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Old 11-05-2012, 02:37 PM   #1
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Epub no support for some named entities?

Hi All,

Glad to find this forum--looks like a lot of valuable info.

With my first foray into creating an epub, I've encountered a situation where the epub readers I'm using (ADE and Nook) don't recognize a couple of named entities found in Eastern European languages: č (č) and ř (ř). I get a question mark -- though they do recognize š (š). Any idea why? I tried the number codes, also with no luck. The correct symbols appear in Kindle, so I'm wondering if this is a problem with the epub spec, or if there's a workaround.

Thanks.
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:16 PM   #2
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Nothing to do with the spec, and everything to do with the default fonts that come with the device/app. Most devices that use Adobe's RMSDK don't ship with fonts that include the full range of unicode "characters."

Embedding your own font within your ePub is the only real workaround.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:55 PM   #3
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Thanks. Besides embedding, I'll see if Adobe and B&N have any plans to include the full set. Doesn't seem like it would require much additional effort on their part.

Update: I contacted Adobe and B&N, and, as expected, both said they didn't know anything about it but that they'd pass it on to the developers.

Last edited by Points; 11-05-2012 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:50 AM   #4
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But that won't solve your issue, since updates are scarce. Also older devices won't have updates at all. Font embedding is your best bet.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:12 AM   #5
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Good readers allow the user to install and use his/her own fonts, no embedding needed.
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jellby View Post
Good readers allow the user to install and use his/her own fonts, no embedding needed.
But not everyone is knowledgeable enough to do so, so embedding the fonts is reasonable. However a full font set bloats the file size, no question about it.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:30 AM   #7
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It's definitely a tough situation. I've never liked the idea of embedding fonts to be used for the main "body" font of an ebook. It takes away the choice of the reader to use their preferred font (without editing the ebook). Yet being able to reliably count on special characters showing up as the content creators intended (without asking the reader to jump through hoops) is important too.

Adobe/vendors just really needs to nut-up here and start shipping "full-featured" unicode fonts with their devices/apps. It's a big world out there... and some of it uses squiggly marks over its letters.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Points View Post
Update: I contacted Adobe and B&N, and, as expected, both said they didn't know anything about it but that they'd pass it on to the developers.
I won't speak for Adobe, but for B&N we are in the process of updating the fonts we put into devices. While they won't have full Unicode coverage, the Latin-A set was definitely in there.
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:02 PM   #9
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That's good news. When do you expect to release this?
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:04 PM   #10
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Another choice that will sometimes work is to embed an image inline with the text to represent the character. With many readers this image will even scale when the font size is changed.

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Old 11-06-2012, 07:27 PM   #11
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But not all readers flow text around images, right?
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
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But not all readers flow text around images, right?
ADE does and that covers a lot of readers.

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Old 11-07-2012, 04:00 AM   #13
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If the image is not higher than normal text, you don't need reflowing, you can treat the image as an inline element (a letter/word).
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:28 AM   #14
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In that case I would rather create a subset of a font with those letters and embed that. In my opinion that is more elegant than an inline image.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:52 AM   #15
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I put in some Greek text in a John Buchan book at Harry's request and it looked just fine with the image inline with regular text. Since it was just in 4-5 places in the whole book which was in English, it was the reasonable thing to do without bloating the book with embedded fonts.

For those of us for whom Greek is Greek to us, it also makes sure it is correct!
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