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Old 08-24-2012, 03:14 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by starrigger View Post
On your statement "Don't use Word," I say, not true. It's all well and good to say build the formatting from ground up in Sigil or whatever, and that's fine if you have endless time. But most authors want to get back to their writing. The fact is, you can build perfectly good ebooks using Word (the Smashwords Style Guide offers many useful tips), if you are careful with styles and are willing to tweak a little as needed. So the CSS isn't quite as clean as you would like. It still works, and if done carefully works very well.
As for Word, that's another kettle of fish. I've seen cases where the eBook looks not bad by default but has underlying problems. Such as not being able to go into night mode on a tablet, not being able to change the font size and not being able to change the font.

Word puts in font family where it doesn't belong and incorrectly for an eBook. You get color codes that don't need to be there. You get other mess that in some reading apps can be a problem as they aren't as tolerant of things like some of the codes Word sometimes puts in in the main text as ADE is. If the code didn't have those (not part of ePub) codes, then those apps would work fine.

Next time you have a Word document converted to ePub, use an iPad and Android tablet with the popular reading apps (iBooks, Bluefire, Stanza on iOS and Aldiko, CoolReader and others (not really up on Android reading apps) on Android) and tell me if everything works perfectly. It may or it may not. It's a crap shoot.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:18 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by ldolse View Post
You can still use Calibre for converting to mobi though.
Actually, that's not a good idea these days as we don't know if the KF8/AZW3 output is ready for commercial use (from Calibre). As of now, it's best to use a well formatted ePub to run through Kindlegen to generate both the KF8 & Mobi. I know Calibre's Mobi output is good, but I cannot speak for the KF8/AZW3.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:23 PM   #33
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Next time you have a Word document converted to ePub, use an iPad and Android tablet with the popular reading apps (iBooks, Bluefire, Stanza on iOS and Aldiko, CoolReader and others (not really up on Android reading apps) on Android) and tell me if everything works perfectly. It may or it may not. It's a crap shoot.
I just did, with my own reformatted Chaos Chronicles omnibus. I tested it on Aldiko on Android, Nook, iBooks on ipad, Kindle (various), Sony, ADE on PC, and maybe something else I've forgotten. It looks good on all. I tested night mode, and I tested changing font sizes. It's not a crap shoot, but you do have to take care with certain things. (Okay, some things are a crap shoot with any ebook, because not all devices display things the same way.)

I don't think I tested font changes, though, except in the Kindle multi-device emulator.

Edit: Okay, I just tested font changes and night mode in ibooks. A-okay.

And -- to yank this back to the point of the topic -- it did require (for the benefit of Aldiko and Nook) having the centered styles tweaked in CSS because that was something Calibre is not set up to do.

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Old 08-24-2012, 05:02 PM   #34
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The way I've noticed most BPH eBooks are setup, they don't have a text indent associated with <p> so they use something like <p class="tx"> and tx has the indent. Thus, when they do the centering, the center class does not actually need a text-indent of 0 as it inherits the text-indent from <p>.
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:04 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by starrigger View Post
I just did, with my own reformatted Chaos Chronicles omnibus. I tested it on Aldiko on Android, Nook, iBooks on ipad, Kindle (various), Sony, ADE on PC, and maybe something else I've forgotten. It looks good on all. I tested night mode, and I tested changing font sizes. It's not a crap shoot, but you do have to take care with certain things. (Okay, some things are a crap shoot with any ebook, because not all devices display things the same way.)

I don't think I tested font changes, though, except in the Kindle multi-device emulator.

Edit: Okay, I just tested font changes and night mode in ibooks. A-okay.

And -- to yank this back to the point of the topic -- it did require (for the benefit of Aldiko and Nook) having the centered styles tweaked in CSS because that was something Calibre is not set up to do.
As for formatting, what is your preferred way to format an eBook so it looks good on most devices be they a smartphone all the way to a computer with a high resolution screen (1600x1200 or larger).
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:05 PM   #36
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As for formatting, what is your preferred way to format an eBook so it looks good on most devices be they a smartphone all the way to a computer with a high resolution screen (1600x1200 or larger).
Do you mean what settings?

I use unjustified as the default, but many devices (Kindle, esp.) will justify the text, as I don't force the ragged right.

Margins set in Calibre to 9 pt., which I recently increased from the default of 5, because I think it looks nicer on more devices.

.25" indent, no spaces between paragraphs.

Widow and orphan control turned off, via a few CSS lines I add in Calibre.

Font color set to Auto rather than black, so it doesn't interfere with night setting.

Vertical spacing (such as for chapter headers) controlled primarily by spacing settings in paragraph styles, rather than blank lines.

Because I sometimes need weird indentations because of the crazy way I've formatted text in some books, I use nonbreaking spaces to push text right where I have to (on rare occasions), even though everyone says you shouldn't. It works great.

I don't have a smartphone to test on, so the only test I have for that is the Kindle Previewer, set to Kindle on iphone. Among various family members, I have a Kindle Touch, an ipad, a Nook Color, a Galaxy Tab 10.1, and a Sony reader to do "live" testing on.

One point of frustration is that block indent doesn't work in the Kindle format, so I've started avoiding it in new work.
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:48 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by starrigger View Post
Do you mean what settings?

I use unjustified as the default, but many devices (Kindle, esp.) will justify the text, as I don't force the ragged right.

Margins set in Calibre to 9 pt., which I recently increased from the default of 5, because I think it looks nicer on more devices.

.25" indent, no spaces between paragraphs.

Widow and orphan control turned off, via a few CSS lines I add in Calibre.

Font color set to Auto rather than black, so it doesn't interfere with night setting.

Vertical spacing (such as for chapter headers) controlled primarily by spacing settings in paragraph styles, rather than blank lines.

Because I sometimes need weird indentations because of the crazy way I've formatted text in some books, I use nonbreaking spaces to push text right where I have to (on rare occasions), even though everyone says you shouldn't. It works great.

I don't have a smartphone to test on, so the only test I have for that is the Kindle Previewer, set to Kindle on iphone. Among various family members, I have a Kindle Touch, an ipad, a Nook Color, a Galaxy Tab 10.1, and a Sony reader to do "live" testing on.

One point of frustration is that block indent doesn't work in the Kindle format, so I've started avoiding it in new work.
That actually sounds pretty good and would be a good enough format for most people.

As for avoiding blockquotes, I suggest you don't. Don't cripple the ePub because of a flaw in an obsolete format.

Oh and one thing that would work very well and quite easily is to use margins set to 0 in your CSS and a simple @page to set the 9pt margin that you want. That would make it easy for people to change the margins without having to find all the places you've set the margins.

If you would like some testing of your eBooks on an iPhone using iBooks and Bluefire reader, I'd be happy to help. I have an iPhone 3G and will be upgrading it when I can to the new iPhone (4s was a dud (IMHO)).
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:40 AM   #38
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As for avoiding blockquotes, I suggest you don't. Don't cripple the ePub because of a flaw in an obsolete format.
Yes, well, the format might be obsolete, but something like 80% of sales are through the Kindle store, so I'm not going to create something that looks weird on most of my readers' devices just because it looks good in epub, even if I prefer epub myself. Anyway, I think it's probably premature to call the mobi-derived format obsolete, since Amazon seems to be working harder to add enhancements than the epub people are.

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Oh and one thing that would work very well and quite easily is to use margins set to 0 in your CSS and a simple @page to set the 9pt margin that you want. That would make it easy for people to change the margins without having to find all the places you've set the margins.

If you would like some testing of your eBooks on an iPhone using iBooks and Bluefire reader, I'd be happy to help. I have an iPhone 3G and will be upgrading it when I can to the new iPhone (4s was a dud (IMHO)).
To be honest, I'm not going to make more work for myself to simplify the process for people who are going to go in and tinker with the code themselves. The better reading apps (Aldiko, for instance) allow margin adjustments from within the app, and that's good enough for me.

I may take you up on the offer to do some testing later, but right now I have more pressing things to think about. (This new book isn't writing itself, unfortunately.)

The whole reason for starting this thread, after all, was to ask for a way to reduce the labor in making an ebook, not increase it.

Last edited by starrigger; 08-25-2012 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 08-25-2012, 01:58 PM   #39
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Actually, it is easier to use a margin of 0 then it is to use a margin of something else and let the @page take care of things. One advantage of having a margin of 0 is you know you've got it right when you proof the format. The the @page just goes in and does it's thing and the margins are sorted.
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Old 08-25-2012, 02:37 PM   #40
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Actually, it is easier to use a margin of 0 then it is to use a margin of something else and let the @page take care of things. One advantage of having a margin of 0 is you know you've got it right when you proof the format. The the @page just goes in and does it's thing and the margins are sorted.
Really, it's easier to set the default margin I want in Calibre and forget about it. I'm not really familiar with the @page thing.
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Old 08-25-2012, 03:03 PM   #41
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Really, it's easier to set the default margin I want in Calibre and forget about it. I'm not really familiar with the @page thing.
All you do is at the top of the CSS is to put in the following...

