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Old 05-07-2012, 06:37 PM   #16
cjallan
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Hi Hitch,

We don't create the TOC by hand... but with MS Word's wizard. It takes no time at all once the headings are tagged.

From what I've heard you say, I think you adhere to the practice that is so often recommended... that is, get your files out of Word as soon as possible, to avoid errors Word can introduce... so I guess I can see why you don't use the Word wizard.

But what I don't understand is how do you get rid of user errors such as extra spaces, extra paragraph returns... extra page breaks, etc, etc...

Do you make the user clean up their Word files before you accept them?

CJ
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjallan View Post
Hi Hitch,

We don't create the TOC by hand... but with MS Word's wizard. It takes no time at all once the headings are tagged.

From what I've heard you say, I think you adhere to the practice that is so often recommended... that is, get your files out of Word as soon as possible, to avoid errors Word can introduce... so I guess I can see why you don't use the Word wizard.

But what I don't understand is how do you get rid of user errors such as extra spaces, extra paragraph returns... extra page breaks, etc, etc...

Do you make the user clean up their Word files before you accept them?

CJ
CJ:

No, although we do upcharge for messed-up Word files. We use regex, either through NoteTabPro clips or PERL (everyone floats their own boat around here, so to speak). We don't spend a lot of time worrying about extra spaces, in the literal sense of "spaces," as html ignores additional spaces. We clean up extra page breaks with a simple regex that yanks them ALL out (they're almost always misplaced anyway) and then regex the Chapter heads, which are styled specifically, to put the chapter breaks behind them (or any other class that uses that same "section" styling). The extra returns are of course more passes; start with 4 in a row, clean those out, then do 3; then use regex that recognizes alpha characters to check the doubles, so we can spot the scenebreaks.

Our repeat clients, of which, fortunately, we have many, tend to get "trained" to use specific multiple characters--e.g., *** or ### to indicate certain items, like chapter heads, scenebreaks, POV breaks, etc.

A large percentage of what we do is fairly automated now. It took us several years' worth of every type of bizarro-world thing you can think of (my favorites are the double-spaced ms's wherein someone types to the right margin and hits "enter" twice to "doublespace" his text for submission) to get some pretty reliable and steady regex, but that's basically how we do it. I don't think we do anything particularly magical or unusual; I think everyone who does volume ends up doing essentially the same thing, eventually. It's just more efficient than working in Word, plus, of course, we get a LOT of INDD and PDF clients, as well as Word, OO, LO, RTF, Pages and even Works (which always bakes my noodle--who even knew that was still floating around?).

I think what separates one firm from another is the QA, and the "hands in file" time that's expended to give the client a special experience when they open their book. We do, though, get a shocking number of authors who WANT their finished files to look like a Word file, which always--ALWAYS--catches me by surprise. Me, I want my books (I mean the ones I'm reading--not the ones I am not writing) to look like books, not Word files, but...each to their own, eh?

Although, the one we received in Powerpoint was quite the doozy! ;-)

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Old 05-08-2012, 10:15 AM   #18
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protection issue on the html files

CJ,

Quote:
I saw your message as a probable solution, but I am unable to make the changes to my html files because they are protected in some way.

I know enough about html to make the simple change you suggested, but not enough to know how to remove this protection.

Do you have a suggestion?
Yes I had this problem. Windows 7 doesn't let you save the file from your editor back to the original location in the Program Files folder.

To get round this I copied the

c:\Program Files\Mobipocket.com\Mobipocket Creator\rsc\html

folder (all its contents) to another location to use for editing (ALSO MAKE A BACKUP COPY OF THE FOLDER SO YOU CAN RESTORE THE ORIGINAL POSITION IF REQUIRED). Make your editing changes at this location - you will be able to save your changes here. Next copy the folder back to the original location. You will need Windows Administrator rights for this. When I do it I get a dialog popping up asking me to confirm that I want to do this. I click ok and it then lets me replace the files.

This fixes the Guide option problem. Note also that to fix the table of contents problem you need the changes mentioned in my other post at

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=176378

The reason for these additional changes is that, although you can set "compatibility mode" to IE8 to make some things work, IE9 uses an entirely new javascript engine. Even in compatibility mode it is not 100% compatible with the way the old javascript engine worked in IE8. Due to this, setting compatiblity mode alone didn't work in regard to the Table of Contents problem. The changes I've described in the link above appear to resolve this issue.

I hope this clarifies things further.

Mike

Last edited by mike2046; 05-08-2012 at 10:36 AM. Reason: Explain a bit more about TOC javascsript issue
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:19 PM   #19
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Finding hidden errors in MS Word file

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitch View Post

@cjallan: No, it doesn't solve the problem as I see it; creating a TOC by "hand" using Word, to me, is extra work, when one can simply use html heading styles and auto-create one (not only in MBPC but Sigil, as well). From our standpoint--at Booknook--we use various clips/programs to then convert the ncx into an html toc, which we "plunk" into the ePUB just prior to conversion via Previewer/KG, which is our weapon of choice. Again--strictly from our workflow--creating TOC's by hand, particularly for plain fiction is just a lot of "makework," when we can easily regex the chapter headers and do it "auto-magically," but for those working in Word, yes, I can see how it might solve your problem for your noobs.

I still, however, being pig-headed, stand by my statement that MBPC isn't "fixed" with that workaround. Good to see ya, by the way, away from the rabble!

Hitch
I clean up with Word, and that works well most of the time, and I prefer to "clean up", rather than resort to "clear all" -- which gets rid of all clutter, but also cleans out needed codes -- but I had a file some time ago with errors that eluded detection.

I wondered how you might have handled it... how would you have found, and how would you correct errors such as this:

I "attempted" to attach a scrap of the file, showing the error, but am not sure it stuck.

It is copied below... although of course the different text does not show in this message, but it does describe the problem.

~~~~
Text from file:
The day Angel came for him, Walter Winkler was standing with Leggs outside the Mary Magdalene Shelter for Homeless Youth. They were watching Medic One pull away with Abra inside.

The word “outside” in the sentence above, was a correction entered by the author, using a different font (11 pt Times) from the font of the existing text (11 pt Calibri).

The font of the word “outside” is actually slightly smaller than the rest of the sentence, but being “almost invisible”, it was not noticed until after the book was published… then was found by a purchaser of the book.

How would you find errors like this?

One error, of course, is not a problem... but how would you handle a file that has many errors such as this?
~~~~

CJ
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:48 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjallan View Post
I clean up with Word, and that works well most of the time, and I prefer to "clean up", rather than resort to "clear all" -- which gets rid of all clutter, but also cleans out needed codes -- but I had a file some time ago with errors that eluded detection.

I wondered how you might have handled it... how would you have found, and how would you correct errors such as this:

I "attempted" to attach a scrap of the file, showing the error, but am not sure it stuck.

It is copied below... although of course the different text does not show in this message, but it does describe the problem.

~~~~
Text from file:
The day Angel came for him, Walter Winkler was standing with Leggs outside the Mary Magdalene Shelter for Homeless Youth. They were watching Medic One pull away with Abra inside.

The word “outside” in the sentence above, was a correction entered by the author, using a different font (11 pt Times) from the font of the existing text (11 pt Calibri).

The font of the word “outside” is actually slightly smaller than the rest of the sentence, but being “almost invisible”, it was not noticed until after the book was published… then was found by a purchaser of the book.

How would you find errors like this?

One error, of course, is not a problem... but how would you handle a file that has many errors such as this?
~~~~

CJ
Hey, Ceej: ;-)

Actually--for us, it would never have been an issue. (n.b.: when working from Word, for most folks it would be--I'm not sure how you'd know easily that it was there, but before I was working purely in html, I used to put up the Styles Box and use Options-->display styles in use--> and then set it to display fonts, to find out if there were other mystery fonts in play. You can also do that for paragraph-level formatting, which helps spot special text for formatting, like newspaper clippings, etc. If you do that on your sample, you'll see the 4 font level styles, and you can see where it's used, and whether it's intentional.)

