Reading large PDFs (+other formats) on Playbook
I'm a med student who happened to have found his way to something like 5GB worth of digital medical texts. They're mostly PDF's, but also a few PDB's and a "Compiled HTML Help File" format. Some of this stuff would be really helpful during labs, dissections... I'm considering getting a Playbook for this purpose, but some of the reviews I've read on PDF handling are less than stellar. I might not have even considered Playbook (no Skype, GRRR!!!!) except for the portability, price and hardware quality.
Many of these digital books (tomes, really), are hundreds and hundreds of pages (at least two I've looked through are over 1000 pages). The biggest file size is 300MB (and it's a PDB format). They include quality graphics, tables... Most of the files have an internal link-architecture (you can click on stuff and go to another page). I don't want to lose that usability.
Does anyone have experience using Playbook for large PDFs in a work setting who can advise me if Playbook is worth it? (Also, can Playbook open PDBs and "Compiled HTML Help" format? Never even heard of that format before. Maybe I can convert them to PDF, hopefully without losing the links.)
- CrackBerry Newbie
03-27-2012, 01:17 PM #2
- 4 Posts
You can install either Book Reader from the app store in order to read the PDB and CHM files (those are the "compiled HTML files you mention). They are very cheap yet fully functioning.
For PDF files I use RepliGo Reader which can be sideloaded or bought in the app store for I think $14.99 There are other alternatives which I haven't tried fully like qPDF viewer which is cheaper. I've loaded medical books for both without problems but keep in mind that huge files take a long time to load regardless of the OS. The reason being the vast amount of images, tables, scanned pages and diagrams the device needs to load.
Hope that helps.
- CrackBerry User
03-27-2012, 01:50 PM #4
- 53 Posts
I use the qPDF (free version) extensively. Works beautifully and allows you to search text on pages etc. It works very well with relatively larger size documents.Future:
- Blackberry 10???
- Blackberry Playbook OS 2.0 32 GB
- Blackberry mini bluetooth keyboard + trackpad
- Apple iPhone 4
- Samsung SPH-A920 [Retired]
- 03-27-2012, 02:54 PM #6
You may have troubles opening large PDFs on any of these alternative apps especially the android based ones. Android readers are a bad idea since they suffer from very poor performance. I have several PDFs ranging from 20MB to 150MB and the only app that can open them without lagging is the native adobe reader. Repligo reader is a poor android port, and while qPDF is a great reader is suffers from the same issues if you try and open large files.
Playbook is a great tablet, don't get me wrong. It has the hardware to open and handle anything you throw at it but it lacks a real good native PDF reader. If you do happen to get a Playbook I would stick to the native adobe reader while reading any PDF that is large or high in graphics.
I have had some luck with Smart Office 2 that was released a bit ago, it seems to be going in the right direction.
- 03-27-2012, 03:00 PM #7
Book Reader doesn't handle chm format very well. So far, there are no suitable reader for chm on PB. I've tried it...it's horrible. I only use this app for reading epubs
Repligo, despite being the best alternative besides the native Adobe PDF, the fact that you have to sideload it makes the reading quite unpleasant. Mostly attributed to random crashes of the Android App Player.
If you wanna read a pdb file, I suggest iSilo (again, since it is an Android app, there are risks for unpleasant reading experience if the App Player crashes ).
and finally.........I will also would like to give qpdf a try. Haha, thanks guys for sharing the info .
Sent from my PlayBook using Tapatalkminimalist is my principle..simplicity is my virtue
- CrackBerry Abuser
03-27-2012, 03:10 PM #8
- 278 Posts
I've tried a few 20MB pdfs in qPDF, and it did not handle them well, very laggy.
The Picsel Smart Office PDF reader is nice, but lacks a few very important features, jumping directly to a page is not possible. At least it's not referenced in Help. I also got a out of memory error with my 1700pg PDF.
The standard Adobe Reader has been the only PDF reader on my Playbook that has been able to handle the larger Pdfs, you just can't have more than 1 open at a time, which can be a problem.
Hope that helps you.
