SourceForge Logo Support This Project
Home Project Download Install Device Support Command Line Changelog


PDFRead is a tool for converting PDF and DJVU documents for reading on eBook devices. It does this by creating an image out of each page, enhancing the image and then collating the images in a device-specific format.


Installation Instructions


  1. Download and install the PDFRead installer.
  2. Right-click a PDF, and choose PDFRead. Alternatively, use the start menu (Start -> Programs -> PDFRead).
  3. If you choose an output eBook, then that will be the generated file name. If you do not enter a filename, then it will be created in temp directory.
  4. To customize a profile, check the "customize" box and specify parameters.
  5. To uninstall, remove it from Add/Remove Programs.


This assumes you have Ubuntu. If you don't, then install the equivalent packages for your distribution.
  1. Open up a terminal window, and install the following packages:
    sudo apt-get install pdftk python-imaging pngnq gs-common djvulibre-bin libtiff-tools unpaper optipng
  2. Download the PDFRead source code and extract it somewhere.
  3. The above directory will contain a command line program, execute it via
    python <options> pdf-file
  4. Read the command line options.

Mac OS X

(based on sammykrupa's instructions)
  1. Install the Apple developer tools.
  2. Install the latest python version. The Mac OS X installer application puts a big "MacPython 2.5" folder in your applications folder. Go into that folder and double-click the "Update Shell Profile.command" file.
  3. Install pdftk and pngnq 0.41.
  4. Install fink and then install the necessary packages by typing this in the Terminal:
    sudo apt-get install ghostscript ghostscript-fonts libtiff-bin djvulibre optipng
  5. Download the latest Python Imaging Library source, extract it and install it via
    sudo python install
  6. In case you want to convert DJVU documents, please install djvulibre from Fink or install it yourself.
  7. Download the PDFRead source code and extract it somewhere.
  8. The above directory will contain a command line program, execute it via
    python <options> pdf-file
  9. Read the command line options.

Device Support

Rocket eBook / REB 1100

eBookwise 1150 / ETI-2 / REB 1150

REB 1200 / ETI-1 / Gemstar 2150

Sony Reader PRS-500 / Librie

Command Line Options

Usage: pdfread [options] input-document

  -h, --help          show this help message and exit
  -p PROFILE          one of: reb1200, prs500-l, eb1150, reb1200-p, prs500,
  -o OUTPUT           the output filename
  -t TITLE            generated ebook title (default: "Unknown")
  -a AUTHOR           generated ebook author (default: "Unknown")
  -c CATEGORY         generated ebook category (default: "General")
  -f FORMAT           one of: imp2, imp1, html, rb, lrf
  -i FORMAT           one of: pdf, imglist, djvu, tiff
  -m MODE             one of: portrait, landscape-half, landscape
  -u ARGS             command line arguments for unpaper
  -d DIR              the temporary directory where images are generated
  --first-page=PAGE   first page to convert
  --last-page=PAGE    last page to convert
  --optimize          optimize generated PNG images
  --crop-percent=N%   whitespace cropping percentage (default: 2.0%)
  --edge-level=L      edge enhancement level from 1-9 (default: 5)
  --dpi=DPI           the DPI at which to perform dilation (default: 300)
  --colors=N          downsample the output image to N grayscale colors
  --mono              downsample the output image to monochrome
  --rotate=DIRECTION  one of: none, right, left
  --count=N           consider that the document has N pages
  --hres=HRES         the maximum usable horizontal resolution
  --vres=VRES         the maximum usable vertical resolution
  --overlap=OVERLAP   screen overlap between pages (in pixels)
  --no-crop           disable the cropping stage
  --no-dilate         disable the dilation stage
  --no-enhance        disable the edge enhancement stage
  --no-toc            disable the generation of Table of Contents
  --list-profiles     show the various profiles and their settings


[2007-04-27] 1.7

[2007-04-25] 1.6

[2007-04-06] v5

PDFRead was created by Ashish Kulkarni with lots of help and suggestions from Falstaff, alex_d, sammykrupa, gdxf and many others from the Mobileread forums. It is licensed under the MIT license.