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Easily download an academic paper and send it to the reMarkable

Project description

paper2remarkable

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paper2remarkable is a command line program for quickly and easily transferring an academic paper to your reMarkable:

$ p2r https://arxiv.org/abs/1811.11242

There is also support for transferring an article from a website:

$ p2r https://hbr.org/2019/11/getting-your-team-to-do-more-than-meet-deadlines

The script can be run through the p2r command line program or via Docker (see below). If you're using MacOS, you might be interested in the Alfred workflow or Printing to p2r. On Linux, a background terminal such as Guake can be very handy. Note that even without a reMarkable, this program can make downloading papers easier (just use the -n flag).

Introduction

paper2remarkable makes it as easy as possible to get a PDF on your reMarkable from any of the following sources:

The program aims to be flexible to the exact source URL, so for many of the academic sources you can either provide a URL to the abstract page or to the PDF file. If you have a source that you would like to see added to the list, let me know!

paper2remarkable takes the source URL and:

  1. Downloads the pdf
  2. Removes the arXiv timestamp (for arXiv sources)
  3. Crops the pdf to remove unnecessary borders
  4. Shrinks the pdf file to reduce the filesize
  5. Generates a nice filename based on author/title/year of the paper
  6. Uploads it to your reMarkable using rMapi.

Optionally, you can:

  • Download a paper but not upload to the reMarkable using the -n switch.
  • Insert a blank page after each page using the -b switch (useful for note taking!)
  • Center (-c) or right-align (-r) the pdf on the reMarkable (default is left-aligned), or disable cropping altogether (-k).
  • Provide an explicit filename using the --filename parameter
  • Specify the location on the reMarkable to place the file (default /)

Here's an example with verbose mode enabled that shows everything the script does by default:

$ p2r -v https://arxiv.org/abs/1811.11242
2019-05-30 00:38:27 - INFO - Starting ArxivProvider
2019-05-30 00:38:27 - INFO - Getting paper info from arXiv
2019-05-30 00:38:27 - INFO - Downloading url: https://arxiv.org/abs/1811.11242
2019-05-30 00:38:27 - INFO - Generating output filename
2019-05-30 00:38:27 - INFO - Created filename: Burg_Nazabal_Sutton_-_Wrangling_Messy_CSV_Files_by_Detecting_Row_and_Type_Patterns_2018.pdf
2019-05-30 00:38:27 - INFO - Downloading file at url: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1811.11242.pdf
2019-05-30 00:38:32 - INFO - Downloading url: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1811.11242.pdf
2019-05-30 00:38:32 - INFO - Removing arXiv timestamp
2019-05-30 00:38:34 - INFO - Cropping pdf file
2019-05-30 00:38:37 - INFO - Shrinking pdf file
2019-05-30 00:38:38 - INFO - Starting upload to reMarkable
2019-05-30 00:38:42 - INFO - Upload successful.

Installation

The script requires the following external programs to be available:

Specifically:

  1. First install rMAPI, using

    $ go get -u github.com/juruen/rmapi
    
  2. Then install system dependencies:

    • Arch Linux: pacman -S pdftk ghostscript poppler
    • Ubuntu: apt-get install pdftk ghostscript poppler-utils. Replace pdftk with qpdf if your distribution doesn't package pdftk.
    • MacOS: brew install pdftk-java ghostscript poppler (using HomeBrew).
    • Windows: Installers or executables are available for qpdf (for instance the mingw binary executables) and GhostScript. Importantly, Windows support is untested and these are generic instructions, so we welcome clarifications where needed. The Docker instructions below may be more convenient on Windows.
  3. Finally, install paper2remarkable:

    $ pip install paper2remarkable
    

    this installs the p2r command line program.

Optionally, you can install:

  • pdftoppm (recommended for speed). Usually part of a Poppler installation.

  • the ReadabiliPy package with Node.js support, to allow using Readability.js for HTML articles. This is known to improve the output of certain web articles.

If any of the dependencies (such as rmapi or ghostscript) are not available on the PATH variable, you can supply them with the relevant options to the script (for instance p2r --rmapi /path/to/rmapi). If you run into trouble with the installation, please let me know by opening an issue on Github.

Usage

The full help of the script is as follows. Hopefully the various command line flags are self-explanatory, but if you'd like more information see the man page (man p2r) or open an issue on GitHub.

usage: p2r [-h] [-b] [-c] [-d] [-e] [-n] [-p REMARKABLE_DIR] [-r] [-k] [-v]
           [-V] [-f FILENAME] [--gs GS] [--pdftoppm PDFTOPPM] [--pdftk PDFTK]
           [--qpdf QPDF] [--rmapi RMAPI] [--css CSS] [--font-urls FONT_URLS]
           [-C CONFIG] input [input ...]

