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Old 05-12-2011, 11:11 AM   #1
MikeFromMesa
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Converting Russian books for the Nook Color

I know there are other threads concerning this topic on this forum, but they are mostly old and I have gotten no response from replies on them. And I am starting to get somewhat desperate...

My wife, who reads Russian, has asked for an ebook reader for her birthday. There are plenty of readers that support the Cyrillic character sets available, but I happen to like the Nook Color. It is light, easy to carry, supports microsd cards, has web access and now it has its own (limited) Android Market. But it does not support the Cyrillic character set. I have done considerable research trying to solve this problem and understand that if she wants to read an fb2 (European) public domain book from the web I need to convert it to ePub format and I need to embed the fonts. But I do not know how to make that work.

I have tried to follow some of the explanations on this forum (as well as others), but none seem to actually work for me. Either the explanations are incomplete or my understanding is incomplete (or both).

I have tried converting with Calibre. Conversion works, but book is unreadable on NC. I have tried converting with Calibre and editing with Sigil, but the instructions for modifying the stylesheet and adding the fonts fail Validation.

So I thought I would try posting a new thread and hope that someone could give me some specifics. Help!

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:08 PM   #2
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Can you show us the code you use for modifying the stylesheet that fails validation? I have never tried to embed a font before, but if it is just a css syntax problem, it might be easy to fix.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:27 PM   #3
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Sure. It is at the end of this post. But first some comments:

1) I did not know if this should be added to the existing style sheet or as a new style sheet or if it made any difference,

2) If it was supposed to be added to the existing style sheet, where exactly? Within the body of the entries (Calibre1:, Calibre2:, etc)? Or at the top? Or at the bottom? Or embedded somewhere else? None of the other thread responses was clear (or perhaps I just lack too much knowledge about ebook style sheets),

3) Since I was using a font on my PC I used the PC paths to the fonts, but did not know if the slashes should be "forward" or "backward". And, given the meaning of backslashes in some languages and interpreters, should the backward slashes be single or double? Just another of the questions I was unable to get answered,

4) I downloaded the free Liberation fonts, but when I added them to the Font folder in Calibre that gave me "cannot reach" errors. I have no idea why and I have no idea exactly what the code meant by "cannot reach",

5) I could still create the file, but it was not displayable by the Nook Color. This was not a big surprise because the "cannot reach" error from Calibre told me it was going to ignore the fonts.

You can probably understand that with all of these questions I began to ask myself if I would not be better off with a regular Android tablet and the ability to load a native Russian ereader like Moon+ or fb2Reader on it. Still I don't like a puzzle to go unanswered.

Here is the stylesheet I used with the paths define one of the ways I tried.
----------------------

@font-face {
font-style: italic;
font-family: 'LiberationSerif', serif, sans-serif;
font-weight: normal;
src: (C:\downloads\Fonts\Liberation-Serif\LiberationSerif/LiberationSerif-Italic.ttf);
}
@font-face {
font-style: normal;
font-family: 'LiberationSerif', serif, sans-serif;
font-weight: normal;
src: (C:\downloads\Fonts\Liberation-Serif\LiberationSerif/LiberationSerif-Regular.ttf);
}
@font-face {
font-style: italic;
font-family: 'LiberationSerif', serif, sans-serif;
font-weight: bold;
src: (C:\downloads\Fonts\Liberation-Serif\LiberationSerif/LiberationSerif-BoldItalic.ttf);
}
@font-face {
font-style: normal;
font-family: 'LiberationSerif', serif, sans-serif;
font-weight: bold;
src: (C:\downloads\Fonts\Liberation-Serif\LiberationSerif/LiberationSerif-Bold.ttf);
}
body {
margin-right: 8pt;
font-family: 'LiberationSerif', serif;
}
p.p {
margin: 0px;
text-indent: 1.5em;
text-align: justify;
}
p.subtitle {
font-style: italic;
page-break-after: avoid;
page-break-inside: avoid;
font-weight: bold;
text-indent: 0px;
margin: 0.5em 2em;
text-align: center;
}
strong {
}
em {
}
a {
vertical-align: super;
line-height: 0.1;
font-size: 0.7em;
}
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:55 PM   #4
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I have copied your code and will look at it later. But for starters, I think the syntax is incorrect on your src statements. You need a url option and the font name should be in single quotes:

src: url('LiberationSerif-Italic.ttf');

As far as the syntax of the path to the font, I think you would need to include the font in the epub file itself, in order to get it over to the nook, right (just as image files are included in the the epub file itself). An epub file is really a zip archive which contains everything the ebook needs to do its thing. i do not think it can have any external files.

