Comments on: Review: Palm Reader Pro

Palm Digital Media's ebook reader is called the PalmReader Pro. It supports sub-pixel font smoothing on color handhelds and can also use any Palm standard bitmapped font. This app also has hi-res support and can display color images. Kezza, moderator of the PIC Software Forum, has this review.
Return to Story - Permalink

Article Comments


The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. PalmInfocenter is not responsible for them in any way.
Please Login or register here to add your comments.

Comments Closed Comments Closed
This article is no longer accepting new comments.


The main feature I use Palmreader Pro for.

dethblud @ 4/3/2002 3:32:38 PM #
When comparing readers most people forget the main feature of Palmreader Pro that compels me to use it. The ability to read the encrypted ebooks. It's mentioned in this review, but what people forget to add is that when you buy a book from Palm, you're pretty much forced to use the Palmreader. I like Pro because it ads features I could get from other readers, but allows me to read my PalmPak Series Sci-Fi card.

RE: The main feature I use Palmreader Pro for.
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 9:45:25 AM #
I think Deep Reader looks better, but I have to agree with the person who said the compelling reason for obtaining PRP is to get the latest and greatest encrypted offerings. I would love to be able to read the latest King or Clancy novel on Deep Reader.

Since I can't, I upgraded to PRP, which still looks pretty good. Thanks Kezza, for the review!

HandEra 330

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 4:15:06 PM #
The PalmReader supports the 330 very nicely. It has full screen support as well as all font selections.

Bill McKelvey
a 330 user.

RE: HandEra 330
kezza @ 4/3/2002 4:31:05 PM #
Thanks for letting us know.
The Palm support and Palm Digital Media sites have precious little information about what exactly the Palm Reader supports and doesn't support. Since I wasn't sure about the HE330 and couldn't find anything out from Palm, I couldn't really mention it.
Glad to see that it works well, though.

"Well, if it isn't the leader of the wiener patrol, boning up on his nerd lessons"
RE: HandEra 330
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 4:53:56 PM #
Just reaffirming the original comment. The free PalmReader and PalmReader Pro work very nicely in hi-res on the HandEra 330. It will even automtically close the virtual graffiti area to display text on the full screen.

RE: HandEra 330
Ed @ 4/3/2002 5:01:32 PM #
You'll have to blame me for editing Kezza's review to say that the H330 wasn't fully supported. Sorry, I don't have a H330 to actually test it. I was going on information from users posted after Palm Reader Pro was introduced. Apparently, these people were mistaken. I've changed the review.

News Editor
RE: HandEra 330
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 9:01:56 PM #
Support for hi-res on the 330 has been there since version 1.1.8. I'm not sure if the version numbers for PalmReader Pro match that or not.

Under "The Pros:" it ought to say support for hi-res screens instead of, "Support for Sony hi-res screens".

Iffy high-res usefulness?

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 4:33:39 PM #
IMO, I would say that this reader has great high-res usefulness. With the font changing ability, you can choose a font as small as you want. And as mentioned, it can use third-party fonts as well. A high-res Clie with Lubak's fonts looks incredible.

For a long-time, we were forced to use this reader if we wanted to utilize their great selection of books, but the improvements they've made in the past couple of months with both their freeware version and now this Pro version have made the reader stand out as well.

RE: Iffy high-res usefulness?
kezza @ 4/3/2002 5:04:53 PM #
The iffy hi-res usefulness comment was based on the fact that neither Ed nor I had any clue whether or not the reader worked on the HE330, thus making the hi-res and grayscale usefulness of the app questionable.

"Well, if it isn't the leader of the wiener patrol, boning up on his nerd lessons"

RE: Iffy high-res usefulness?
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 5:09:42 PM #
OK, given that we now know that it does work (and well) on the HE330, the review should be updated to remove that as a con. Great review otherwise!!

RE: Iffy high-res usefulness?
Ed @ 4/3/2002 5:12:29 PM #

News Editor
RE: Iffy high-res usefulness?
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 2:38:50 AM #
The main bit about 330 support is that while the free version of PalmReader does support the 330s hires, it only allows you to use the standard palm fonts, if you buy the Pro version you can select from all of the 330s available fonts (that made it worth the money for me at least!)

