I’m sure many of you have pdfs galore scattered throughout your PC hard drive. Just like your photos. But you can organize your photos into albums with programs like Picasa or Faststone Image Viewer so what about your pdfs? Well here’s your chance to organize them under a neat interface. Adobe Digital Editions is a free program for Windows OS for organizing all your eBooks (EPUB format) and pdfs onto digital bookshelves. I’m indebted to instant fundas for bringing this free app to my attention. It’s a bit like Adobe Photoshop Elements but for pdfs not photos, and with just the managing and viewing function. I don’t have an eBook reader yet so will concentrate on the pdf management features here as I really wanted a way to organize my pdfs just like my photos.
I already had most of my pdfs in folders in a separate directory but thought it would be neat to be able to view them all in one place as thumbnails, place them on bookshelves and read them all from within one app. Well with Adobe Digital Editions you can do just that.
However, before you plunge in and import all your pdfs, there’s a couple of things to note. Unfortunately, the thumbnails aren’t displayed with the file name below them, but with title and author metadata held within the pdf. So, for example, if the title metadata had been filled out incorrectly, the thumbnails won’t display in the order you want. So how do you check and edit the pdf metadata? Well, I’m grateful to gHacks for pointing out one free utility for doing this – BeCyPDFMetaEdit. With this app, you can load up your pdf, edit and save all the metadata just the way you want them without affecting the text and layout in the pdf itself.
Now that you have your title metadata correct, when you load the pdfs into Adobe Digital Editions, they will all initially go into the All Items shelf. You then have to drag them to the bookshelf of your choice or make a new one. You can’t put them directly onto the bookshelf you want.
You can of course click on and view your pdfs within the program. Single or double page layouts are supported. You can search within a document, and bookmark pages. Unfortunately, you can’t view all bookmarks on a bookshelf at the same time which would have been nice. The bookmarks for each document only show when that document is being read. You can highlight text and save it as text notes. Like other aspects of this program, I didn’t really find it intuitive enough but eventually worked out that you click and drag to highlight text, then press Ctrl-B to save it as a bookmark. Not ideal, but well it’s a free program and doubtless all these shortcomings will be ironed out in updates if people shout loudly enough. At the moment, I’m enjoying reading the free Full Circle (Ubuntu) Magazine in this interface.
So if your pdfs are languishing all round your hard drive, here’s a neat way to organize them on digital bookshelves and view them all in one spot … just like your photos.