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Archived Message:

Printing from E-Books

NG Question:
How can the graphics on e-books created with Activ E-Book Compiler 4.01 be switched off in order to stop wasting toner/ink when printing pages from the e-books?
Thank you all.

Posted on: 12:08 pm on November 21, 2004
Alaska NG -

 You would probably do this with style sheets, by creating a style that hides the images upon printing.

Look here for the CSS method to do this automatically:


If you want your users to choose for themselves, you'll need to create your own checkbox where the user can turn this functionality off; it will take some JavaScript:


best -

roger nilsson

Posted on: 10:44 pm on November 21, 2004
NG Roger

Thank you for the reply.

The problem is, I don’t have access to the code. It’s an ebook I bought that has the Edit options disabled. No pop-up menu(s) either (also disabled).

Posted on: 3:25 am on November 29, 2004
Storyman NG,

In other words you'd like to know how to hack Activ e-Book to turn off the graphics. I say hack because it involves the same steps that would turn on the printing of a locked ebook.

Have you contacted the originator to inquire about obtaining a version that allows you to turn off the graphics while printing? Roger's suggestion is a good one and the originator might like to try it on his book.

(Edited by Storyman at 9:39 pm on Nov. 28, 2004)

Posted on: 5:38 am on November 29, 2004
NG Not exactly hack. I am trying to save printer toner; they are overpriced.

Here is the main part of the reply from the originator:

"It has been protected for security reasons to prevent copyright theft ... On the other hand you could use your "Print Screen" function from your keyboard then
open ms.paint click "paste" from your edit menu, then you'll have captured the whole page as a graphic. You can then delete any unnecessary graphics ... Very time consuming ... You may be able to negate the graphics by first copying the entire file to a folder on your desktop and resetting your PC properties, but I've never tried it myself. Sorry if this is not much help."

I tried the first part of his advice, but the text comes out blurred with approximately 50% of each printed page empty (waste of paper). The second part of his advice "... copying the entire file to a folder ..." didn't work. Maybe someone out there has the answer.

Posted on: 3:56 am on December 9, 2004
Storyman NG,

I understand your plight to save toner, but it is a hack! If you were able to eliminate printing the graphics it would mean that you had control over page printing.

The only solution you really have is to contact the publisher of the ebook and request that the graphics not to be printed. Hopefully, that person used CSS and it would be a small task.

Posted on: 3:47 pm on December 9, 2004
Alaska If you have a PDF converter or editor installed, creating a PDF file is one of the options found in the Print Dialog box.

 Once you've generated to a PDF, you can open it and print it most any way you like.

 best -  

Posted on: 5:42 pm on December 9, 2004
NG Roger

Can you recommend a PDF converter that actually works?; I have already spent approximately three hours on the internet trying to find one.

Here are two examples that failed to work:

1- One Click PDF v2 (www.oneclickpdf.com)
2- AllPDF Converter 2.0 (www.bcltechnologies.com)

And here are two reviews for two others fromwww.download.com:

1- LeadTools ePrint 4.0

"could not get it to work"
read the instruction, done what it said and nothing happened.

despite the fact it doesn't work, LeadTools ePrint installs icons in your control panel that are impossible to get rid of. don't bother..

2- Konvertor 3.44 popular

"It was hard to use and stripped all my icons."
Don't buy even if he pays you. I had to pay to get my computer fixed, and lost hours of time.

I've downloaded many programs in the past 10 years, on three different PCs. NEVER has one screw things up like this one. I've been working on correcting it for DAYS! Upon instatt the way all things open and run was BLOWN in the wind! As I read in other comments ""stripped all my icons"" is very close to the same as what happened to me. If you want a NIGHTMARE just download this.

Posted on: 8:17 pm on December 14, 2004
Alaska NG -

 I use Distiller on one machine, and CutePDF (2.2) on another.  Distiller, of course, is Adobe's, so it always works.

 CutePDF, despite it's silly name, works well in trial mode to create unlimited PDFs. It's up to version 3.0 now.

 It does have some print parameters, but hiding images is not one of them.  You'll need the full version ($49.95) to manipulate the contents, including the images, but it's still cheaper than Distiller.

 I haven't tried those others, but given the reviews, I'm not sure I want to try them out on a production machine...

 best -

Posted on: 9:24 pm on December 14, 2004
NG Roger

It took approximately 17.5 hours of (painful) work, both online and offline, to convert 35 PDF files of average size 57KB to Word. More formatting, to make the printouts presentable/readable, still remains.

The problem was incompatibility between the different packages. One package would recognize and convert the ebook/files where another would fail. A balance was finally achieved by using your recommended CutePDF 3.0 (http://www.cutepdf.com/) to convert the ebook to PDF files, and then using ScanSoft PDF Converter Professional 2.0 (http://www.scansoft.com/) to convert the PDF files to Word.

All in all, a bad experience. If the aim is to promote ebooks, then those responsible for producing ebooks will need to pay attention to reports such as this and come up with ways (protocols/standards) of solving the problems.

Thank you for your help.

Posted on: 11:36 pm on January 6, 2005
Alaska NG -

 Actually, it's not likely.  If the author really wanted to distribute the contents, he would have provided it as a .rtf file in the first place.  I'm assuming that either you have license to access the content, or the author doesn't mind if you do (hence, the enabled ability to print the ebooks).

 One of the principle features of ebooks is to keep people away from the contents, so I'm not surprised that you had to jump through some hoops to do it.  

 If the issue is to simply print without images, that option can be built in to an ebook fairly easily.  But not all eboook authors are going to agree with you;  ebooks are not a print format, and many do not want to have their ebooks printed at all, much less let you have the source files...

best -

Posted on: 6:11 am on January 7, 2005
Storyman NG,

Alaska nails it.

It's also possible that an author will use Print On Demand to print a limited run of books. After all if people are that interested in a printed copy why not let the author/publisher provide it? POD cost is only a few dollars for a bound soft back.

Posted on: 8:41 am on January 7, 2005

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