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Old 01-10-2013, 08:47 AM   #1
Turtle91
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Metadata deleted in Sigil

Hi,

I've been playing around with setting metadata. I noticed Sigil has a list of Basic Properties and a pretty extensive list of Roles...but it doesn't have the ability to define the Series Name or Series Number.

I have looked around and found that you can use Calibre_Series and Calibre_Series_Index...and have successfully set this data using ePubMetadataEditor. The problem is that if, after setting this data, I re-open the epub in Sigil it will DELETE any metadata that is not on it's list.

From what I understand there is not a "spec" for epub metadata - other than the minimum Author, Title, Language - so I'm not sure why Sigil would bother deleting extra tags?

I was wondering if anyone knows how to prevent Sigil from deleting the data, or if there is a way to get Sigil to put the data there in the first place??

Cheers!
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:23 AM   #2
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I see calibre's custom metadata in opf files all the time. Sigil doesn't delete it that I know of. Perhaps you're confusing not being able to add/edit (or even see) those custom entries in Sigil's metadata editor with "removal" or deletion? Check the opf file... I think you'll find the custom entries are still there.

If it's syntactically correct (for epub2), Sigil leaves it alone as far as I know. But if it's not in Sigil's defined list of items... all adding/deleting/editing of any such metadata will have to be done by manually editing the opf file.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:47 AM   #3
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Other possibilities are that you copied the ePub directly from the Calibre library folder instead of using Save to disc. (Even though Calibre will display the updated metadata it won't actually update the ePub until you use Save to disc.)
If you did use Save to disc, make sure that the relevant update/save metadata options are enabled under Calibre - Preferences - Saving books to disc.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtle91 View Post
From what I understand there is not a "spec" for epub metadata - other than the minimum Author, Title, Language - so I'm not sure why Sigil would bother deleting extra tags?
There is a spec for metadata, including title, author, language, date, kewords (subject), description (summary)... It's just that unfortunately the series (and series number) metadata are sadly not included in the spec.

But the spec also allows for addition of arbitrary metada through <meta> tags, and that's how calibre adds series information, and how cover images (for thumbnails) are often specified. You probably can't add/edit these <meta> tags with Sigil's GUI, but you can edit the OPF file by hand.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:01 AM   #5
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Don't you love it - after not finding an answer for several days, you go and post a question...then it seems like the answer just pops up....I think it is some evil forum demons that want to make me look like an idiot!!

This is a partial answer to my question:
According to this thread you can manually add an identifier using sigil...and it works...just add an "identifier (custom)" under the "add basic" portion of Sigil's metadata editor. Then under "File-As" you can change the names to "calibre:series", and "calibre:series_index" (or whatever you want to add).

Sigil puts them in the content.opf as:
<dc:identifier opf:scheme="calibre:series">Space Cadet's R Us</dc:identifier>
<dc:identifier opf:scheme="calibre:series_index">1</dc:identifier>

Unfortunately this does not register in Calibre, or ePubMetadataEditor so I have my doubts if it will register in another device that is looking for Series/Series #.

Calibre and ePubMetadataEditor store these fields with meta tags: Calibre in it's own metadata.opf file, ePubMetadataEditor right after the <dc:title> tags in content.opf:
<meta content="1" name="calibre:series_index"/>
<meta content="Space Cadet's R Us" name="calibre:series"/>

Correction to my previous post -
Sigil does NOT DELETE the meta tags, but it does move them to below all the other <dc:> tags (sorts the dc tags to the top). I think ePubMetadataEditor is looking for the tags in a particular position (after the title) rather than by name...that would seem to be a bug in ePubMetadataEditor rather than Sigil.
Calibre doesn't see the data at all...I think it is only looking in it's own metadata.opf file...but I'm not super familiar with Calibre...

I did notice that Sigil does NOT load the metadata.opf file when editing the epub...this makes sense as the metadata.opf file is not bundled into the epub - it is just in the folder that calibre uses for file organization.

You CAN "add existing file" with Sigil and it will put the metadata.opf into the Misc folder. But for some strange reason Sigil will NOT allow you to natively edit the metadata.opf file like it does the content.opf......wierd.

So.....I guess my question still remains:

Besides manually editing it, does anyone know how to get Sigil to add
<meta content="1" name="calibre:series_index"/>
<meta content="Space Cadet's R Us" name="calibre:series"/>
into the content.opf.


Cheers!
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:06 AM   #6
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Wow! multiple answers while I was writing my follow on post....Thanks guys!

What you all say checks with what I found out.

Quote:
series (and series number) metadata are sadly not included in the spec.
Who are these guys who create the spec....don't they read fiction at all??!!??

Again, thanks for the quick responses!
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:41 AM   #7
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calibre's metadata.opf file is simply what it uses for metadata storage in its own internal database. It has no bearing on the "real" metadata stored within the epub (until you save or send as doitsu indicated above). An epub will only make use of one opf file. There is no reason to try and add calibre's external opf file to an existing epub's archive.

If you don't want to add the meta tags by manually editing the opf file in Sigil, as Doitsu said above... you need to use the "Save to disk" feature of calibre. That will cause the custom metadata in calibre's metadata.opf file to be written to the resulting epub's internal opf file. Or you can do an epub to epub conversion within calibre. Or you can use the Modify Epub calibre plugin to update the internal metadata. I'd highly recommend the last option. It doesn't require creating an extra copy of the file and doesn't mess with any existing html/css.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 01-10-2013 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:02 PM   #8
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I didn't see a "template" option in Sigil, so I created a "default.epub" that has all the basic files already loaded with my normal settings (cover.html/title.html/ack.html/Styles.css/content.opf/toc.ncx). When I want to make a new epub I just open this "default.epub" using a shortcut and "save-as" to a new filename and start working.

I just added some default series/index meta tags into the opf and saved it as my new "default.epub". I will just have to remember to edit the tags there after updating with the built in editor.

I will certainly use the Modify Epub calibre plugin to go back and fix all the epubs I've previously created. I've been leery about using calibre in that respect because I didn't want it changing my carefully crafted html/css...but if that plugin will update the metadata without messing with it - then that's great!

Thanks for the help!!
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:39 PM   #9
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If you enter the Calibre style metadata in an ePUB and then import the ePUB into Calibre, the series are seen by Calibre.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:08 PM   #10
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Thanks Toxaris!

I understand that now. During my testing of Calibre I did not know that you had to "save to disk" before any metadata changed by Calibre was updated to the epub file. And that you had to "reimport" the file into Calibre if you changed the metadata outside of calibre.

Once Doitsu and Diapdealer pointed that out I was able to get Calibre to see the metadata.

One other thing I found...If there are multiple instances of the meta tag in the opf file Calibre will only remember the Last one on the list. So when I used ePubMetadataEditor and then Sigil multiple times in testing the results were not always as expected in Calibre. Simple to fix - just manually check the opf...

Thanks again!
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