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Old 02-20-2008, 10:43 AM   #46
Madam Broshkina
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Actually, I think that a lot of the problem is that Madam B does not have Microsoft Word on the computer. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that this is necessary for the correct running of Book Designer.
You don't have to use Word, but it needs to be there.

A hint: it is often possible to get Microsoft Office very cheaply and legally as a licensed copy from your workplace or College. Mine is licensed to me as a member of my university. My sister is running a copy licensed to her from the NHS.
I found a copy of MS Office lying around so the Em Dash issue is solved.
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:48 AM   #47
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No, it's related to the fact that BD uses one of the COM libraries of Word to do a lot of file conversion. I don't think it uses it to read text files, but it does for HTML, RTF, etc.
That's not very good news for me, because I too don't use Word at home, I only have Open Office.

If I have the time, I'll try and see if it works on my PC or not, and if I can get it to work.
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:57 AM   #48
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I found a copy of MS Office lying around so the Em Dash issue is solved.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:09 AM   #49
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Due to the many kind words of encouragement and private messages from some of the moderators on this site I am going to end my brief retirement. I still have not figured out the whole em dash thing. For those of you that this an issue I offer the following graphic as a warning.
Yay!

Glad you are back at it. I personally have downloaded and enjoyed many of your posted books. Thanks for your hard work!
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:06 PM   #50
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Here are a couple of hints which I have found useful with emdashes if (for any reason) the book cleaner files aren't working.
1. Edit your text in your word processor.
2. Use 'find and replace' to replace emdashes with # or@.
3. Drop the text into BD.
4. Use 'find and replace' to replace # or @ with a long dash.
This only takes a few minutes and I think that the result is worth doing.
I used to do it all the time until Jon perfected the book cleaner files.

Another hint.
After making the Sony Reader/Palm/Reb book, always remember to save the BD file. This means that you can go back and make corrections later. Either select 'Book Designer' on the make books tab (which is what I do) or move your 'last file' into the BD folder.
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:18 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricia View Post
Here are a couple of hints which I have found useful with emdashes if (for any reason) the book cleaner files aren't working.
1. Edit your text in your word processor.
2. Use 'find and replace' to replace emdashes with # or@.
3. Drop the text into BD.
4. Use 'find and replace' to replace # or @ with a long dash.
This only takes a few minutes and I think that the result is worth doing.
I used to do it all the time until Jon perfected the book cleaner files.
That's an excellent suggestion, Patricia!

Quote:
Another hint.
After making the Sony Reader/Palm/Reb book, always remember to save the BD file. This means that you can go back and make corrections later. Either select 'Book Designer' on the make books tab (which is what I do) or move your 'last file' into the BD folder.
To clarify that last point, in order to save your work you need to copy the "LastFile" folder out out of the BD folder. BD overwrites it whenever you load a different book. What I do myself is to copy the entire "LastFile" folder into the folder containing the source files for the book I'm workin on (I have one folder per book). When I next want to work on the book, I just go to the "LastFile" folder and double click the ".html0" file.
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:21 PM   #52
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It is indeed very easy. The problem, however, is that if you create books with the standard settings of BookDesigner, the emdashes (or the equivalent "--" of a PG book) get converted not to " - ", but to "-" (without any spaces) and hence can't be distinguished from hyphens. One can of course search for "-" and decide in each individual case whether it should be a hyphen or a dash, but it's a lot of work for a long book. I speak from experience, having done exactly that for a number of books where dashes were missing from the original.
This seems to me to be an obvious bug in BD. Why has it not been fixed? Is BD closed source so it is impossible for people to fix it? I am a bit surprised that BD which seems to have a lot of problems is still used so much and that there is no better alternatives available.

So I assume you don't have space before and after an emdash or an --. Maybe english do not use hyphens so much so you can have a word list for common hyphenated words.
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:29 PM   #53
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This seems to me to be an obvious bug in BD. Why has it not been fixed? Is BD closed source so it is impossible for people to fix it? I am a bit surprised that BD which seems to have a lot of problems is still used so much and that there is no better alternatives available.
BD is a very "unique" piece of software which is great in some ways, and utterly infuriating in other ways. Once you get used to it, it's fantastic, but it takes a lot of experience with it to learn all its peculiarities. What we've been talking about here, "Book Cleaner", is a part of BD which basically allows you to define a set of "pre-processing" and "post-processing" rules which gets applied when you load a book. It's very powerful, but again takes experience to get to know how to use properly.

BD isn't open source, but the developer, vvv, is generally very responsive to fixing reported bugs.

I think it's a wonderful program which is why I stick with it, but it definitely "breaks the rules" in all sorts of ways; it has a very steep "learning curve".
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:40 PM   #54
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....
To clarify that last point, in order to save your work you need to copy the "LastFile" folder out out of the BD folder. BD overwrites it whenever you load a different book. What I do myself is to copy the entire "LastFile" folder into the folder containing the source files for the book I'm workin on (I have one folder per book). When I next want to work on the book, I just go to the "LastFile" folder and double click the ".html0" file.
Rather than copy the folder I use the "Make BD File" option (Cntl F11) to save a copy of the workfile. I do this after editing and before ebook generation.
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:16 PM   #55
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I feel the pain... I've had the same headaches doing multiple copy-and-replaces to get em-dashes into my books. It's easy to get to the point where it hardly seems worth it... and I only format a new book every six months or so!

Thank goodness for a forum like this, where members often have plenty of solutions to others' problems...
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:32 PM   #56
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Now I have found my major problem with BD. I have been trying to use a Microsoft word 97 program. If the directions hit me in the face I might have noticed it in the program directions. Off to ebay to buy at least a Microsoft word 2000 or later so it will work. I thought Vista was causing the problem. As was said on the last post, thank heavens for this forum. Sometimes it overcomes my ignorance. (Not all the time mind you!!)

Oh, I almost forgot. Very, very glad you are back Madam.
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:59 AM   #57
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Now I have found my major problem with BD. I have been trying to use a Microsoft word 97 program. If the directions hit me in the face I might have noticed it in the program directions. Off to ebay to buy at least a Microsoft word 2000 or later so it will work. I thought Vista was causing the problem. As was said on the last post, thank heavens for this forum. Sometimes it overcomes my ignorance. (Not all the time mind you!!)
That's right - Word 2000 or later versions all work fine.
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Old 02-21-2008, 04:51 AM   #58
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2. Use 'find and replace' to replace emdashes with # or@.
Whenever I search and replace, I use strings that will definately not be part of the original document. A # or @ could be used in the book. Try using something like ##emdash## to prevent replacing #s or @s by mistake.
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:34 AM   #59
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BD is a very "unique" piece of software which is great in some ways, and utterly infuriating in other ways. Once you get used to it, it's fantastic, but it takes a lot of experience with it to learn all its peculiarities.

...

I think it's a wonderful program which is why I stick with it, but it definitely "breaks the rules" in all sorts of ways; it has a very steep "learning curve".
You can say that again, Harry! Versatile, powerful, etc. I'm sure I don't know even 1% of its capabilities and I mean that literally. But the learning curve is so steep that each time I try something simple I am bludgeoned to death with multiple baseball (or cricket) bats as I try to head up that hill. I was thinking of making a short list of "don'ts" to post but the list is too long and too confusing (most of the time I don't know why it does what it does). I am so very glad that this is not something I have to use every day to make a living. Most of all, I want to say thank you, Harry, for all your very good advice on its use. I would have quit trying long ago without it.
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