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Old 01-13-2013, 09:17 PM   #16
JSWolf
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The reason to be concerned about the code is that if there are any gotchas—and there can be plenty going from Word to ePub—it's easier to fix.

I've seen some ePub from Smashwords have all kinds of different issues. And they were all Word sourced. Issues like night mode is broken, font size cannot be changed, the ePub in all underline or all italics, and others. So Word > ePub can be a crap shoot.

After the ePub is made from Word, the next thing to do is clean up the code. Don't rely on just seeing how it looks. It could look fine in ADE, but when going to night mode in say Bluefire, it's broken.

Last edited by JSWolf; 01-14-2013 at 10:06 AM. Reason: fixed a typo
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:26 AM   #17
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I have to agree, if the code is bad (whether from Calibre conversion or others), the changes of breaking on some devices is very high. If you keep your code clean and relatively simple, the changes are high it looks more or less the same on the various devices.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:11 AM   #18
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HarryT, you've seen text markup used in PG texts. There's no reason one cannot use a text editor and do text markup to denote various formatting that needs to be applied. Then all that needs to be used is a good text editor such as Notepad++. It's very easy to search/replace to put in all the <p></p> around every paragraph. Then load that into Sigil and go from there. The resulting eBook will be a lot neater codewise then it would be coming from Word. Also, there's no need to have to do the cleaning up you do with most Word documents.

For me, it is actually easier to format that marked up text file then it is to deal with a Word converted ePub. CSS is not that difficult to learn to format most eBooks as most eBooks do not need complex formatting.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:19 AM   #19
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If you set up styles in Word before you start writing, and make sure that all formatting in the Word document is done through styles, the net result is quite clean.
When you save as a filtered web document, all of the style information is in the head section.
Using Sigil, I already have an external style sheet that matches the styles I've created and used in Word. When I bring the html file into Sigil, I just delete the entire style section from the document, link to the external style sheet, and I'm 90% done.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:27 AM   #20
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If you set up styles in Word before you start writing, and make sure that all formatting in the Word document is done through styles, the net result is quite clean.
When you save as a filtered web document, all of the style information is in the head section.
Using Sigil, I already have an external style sheet that matches the styles I've created and used in Word. When I bring the html file into Sigil, I just delete the entire style section from the document, link to the external style sheet, and I'm 90% done.
Bob
That is a lot of work. You still have to clean up each XML file. They can also be a mess. The idea of using a default CSS is a good one. The just create any styles needed that are not in the default CSS. But it's a lot easier (IMHO) to use a good text editor and work in that and then make the eBook from the marked up text. Notepad++ & Sigil both have spellcheckers. So you might not need Word at all.

Using your method, how much cleaning up do the XML files need?

Last edited by JSWolf; 01-14-2013 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:58 PM   #21
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Very little additional cleanup is required. All of the styles I use in Word are in the stylesheet (10 - 20, depending on the book). If I've done a good job assigning styles in Word there isn't any extra formatting. It is easy to delete all the Word style information in the header.
Word does style the normal paragraphs style=MsoNormal, which I do a search and replace make just a p element.
I do all of this while it is just one file in Sigil. Then split the file into chapters and it is pretty clean. Makes it easy to use Word's Table of Contents, Endnotes, and Bibliography.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:21 PM   #22
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I use my export macro and I get very clean code very fast.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:59 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
There's no reason one cannot use a text editor and do text markup to denote various formatting that needs to be applied. Then all that needs to be used is a good text editor such as Notepad++. It's very easy to search/replace to put in all the <p></p> around every paragraph. Then load that into Sigil and go from there.
Sound a bit like using markdown or textile, which both calibre and pandoc can convert to epub for further processing in Sigil. Or even left as-is.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:55 PM   #24
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The reason to be concerned about the code is that if there are any gotchas—and there can be plenty going from Word to ePub—it's easier to fix.

I've seen some ePub from Smashwords have all kinds of different issues. And they were all Word sourced. Issues like night mode is broken, font size cannot be changed, the ePub in all underline or all italics, and others. So Word > ePub can be a crap shoot.

