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K2pdfopt (willus.com)
83 points by etaioinshrdlu 63 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 24 comments

There was a beautiful browser plugin "Don't print", which I used to turn arXiv (and other) papers to be read with a Kindle, with a click (no manual: save, convert, upload). https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/dontprint-%E2%80%9...

(Website is gone, repo is stale: https://github.com/robamler/dontprint. It uses k2pdfopt.)

KOreader for android/Linux/ebooks has integrated k2pdfopt reflow


Besides being an interesting tool, this is a unique website that stands out today by looking perhaps from 20 years ago.

But it's being kept up to date and it's an active project!

If you like the way this website is presented, you may like http://wiby.me. It's a search engine for simple (i.e. minimal CSS/JS, fast to load) websites.

I wrapped this for iOS, and linked it to Twitter. If you connect it to your account, there is a separate feed of any tweet with a PDF, and one for any arXiv or PDF tweet that you've liked. [You don't have to connect, you can also just input the URL or quick-paste].


It's great for following your favorite scientists and professionals, and now I favorite more of their posts, which makes me happy because I feel like I am spreading more love in the world.

Can you please make this available in Europe? I get “not available in your region” in the AppStore now.

I will look into it!

edit: fyi it's originally because the information about Encryption Compliance is so confusing. I just use HTTPS and I'm pretty sure the documentation has gotten clearer in the meantime, so I'm optimistic.

Thanks! And please write about your experiences trying or achieving that! I know more apps that "aren't available" and I hope it's not too hard to change that, if I knew I'd write to other authors too.

And please consider that some who'd like to use k2pdfopt on the iphone don't use Twitter at all, I have a sure example of one, and I hope I could use your app independently from that?

how do we use it actually? I tried to copy and paste a PDF url to it, but nothing happen

The app works for 1) arXiv papers 2) any url of a paper obtainable from the address bar of your phone.

If you copy-paste, or copy and use the clipboard button, it will try to identify the arXiv identifier from the url, and then show you the title + abstract. Then you have to download the PDF, preview the transformed copy (copy stays in the cloud for 24h), and finally request a fully reflowed copy. The reflow is limited to about 30s via AWS Lambda, so this is not for dissertations -- this is for 2-20 page papers you can reasonably read on your phone. Nevertheless, there is a progress bar at the top of the screen to show you it's working, at that stage. These steps are pretty much reproduced in the app store images.

For a non-arXiv link, the only difference is that there is no abstract. But note, the link can't just be to the journal page, you've got to get a PDF mime-type when it's requested.

There are some things I should change, but it's very useful to me, and I just verified it works for both arXiv and non-arXiv. If it's not working for you, I would suggest deleting and reinstalling (sorry!).

The website might like out belongs in a museum but I use the tool weekly for reformatting research papers and pdf books. It works great and I highly recommend it.

“My site (willus.com) now offers SSL/https connectivity. Apparently this happened without my being notified, at no charge to me, which is nice. As a result, today I configured my site (and my backup site willus.org) to automatically re-direct http requests to https requests. Enjoy the added security!”

That was only on August 3 2019 :-)

Yeah, it's using Let's Encrypt. There are a lot of DNS names listed on the cert, showing their webmail URL too.

Nice, I remember using the crop function in my mobile pdf readers. Nowadays I OCR all my pdfs into ePub/markdown so I can grep, reflow, RSVP speed read and text-to-speech them.

I tried converting this - http://infolab.stanford.edu/~ullman/mmds/book.pdf for mobile but it doesn't work very well. Diagrams get spread across multiple pages and the zoom is not consistent. Maybe I did something wrong with the settings.

I used this tool a couple of times to get research PDFs onto my kindle and even emailed the author (he responded quickly) about how to stop diagrams from splitting; it's pretty cool to see these old school kind of programmers vs. the poor young web devs that spend 50% of their time writing hacky Javascript that will be obsolete in a year...

You can argue that the "hacky Javascript" written by the "young web devs" you deride will be as obsolete in a year as the code this old school programmer has written.

Just because you're not using the grooviest library or haven't been writing C++17 doesn't mean your application, which still functions on its target plaforms, is obsolete.

The comment is not about obsolescence, it is about depth of study.

Calibre has a feature to convert file formats (ePub, PDF, etc). I haven't used it much as I tend to just go for ePub as source. Does K2pdfopt work better than Calibre?

It’s not comparable. This tool reformats pdf to pdf which fits e-book readers, and often needs your input for fine tuning. But it does what other tools don’t (at least as much as I know).

Calibre can convert between the ebook formats.

I wish I'd had this in uni. I used to have to read 3 research papers a week on my Kindle,it was terrible having to zoom about before they had a touch screen.

I know it's weird but I read most of the PDF on my iPhone with it.

    k2pdfopt -om 0.15 -w 800 -h 1732 <file-name>

This works for eBooks too:

    k2pdfopt $* -dev kpw -mode fw -wrap -hy -ws 0.375 -ls-

I am using this to format pdfs for kindle. Better than pdf to mobi converter for any math or programming ebooks.

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