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Convert text documents to Palm .pdb files.   Free
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  • Developer
    Victoly Software
PorDiBle is an application to convert between text documents and Palm DOC files. Text files can be dropped onto PorDiBle and will be converted to a compressed .pdb file which can be read by any one of a myriad of Palm ebook readers, such as SmartDoc, TealDoc and iSilo. Conversely, dropping a DOC .pdb onto PorDiBle will convert back to a text file. PorDiBle can also convert HTML to DOC, albeit by stripping all tags in the process.
What's New
Version 3.4:
  • PorDiBle now tries harder to convert non ascii characters to ascii. It's still not very smart but at least now smart quotes are converted to 'regular' (non smart) quotes
  • Pordible now prints a more intelligent error message if it can't convert from pdb->txt
Intel/PPC, Mac OS X 10.1 or later

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PorDiBle User Discussion (Write a Review)
ver. 3.x:
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sort: smiles | time


Aikousha reviewed on 14 Aug 2008
Crashes instantly at the point of conversion. I gave it more than 20 .pdb files, all of which should have only plain ASCII (although if there is any formatting, I can't tell, because I can't open these files with anything other than plain text readers, which supply the title at the file start, but everything else is random text (assuming a compression scheme here).
This makes it pretty useless. It does the same thing on "View." It does the same exact thing whether dragged to the icon, to the dock, or using the open menu command or cmd-O. Once you click "select" it instantly and quietly dies. Even tried file and extension variations based on other comments... this is apparently not the cause. However, capitalizing PDB somehow makes it think the file is a text file, so it attempts to convert it INTO a pdb file, which does successfully create a file, but that's kind of useless, as the content looks even more trashed than the original, and since it warned me that there were illegal characters that would be skipped, I'm guessing a very large amount of "dead" was put into the newly created file, which cannot be read by anything available to me anyway for investigating...

Also note! It has a major HIG error... once launched, if you accidentally gave it a wrong file, hitting "cancel" does not get you out of the program... or the routine. You must either give it a destination, or cmd-opt-esc FORCE QUIT. Hitting cancel just re-opens the file save dialog box instantly... ad infinitum. At one point it even had two "Select Destination..." dialog boxes open at the same time... Wow!

Sad to give it a 1 in "value" but it doesn't work, so it has no value. I was so hoping to get something to open or translate these latest middle-finger salutes to the Mac community.

Using OSX 10.4.11 G4 1.2Ghz, 1.5GB, and more than 250GB of hard disc space... It's definitely not wanting for speed or space.

Please fix this, I would love to see it work, especially if it is unicode compliant, as well.
[Version 3.4]



68kmla reviewed on 17 Jan 2006
Using this to convert text files for reading on my first Palm, a Z22.

Works beautifully, I usually leave it open in the background with an alias in DragThing and FinderPop for quick conversions. My machine's a dual 450 G4 running 10.4.4.

I've converted RTFs and text files with no issues, haven't had a need to try HTML as of yet.

Would like it to convert PDFs and recover and convert the text from Safari .webarchive files.

Freeware rocks. Thanks for sharing.
[Version 3.2]


Hank2 commented on 17 Oct 2005
Argh! I love the app and use it daily but -- please, please -- I want the inverse of "ignore errors" -- it's not annoying, it's just ineptly helpful. Let it be more helpful, not ignored.

I want a list of what characters generate errors, so I can do back into the source doc and replace them!

Please, give us something that helps us identify what the problem characters are!

-- flags the unrecognized characters in a file?
-- lists them in a popup?
-- ideally, give us a column listing each unrecognized character and let us type in next to it a substitute and choose to make that permanent (and email it to you so you can build it into the next release)

Finding the danged problem characters is tedious. TextSoap doesn't do this either. You all should talk, either of you might implement this.

