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Old 03-11-2011, 05:01 PM   #1
cybmole
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no indent for 1st para - lost in conversion

there are a coupl eo fways to format an epub so that all paragraphs are indented except for the 1st on each chapter. I had learned how to do it with additional css styling, then I found what seemed a quick n easy route - jsut add a <br> tag to openign line - like so :
Code:
 <h2 class="calibre6" id="calibre_pb_10">Chapter Two</h2>

  <p class="calibre7"><br />
  <span class="bold">M</span>USIC pounded through Luc’s ears.
works fine in epub - although calibre7 in this instance has a 1em indent, it is applied to the initial blank line, so the 1st line of actual text appears with no indent.

like this:

Chapter Two

MUSIC pounded through Luc’s ears.

( discussed this in sigil forum & we agreed there that the above html code was working as it should)

but when I convert to mobi (default settings), and view the mobi in calibre viewer, or on Kindle, then the indent IS present ???

how come


is this because of how calibre converts or is it due to differences in epub & mobi specs ?
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:02 PM   #2
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Mobi spec is proprietary and only 'loosely' based on html 3.2, which is a very old html specification. Not sure if it's due to html 3.2, or Amazon/Mobi's extremely loose interpretation of the spec.
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:00 PM   #3
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I would either run the conversion with the debug flag to see if you can detect the <br> being removed. Also, Mobiperl will allow you to extract the HTML from within the MOBI file to see if it's there and just being ignored or if it's not coming though during conversion.
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:43 AM   #4
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thanks, I think I'll just accept that it is not a good construct for multi-platform & revert to defining a non-indent style for 1st paragraphs.
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cybmole View Post
thanks, I think I'll just accept that it is not a good construct for multi-platform & revert to defining a non-indent style for 1st paragraphs.
Please let us know how you do it - presumably in the CSS.

I use something like

blockquote+p { text-indent: 0; } /* No indent for 1st para after a quote */

and similarly for headings and horizontal rules, but I have not been able to work out anything that will work on all first paragraphs.

Regards, Alex
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Old 03-12-2011, 03:52 AM   #6
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there are huge threads on sigil forum - go read - but basically you use regex to find a <p which follows a </h2> , then manipulate the class inside that opening <p para.

each book has to be done individually.
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:43 AM   #7
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h1+p, h2+p, h3+p {text-indent:0;} always works for me using extra css during conversion. No need for regex unless there is a conflicting style, and I haven't run into that yet personally.

It does require that the book using heading tags for chapter titles though, obviously. If your chapter headings are using some specific style you can trigger off that as well:
div.chaptertitlestyle+p {text-indent:0;}

You just need to look in the html ahead of time and make it match whatever tags/styles are being used.
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Old 03-12-2011, 05:59 AM   #8
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so e.g. h1+p means a <p> tag which follows a </h1> tag etc.

I like having a master version in epub which has had all changes applied, rather than fixing only at the epub to mobi stage so I guess I'd need to do an epub to epub conversion with your extra CSS - I will try that & see how it goes.

sometimes there's other junk between the header & the 1st para that has to be cleaned out with regex first though e.g. superfluous <div > stuff, so book has to be edited in sigil anyway.

Last edited by cybmole; 03-12-2011 at 06:04 AM.
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:22 AM   #9
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It sounds like everyone is trying to come up with some way to autodetect whether or not a certain paragraph is the first paragraph and have the formatting adjusted appropriately. I guess that makes sense since this is the Calibre-Converting forum but as awesome a tool as Calibre is, I've never had a conversion take care of everything to my satisfaction without some cleanup work beforehand.

Why wouldn't you just create a new class for any paragraphs that youu want formatted differently? Maybe I'm just missing something.

Whether creating an ebook from scratch or converting from some other format, I always use Sigil for editing and creation. If converting from some format other than epub, my first step is to always convert to epub and look under the hood. Once I get everything looking the way I want, it's very simple to convert to whatever final format you want, mobi in my case.

I use a general class called para for normal paragraphs. I use another called chapteropenertext for first paragraphs. another called paraspaceIndent or paraspaceNoIndent for first chapters after a scene break depending on whether or not it's supposed to be indented or not.

I know everyone comes up with their own techniques but this seems to be the easiest way to me. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand, er, well, at least three times...

...it's impossible to beat the one-two punch offered by the combination of Sigil and Calibre. They are an ebook creator/editor/converter's best friends.

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Old 03-12-2011, 07:37 AM   #10
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what you describe is exactly how I had been doing it, before I encountered the <br> option - which seemed to be a faster/simpler edit route.

to be honest, I am now inclined to just accept indented 1st paragraphs & not feel compelled to tweak them out of existence;
after some googling of typesetting indents I find that the whole world is not united on the case for a non indented opening para anyway.

Last edited by cybmole; 03-12-2011 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 03-13-2011, 03:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldolse View Post
h1+p, h2+p, h3+p {text-indent:0;} always works for me using extra css during conversion. No need for regex unless there is a conflicting style, and I haven't run into that yet personally.
i tried that on a book containing 2 separate novellas, with heuristics also on to mark up the chapters.
It patched up only 1 of the 2 stories.
On inspection in sigil the one that did not patch had a text indent value set in inches? - something like 0.15in - in its default style
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Old 03-14-2011, 03:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cybmole View Post
there are huge threads on sigil forum - go read - but basically you use regex to find a <p which follows a </h2> , then manipulate the class inside that opening <p para.

each book has to be done individually.
But I don't use Sigil; I use an HTML editor, having dabbled in website design in the past.

Regards, Alex
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Old 03-14-2011, 03:53 AM   #13
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But I don't use Sigil; I use an HTML editor, having dabbled in website design in the past.

Regards, Alex
sigil IS a HTML editor - if you think of Epub as a variant of HTML - anyway it's the best tool for the job, so read the threads anyway if you want to know more. you can probably make the same changes via your existing editor. it will be a lot harder without a regular expressions find / replace function
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cybmole View Post
sigil IS a HTML editor - if you think of Epub as a variant of HTML - anyway it's the best tool for the job, so read the threads anyway if you want to know more. you can probably make the same changes via your existing editor. it will be a lot harder without a regular expressions find / replace function
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Sigil is a WYSIWYG e-book editor with a simple code view editor

It is missing many coding tools that my ancient (W95 era) copy of HTML Assistant Pro (code view only) had.

That does not make Sigil bad.
In fact, on the WYSIWYG side, it is pretty near impossible to generate invalid EPUB code that way
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