Thursday, May 31, 2012

Printing Google Books

If you're like me, which I don't suspect there are more than a handful of people interested in old books from the late 1800's to the early 1900's about Mt. Rainier NP or books related to work about the NP, you like the service Google have done to digitize old books.

Ok, really cool stuff to find on Google's Play Books Website, so much since I have an account, I created a library and started collecting PDF's of some of the books about or really related to work in or about Mt. Rainier NP. Well, this week I discovered Google has been both overlord and grinch with their books.

What Google do harm? Wait, that's not Google. "Au contrair, mon ami", as you would discover if you try to actually print any of thoe books. You see Google only made the books they've digitized to read on computers, tablets or smartphones, but not to see a printer to save their pages.

Of course, as PDF's the files are readable by any PDF reader, but Google now offers a free iPad/iPhone app for your library. Yeah, you guessed it, they want to control how you read public domain books now too with the easy, free app. But alas none, not even their app, will print the book.

I was curious about this because I download my library as PDF's which they offer as an option, but then found Adobe Acrobat Pro (both 9 and 10) won't print the file, and neither will it print opening the file in a browser with a PDF plugin, whether Acrobat or any third-party one. Why?

Google embeds every page with a digital image, "Digitized by Google", which you see in the lower right corner of the Google book PDF and which disables printing. So, not to be fooled by Google, I ran one of their books through some free applications I have for letters, documents and books.

That's where I discovered the hidden image, in a big bold letter-image. Really sucks if you ask me. What does Google have with printing a book they offer their users. Well, there are some work arounds, paid or free applications which can open the file to see the embedded images where you can simply remove them, save the file and then print it or export it back into a PDF which any PDF reader can print.

So what did I use? Well, I used Calibre to open the PDF and export to a Rich-Text Format (RTF) file. Then used Bean to edit the RTF file (removing the Google image) and then export a new PDF file. Then I used Acrobat to open and print the new book.

In the end I got the document I wanted and printed, but without the one map which I can view on my iPad anyway. I like print copies to read and take notes. Yes, the electronic ones do that too but a pencil and eraser with tab postit notes still works for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment