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Old 02-29-2012, 10:08 AM   #1
rebl
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Disable cover generation when adding books in Calibre?

Hi all,

I am using Calibre 0.8.41, a fresh install in a new folder.
I've spent (or should I rather say lost) all day looking for a solution (including searching the forum) to the problems I have with covers. You folks are my last chance.

I am adding some epub books to calibre, in order to correct author names (if needed) and maybe covers, then export them for my ebook reader, organized in folders.
Some of them have covers, some don't. And here the problem starts:
1. For those lacking a cover, it seems Calibre automatically generates a cover which is a screenshot of the first page (text converted in image). This is really bad. I would like to be able to search for the books that didn't have covers and maybe add a correct cover to them (search cover:false) but because Calibre adds a cover obviously this kind of search becomes useless.
I was unable to find anywhere in the preferences a way to disable this behavior. How can I prevent Calibre creating covers from 1st page "screenshot"? Is there any way to disable the automatic cover generation when adding books?
2. For some other books, that also have pictures in their structure, it seems that one of the pictures (usually the first one, file name img1.jpg or even cover.jpg) or even a html page (or both) were incorrectly defined as cover in the content.opf file, without being the real book cover. I know, this is not Calibre's fault, but if I want to replace this incorrect cover with a correct one, won't this image be lost/overwritten? How can I prevent this without editing the epub file?
I noticed when exporting the epub to local disk, that a new opf file is generated and the cover file i've chosen is saved near the epub file (so the inside image remains unaffected). But if I generate the epub file to be sent to the device, I suppose the cover will be encapsulated in the epub file right?
So if my first image in the book is dumbly named cover.jpg (I can't say who and why would do this, but this is a real case) then this first picture will be overwritten? I think I've tested this today, but I've done so many tests, imports, exports and saves than I don't even remeber. Maybe some kind soul could clarify this for me.

Thanks you for help or any suggestions.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:44 PM   #2
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The first page of an ePub is the cover, that is the way that ePubs work.

Most non-cover covers end up with a small image size. So, one work around may be to search for a cover that is smaller than (say) 20 KB. This is the default size for the "cover" option of the Quality Check plugin, which I recommend.

When you generate or select a new cover the cover.jpg gets replaced. To get this into the actual epub you need to do an ePub to ePub conversion.

If an existing image is selected as the cover, it will still be in the ebook if you replace the cover.

The separate cover is only written to disk if that is what you specified in Properties -> Savng books to disk.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:29 AM   #3
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1. But if I have an epub file with absolutelly no image in its structure, is there any way of telling calibre not to create any kind of cover? No default cover, no first page screenshot - nada. The "cover page" might be the first HTML page, but I don't want any JPG to be created like the first page screenshot. Can I ask this to Calibre somehow?

2. Ok i realize that if an epub has an image inside it's structure (which is not the cover, for example is the publisher logo, or Tolkien's Middle Earth map) but was dumbly named cover.jpg (buy the person/software who generated the epub), and I add a new cover, the cover.jpg file will be lost upon export to device - so the only solution is to FIRST edit the epub file in sigil (or manually) and rename the original cover.jpg in -let's say- img0.jpg, BEFORE adding the new cover.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:20 AM   #4
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Have you tried unticking the "Read metadata from file" option in Preferences->Adding books? It means it relies on the filename, but I would guess would stop it trying to force a cover.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwidude View Post
Have you tried unticking the "Read metadata from file" option in Preferences->Adding books? It means it relies on the filename, but I would guess would stop it trying to force a cover.
"read metadata from file contents rather file name" is checked, because not all the files are named in the same style, plus, some of them have some additional data in the metadata (comments, genre, language....).

Maybe I should change my strategy.
I think this behaviour is "by design" -the fact that Calibre autogenerates screenshots of first page if the book has no cover.
I guess I could read all the changelogs and find out which version introduced this features, then reverting to a previous version. Still ... thats a tedious task and I was hoping the autogerenation of covers could be somehow prevented.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:36 AM   #6
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AFAIK it is a "feature" that has been in there since before I started using it 18 months ago, so there is no way you would want to go that far backwards. If you really care, just run Calibre from source and change the code to do what you want.

Personally I never use metadata from the file, it is so inconsistently rubbish I prefer to use the metadata downloads to fetch it instead. Keep a few different file name regexes (for permutations of "title - author" vs "author - title"), toggle between them with a keyboard shortcut via the Quick Preferences plugin works for me.

There is a feature request floating around for more granular control when adding books of exactly what fields it should import. However it is not on an actual todo list, no doubt it will happen "one day".
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebl View Post

2. Ok i realize that if an epub has an image inside it's structure (which is not the cover, for example is the publisher logo, or Tolkien's Middle Earth map) but was dumbly named cover.jpg (buy the person/software who generated the epub), and I add a new cover, the cover.jpg file will be lost upon export to device - so the only solution is to FIRST edit the epub file in sigil (or manually) and rename the original cover.jpg in -let's say- img0.jpg, BEFORE adding the new cover.
Sigil works for this , Rename the cover (ie. map1) in the Book Browser, then you must:
1) either add your cover image before the Map
2) Sigil split the page and set the new cover page semantics to 'cover' (Sigil does not appear to have a 'remove Semantics' ), shifting that flag.

Adding your cover in Sigil is fairly easy (Steps vary depending on Sigil 4.x or 5.x). Just select the cover source (cover.jpg) from the (calibre) books folder., then place it on the cover page.
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:16 AM   #8
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Thanks all.

Yeah, for the images incorrectly marked as covers, if I open the epub in sigil I see for example for img1.jpg (which is NOT a cover) Add Semantics -> Cover Image is checked (sometimes also for one of the html files Semantics -> Cover checked). I'm not sure why was the file done this way but I suppose this I will have to edit each of them.
On the other hand, I've imported the same small collection of epubs (146 files) in Sony Reader for PC and none of the incorrect covers appeared as cover. (Possibly, the Sony software accepts a valid cover only if the file name is cover.jpg).
Too bad I don't know how to copy the files from the Sony software (I have no ideea where are the books stored and IF they are accessible).

I've tried the suggestion not to read the metadata from file and while indeed no cover was generated this way, the import is a mess, with titles and authors revers for a lots of books (they do not have consistent names).

All this trouble only to be able to organize 146 books in folders with correct author names. I suppose I could have done it by hand easier ... lol.

I guess I will have to give up searching a way NOT to generate covers from first page.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:56 AM   #9
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To avoid having to use Sigil, with the most recent versions of Calibre (I'm using 0.9.23) you can do this:

- Right-click the book in the Library, choose "Tweak book", then Explode book. This will generate an unzipped version of your EPUB on a temporary directory.

- in the explorer window that opened, delete the files titlepage.xhtml and cover.jpeg

- back in Calibre, choose Rebuild book.

Voilá, no cover in ebook!
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