View Full Version : epub from Baen on Adobe Digital Editions: page numbers?


Joykins
01-11-2010, 11:31 AM
I recently bought an epub from Baen Books and read it on Adobe Digital Editions. I downloaded it in this format because I want to eventually read it on my nook (when I get it!) although it listed epub as "epub/Stanza." There were 2 things that I found really distracted from the reading experience.

1. No margins. None at all. I like to scale down the fonts small so I have the least paging to do. This delivers a 2-page view in ADE. OK, but because there are no margins it's really hard to tell the left-hand page from the right-hand page. Is there some formatting option to change this? I got out of this problem by changing the width of the ADE window which slims it down to one page.

2. Page numbers that over-write the text. Sure, I like to know how far I am through the book but ADE gives me a little display at the top of the screen that tells me that (the page number and the page count) which I like. But in the ebook itself, the page numbers actually *over-wrote* the last letter or two on the line near the page break--not making it go away, but it looks like what happens on an old-fashioned typewriter when you type a letter and then backspace and type a number. When you have 2 pages onscreen, that's 2 lines per screen that you have to slow down and try to figure out the letter. The only time this didn't happen is at the end of a paragraph when the rest of the line was clear.

Am I doing something wrong? Is there someway I can make this epub look good? Will it look good on my nook? Is it a Baen specific problem or do all epubs have this issue?

wallcraft
01-11-2010, 11:45 AM
The page numbers over text are not in the ePub, they are a "feature" of Adobe Digital Editions. The next version of mobile ADE will allow them to be turned off. A larger right margin also helps by pushing the page number outside the text.

I typically download Baen's MOBI version and then use Calibre to convert it to ePub. That way I can add extra CSS, like margins, to the conversion. I start with the MOBI version because usually this has the least e-book specific CSS to start with (e.g. usually justification and the font are not set in a MOBI, so you can specify these how you want). It is certainly possible to run ePub to ePub using Calibre to add extra CSS.

Joykins
01-11-2010, 12:01 PM
Does the Calibre documentation tell you how to add the css instructions? I speak css, but I've only done it for an application with a someone idiosyncratic implementation.

wallcraft
01-11-2010, 12:32 PM
It is added as "extra CSS" either via the GUI or on the command line, for example the following uses the default sans-serif font in bold for most text: body {
font-family: sans-serif;
font-weight: bold;
} For margins, see epub Margins on nook (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65284).

Joykins
01-11-2010, 12:44 PM
Thanks!

I tried the online epubreader and it seemed to have that same number-over-text problem.

JSWolf
01-11-2010, 12:45 PM
The page numbers over text are not in the ePub, they are a "feature" of Adobe Digital Editions. The next version of mobile ADE will allow them to be turned off. A larger right margin also helps by pushing the page number outside the text.

I typically download Baen's MOBI version and then use Calibre to convert it to ePub. That way I can add extra CSS, like margins, to the conversion. I start with the MOBI version because usually this has the least e-book specific CSS to start with (e.g. usually justification and the font are not set in a MOBI, so you can specify these how you want). It is certainly possible to run ePub to ePub using Calibre to add extra CSS.
Sony's already turned off page number in the margin on the 900. So it can be done and Sony is the first to do it. I'm just hoping that the next firmware update (mentioned in another thread) is also for the 505 and has the newer ADE.

Madam Broshkina
01-11-2010, 12:48 PM
The nook does not display the little page numbers on the side like it does on the Sony Reader. If I can find a free ePub from Baen I will try and load it on my nook and let you know how it looks margin wise.

Joykins
01-11-2010, 02:37 PM
*excellent*

I really want to read these things on my nook (when I get it). My reading stuff on the PC is more by way of experiment.

On the other hand I do have to use ADE to get e-books out of the library and while I understand I can sideload them to my nook until they expire, I also understand (correctly??) that the DRM prevents me from changing them.

Madam Broshkina
01-11-2010, 05:05 PM
I downloaded 1632 from the Baen free library and put it on my nook. I think it looks pretty good.

http://i46.tinypic.com/1zwp7wi.jpg

yekim54
01-12-2010, 12:02 AM
Thanks!

I tried the online epubreader and it seemed to have that same number-over-text problem.

The viewer in version 3.1 of the Sony Reader Library has the page numbers turned off.

JSWolf
01-13-2010, 09:41 AM
I downloaded 1632 from the Baen free library and put it on my nook. I think it looks pretty good.

http://i46.tinypic.com/1zwp7wi.jpg
Looks like a typical eReader format eBook.