So, perhaps in Sigil you can add the ttf file to the epub file itself. Try to add the .ttf file to the font area of the epub file - it's at the bottom of the left panel in Sigil.

Then in the css file, for the path to the font, it must be relative to the css file I think that would be:

../fonts/fontname.tff

but I'm not sure. But try that idea. For sure, you need to put the font into the Font area of the epub file.
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
You need a url option and the font name should be in single quotes:

src: url('LiberationSerif-Italic.ttf');
I had made the assumption, perhaps incorrectly, that if a path is needed, then the url token would be redundant. I guess that was wrong.

Quote:
As far as the syntax of the path to the font, I think you would need to include the font in the epub file itself, in order to get it over to the nook, right (just as image files are included in the the epub file itself).
To be able to properly display on the NC that is exactly what needs to be done and what I thought I was doing. I assumed that giving the path to the font to Sigil would allow it to bundle the font with the book. So, given that my guess was wrong, how would I get Sigil to bundle the font into the book? I had added the font to the fonts folder in Sigil, but I had added it from a different PC folder location. Is that not alright?

Quote:
Try to add the .ttf file to the font area of the epub file - it's at the bottom of the left panel in Sigil.
I did exactly that. I right-clicked on the folder and selected Add Existing Item. I then browsed to the location of the fonts and selected them. I thought that would do it, but when I tried to Verify the contents, I got the "cannot reach" error. And that was even before I tried to add the stylesheet coding.

Quote:
Then in the css file, for the path to the font, it must be relative to the css file I think that would be:

../fonts/fontname.tff
Relative to the folder location of the stylesheet? I can certainly try that. In fact the fonts and the sample stylesheet I used are both located in the same folder.

Any indea where I should be putting the new stylesheet? In the existing one? Or separate? If in the existing stylesheet, where exactly?

I will try your suggestions and see if they solve some of the problems I have been having. Thanks for this help. I will post what I find.
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:15 PM   #6
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Just a few other tips - to add the font to the Fonts directory in Sigil, click the right mouse button on the Fonts folder in the left panel and pick "Add existing item..." Then browse to the font and pick it. It will be added to the epub archive.

As far as where to put the font specification in the style sheet, I think I'd put it right at the top.

@font-face {font-family: "name"; src: url('..fonts/name.ttp'); }

Then use it for the body tag:

body {font-family: "name" }

I have not tried this or tested it, but I think you get the idea.

Use forward slashes, by the way. Backslashes is a WIndows thing).

Let me know if this helps, please.

Edit - took out the last line, which was in the wrong place and leftover from an ealier attempt...

Last edited by RAH; 05-12-2011 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:16 PM   #7
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Oops, our typing crossed - I'll read what you said and respond in a minute...
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:23 PM   #8
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"Relative to the folder location of the stylesheet? I can certainly try that. In fact the fonts and the sample stylesheet I used are both located in the same folder."

You seem to be getting mixed up between the contents of your harddrive and the contents of the epub file.

If you look in the Sigil display on the left, you see the subdirectories within the epub file itself. As I said earlier, an epub is really a zip archinve. If you rename it to have an extension of .zip, you can treat it like a zip, open it with Windows Explorer, etc.

So, once you have the font inside the epub in the fonts directory, when you want to use that font in the style sheet, well, the Styles and Fonts folder are at the same level - one level below the root, just as the Images folder is.

So, the proper syntax is ../fonts/, I think, in the style sheet - i.e. back one level of directory (..) and then into the fonts directory (/fonts/)
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:29 PM   #9
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More - I have verified that the syntax ../fonts/name.ttp should be correct. If you look at the way images are specified in any epub, the code looks like this:

src="../Images/cover.jpg"

for example, on any cover page, to pull in the cover image. It is using the same relative syntax I suggested to go from the styles directory to the fonts directory. But for images, it is going from the text directory to the Images directory.
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:56 PM   #10
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I'm going to be signing off for the evening, but just a few more things:

I agree with you that the "url" thing in the @font-face is weird. It may in fact not be needed, but EVERY example i could find in any book used it, even for fonts that were just specified as the name, without any web address. But you could try it both ways.

