Friday, April 8, 2016

So long Adobe Acrobat... supporting a e-book only publishing strategy

I have been using for a long time Adobe Acrobat to support my publisher activity. I was working on my business PC, with the standard agreement that software can be used on a reasonable way during and outside office hours for personal activities. All changed when my company got purchased by a bigger one, that remastered all the PCs to a new corporate standard, with no Adobe Acrobat license.

So I had to look for alternatives.

Two of them, combined, are worth using:
  • the SmallPDF website, for basic split/merge and efficient compress operations; 
  • the fabulous PDFill software, for other operations.

The recurring script for publishing is the following:
  1. Get all sources from, Gallica, wherever.
  2. Decide for publishing strategy: untouched contents (images or resized PDF) and/or manual transcription; include or not reviews.
  3. Use PDFill to extract the PDF pages topublish.
  4. Use PDFill to resize PDF pages to A5 (A5 148x210mm is not a built-in value).
  5. Use PDFill to insert header and page numbers (no roman numbers available, even in the pay edition for now).
  6. Use LibreOffice for first pages (Title Page, TOC, foreword/presentation...) and export it to PDF (alternatively use Inkscape to design first and last pages and export them to PDF).
  7. Use LibreOffice for last pages and export it to PDF.
  8. Use PDFill to merge all the pages into one file.
  9. Use PDFill to update PDF file information.
  10. Publish the PDF as is on web sites.
  11. Use PDFill to create an image for the title page (and publish it on websites, blogs...)
  12. Use SmallPDF to reduce the size of the PDF File for publication on document sharing sites.
  13. Publish on document sharing sites.