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Old 07-17-2010, 11:21 AM   #1
fcoulter
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Feature Request - Merging of ePubs

I've got a feature request that would be useful when creating an anthology. Being able to merge an existing ePub file into the open ePub file.

Suppose you're creating an anthology of award nominated short stories. You've gotten the original stories from a variety of sources, and used a different program (Calibre?) to convert them all into ePub.

Now you'd like to create one book with all of the stories, and would like to not spend too much time editing it. It seems to me that the easiest way to do so would be a merge facility.

(And a different feature request - being able to create links within a document without having to edit the html code. This is an elaboration of the requests to be able to create foot notes easily.)

In the meantime, I'm really enjoying Sigil, so keep it up!
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:49 AM   #2
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Merging epubs directly would be problematic. Which <title> metadata should take precedence for the final epub? How about <author>? I'm not sure how you could solve this.

On the other hand, merging epub file contents is something you can do easily with Sigil today. Let's say you have epub A open in Sigil, and you want to merge it with the contents of epub B. Simply unzip epub B and in the Book Browser select "Add existing items" and select all the XHTML files from epub B. This will alsopick up all the CSS and image files that those XHTMLs reference. The epub B XHTMLs will be appended after the epub A XHTMLs in the Text folder.

Presto, contents merged.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:56 AM   #3
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Merging epubs directly would be problematic. Which <title> metadata should take precedence for the final epub? How about <author>?
None. An ePUB can have several <title> and <author> (well, <creator>) tags, so you can just have them all. At least for <creator> that seems the most logical.
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:14 PM   #4
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None. An ePUB can have several <title> and <author> (well, <creator>) tags, so you can just have them all. At least for <creator> that seems the most logical.
Yes, the standard allows multiples. But is this really the wanted effect? Pretty much every RS out there would just pick the first <title> element and display that and only that. And if the epub is a collection of, say, 50 short stories and thus has 50 different <creator> elements in the OPF... well I don't even want to imagine what the average RS would to. I'd say crash, but that's just being cynical.

There's a great difference between what the standard says and what the RSs do.
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Valloric View Post
On the other hand, merging epub file contents is something you can do easily with Sigil today. Let's say you have epub A open in Sigil, and you want to merge it with the contents of epub B. Simply unzip epub B and in the Book Browser select "Add existing items" and select all the XHTML files from epub B. This will alsopick up all the CSS and image files that those XHTMLs reference. The epub B XHTMLs will be appended after the epub A XHTMLs in the Text folder.

Presto, contents merged.
The issue is that you need to do prepare the second ePub file (unzipping it) outside of Sigil rather than from within Sigil. How about if you select "Add existing items" and then select an existing ePub file, it would display the contents of the file. Then, when you select a specific file from within the zipped ePub, it would unizp just that file and insert it into the ePub file you're working on.

(And, I suppose, ask you to rename the inserted file if it has the same name as an existing file within the ePub file.)

The point would be to do as much within Sigil as possible, rather than requiring preprocessing by the user.
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Old 07-28-2010, 06:18 AM   #6
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Maybe opening several instances of Sigil, each with a different ePUB file, and drag&drop between them?
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Old 07-29-2010, 05:29 PM   #7
Hitch
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Originally Posted by Jellby View Post
Maybe opening several instances of Sigil, each with a different ePUB file, and drag&drop between them?
I don't know--but I admit I wish to high heaven I could do this; I have authors who have multiple books, and I'm constantly re-creating the same content (e.g." About the Author" and, more importantly "other books by this author" replete with thumbnails that have external css styling [float, padding and such], etc.), and although I copy the text, natch, it's a royal PITA to reinvent the wheel each time.

EDIT: I used the "unzip the old file and upload the existing items" trick and it was spiffy. Thank you, Valloric, for turning me on to this, it's saved me no end of brain-damage.


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Last edited by Hitch; 07-30-2010 at 06:37 PM. Reason: Yee-ha, learned me sumpin' new...
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