January 2012 - Letters Pg 18
THE JOURNAL FORMAT
Most of December’s reader mail was in response to the journal format change, which I explained in our December editorial, after making the difficult decision to publish the Network’s online journal in the more universally accessible format of simple Internet webpages with an additional downloadable PDF option for those who prefer to archive the monthly journals on their computers.
Change is never easy, and this one in particular struck a nerve. As members have expressed considerable variety of opinions about the change, it makes sense to bring the discussion out into the open as less vocal members may have similar questions. I’ll add a few explanatory comments in italics where it may help clarify questions or requests made.
“After starting to read the December journal I found it pretty hard on my eyes (even with my reading glasses on). I found the PDF files much easier to read and also enjoyed being able to read them offline. I’d hate to have to print out each and every one (I live on a boat and don’t have lots of storage space for printed files) besides using up lots of paper. Would it be possible to have a ‘download as PDF’ button on the page for those of us who are able to download and view the PDF version of the journals?”
“PDF ends up being 27 pages. I copied, pasted the PDF into a Word file and changed font size. Bummer about the computer issues for others. I liked the other way better, but don’t mind the few minutes it took to reformat the journal. I appreciate you ‘guys.’ I have bought a few books, further researched topics and been validated by other articles due to the journal. I also hope never to need the legal service part of ACLDN, but it’s nice to know it’s there.”
I made several refinements to the “Get eJournal PDF here” link in hopes of resolving these kinds of problems. The PDF does not have to be printed and is archivable on the member’s own computer. Give it a try!
“Just a comment on the journal format change. I read the PDFs on my Kindle and have not had a problem before. The new PDF was 27 pages, but didn’t flow real well. When I used the print function (to a PDF printer) it was only 11 pages and was too small a print for the Kindle. I understand it is a work in progress, keep up the good work.”
Other members have inquired about formatting for a variety of eBook readers, and I admit that the idea of reformatting for all the various readers out there was daunting. Then, came a ray of hope: A member reported using a Linux program called Calibre to convert text to eBook format. Perhaps similar utilities exist for Windows Mac, I thought. Further research turned up several options to do just that. If members want to optimize journals for their eBook readers, they certainly have our permission, with the restriction, of course, that it is only for their personal use, not for distribution.
“Thanks for the December web version of the Journal. It has been needed for some time. I have not been able to read any of the journals for months. I have tried on three different computers, my home desk top, my work desktop and a new laptop purchased last month. I have the latest versions of Adobe on the computers. When I try to download, the first page comes up and the computer(s) freeze up.”
“I understand your pain trying to resolve problems with members reading our newsletter. However, I think that you erred in changing everything because a few members had old Adobe Reader versions on their old computer. Updates are easy and free, and members should be responsible for staying current. PDF files are the universally accepted basis for easy transfer and reading, and I respectfully suggest that the Network return to that format. If not, at least allow the web page format to be one complete screen so that I can download the entire file and read it at my leisure. The current method only shows one page at a time, and I cannot scan or save the entire file as I could with your old PDF formats. In addition, the PDF download icon does not work on the new style.”