RE: Iffy high-res usefulness?
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 3:47:12 PM #
What are Lubak's fonts and where can I find them?

RE: Iffy high-res usefulness?
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 4:31:23 PM #
Lubak created fonts to use on Clies with Fonthack 123 v4.0c. They can be found at

Can Fonts be Installed on MS?

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 5:44:47 PM #
I was wondering if you can install the 3rd party fonts on the Memory Stick and have Palm Reader Pro see them.

Waste of Money and Memory for my m515

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 6:04:03 PM #
You call that Font-Smoothing? Are you kidding?? They just blur the fonts and make it worse! This is a waste of money and a waste of KB. Stick with the free Palm Reader.

RE: Waste of Money and Memory for my m515
IanJD @ 4/3/2002 7:04:02 PM #
I have to concur that the font smoothing isn't as good as that in Wordsmith.

RE: Waste of Money and Memory for my m515
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 8:10:37 PM #
DeepReader has some very nice anti-aliases font
smoothing (looks great on Clie hi-res). Has anyone
compared this with the Palm Reader Pro font

RE: Waste of Money and Memory for my m515
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 6:34:45 AM #
The extra features are not much use for me, though I can see why others might find them useful. The clincher for me was that PalmReader v1.1.10 seems to run a little faster that the Pro version and it has a smaller memory footprint.

If only CSpotRun could read peanut format!

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 11:51:20 AM #
Can someone explain what sub-pixel smoothing means? How does one use a portion of a pixel as described?

RE: Explanation of font smoothing
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 12:28:30 PM #
See this link. It's got it all....


I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 8:13:22 PM #
ready books on a palm is like self mutilation

RE: ???
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/3/2002 8:23:17 PM #

RE: ???
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 3:12:31 PM #
I think that unready books are like self-flagellation.

Who's the reviewer

Vexel9 @ 4/3/2002 9:47:12 PM #
Hey Ed. I've never heard of this reviewer before? The Who's Kezza? The review is good. If you have his or her email address i would like to ask a question. Thanks.

RE: Who's the reviewer
kezza @ 4/3/2002 11:15:15 PM #
Hi, I'm the reviewer. You can get my email address from my profile in this site's discussion forums.
I'm suggesting you go there because if you have questions, there's just loads of useful people full of information there.
And, for some reason, I'm hesitant to post my email on here. And, yes, I realize it's readily accessible to anyone in the forums. Just call me paranoid, I guess.

"Well, if it isn't the leader of the wiener patrol, boning up on his nerd lessons"

A Required feature - HTML

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 5:22:26 AM #
Not a difficult thing to do, I would like to see an HTML reader added. Then the reader would be truly up to date.

BTW, I have been using the Palm Reader Pro for a couple of months, and quite enjoy it.

RE: A Required feature - HTML
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/10/2002 8:27:01 AM #
Mobipocket Reader is an HTML Reader.

Speeding up Palm Reader Pro

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 6:05:00 AM #
I noticed that you can speed up Palm Reader Pro on certain devices like Palm IIIc, if you move the app to the flashrom of your Palm (e.g. with FlashPro)...

I could not verify this on a Clie 770, but it should work too.

(Palm Reader Pro can be *very* slow with the overall GUI behaviour.)

Still a RAM Hog

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 8:41:20 AM #
doesn't PRP still put big chunks in the base RAM for every doc in VFS? I dunno, and a couple RTA didn't tell me. iSilo still the one to beat, it's faster and more feature-laden. PRP is just a palm-branded reader for those who don't like research.

RE: Still a RAM Hog
kezza @ 4/4/2002 9:41:00 AM #
The chunks it leaves in RAM on my machine are typically around 8k, not big by any means.
Every once in a while, though, I'll find an 85k chunk. This usually happens if PalmReader crashes and doesn't get a chance to clear out memory.
I should probably mention that Screenshot hack and the colors preferences of palmreader don't get along. These are the only crashes I've had with palmreader.