Anyway: we scan initially (in html, of course) for fonts, to determine if there's a potential problem--we search for font tags--because of course, if an author does not know that K7 doesn't support multiple fonts, and has used same, we have to discuss it before it goes to my Crews. We would have seen it off the bat. If the font screw-ups are inadvertent, we run macros (actually: these are NoteTabPro clips and PERL scripts) that "mark" or "tag" all the font STYLES, i.e., italics, bold, etc., but nuke everything else and sets the paragraph style to "normal," which we then style however we intend. These also do a lot of "other" cleanup; searches for broken paras and repairs them; removes all the span tags that, Lord love a duck, show up around EVERY word when we get one of those "We Can Convert Your PDF To Word, No Problem!" end-products, clean out tabs and replace them with whatever is needed (or naught), or the usual span tags we get from either Word, Adobe Acrobat, or INDD PDF's. I honestly forget now everything it searches for and cleans--quote marks, apostrophes (to named entities), etc., but we added each, item-by-item, over the last 3 years, as we all got tired of having to clean them manually (or worse--forgetting about them!) or edit post-prod. OH! Of course--optional hyphens, bye-bye. ;-)

On intake, for quoting--before the Crews ever see the book, I pop it open and scan it for the usual bizarreness. For fiction/plain paragraphical narration: Broken paras, line breaks instead of paras, any type of additional paragraph type that needs annotation (song lyrics, poems, journal entries, newspaper clippings, what-have-you), fonts, multiple instances in sequence of tab characters, multiple instances of empty paragraphs (4 in a row or more), any sort of fleurons, other graphics, yadda. I asses it at quoting and I make fairly thorough notes for each title. I do this +/- 20 times a day, about this time of night, in fact, when the crews are gone for the day, the phones are quiet and I can hear myself think.

For moderate or complex formatting that's a whole other scan; I look for percentages, mostly; does the book have more or less than 20% or 40% of pages that have design elements, i.e., bulleted lists, charts, graphics, tables, columns (oh, joy), worksheets (ditto), video, audio, equations, recipes, inline images, FONTS, any non-supported characters (for example: we just did a book in Romanian; we had to test the K7, to ensure that the Latin-extended font we embedded would show up, which mercifully, it did, and hell, no, don't ask me how that worked!), Outline-numbered items (multi-level indents, in other words), and all the other mysterious stuff that can show up in print books that are neck-breaking to put into eBooks, particularly MOBI format.

Does that help at all? Did the stuff I told you about using the Styles box in Word make sense to you, to find the fonts and also to see the number of paragraph styles?

(ETA: Oddly enough, of all the weird things, this very thing happened tonight; I had a file in, clean as a WHISTLE, turned on the Styles and lo, there were 3 odd fonts showing up, which had been applied to one character, 3 characters and two empty paras, respectively. Haven't seen it in ages. Synchronicity is a very, very strange thing.)

Ciao,
Hitch

Last edited by Hitch; 05-10-2012 at 05:12 AM. Reason: Added Bizarre Coincidence
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:24 AM   #21
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Hitch said->
Before I was working purely in html, I used to put up the Styles Box and use Options-display styles in use and then set it to display fonts, to find out if there were other mystery fonts in play
======

OK to the first half of that sentence... I pop up the Styles Pane with CTRL-SHIFT-S... and view the Styles in use...

But I don't see any way to display fonts... is that feature some where else?

Thanks for a very informative post!

CJ
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:15 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjallan View Post
Hitch said->
Before I was working purely in html, I used to put up the Styles Box and use Options-display styles in use and then set it to display fonts, to find out if there were other mystery fonts in play
======

OK to the first half of that sentence... I pop up the Styles Pane with CTRL-SHIFT-S... and view the Styles in use...

But I don't see any way to display fonts... is that feature some where else?

Thanks for a very informative post!

CJ
Hey, there you are, Ceej:

Thought I'd lost this post for a moment. I'd have to boot up Word 2003--you work in that, right? I work in 2010, so to speak (for that nano-second before exporting it). Ok, I booted that baby up, and in the Styles box, down under "Show", choose Custom. From there, if you choose "Formatting in Use," and check (in the popup box), "Default Paragraph Font" and in the "Other formatting" section, click "Font Formatting" as well as Paragraph Level formatting, and Bullets & Numbering formatting, I think you can avoid any pitfalls. We are working on a VB clip that will help me do some of this automatedly--in fact, with the help of someone I met here--but for someone who can take the time to do this by hand, this works fine.

See this Screencast screenshot I did for you in 2003: http://screencast.com/t/GCrgjV2bBQ

If you're using 2010, using "save as" and Compatibility mode, let me know and I'll show you where to find it in 2010. I highlighted the Britannic Bold I put in there to display what would show up for any/all fonts used in a document, which should (famous last words) keep you from being bit in the glutes with files like the one you posted, or the "real" one like the one you posted. As I said, humorously, I had one exactly like that, that same night as your post.

Hope that helps?

