What is the best way to make a large pdf file available to WikiTree members to read?

+7 votes
I have a large, 228M PDF file of my grandma's family history (Velvia Owens' Family Tree book).  My plan was to take sections, change them to jpg files and attach to the specific family or family member discussed in that section (see Harris-30654 for an example).  However, someone has asked to read the whole book.  I realize this is too big to download to WikiTree.  Does anyone have any suggestions on the best way to make this available for others to read?
in WikiTree Help by Marcie Ruiz G2G6 Mach 3 (35.6k points)
I see you have created a free space profile - can you not upload the full pdf there?

Marcie, what a wonderful treasure you have!

It would be nice to be able upload the entire file to your free space page, but WikiTree has a file size limit.  I don't remember exactly what it is and don't believe it is documented anywhere, but I think it's either 10 or 15 MB.  The following options for a solution come to my mind:

  1. As Kane said in an answer, you could use a file sharing space (often called cloud space) and upload the document there, then link to it from appropriate profiles.
  2. Since you are obviously skilled enough to do it, you could split the pdf file into several smaller pdf's and upload them all to your free space page.
  3. That file size looks enormous to me. Pdf files used to be very large, compared to the same content stored in other file formats, but more recently Adobe has made them more efficient.  You might try opening the file and then saving it - do a Save As and give the new file a different name so you don't overwrite the original, then see if the file size is significantly smaller.
I would not recommend either transcribing it or changing it to a Word (or other) format.  Pdf is universal, while other formats depend on the person who wants to see them having proprietary (read that "expensive") software to be able to open the file.
No matter how you solve this, you may want to collect the pictures that are in it as individual jpg files, then upload them to the appropriate profiles.
I agree, I don't want to transcribe mainly because the handwriting is a big part of what makes it special.  I thought about upgrading my Adobe Reader to Adobe DC  but it's $25/mo unless I make a year's commitment and then it's still $14/mo.  That's the only way I can split it up into sections but that is too expensive.  I have already saved most of the pictures separately as jpgs.  I need to finish that up.

Marcie, there's a way around having to pay for the software to split it into sections:

  1. Open the file in Reader and look for the place you want to make your first split.
  2. Click File, Print and choose the "printer" that will save it as a file.
  3. Select the page range to print (from 1 to the first split you want)
  4. Click OK.
You can repeat the process, selecting the page ranges you want.  When you're done, you'll have your separate files.
You are a freakin' genius!!!!!  Guess I'll be working on this today!!!  Thanks!!

3 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer
I believe Bruce has made an excellent suggestion about not transcribing, we may trust ourselves more than others when it comes to documents we have before us, but we have all had to deal wih transcription error before.

On the other hand, Kane’s suggestion about scanning and uploading to a free upload site. Then you could link to it from any profile.

Just my thoughts.
by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)
selected by Susan Laursen
+8 votes
You could also use any of a range of free unlimited file sharing services. Just Google for "free upload" and browse the options. (Some require an account, others make a document expire after a set period of time or inactivity.) Then, simply post a link.

As the amount of text on a handwritten page is relatively small, have you considered typing an equivalent Word document? Using an appropriate "handwriting" font. (Perhaps only for some pages.) Or, make HTML directly. It would be searchable from the web. You could eventually expand web pages to include images. Many free tools are available.

== Example: (5 minutes of typing) ==

Back in the yr 1805 in South Carolyna, William Wiley Russell was born.

And then in the late 1820 he met and married Lucinda Crow.

She also was born in South Carolyna in the yr 1807.

They didn't stay in Carolyn long. They left & went to Tennessee. They had 10 children in all. 5 boys and 5 girls.

The first one was named Frank. Never did marry. He was killed in service at Rolla Ma.

Also had one boy named Lark. He died young, never did marry.

Then in 1833, they had a boy borned named David then in 1839 they had a girl named Mary Ann. Then in 1842 they had another boy named William.

Then in Aug 44 they had a girl borned named Martha Jane.

Then in 47 they had a boy named James.
by Kane Muir G2G Crew (730 points)

I would recommend against transcribing it. Errors occur during transcription - typos, incorrect guesses at something that is faint in the image, mistaking a Z for Y, W for M, etc., etc. Without the original images, information could be permanently lost.

0 votes

This is an ideal job for the Internet Archive. The Internet Archive exists to preserve and make publicly available, digital texts, images, audio and video.

Anyone can create a free account and upload files. PDFs that are images of typed text will be character-recognized by Internet Archive and become searchable. Be patient. Your document may not become fully viewable or searchable for some hours or days after upload if it is big.

by Jamie Cox G2G6 (9.1k points)

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