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Hopefully, if you are a regular visitor to Fire and Ice you are familiar with Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files. The PDF files used for Willard's Compleat Body of Divinity are slightly different, however, so a few words are in order about them.
Normal PDF files contain text and formatting information for that text. The result is file which has text that can be selected and copied. The user can copy text to the Clipboard and then paste it into a word processor, for example. The text can also be searched using the Find command or other means. Normal PDF files are also about the same size, or slightly smaller, than their HTML counterparts.
The PDF Image files are different because they contain the scan image of the page of the original book. Each page is essentially a picture of the original, and therefore the text cannot be selected or copied. Also the files are much larger, usually about 300K for a typical sermon.
Because they are larger than normal PDF files, they take longer to download. Therefore it will not usually be practical to read them online, unless you have a very fast connection. Also they are somewhat awkward to read inside the browser (Netscape or Internet Explorer), and are better read offline using the Acrobat Reader.
Remember, PDF files are downloaded by right-clicking on the link to the files, and then selecting Save As (Netscape) or Save Target As (Internet Explorer). Left-clicking on the links makes the browser think you want to read them, which may take 5-10 minutes, depending on your connection speed.
PDF documents print well, Image files included. However, because of their size, they will take longer to print than ordinary files. If nothing happens for a minute or two (as my system does), be patient. The output of my system is just as good (or bad) as the original page in the book.
Quality? Hey, these are great sermons! But unfortunately the printing quality of 1726 is a different story. Pages are crooked, lines of type look like ocean waves, letters are missing, upside down, or who knows what. Sometimes parts of pages are so faint, it's hard to guess what the words are. The page numbers are irregular, etc. It goes to show how Willard's magnum opus pushed the limits of his day, and the lengths to which people went to read his words in print. All I can say is, it was worth it to them, and it is to us now.
Because of the poor quality and old orthography of the Compleat Body, it cannot be OCR'd and turned into HTML documents like other sermons. The only alternative is to type them out by hand. The few Willard sermons that I typed were too much for my wrists, and therefore I have no alternative to the present method. If any reader wishes to do some typing and e-mail me the result, I will be happy to upload them in the Willard section of Fire and Ice.
A sample to look at before downloading
About PDF files in general
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