After the ePub is made from Word, the next thing to do is clean up the code. Don't rely on just seeing how it looks. It could look fine in ADE, but when going to night mode in say Bluefire, it's broken.
Wolfie, my sweet:

You know you are one of my favorite curmudgeons, but on this, you are just wrong. You're not wrong that there are some absolutely appalling ePUBs on SW; but their genesis isn't the problem. The problem is that Smashwords, very much like Amazon or Nook, really, accept almost any old crap and "grind" it into the required format. Smashwords uses "the grinder," which, we all know, is the Calibre API; Nook uses whatever they're using (I suspect the same, but their ePUBs look cleaner than SW's). Amazon takes all sorts of crud in Word (or HTML, or whatever) and mooshes it into mobi format.

Now, TONS of HTML files are sent up to Amazon for creation, and they're every bit as crappy as anything else, no matter the source. The short and long of it is, if you don't clean the damn files, you get crap. I don't care if they're odt, txt, pdf (sigh), or Word.

And, really, I could (won't, obviously, but) send you some odt and html files that we get in here that are utterly the dog's breakfast.

I can take a crappy Word file, clean it in about 5 minutes, (okay--say 30 to be safe) and output some very tasty html. Yes, I'll have to nuke the 1700 lines of cruft that Word sticks in there in the head, but that takes no time at all.

And you can even use Toxaris' macro. But the bottom line is, you simply have to clean up the Word file. I've used BookCreator for this before we had our own in-house macros and clips, etc., and that works a treat for clean-up. It's a nicely-made macro, or whatever one wants to call it. If the person creating the book in the first place just uses Word's built-in styles, (or modifies them and creates their own, whatever), then the output will be perfectly fine.

It's not Word. It gets a really bad rap, unfairly. It's not rocket science to realize that Words styles map directly to CSS, and to html. So, it is like anything else in computers: GIGO. I don't care if the G is from OO, LO, Word, Wordperfect, Scrivener, LiquidStoryBinder or Bob's Big Butt Bookmaking Business, GIGO.

And really, how deranged do you have to be to write in Textile? WHY? I use Textile all day long, in both my PM (Project Management) system and my CSR system (Desk, which used to be Assistly). Trust me, it ain't that much fun.

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Old 01-15-2013, 06:57 PM   #25
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And really, how deranged do you have to be to write in Textile? WHY? I use Textile all day long, in both my PM (Project Management) system and my CSR system (Desk, which used to be Assistly). Trust me, it ain't that much fun.
I don't, I'm currently using Markdown to format a few stories in plain text format I want to smarten up. I only mentioned Textile because I saw it was also recognised by calibre.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:19 PM   #26
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I don't, I'm currently using Markdown to format a few stories in plain text format I want to smarten up. I only mentioned Textile because I saw it was also recognised by calibre.
LOL, sorry! I was really talking to my bud, Wolfie. ;-) I didn't mean to disparage your choice of Textile. But, yes: Calibre does indeed recognize it. What slays me about Textile is that I have to remember two different "flavors" all day--what makes italics in one SAS doesn't work in the other; a blockquote in one is a right bracket, and it's bq. in the other, etc. I suppose if you have only one style, it would become very easy to use. Pax!

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Old 10-15-2013, 04:51 AM   #27
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hey guys I am writing a short story...I want to put it on my girlfriends e-reader as well as my own, how can I create a .pub, .mobi of any other format that we can dead it with?
Another solution, if you use Office 2007, you can also directly save the document as PDF file. Most devices support read this format ebook.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:18 AM   #28
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PDF has fixed pages and is therefore not a good solution for most books. One of the appeals of ePUB is the reflowing character and resize options.
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:51 PM   #29
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PDF has fixed pages and is therefore not a good solution for most books. One of the appeals of ePUB is the reflowing character and resize options.
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Another solution, if you use Office 2007, you can also directly save the document as PDF file. Most devices support read this format ebook.
While Office will make a PDF it is really printing to PDF format which is really not making a very good eBook. An eBook is a bit more than just a bunch of print pages. A good eBook should reflow which can be done with PDF but not the printout version. Most eBooks should also have an active selectable TOC which, again, is available in the PDF format but not typically available from the print to PDF version.

An ePub or Mobi are much better solutions unless you have some good PDF tools.

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Old 10-15-2013, 05:17 PM   #30
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An ePub or Mobi are much better solutions unless you have some good PDF tools.

Dale
Actually, ePub is the best solution as it can then be used to make a KF8 version. Mobi is just an obsolete mess.
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