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Using eBooks in PDF format

Here are a few things you might not already know about PDF files that will make using my eBooks easier and more productive:

Bookmarks and highlighting text

Most software that reads PDF files also lets you display a list of "bookmarks" beside the main document. Clicking on a bookmark takes you directly to that part of the document. Here's how to display the available bookmarks:

If you would enjoy the convenience of highlighting key passages of the text, or of using any of Adobe Reader's text annotation tools to leave yourself notes, here's how to make these tools available:

Searches

If you're looking for a particular word or phrase, and don't want to take a side trip to the index, use the built-in search tools instead. In most PDF readers, you'll find them under the Edit menu:

Jumping around the book

The entries in the table of contents and in the index are linked directly to the corresponding parts of the PDF file. Click any entry in the table of contents or any page number in the index to jump directly to that part of the book.

Jumping around the Web

Highlighted Web addresses are also links: click on them, and if your browser is properly configured, it will open and display the correct page.

Note: If this doesn't work, please don't write to me asking for help: there are far too many combinations of Web browsers and operating systems for me to know the right settings for each. Instead, select and copy the address, then paste it into your browser's address field. Check the online help for your PDF reader to learn how to select and copy text.

Just the book, please

If you prefer an uncluttered screen that shows only the book, you can do that too. First, open the View menu. Next:

Unfortunately, in full-screen or slideshow view, you lose access to bookmarks and can only move from page to page. Use the PageUp or left arrow keys to move to previous pages, and use the PageDown or right arrow keys to move to subsequent pages. To return to the usual view, press the Esc key.

Enlarging or reducing the text

The PDF file has been designed specifically for onscreen reading: I chose large enough fonts that the text should generally be within the comfortable reading zone for most people while still fitting comfortably within a single screen. But if you find the text too large or too small, don't hesitate to change the enlargement: under the View menu, select the Zoom option and choose a different percentage enlargement, or click the icon of a magnifying glass with a [+] to enlarge the pages or with a [–] to shrink the pages.

Printing

Yes, you should be able to print the book on standard European or American paper—I chose a size that would fit on both types of paper. But why would you want to? The PDF is not optimized for printing, and will waste tons of paper. Instead, wait for the printable version of the book: you'll kill fewer trees, and save lots of money on paper and ink.

Unless otherwise noted, the printable version of the book will appear 3 to 4 months after the PDF version. This is intentional: it usually takes about that long for errors and bug reports to stop trickling in, and there's no point printing the book until the most obvious errors have been corrected.


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