"Well, if it isn't the leader of the wiener patrol, boning up on his nerd lessons"
RE: Still a RAM Hog
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 9:42:35 AM #
Not 100% correct! I find iSilo's interface ugly and a small Perl script with GREP patterns allows me to translate HTML tags to PML tags for using DropBook as desktop converter.

For Mac users, the DropBook converter is still the best and simplest choice for converting ASCII (7-bit) or converted HTML (PML tags).

:-) Lo

Colors + Screenshothack 1.5

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 10:13:22 AM #
Hi kezza!

You should mention, that "crash" (color menu with screenshothack) means crash with forced HARDRESET.
(At least this is what I experienced.)
I did a review in "beam" which is a free PalmReader eZine and pretty much came to the same conclusions like you.

You can get "beam" here:

... but I should mention that it is in german.


RE: Colors + Screenshothack 1.5
kezza @ 4/4/2002 2:52:54 PM #
To whoever wrote this comment:
Could you email me with details about your crashes with screenshot hack? I've been writing back and forth with the developer trying to figure out where the conflict is. I'd like to compare systems and software configurations and maybe find a common link.

"Well, if it isn't the leader of the wiener patrol, boning up on his nerd lessons"

Book locations

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 10:54:14 AM #
Did anyone notice a change in where Palm Reader Pro would locate ebooks versus the free version? I'd been using the free version and it would locate the books in a couple different locations on my card, now it puts them in the Launcher folder. Yuck!

RE: Book locations
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 10:59:55 AM #
We used to search the entire VFS, but for people with huge cards and lots of files, we were too slow.

We now look in the launcher folder, \PALM\Books, and \My Documents\Peanut Press (so you can swap SD cards between Palms and PocketPC's).

The free version and the Pro version look in the same locations.

-peter fry
palm digital media group

RE: Book locations
rldunn @ 4/4/2002 11:03:52 AM #
I have all of my books stored in /Palm/Books and it works just fine with Pro.

RE: Book locations
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 11:10:42 AM #
Does the PR on a pocket pc allow you to read Palm ebook files without some sort of conversion?

RE: Book locations
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 11:13:19 AM #
You do not need to convert any Palm or DOC book to read them on PocketPC's. We read the text directly out of the .pdb or .prc file.

-peter fry
palm digital media group

Dictionary launch
rldunn @ 4/4/2002 11:28:22 AM #
Hi Peter,

Do you have any plans on making the dictionary launchable? It's a nice dictionary, but it would be nice to be able to access it quicker when using an app other than PRP.

RE: Book locations
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 1:17:44 PM #
Thanks for the information. I had them in Palm/Programs/Books, moved them to Palm/Books and that is working okay. But I know my freeware reader was finding them in the old location, perhaps I just had an older version that this still worked on.

RE: Book locations
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 5:29:50 PM #
I'd like a dictionary launcher too. Something that would just go directly to the dictionary in PRP. Would be neat to do a hack too that would let you highlight a word on any app to send to the dictionary.

RE: Book locations
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/5/2002 11:52:26 AM #
That's on our wishlist. I'm not sure when this will be available, however.

-peter fry
palm digital media group

PRP Font Support

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/4/2002 12:56:51 PM #
I personally like PRP but find the Agfa fonts very strange. Why do they only include 12 & 18 point sizes? I think that the 12 is too small and the 18 too large, why is there no medium size? Like 14?
this makes this add-on useless in my opinion.


RE: PRP Font Support
fyock @ 4/4/2002 3:21:07 PM #
The Agfa fonts come in 10, 12, 18 and 24 point sizes. If there's an error on our site, please let us know.

12 point is actually pretty large -- the standard Palm "large" and "large bold" fonts are around this size.

The 18 and 24 point fonts are very nice on hi-res devices, but are too large (IMHO) for low-res handhelds.


RE: PRP Font Support
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/5/2002 9:28:39 AM #
Why can't Palm Reader just work and paginate well using plain-Jane Palm fonts? Why does it duplicate between 1.5 and 2.5 lines from the previous page? Why not just 1 line like almost every other doc reader?