Wow, say what you will about Blackberry, but Crackberry forums are awesome. At least with the Playbook I'll have some peer-support. Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. Now I know where to look and what to try. For $200, Playbook is really the only good option for mobile PDF viewing, which is my primary purpose here, so I think I'll take the plunge and hope RIM gets its act together.
It seems there are some med students and MDs here. If you can comment how you use Playbook I would appreciate it. I saw there are some medical apps in App World, but the reviews are spotty.
Just to let everyone know, qPDF now has a serious competitor - Pdf Reader. It's a recent addition to Playbook and rocks.
I have a cell biology book (250mb, 1800 pages) that both Adobe and qPDF really struggle with. Pdf Reader opened it up within 2 seconds, and page turning is pretty fast (1 second or so), but I do sometimes get the "page turning" dialog box. Text, pictures, etc. render quickly and accurately (qPDF has some issues in that regard). There is a search function and the reader remembers the last page you were on.
I also tried the reader with a much smaller pdf book - 50mb - and page turning was blink-of-eye fast.
The developer is currently working to add bookmarks, annotations, etc. For $0.99 it's worth the download, in my opinion.
I don't know how to check whether it's an Android port or PB app, but the developer is active in the forums and is taking feedback/suggestions, which would seems to indicate a native app.
The UI is very basic, btw. But the program is great; been using it to read for a couple of hours now.
Here's the app in appworld:
Buy Pdf Reader - Download Pdf Reader - Buy Apps from BlackBerry App World
I'm not exactly sure how to check Android runtime, but here goes...
I have several ported Android apps, including qPDF, SpeedAnatomy, The Medical Dictionary, etc. When I open Speed Anatomy, on a bottom bar it shows me other recently opened apps which are clear ports (Skype, qPDF, Icanhazcheezeburger, etc.). I'm assuming these are all Android runtime apps? Pdf reader is not among these apps as a recent program, even though it's currently running in another window.
Does that answer the question? If not, tell me how to check Android runtime, please.
- 05-22-2012, 04:37 PM #17
Let me know when I can read my password protected, ~500 pages copy of the PMBoK on my Playbook.
- 05-28-2012, 11:42 PM #19
If you have purchased an app via carrier billing, contact your carrier.
If you have purchased an app with credit card or PayPal account, send the purchase order to
email@example.com and request a refund.
- CrackBerry Abuser
05-29-2012, 04:21 AM #20
- 272 Posts
I make very heavy use of pdf files myself its the one and only reason I purchase my playbook the only reader I found that worked for me the way I needed it to was repligo, but the other day I purchased Pdf reader based on good feedback in another thread here on pdf's, and I'm not disappointed I've removed Repligo, I can say form fist hand experience the developer is very accessible, and interested in making there product the best it can be, the only thing for me right now is with 200 plus pdf's a more refined file browser is a must, but after corresponding with the developer I'm sure this will be in the works.
I mainly tested Pdf reader on a 185 page 74 mb pdf that I was having trouble with in Repligo I was getting a couple of "force close" every time I tried this document, so far in Pdf reader no matter how fast I try to speed around the document I haven't been able to create a problem, and it is a native app.
- CrackBerry Newbie
05-29-2012, 10:30 AM #21
- 2 Posts
qPDF with password files
I read on the qPDF download description that it can handle pdf password protected files but it doesn't seem to work. I have textbooks that need to be unlocked with a username and password (the books are 600 - 700 pages) and it doesn't seem to be able to load them at all. Adobe loads them but won't allow you to enter the username and password to unlock them. This is the single biggest pain that I have... Can someone in Android land fix this one issue?
I am happy to pay for an app, but I really need to test drive it first to make sure it works for me. I bought the playbook so I don't have to lug realms of paper documents with me when I travel, but so far it is not happening...
Any suggestions would be MOST welcome...
- CrackBerry Abuser
05-29-2012, 10:55 AM #22
- 272 Posts
I don't know if Pdf Reader will handle passworded stuff, I've nothing thats passworded to check for you, but this developer is very accessible drop them an email and ask.
- 05-29-2012, 11:14 AM #23