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pdf version is hard to read on screen: do consider providing 2 pdf versions. Lines break of the html version. #325

regid opened this Issue Dec 9, 2012 · 16 comments


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regid commented Dec 9, 2012

The pdf version of the book is definitely designed to be printed and bound as a book. Odd page numbers (or is it even?) have wider left, then right, margin. While the other pages have the opposite: wider right margin then left margin. This is friendly for a printed and bound book, where one have to take into account the effect of binding. As I don't use an eReader of one sort or another, I can't tell whether that margin arrangement is noticeable with those devices. However, when trying to read the pdf version on an old fashion computer screen, that margin arrangement is irritating. In particular, when I fit the page width to the width of the screen. When I do the equivalent of getting from one page to the next one, I constantly have to shift the center of the page to the right, or to the left. This is especially disturbing when trying to look in figures that are not in the page I am currently reading.
Please make 2 pdf versions: one for printing, and another one for reading on a customary computer screen.
You might wander why I don't use the html version in the first place. For two reasons: the pdf version enables me to download the whole book. I don't need to access the network with it. The second reason is that the pdf version allows me to use large font size, and still get the lines wrap around at the end of my screen width. It is true that making the font size larger will ruin this. Fortunately for me, my sight is not that bad.
But, since I mentioned it, can't you make the html version in a way that the browser, not the coder, can determine where lines get wrap? While surfing the web, I encounter both methods of determining where lines of text get wrapped. I definitely prefer the method where the browser wraps the lines at the end of the screen, no matter what the font size is.

dcpc007 commented Feb 15, 2013

And more for printing, i think that marging is very huge.
When printing thoses docs, i use a template 2 pages on one + recto/verso. With thoses big margins i got 50% of blanck and very small text in the center ...
Is it possible to get small margins and let users choose their printing margins options like they want .?


jnavila commented Apr 20, 2013

It is just a matter of changing the parameters set in latex/tempate.tex to your taste.

regid commented Apr 20, 2013

I am not sure how many users know what parameters should be set, and where they are located. I am also not sure how many users are building from source.
Does jnavila's reply is for dcpc007, regid, or both? I still think the online version should be comfortably read directly from the computer screen.


jnavila commented Oct 5, 2013

Another point is that I have no access to file formats (epub, mobi, pdf) of the book.

regid commented Oct 5, 2013

I didn't understand how jnavila's comment, the one above this comment, is related.

@regid regid closed this Oct 5, 2013

@regid regid reopened this Oct 5, 2013

regid commented Oct 5, 2013

I thought I am closing the page. Not the issue.


jnavila commented Oct 6, 2013

@regid I was commenting on your issue. I cannot provide updated versions of the book, with special formatting on the page of git-scm. But I can stil find somewhere to upload some modified versions. But, as I do not know your tastes, the result may not be what you were expecting.

Concerning line wraps, can you explain a little more?

regid commented Oct 6, 2013

  1. If someone upload a newer PDF version I will likely only look at the issue I was writing about, and probably not notice other small changes.
  2. As for the lines wrap issue in the html format, here is what I meant:
    The first image, smallerFonts.png, shows a view of the the beginning of section 1.3 of the git book with firefox.

With that in the browser, I used firefox ctrl+ (pressing both the ctrl and the + keys at the same time) shortcut to read it in larger fonts. I got the following:


Note that now I have to scroll the page horizontally in order to be able to read the beginning of the lines. Take, for example, the first sentence:
`So, what is Git in a nutshell? This is an important section to absorb, because '
Notice that with larger fonts, the word "is" popped from the beginning of the second line to the end of the first line. Which means that with larger fonts, the lines must be longer. Isn't that the opposite of what should be correct? I will show the alternative with http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Update-3.html.


Here, ctrl+ just wraps the lines differently. There is no need for horizontal scrolling.



jnavila commented Oct 6, 2013

OK. In this case (for the browser), this is not an issue with the progit book, but an issue with the git-scm site's layout, and Firefox. I do not experience your issue with Chromium. Please feel free to copy your last comment as a new issue at https://github.com/github/gitscm-next/issues

For the pdf, here is a version I just compiled, which does not exhibit the left/right differences you mention.


jnavila commented Oct 6, 2013

For the html problem, it does not come from progit, but from the git-scm site style sheets and Firefox. The site does not exhibit your issue with chromium. Please feel free to copy your comment as a new issue at the source site of git-scm:

For the pdf, you can find here a version, that I have just compiled which does not have the difference left/right.

regid commented Oct 6, 2013

For the pdf, I confirm that https://github.com/progit/progit/wiki/progit.en.pdf does not exhibit the left/right differences I mentioned. Will the modified version be given an explicit link at the Book section of http://git-scm.com/doc, so that those who intend to read it on screen, from hard disk, be able to pick it?

dcpc007 commented Nov 8, 2013

I just dl the new english pdf from this link. It's far much better !
Text is center on the page (no offset for left or right pages)

But, i print in A4 format, and again, the left/right margings are always near huge : 3cm on the both sides :-(
--> it's 6cm on 21cm lost, more than 25% of sheet.

I think something like 1cm should be suffisant, and then your book will take signifiant less pages :
1°) better for paper printing (economy and lighter to transport :) )
2°) better for reading on screen, at work all screens are 16/9 now, then a thin vertical text layout is harder to read

Other thing, how can I recreate the pdf with other margings parameters ? I'll can then do a personnal config.
Note : work under windows and have an acrobat pro, but have some recent virtual Debian if needed.
I've seen that there is a french translation too, it interest me if possible to generate it with new version (in french it's always the old layout and version in pdf)

regid commented Nov 8, 2013

I am using an old 17" CRT screen. The version from https://github.com/progit/progit/wiki/progit.en.pdf fits my screen. I think that If the margins width decreased, the difficulty of the html version will be apparent with the pdf version as well. In addition, visually impaired readers might find it more difficult to increase the font size. I agree that for printing on an A4 size paper, and when there is no intention to bind the papers with a cover, smaller margins are better.


jnavila commented Nov 9, 2013

@dcpc007 La génération du pdf se fait avec LateX, ce qui est plus simple sous un OS unix-like, voire Linux. Sous Linux, il faut installer le paquet texlive-full et pandoc. Je peux aussi générer une version spécifique si besoin.

dcpc007 commented Nov 12, 2013

Ok i have some linux box, but never used latex.
If it's ok for you and if it seems intersting for other people, I agree with a special version with low margins (target is printing).
I print in recto/verso, 2 pages by sheet. After i use "plastic spirals" to make a book.It took about 5mm to make the book, then 1cm on each margin is enough. More it will reduce total page, and then paper :)
And with 2page/sheet margins are doubled then... text is very small and a lot of blank on the sheet.

@regid : I don't think that for any printing you need 6 cm total margin at horizontal (3cm on each side). On screen it's another question, and you should even try some auto-adjustemnt for the web version. Like web site or browser optimized for smartphones.

regid commented Nov 24, 2013

Isn't the original pdf version, the one that was there before this thread, good enough for printing? Why use the version with 6 cm total margin at horizontal (3cm on each side) for printing? I agree that 6 cm are too much margin for printing.
As far as I am concerned, the whole issue is viewing the document on screen. Possibly when there is no networking, by using a local file. How can I auto-adjust the web version? Shouldn't auto-adjustment happen automatically, without user intervention, like in the LDP example I gave on #325 (comment)? Perhaps the LDP's stand to provide multiple packaging format for the same text is good today as it was years ago?

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