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Old 11-17-2012, 12:20 PM   #1
A Lurker
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Posts: 12
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Device: Kindle
formatting problem when converting RTF to mobi

I frequently convert RTF files into mobi files. It's impossible for me to get them properly formatted. It appears the problem may be a Calibre design flaw, rather than a bug or user error:

1.) Calibre's default conversion for RTF to mobi files automatically removes all tabs and inserts spaces between the paragraphs. In other words, Calibre assumes you want your document formatted to look like a blog rather than a traditional book.

2.) Under "Look and Feel" you can check a box to remove line spacing between paragraphs. That will delete the spaces and re-insert the tabs. However...

3.) When Calibre re-inserts the tabs, it simply looks for any and all paragraph breaks and places a tab at those points.

4.) That messes up the formatting significantly because not all paragraph breaks should be followed by a tab. For example, any text you want centered on the page, such as a chapter title, ends up indented to the right of center. Another example: A paragraph starting a new section does not need to be indented.

BOTTOM LINE: When you convert from RTF to mobi and want your document to look like a traditonal book, rather than a blog, Calibre makes it impossible for you to center items or have a non-indented paragraph after a section break. Caibre forces unwanted tabs throughout your document.

DESIGN FLAW: When you check the box to remove line spacing you are not preventing Calibre from automatically re-formatting your document. In the background, Calibre still converts your document to blog format, but then turns around and tries to convert into the format specified by the user. In other words, checking that box simply causes Calibre to re-format your document twice -- first to its own preference, then subsequently to the user's preference.

Calibre's default should be to keep the formating of the existing document and not re-format unless the user specifies. That would solve this problem.

Anyone have any idea how I can work around this? Thanks.

Last edited by A Lurker; 11-17-2012 at 12:51 PM.
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