Answer: Because Palm wants you to buy the AGFA font package ... sucker.

RE: PRP Font Support
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/5/2002 11:55:00 AM #
The Pro version allows you to use any plain Jane (?) Palm font, not just the AGFA fonts. The free version assumes font metrics of the OS small and large fonts.

-peter fry
palm digital media group

RE: PRP Font Support
rldunn @ 4/5/2002 12:55:22 PM #
I can vouch for this. I've used PRP with several different fonts, and it doesn't duplicate any of the lines. Works exactly as they claim.

palmreader pro

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/6/2002 11:11:15 PM #
Hmmm... I guess that they didn't learn the Netscape lesson: Other readers for the Palm (mobipocket at least) and other platforms (M$ Reader, Mobipocket PocketPC version, etc.) offer the same features and are included with the platform or are a free download.

As to fonts: so what, I'll download my own thank you very much.

Dictionary: does anyone seriously need to refer to a dictionary when reading? Most texts outside of professional literature seem to use a relatively low level of reading/comprehension IMHO. Even with professional literature it is more a matter of the geometric expansion of acronyms and/or multiple uses of the same acronym that would present a problem if used out of context.

I expect that exceptions to this would be readers who are reading text in their non-native language, but they would seem to be such a small portion of the market to me as not to have to saddle me with the cost of their receiving some sort of dictionary for which I have no use.

RE: palmreader pro
Kesh @ 4/7/2002 8:22:55 PM #
Perhaps you missed the part where it's mentioned that the free Palm reader is also available? It does have color support, just not as extensive, and doesn't feature the database/dictionary support. Also, I believe Palm has been including the free reader in the last generation or two of their units.

Regarding fonts, I still have to try out this new version, but I've been just fine with the default fonts in the free reader. Once I get the Pro one installed, I'll have more to say.

A dictionary can be useful if you encounter a term you don't know while reading. This can happen often with classic texts from a few hundred years ago, or even more modern texts with flowery prose. I'm sure H.P. Lovecraft has left a few people confused with his real English words (not counting the ones he made up). And, I would often end up looking up words for colleagues at work on the Internet, just to make sure they were being used properly in documentation and flyers.

RE: palmreader pro
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/8/2002 5:53:40 AM #
A typical (and dumb) reader comment: "Me, myself & I doesn't need it, therefore Company, Inc. should stop developing/producing it..."

Can you please stop ranting about companies offering such 'useless' products as dictionaries? Imagine some people are not interested in games!!!


RE: palmreader pro
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/18/2002 12:38:15 PM #
Oh dear, another "we're the only ones on the planet" Americans... Not everyone has English as their first language. Not everyone reads books in English either, and hopefully there'll be dictionaries in other languages in the future. I'm sure you realise the usefulness for all the over 80% of the world who has another first language than English but still want to read on their Palm!


RE: palmreader pro
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/11/2002 7:15:07 AM #
Dutch is my native language, so having the 12MB Webster's New World Collegiate Dictionary on my expansion card is a godsend and makes the Palmreader to a powerful reading and learning tool to me...
RE: palmreader pro
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/30/2002 3:23:39 PM #
You are talking about dictionaries, like if it was only a definition or translation book. No, it can also be a reference book, for profesionals. A medical drug reference, a law book, ...

Feature needed.

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/9/2002 9:25:07 PM #
If someone from Palm is hearing here is a feature that should be added to the reader:

A more discreete way to mark pages with a bookmark. It would be better to have a little icon besides the toolbar button like in pages with notes. The dog tagged page has a boorder that makes it look very different from other pages.

toolbar buttons for opening a book and for starting auto scrool.

PalmReaderPro Undocumented Feature

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/11/2002 5:18:16 AM #
There's a neat way to stop autoscroll temporarily: just tap-and-hold in the graffiti area! Then when you let go, scrolling resumes... cool.

Just thought I'd mention it as the reviewer didn't.

beam conflicts on palm 515

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/20/2002 9:06:34 AM #
Can anyone list the software that would cause a beaming


Register Register | Login Log in