As far as the problem you mentioned about verifying the font and getting the cannot reach error, I do not know. If you browsed to the font file when you did the "add item" and clicked the name, and if that font name appears in the font folder, then I do not understand why it would then give you an error.

I suggest that you look in the Sigil forum on this website, and do a search on fonts. I'm sure there are a lot of threads about the topic. Let us know how you make out!
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:27 PM   #11
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Fonts

Thanks for all your work. I have become at least partially convinced that the problem that must be addressed first is why I am getting the error when I add the fonts. I go through the process - right-click, add existing items, add the font and Validate. Get the error:

This resource is present in the OPF <manifest>, but it's not reachable (it's unused).

And until I get this worked out nothing else much matters. This error message is coming from adding the fonts, not from the stylesheet and, since the fonts are ignored, perhaps the stylesheet entries are being ignored as they refer to the fonts.

Just to let you know - there is no folder path displayed in my version of Sigil that I can find, but I know how software works (in general) and found the path in my /users folder. The fonts are indeed getting added and the paths are indeed ../Fonts/... And, just to let you know, when I finally realized that all of this referred to the Sigil work folders rather than the source folder of the fonts itself I felt like slapping my head and saying something smart like "Duh!!".

I will start checking with the Sigil forums to see if I can get this resolved, but I wanted to thank you again for all of the time you have spent on this for me. I believe that there is something specific going on in my system that I need to get resolved before any other problems can be addressed.
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Old 05-13-2011, 01:30 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by MikeFromMesa View Post
My wife, who reads Russian, has asked for an ebook reader for her birthday. There are plenty of readers that support the Cyrillic character sets available, but I happen to like the Nook Color. It is light, easy to carry, supports microsd cards, has web access and now it has its own (limited) Android Market. But it does not support the Cyrillic character set. I have done considerable research trying to solve this problem and understand that if she wants to read an fb2 (European) public domain book from the web I need to convert it to ePub format and I need to embed the fonts. But I do not know how to make that work.
There is a much simpler way. Just root the NC and install CoolReader 3 or FBreader on it from the Market. CoolReader was developed in Russia and does an excellent job with the FB2 format. I read mostly FB2 on my my CM7 Nook Color using the CoolReader app.
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Old 05-13-2011, 07:47 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by MikeFromMesa View Post
Thanks for all your work...

I have become at least partially convinced that the problem that must be addressed first is why I am getting the error when I add the fonts.
Glad to help!

I agree that you have to get the font problem resolved first. I tried adding a font to one of my epubs. I decided to try adding a system font (in c:\windows\fonts) but it wouldn't let me (said I needed permission on the Open dialog). However, I was able to add one of the Calibre fonts with no trouble. After I added it, the name then appeared under the Fonts folder in the epub file.

I could not get the font to actually work, but I didn't try all that hard. But adding it was no trouble. I'm not sure why you are having that trouble.

"And, just to let you know, when I finally realized that all of this referred to the Sigil work folders rather than the source folder of the fonts itself I felt like slapping my head and saying something smart like "Duh!!".

Happens to me all the time!

Edit adding a screen snapshot of Sigil screen showing the font

Last edited by RAH; 05-13-2011 at 08:01 AM. Reason: add snapshot
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Old 05-13-2011, 08:16 AM   #14
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There is a much simpler way. Just root the NC and install CoolReader 3 or FBreader on it from the Market. CoolReader was developed in Russia and does an excellent job with the FB2 format. I read mostly FB2 on my my CM7 Nook Color using the CoolReader app
.

Actually one of the first things I did when I had my hands on the NC was to build an sd card with CM7 on it and then, when the device booted from it, I added several Cyrillic readers - fbReader, Moon+ and (I think) Aldiko. All worked well, but I found the rooted device to be somewhat buggy and, because of all of the running processes, somewhat slow. I had to keep going to the AppKiller to kill all of the background processes. In addition the icons were so small that I thought it was not practical for my wife who has rather poor eyesight. Hence I returned to the basic Nook Color.
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Old 05-13-2011, 08:35 AM   #15
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How did you do that (the paste directly into the window)? I tried to do a copy and paste directly into the window and the paste portion of it never worked. I then tried to save the paste in a file and do an upload and the resulting file size (using WordPad) was apparently too large.
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