View Full Version : tools for epub creation


Toxaris
11-17-2009, 04:38 AM
I have tried the various tools available for epub createn. Neither is what I really am looking for.
Sigil looks the most promising. Hower, there are a few quirks I don't like. Perhaps I will post a message in the forum for that. Major quirks are no embedded font option and the CSS handling. I understand the fact that there is some internal CSS in the HTML which is exported into a CSS upon exporting, but I would like to attach my own CSS to it. :chinscratch:
With eCub I really like the flexibility of the TOC handling. Editing is not so nice though.

Editing and creating the XHTML files is not that cumbersome. I found that what takes the most time, is creating the content.opf and the toc.ncx. For compiling the ebook I have created a simple batch script which outputs the ePub. Does anyone know of a simple tool that just looks in de subdirectory and creates the content.opf and toc.ncx? I understand that some hand work is required later in the toc.ncx for sequence purposes. :2thumbsup

GeoffC
11-17-2009, 05:46 AM
Does anyone know of a simple tool that just looks in de subdirectory and creates the content.opf and toc.ncx?

....what and miss out some of the "fun" !!! :snicker:

Seriously, though, no - though it may be possible with a DOS batch routine. (sorry showing me age) !!

Valloric
11-17-2009, 09:45 AM
Sigil looks the most promising. Hower, there are a few quirks I don't like. Perhaps I will post a message in the forum for that.

Please do. I keep telling people that I can only fix bugs people report and that I myself have encountered. Other people account for 99% of all bug reports, since I am but one person.

Major quirks are no embedded font option and the CSS handling. I understand the fact that there is some internal CSS in the HTML which is exported into a CSS upon exporting, but I would like to attach my own CSS to it. :chinscratch:

No embedded fonts, yes... it's annoying. But as I've noted several times, it's hinging on a bug (http://code.google.com/p/sigil/issues/detail?id=20) in the Qt Framework that I can't fix. Qt 4.6 will be out by the end of the year and should have it working. As soon as it's out, I'll start working on a version with font embedding support.

The CSS problems are more extensive, and it's the reason why Sigil will be substantially redesigned (http://code.google.com/p/sigil/issues/detail?id=126)in v0.2.0. But what you are asking for, attaching new CSS styles... that's already possible in Sigil. It has been for a long time. To add new CSS, just switch to Code View and paste your custom style rules in an already present (or completely new) style tag. Your CSS will be exported just fine.

Toxaris
11-17-2009, 01:22 PM
Please, do not take offense at my words Valloric. Your tool is wonderful, there are just some things I don't like. No bugs found though. I read your response regarding Qt in another topic and that is something you just have to live with, right?

The adding of the CSS I found out earlier, it works ok. It would be nice to have a drop down box to select the formating of a paragraph or selection based on the added CSS. That was actually what I meant. Not necessary, but nice.

Although there are some good things to say about having one big file to edit with a kind of virtual page/chapter breaks, I find that if the file is becoming big separate chapter xhtml files is quicker and easier to edit. However, for smaller files your method is better. Oh well, I guess there is no one ideal way to handle every situation.

I just installed Sigil again. Let me just give it another go. I had some problems with copying text, but I read somewhere in the forum that more people had that and that importing should help.

Any idea when the beta for v2 will arrive? Probably not before february, right?:D

Thanks for you're reply and for the tool! :thanks:

Toxaris
11-17-2009, 01:25 PM
....what and miss out some of the "fun" !!! :snicker:

Seriously, though, no - though it may be possible with a DOS batch routine. (sorry showing me age) !!

No prob! :D The tool/script I created to create the ePub from a directory without manually adding everything to the zip is also done with a DOS batch.:D

I started to work on it with Delphi (wanted to do some more stuff of course...), but gave up upon quite quickly due to a serious lack of time. Twins are fun, but very time consuming. Hardly have time to read left.

delphidb96
11-17-2009, 01:47 PM
I have tried the various tools available for epub createn. Neither is what I really am looking for.
Sigil looks the most promising. Hower, there are a few quirks I don't like. Perhaps I will post a message in the forum for that. Major quirks are no embedded font option and the CSS handling. I understand the fact that there is some internal CSS in the HTML which is exported into a CSS upon exporting, but I would like to attach my own CSS to it. :chinscratch:
With eCub I really like the flexibility of the TOC handling. Editing is not so nice though.