Joykins
01-19-2010, 12:50 PM
My nook shipped on Friday...I can't wait!

That pic looks good--that is what I first expected.

JSWolf
01-23-2010, 06:28 PM
My nook shipped on Friday...I can't wait!

That pic looks good--that is what I first expected.
That's not ePub. That's eReader. Doesn't really look all that good. Doesn't look anything like a book in print would look like.

Joykins
01-28-2010, 10:31 AM
*shrug* my Baen epubs look like that on my nook and they look better than having overprinted page numbers!

Madam Broshkina
01-28-2010, 10:36 AM
Looks like a typical eReader format eBook.

But it was an ePub file.

JSWolf
01-28-2010, 04:22 PM
But it was an ePub file.

Why can't publishers do proper formatting?

cmdahler
02-01-2010, 11:37 AM
Why can't publishers do proper formatting?

Basically because it's not possible to get good typesetting with the current state of electronic book formats. ePub is certainly looking like the overall winner in the battle of formats going forward, especially with the iPad supporting it, but HTML was never designed to be a typesetting tool. If you want a book on your reader that is properly typeset, your only real option is to use a TeX- or InDesign-generated PDF. Everything else is going to trade off proper typesetting in the name of making the document re-flowable for different screen sizes and font choices. Until ePub evolves to include good hyphenation and paragraph-level formatting (or even page-level, now wouldn't that be a giant leap forward in computerized typesetting!) on the level of TeX or InDesign, ePubs are always going to look like something a secretary banged out on Word in an afternoon. Every time I've experimented with ePub, no matter how I tweak it, it always looks like crap on my Sony, and I just give up and go back to PDF. Hopefully it won't always be that way. For now, if I buy an ePub, I just break the DRM and spend an afternoon putting the from the HTML chapters into InDesign and exporting a PDF. It looks SO much better. The only disadvantage is re-flow capability and the file size (the PDF files are a good 3 times bigger than the ePubs), but SD cards are cheap and I never want to change the font size anyway, so it works for me.

Jellby
02-01-2010, 12:52 PM
Until ePub evolves to include good hyphenation and paragraph-level formatting

There's no reason (other than computational and programming resources) why any ePUB reader could not include that. Those are tasks for the renderer, not features of the format.

Valloric
02-01-2010, 02:12 PM
There's no reason (other than computational and programming resources) why any ePUB reader could not include that. Those are tasks for the renderer, not features of the format.

Exactly. People seem to think that the best rendering you can get out of an epub is what a browser would display for the XHTML. That's nonsense.

Prince XML is the perfect example. It accepts HTML and outputs PDF and near-LaTeX quality (I said near). So one can obviously make a good quality HTML renderer. There's no reason why something like Prince XML cannot be the backend processor that generates frames for the device's framebuffer.

cmdahler
02-01-2010, 03:07 PM
There's no reason (other than computational and programming resources) why any ePUB reader could not include that. Those are tasks for the renderer, not features of the format.

Well, ok, then, I didn't realize that - that makes it even more ridiculous that the various ereaders out there supporting ePub don't implement a rendering engine to handle this, then. But basically, the point still holds: until a quality rendering engine is used, ePub output really looks very poor compared to quality typesetting such as one gets from TeX or InDesign. Even that needs to be hand-tuned for print publication, but I'd be pretty satisfied with just what a good rendering engine would produce on the fly if some reader manufacturer cared enough to implement it. Whatever Sony is using on the 505 really sucks dirt. Just getting full justification won't solve that problem, either, unless they use a renderer that does good hyphenation and paragraph-level formatting la InDesign.

Valloric
02-01-2010, 07:20 PM
Whatever Sony is using on the 505 really sucks dirt. Just getting full justification won't solve that problem, either, unless they use a renderer that does good hyphenation and paragraph-level formatting la InDesign.

Sony actually uses a precursor to Adobe's Mobile Reader SDK, what we here popularly call "ADE's engine", from Adobe Digital Editions which is a desktop application. But the version on the Sony is really old.

And Adobe makes InDesign too, and I'm told that uses the same paragraph algorithm as TeX. So theoretically, we could see something very nice in the future.

Don't hold your breath though.

Joykins
02-01-2010, 10:11 PM
I wouldn't mind if we could do our own css instead of relying on 2 fonts and 4 sizes or whatever on the nook!