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Old 04-11-2011, 08:47 PM   #1
AlexBell
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Posts: 2,280
Karma: 3868800
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Launceston, Tasmania
Device: Kindle3, Kobo Touch, Sony PRS T3, Nexus 7, iPad mini
Very disappointed with ePub to mobi conversion

This will be a longish post, so please bear with me.

The background to the questions that I'm going to ask is:
- I prepare all my ePub ebooks by hand from XHTML 1.1 strict files and an external stylesheet, and modify the content.opf and toc.ncx files accordingly. The XHTML and style sheet validate to W3C standards, and the ePubs validate with ePubCheck.
- I am working on a text-book for an academic. The book is quite complex with many long quotes and footnotes. Some of the quotes are nested - the author quotes himself quoting someone else.
- I have prepared an ePub version which I think looks good on my Sony PRS 650 - there are indented margins for the quotes and further indented margins for the nested quotes, and the footnote numbers are styled so that the numbers have a smaller font and they align with the top of the text.

But when I try to convert this ePub to mobi, and in the mobi version:
- The first level quotes are not indented at all.
- The nested quote left margin is indented too much, and the right margin is not indented from the right edge of the screen at all.
- The footnote numbers are not in a smaller size, and are made into superscripts - so they intrude into the line space above and force it to be wider. This looks bad enough when viewed with Kindle for PC, and awful when it is viewed on my ECO Reader (a Hanlon clone)
- Blocks of text which I have given wider margins for emphasis are flush with the left edge
- The ePub version has a sans-serif font, but the mobi version has a serif font.

Let me repeat that I know that the XHTML and ePub are valid and that the ePub looks good on my Sony. I haven't tried it on my Cybook - I should do that also.

So my questions are:
- Are there some settings for calibre conversions that I have missed which will fix these problems?
- In particular, is there a setting which will get calibre to use my stylesheet and not its own?
- Or are there problems with the mobi format which prevent it from from producing the effects that I (and the author) want? I understand for example that mobi won't indent text in blockquotes if the text is in <p></p> tags.
- And if this is so how on earth can I make a mobi version of the ebook and make it look like the ePub version and still meet W3C standards?

Regards, Alex
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