Editing and creating the XHTML files is not that cumbersome. I found that what takes the most time, is creating the content.opf and the toc.ncx. For compiling the ebook I have created a simple batch script which outputs the ePub. Does anyone know of a simple tool that just looks in de subdirectory and creates the content.opf and toc.ncx? I understand that some hand work is required later in the toc.ncx for sequence purposes. :2thumbsup

Have you tried the Atlantis word processor? It is an RTF/DOC wp which has an ePub output capability. It's cheap (still $35 for registration, I think) and it is the BEST lightweight, full-featured, NOT M$ WORD, word processor for Windows out there. Granted, some Win word processors are cheaper and some manage to have more features, but you really should check it out.

(Can you tell I'm hooked on Atlantis? It's my primary novel creation tool and has been since 2002.)

Derek

Valloric
11-17-2009, 04:41 PM
Please, do not take offense at my words Valloric.

No offense taken. I'm objective enough to notice the limitations of my own application. Hell, I'm frustrated with them myself. What I am even more frustrated with is knowing exactly how to fix them, just not having enough time...

It would be nice to have a drop down box to select the formating of a paragraph or selection based on the added CSS. That was actually what I meant. Not necessary, but nice.

I completely agree. There's already an (accepted) issue (http://code.google.com/p/sigil/issues/detail?id=62) for this on the tracker. Please do star it.


Although there are some good things to say about having one big file to edit with a kind of virtual page/chapter breaks, I find that if the file is becoming big separate chapter xhtml files is quicker and easier to edit. However, for smaller files your method is better. Oh well, I guess there is no one ideal way to handle every situation.

v0.2.0 will switch from displaying one single large flow, to displaying the contents of each XHTML file separately. It's the whole point of the redesign. I've heard the arguments and I've agreed with them. :)


Any idea when the beta for v2 will arrive? Probably not before february, right?

Hopefully before that. :)

GeoffC
11-18-2009, 04:20 AM
v0.2.0 will switch from displaying one single large flow, to displaying the contents of each XHTML file separately. It's the whole point of the redesign. I've heard the arguments and I've agreed with them. :)



Oh so looking forward ..... separate CSS file also ? :book2:

Valloric
11-18-2009, 07:50 AM
Oh so looking forward ..... separate CSS file also ? :book2:

If the loaded epub has separate CSS documents, then those will show up as separate files in Sigil too, yes. I plan on having a kind of "book browser" pane which would list all the files in the epub: XHTML files, CSS, XPGT, images etc. You would click on one and it would open in the main view area.

GeoffC
11-18-2009, 10:00 AM
If the loaded epub has separate CSS documents, then those will show up as separate files in Sigil too, yes. I plan on having a kind of "book browser" pane which would list all the files in the epub: XHTML files, CSS, XPGT, images etc. You would click on one and it would open in the main view area.


oh ... drools in anticipation .....

Toxaris
11-18-2009, 01:52 PM
Sigil v2 sounds very very promising. Now lets hope Nokia makes a bugfree :D:D Qt 4.6...

DaleDe
11-18-2009, 04:05 PM
Does anyone know of a simple tool that just looks in de subdirectory and creates the content.opf and toc.ncx?

Calibre will do this if you just zip it up first. It has the advantage of handling images in the zip file as well and html files.

Toxaris
11-19-2009, 03:09 PM
Just create a zip and then move it to Calibre? Will it create an ePub from it then? Cool, never thought about trying that.

ChrisJakarta
12-16-2009, 12:15 AM
I may be missing something, but it seems to me that the free eCub (http://www.juliansmart.com/ecub) will do what you want, no? What I don't think it will do is add Lookups within each 'chapter'.

Chris

aarcane
03-05-2010, 01:07 AM
callibre destroys your custom CSS stylesheet and adds significant number of classes and extra tags to the xhtml you just spent hours preparing if you use the .zip option. I just had it happen.

GeoffC
03-05-2010, 04:54 AM
callibre destroys your custom CSS stylesheet and adds significant number of classes and extra tags to the xhtml you just spent hours preparing if you use the .zip option. I just had it happen.


make that comment in the Calibre thread, too ...