Hitch
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:54 PM   #23
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Hitch

By golly, you are right!

I knew about that panel, of course, but I completely misunderstood its function.

I thought it simply listed all fonts used in the document... but not so!

It displays only fonts entered via *direct* formatting.

Fonts that are called by a Style are not listed (only the Style name is listed)... so it does the job of finding those stray fonts that can cause problems.

Thanks so much!

btw... that is sure a spiffy screen shot you made there...

I've heard Snagit recommended... maybe by you... but I did not know it gave you the ability to add explanatory notes... is that, in fact, what it does... did Snagit do that whole thing... notes and all?

Thanks again!

CJ
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:33 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjallan View Post
Hitch

By golly, you are right!

I knew about that panel, of course, but I completely misunderstood its function.

I thought it simply listed all fonts used in the document... but not so!

It displays only fonts entered via *direct* formatting.

Fonts that are called by a Style are not listed (only the Style name is listed)... so it does the job of finding those stray fonts that can cause problems.

Thanks so much!

btw... that is sure a spiffy screen shot you made there...

I've heard Snagit recommended... maybe by you... but I did not know it gave you the ability to add explanatory notes... is that, in fact, what it does... did Snagit do that whole thing... notes and all?

Thanks again!

CJ
Hey, Ceej:

Yes, those styles panels are really handy--many Word functions aren't well documented, or you stumble upon them in desperation, I've found. It's unfortunate.

Yes, I migrated to SnagIt from Jing, when TechSmith (the maker of both) said that they were phasing out Jing. I was pretty PO'd when I found out that Snagit didn't have at least one of the features of Jing (being able to add webcam video to an instructional toot, for example), so TechSmith kindly gave me an increased price break on it. I also have Camtasia, which takes a bit of a learning curve, if you're not a video whiz to begin with (I'm NOT), but it's incredibly useful for making viable instructional materials, instead of just praying that your 3 minutes or whatever will work out okay--you can record over, or do separate voice-tracks--very handy stuff.

Glad my tip was of use!

Hitch
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:59 PM   #25
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mike2046

I have been tearing my hair out trying to figure out why the Guide no longer works and I was very excited to see your post with a fix. Thanks for all your hard work. Sadly, after changing all the html files as directed, the fix didn't work. I'm very comfortable working in html and editing files but for some reason the Guide still doesn't work for me when I hit Update. I even tried coding the guide information into the ncx file but that didn't work either.

Any idea what I might be missing? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
accook
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:15 PM   #26
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accook:

Can you screenshoot your Guide settings and let us see what you've done?
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:52 PM   #27
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Hi Hitch,

Not sure what you mean by Guide settings but I took a guess. Sorry if this isn't what you meant.

Nothing happens when I click Update and if I leave the page and go back, all the information I input is gone. I haven't published a book for several months and I noticed that now there is a number appended to the file when I upload to MBPC (in this case it's _B487CE25) which didn't used to happen. Also, when I went ahead and did a Build, there was no Guide data in the .opf file.

My computer was sent off for repair in March and came back reformatted and with IE9.

Thanks for the help!
accook
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:36 PM   #28
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I even tried coding the guide information into the ncx file but that didn't work either.
The guide information needs to be added to the .opf file.

If everything else fails, try converting the .mobi file to an .ePub file with Calibre, open it in Sigil, right-click cover, toc, first page, and copyright page, select Add Semantics and add the required Guide items.

If you already generated an inline toc, you can open the file with KindlePreviewer to convert it to a .mobi file. Otherwise use Calibre, which will automatically generate the inline toc from the .ncx file.
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:46 PM   #29
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Doitsu:

MBPC does add the Guide info to the OPF. Honestly, I don't see what accook is doing wrong, from the screenshot. I'm going to study it and opine later (am doing quotes for clients right now--have 10 I have to get out before I "leave" for the day!), if I have any brilliant thoughts.

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Old 05-26-2012, 02:13 AM   #30
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Quote:
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MBPC does add the Guide info to the OPF. Honestly, I don't see what accook is doing wrong, from the screenshot.
I've MBPC installed and know that it automatically adds guide info to the OPF.

Most likely the .opf file update no longer works, because of IE9 or some other technical problem that accook has.
For example, if accook created a backup on a CD, the .opf file (and all other project files) would have become write-protected.

MBPC will open read-only .opf files and will allow to add new guide items in the Guide properties window, but obviously won't save them.
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