Relativity Resources What's New





Books | Bibliography | Relativity.pdf

Einstein's "Relativity" book in PDF format

Relativity.pdf is a "port" of an old project from the 1990's, which originally converted Einstein's relativity book into a hypertext file, in Windows "HelpFile" format (relativ.hlp). It's now been converted to Adobe's portable document format (".PDF")


Project progress:

  • v 0.9 book completed. Converted remaining equations from "Times" to "Arial".
  • v 0.91 added new subject index 
  • v 0.92 added index of people mentioned in the book, with brief biographical details
  • v1.1 added summaries for each chapter to the table of contents
  • v1.2 added a picture of Einstein 

Right now, the hyperlinks embedded within the book aren't compiling properly, but you can navigate within the separate bookmarks pane on the left, which has all the chapters and sections listed. To jump to the occurrence of a particular word, you can hit "Ctrl F" to trigger Acrobat's "Find" function, and then F3 to page through all instances of that word in the text. 

Some of the "look and feel" of the .pdf file has been inherited from the "helpfile" version -- text is still in a "sans serif" font to make it easier to read onscreen, italicised text is picked out in dark red, names of people appear in dark blue. Some of the design decisions made for the helpfile version don't transfer so well to .pdf, so I'll be trying to set aside time to do a bit more tweeking, but the basic idea is the same: that the content should be made as accessible as possible, even if that means straying from the usual conventions of book typesetting. The book is meant to be read, searched and referred to, rather than looked at.   

The original "helpfile" version

Relativ.hlp used to be available from the old "Erk's Relativity Pages" website, and had multiple tiled panes that allowed diferent views of the document. It also had a few nice features that aren't implemented on the PDF version, such as the ability to see chapter names and footnote text when you hovered the mouse over a hyperlink. The helpfile version allowed text to re-flow when a window was resized, and it was designed to be readable on small monitors. 
It was a pretty thorough implementation. The only real outstanding issue with the final version was that, due to a character-coding error, any time the user copied sections to the clipboard, the implementation copyright notice displayed an (R) symbol rather than the proper "©".
The original Windows help engine had a few restrictions (for instance, you only had the 16-colour Windows system palette to play with), but it also had some pretty advanced features that most helpfile authors didn't use, and relativ.hlp did a good job of showing off what the format was capable of.