Paper2reMarkable version 0.9.0

positional arguments:
  input                 One or more URLs to a paper or paths to local PDF
                        files

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -b, --blank           Add a blank page after every page of the PDF
  -c, --center          Center the PDF on the page, instead of left align
  -d, --debug           debug mode, doesn't upload to reMarkable
  -e, --experimental    enable experimental features
  -n, --no-upload       don't upload to reMarkable, save the output in current
                        directory
  -p REMARKABLE_DIR, --remarkable-path REMARKABLE_DIR
                        directory on reMarkable to put the file (created if
                        missing, default: /)
  -r, --right           Right align so the menu doesn't cover it
  -k, --no-crop         Don't crop the pdf file
  -v, --verbose         be verbose
  -V, --version         Show version and exit
  -f FILENAME, --filename FILENAME
                        Filename to use for the file on reMarkable
  --gs GS               path to gs executable (default: gs)
  --pdftoppm PDFTOPPM   path to pdftoppm executable (default: pdftoppm)
  --pdftk PDFTK         path to pdftk executable (default: pdftk)
  --qpdf QPDF           path to qpdf executable (default: qpdf)
  --rmapi RMAPI         path to rmapi executable (default: rmapi)
  --css CSS             path to custom CSS file for HTML output
  --font-urls FONT_URLS
                        path to custom font urls file for HTML output
  -C CONFIG, --config CONFIG
                        path to config file (default: ~/.paper2remarkable.yml)

By default paper2remarkable makes a PDF fit better on the reMarkable by changing the page size and removing unnecessary whitespace. Some tools for exporting a PDF with annotations do not handle different page sizes properly, causing annotations to be misplaced (see discussion). If this is an issue for you, you can disable cropping using the -k/--no-crop option to p2r.

For HTML sources (i.e. web articles) you can specify custom styling using the --css and --font-urls options. The default style in the HTML provider can serve as a starting point.

A configuration file can be used to provide commonly-used command line options. By default the configuration file at ~/.paper2remarkable.yml is used if it exists, but an alternative location can be provided with the -C/--config flag. Command line flags override the settings in the configuration file. See the config.example.yml file for an example configuration file and an overview of supported options.

Alfred Workflow

On MacOS, you can optionally install this Alfred workflow. Alfred is a launcher for MacOS.

Once installed, you can then use rm command and rmb (for the --blank pages to insert blank pages between pages for notes) with a URL passed. The global shortcut Alt-P will send the current selection to p2r. Note that by default --right is passed and p2r is executed in your bash environment. You can edit the Workflow in Alfred if this doesn't work for your setup.

Alfred Screenshot

Printing

Printing to p2r allows printing prompts to save directly to your reMarkable tablet, passing through p2r for processing.

For MacOS, you can follow the guide for printing with rmapi, but for the bash script, instead use this script:

for f in "$@"
do
	bash -c -l "p2r --right '$f'" 
done

Docker

If you'd like to avoid installing the dependencies directly on your machine, you can use the Dockerfile. To make this work you will need git and docker installed.

First clone this repository with git clone and cd inside of it, then build the container:

docker build -t p2r .

Authorization

paper2remarkable uses rMapi to sync documents to the reMarkable. The first time you run paper2remarkable you will have to authenticate rMapi using a one-time code provided by reMarkable. By default, rMapi uses the ${HOME}/.rmapi file as a configuration file to store the credentials, and so this is the location we will use in the commands below. If you'd like to use a different location for the configuration (for instance, ${HOME}/.config/rmapi/rmapi.conf), make sure to change the commands below accordingly.

If you already have a ~/.rmapi file with the authentication details, you can skip this section. Otherwise we'll create it and run rmapi in the docker container for authentication:

$ touch ${HOME}/.rmapi
$ docker run --rm -i -t -v "${HOME}/.rmapi:/home/user/.rmapi:rw" --entrypoint=rmapi p2r version

This command will print a link where you can obtain a one-time code to authenticate rMapi and afterwards print the rMapi version (the version number may be different):

ReMarkable Cloud API Shell
rmapi version: 0.0.12

Usage

Use the container by replacing p2r with docker run --rm -v "${HOME}/.rmapi:/home/user/.rmapi:rw" p2r, e.g.

# print help and exit
docker run --rm -v "${HOME}/.rmapi:/home/user/.rmapi:rw" p2r --help

# equivalent to above usage
docker run --rm -v "${HOME}/.rmapi:/home/user/.rmapi:rw" p2r -v https://arxiv.org/abs/1811.11242

# to transfer a local file in the current directory
docker run --rm -v "${HOME}/.rmapi:/home/user/.rmapi:rw" -v "$(pwd):/home/user:ro" p2r -v localfile.pdf

For transferring local files using the Docker image, you may find this helper function useful.

You can also create an alias in your ~/.bashrc file to abstract away the Docker commands:

# in ~/.bashrc

alias p2r="docker run --rm -v \"${HOME}/.rmapi:/home/user/.rmapi:rw\" p2r"

After running source ~/.bashrc to activate the alias, you can then use paper2remarkable through Docker by calling p2r from the command line.

Notes

License: MIT

If you find a problem or want to suggest a feature, please open an issue on Github. You're helping to make this project better for everyone!

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