Monday, February 22, 2010

Viewing eBooks on a Laptop or Netbook - for non-Geeks

A great article came out recently on on how to rotate the display on your netbook to display eBooks in a vertical orientation. It's a great article and explains that while most books are intended to be viewed in a vertical page orientation, most computers are set up with horizonal monitors. Either you end up scrolling up and down the pages to see them, or they fit in a tiny portion of the screen. If you rotate the screen orientation, the books will show up in a more normal-seeming view.

But most of us aren't really Geeks and the writer doesn't actually tell where to find the settings he's referenced. So, here are a few additional instructions.

First, the display setting that references isn't found under "Display" or "Drivers" in your Windows Control Panel. You can open the Control Panel by clicking on the Start button on the Windows Nav Bar at the bottom of your screen. "Control Panel" should be one of the selections in the right hand panel of the Start menu. In the "View by: " menu at the top right of the Control Panel window, choose "Small icons" from the drop-down menu. Now, what you are looking for is an Intel Driver for Mobile. This is the magical driver icon that will open the Window shown in Geeks' screenshot.

Look at the tabs along the left side of the Intel blue window. Choose Display Settings. All you want in this box is to be sure "Enable Rotation" has a checkmark beside it. If not, click on the box to put one there. Then click on the "Hot Keys" tab on the left and you will see the list of hotkeys that Intel has enabled. the setting for 90 degrees will put the top of the screen at what is now on the left side, so you will view the page with the screen on your right and the keyboard on your left. I prefer the 270 degrees setting that will put the screen on our left and the keyboard on the right. That should put the arrow keys on your keyboard someplace near your right thumb, which is great for navigating through a book.

Of course, if you are using Adobe Reader to read PDF files, you don't have to go through all this screen changing. The View menu in Reader gives you the option to rotate the PDF view on your screen. By changing to Full-screen mode, the only thing that appears on your screen is the page you are reading. You can still use the arrow keys to advance from page to page. If it happens that you see two pages cramped on your screen, the View menu also has an option to show single pages.

Happy reading.

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