Code:
@page {
margin: 9pt
}
And that sets the margins to 9pt. Simple really.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:15 PM   #42
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I think the problem is basically one where Starrigger doesn't want to add changes to the css, as it should have been done by Word anyway. I don't know about other authors, but also having worked on his books for formatting, I know that he is very knowledgeable about what he wants in styles.

I also know that if <p> is no indent all the time, (in Word,) the htm commands for the paragraphs add an excessive amount of wording to each and every line when making an htm from the Word docx, which does not always create a css.

Having to 'fiddle' with css every time you want to create an ebook is time better spent writing the next book, or not having your assistant pull out hair, or roll eyes, etc..

If Word worked better with Calibre, and the codes are right for what he wants to do, it would produce a better ebook for everyone.

BTW: The <p class="center"><span align="center">* * *</span></p>, had to be used for some ebook readers in order to recognize center text at all not so long ago.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:34 PM   #43
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I think the problem is basically one where Starrigger doesn't want to add changes to the css, as it should have been done by Word anyway. I don't know about other authors, but also having worked on his books for formatting, I know that he is very knowledgeable about what he wants in styles.

I also know that if <p> is no indent all the time, (in Word,) the htm commands for the paragraphs add an excessive amount of wording to each and every line when making an htm from the Word docx, which does not always create a css.

Having to 'fiddle' with css every time you want to create an ebook is time better spent writing the next book, or not having your assistant pull out hair, or roll eyes, etc..

If Word worked better with Calibre, and the codes are right for what he wants to do, it would produce a better ebook for everyone.
Have you looked at the filtered HTML Word creates? It is actually correct? Regardless if the issue is in Word or Calibre, you still will need to clean it up so the code is neat and not sloppy. Word makes a mess of things and Calibre just works with what Word gives it. Given what's involved in cleaning things up, fixing a couple of indents is very easy to do.

What I do is make <p> have an indent and put in an indent of 0 in the different styles that need such. It makes things easier in the long run. Plus the code is simpler.

Quote:
BTW: The <p class="center"><span align="center">* * *</span></p>, had to be used for some ebook readers in order to recognize center text at all not so long ago.
Which readers needed to have the span?
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:35 AM   #44
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Since I prefer to work in html, of course I have, filtered and unfiltered, the styles are correct for what he has requested, but he doesn't want to have to go over the html's coding in order to produce the ebook look that he wants.

Another problem is the ebook publisher. They seem to be using a Linux system, opening everything in OO, then applying HTML Tidy, the using Calibre to create the ebooks. They also require a word.doc to start with, so giving them a html of the book is not an option, (I wish, it would look fantastic!) I presume the reason for that is that some authors are using MS-OS and some are using a MAC-OS, and this levels the field of what they need to work on.

Starrigger doesn't want to work with OO either, and keeps trying Word or Sigal to work on it. I have suggested to him for me to check it in OO with Tidy, and see what I can do that way. Have not heard back yet on that.

Also the styles applied use to be normal p was non-indent, while the rest were indent=.25in, he has since changed that due to not liking all the excess coding that creates in a html that does not have a css attached.

As far as the spans are concerned, I would have to go back about a month for surety, but it was pointed it out to me from Starrigger, and it was (don't quote me for absolute truth until I can find that email,) but the older kindle had the problem and one other I believe, it was such a while ago, that I can't remember at the moment. He got that information from another author.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:45 PM   #45
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Another problem is the ebook publisher. They seem to be using a Linux system, opening everything in OO, then applying HTML Tidy, the using Calibre to create the ebooks. They also require a word.doc to start with, so giving them a html of the book is not an option, (I wish, it would look fantastic!) I presume the reason for that is that some authors are using MS-OS and some are using a MAC-OS, and this levels the field of what they need to work on.
Just to be clear, you're talking above about Smashwords Meatgrinder, which has separate issues (heading styles and vertical spacing) from what we were talking about earlier in this topic.

My original question in this topic was, could Calibre add the extra term to the CSS that would ensure that "centered" text would actually display as centered, and not displaced by an inherited indent. That was not a SW question, but a question about Calibre conversion.

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As far as the spans are concerned, I would have to go back about a month for surety, but it was pointed it out to me from Starrigger, and it was (don't quote me for absolute truth until I can find that email,) but the older kindle had the problem and one other I believe, it was such a while ago, that I can't remember at the moment. He got that information from another author.
I don't know what this is in reference to. Maybe the issue with Kindle not supporting a block quote style properly?
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.epub hyperlinks, centered and non indented text. Xabache ePub 2 09-13-2010 01:11 PM


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