The only darned reason I wish I owned Microsoft Word is to be able to use its not-too-bad implementation of grep to find all non-ASCII characters for example.
[Version 3.2]

1 Reply

Anonymous commented on 17 Oct 2005

I did some messing around with the source for this, and found that it's assuming all source files are the same encoding. It really needs to have a pulldown that lets you select the encoding of the file (UTF-8, MacRoman, etc) and maybe even present the unknown characters and let you select what they shjould be changed to (endash to "-", emdash to "--", etc...). Doing that right would have envolved more time than I was willing to spend on the work.

Anonymous reviewed on 16 Feb 2005
Mm. I'm using OS 10.3.7 and I can't get it to do anything but quit on me when I drop a .pdb on it, even after I change the preferences. Too bad... sounds like exactly the app I need...
[Version 3.1]

1 Reply


Hank2 commented on 22 May 2005
It's been working fine for me through several versions and for several years; currently on a Pismo G3 with OSX 10.3.9.

I always
-- start with a text file
-- right-click, choose to Open With
-- choose PorDiBle
-- remember to name the destination file

It works. Preferences include where to save the output, something to do with drag'n'drop and whether to delete the original.

Try it again. Remember to do the regular OSX utilities often, if things aren't launching.

Anonymous reviewed on 21 Oct 2004
I wish there were a window at all times so I could just drag and drop more than one file. I LOVE this app, and so far it works flawlessly for me on Mac OS 10.2.8. I can't find a good Windows ap to do this job at all. All either cost too much for my needs or don't install or work properly. I use the Windows machine at work and the Mac at home, so really - happy on the Mac anyway.
[Version 3.1]


Anonymous reviewed on 02 Jun 2004
This app does the job nicely! (Although there isn't a lot of competition) The drag-n-drop ability is a real timesaver.
[Version 3.1]

Raghost commented on 06 May 2004
this new version is worse than before!! html conversion removed somehow.., and no longer support asia language!! useless for me now...
[Version 3.1]


Anonymous reviewed on 26 Jan 2004
I concur with Ryan. I can't get it to convert a .pdb to text. It quits on me.
[Version 3.1]


Anonymous reviewed on 14 Oct 2003
nice thanks. been looking for exactly this tool. thanks a lot dear developer!
[Version 3.1]


Anonymous reviewed on 04 Oct 2003
Does what it sets out to do, and does it very well. Highly recommend it. Hope they add a feature to change files the other way, too, though.
[Version 3.1]


Hank2 had trouble on 21 Oct 2005
OK, I found v3.1 on a backup, and it still works fine. Maybe it's a problem with having a G3, or having OSX 10.3.9. I found an old email for the developers I'll try.
[Version 3.2]


Hank2 had trouble on 21 Oct 2005
Current 3.2 started crashing today.
I can't find any contact info for the developer (maybe it's in the 'About' box but the app won't open! a new icon for it flickers in the dock then disappears)


Host Name: Hank.local
Date/Time: 2005-10-21 15:24:40 -0700
OS Version: 10.3.9 (Build 7W98)
Report Version: 2

Command: PorDiBle
Path: /Users/hank/Applications/PorDiBle 3.2/PorDiBle.app/Contents/MacOS/PorDiBle
Version: ??? (???)
PID: 589
Thread: Unknown

Link (dyld) error:

dyld: /Users/hank/Applications/PorDiBle 3.2/PorDiBle.app/Contents/MacOS/PorDiBle can't open library: /System/Library/Frameworks/QuartzCore.framework/Versions/A/QuartzCore (No such file or directory, errno = 2)

Please post contact info for the developer if someone has it.

It's an indispensable app for me -- if anyone has a link to the previous version, please post too.
[Version 3.2]

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Version Downloads:12,414
Type:Utilities : File Management
Date:07 Jun 2006
Platform:PPC 32 / Intel 32 / OS X
Overall (Version 3.x):
Ease of Use:
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PorDiBle is an application to convert between text documents and Palm DOC files. Text files can be dropped onto PorDiBle and will be converted to a compressed .pdb file which can be read by any one of a myriad of Palm ebook readers, such as SmartDoc, TealDoc and iSilo. Conversely, dropping a DOC .pdb onto PorDiBle will convert back to a text file. PorDiBle can also convert HTML to DOC, albeit by stripping all tags in the process.

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