x, see my Intro to other features of the update.

Check often:  Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
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1 comment:

  1. what would be really useful for PDF reading is to have a zoom step no so coarse. I mean, instead of 100%,150%,200%... I would need 100%,110%, etc (for example). A lot of times 200% is a little too much and 150% is not enough.

    Another annoying thing I've discovered is that pan with shift pressed is quite accurate but when you are inside the document pan is too coarse, even when pressing shift, so if you need a fine pan you have to go back to the aA menu. Do you reproduce this? Do you think these issues will be solved?


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