From time to time, I have to read a paper with unclear typesetting. By this, I mean:
- very small fonts; sometimes 8pt or smaller.
- very bad scan;
- Using bitmap fonts instead of vector ones.
- too old formatting (usually dating back to 1970s or the beginning of 1980s.)
In these cases, one might prefer to read a more clear version submitted to the authors' home page. Unfortunately, the author version is not always available; and even in that case, they might be very lengthy (the so-called full version of the paper).
In the case of bitmap fonts, I found a good strategy: Find the postscript (PS) version of the paper, and convert the bitmap fonts to their vector counterparts using pkfix or a combination of pkfix-helper + pkfix, whichever applies (read the documentation).
However, I still can't find a workaround for other problems. Specially, small-font papers bother me a lot. My best bet is to use a desk lamp: I don't know why, but magically the words seem larger under its light!
How do you read a paper whose typesetting is unclear? Specially, what do you do when the font is too small to read?
PS: Some months ago, I found an application which "splited" a PDF into several segments, so that they were easy to read on an iPhone or the like. (Sorry, I don't recall the name of that app.) However, the output was downgraded to fit the iPhone small screen, and therefore it wasn't apt for computer screen or printer.