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Old 01-19-2013, 08:48 PM   #1
topquark
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epub to azw3 conversion formatting issues

Hello everyone. I converted a number of books from epub to azw3 after upgrading my kindle keyboard to the new version that reads the K8 format. However, I noticed that there were some formatting problems. I read in other posts that the epub to azw3 conversion should yield good results, so I am wondering if there is something wrong with my settings.

I tweak the epub first using sigil, making very minor changes such as 5pt left and right margins, et cetera. Then I save and convert to azw3 using Calibre. My settings are, for Look and Feel:

-- Disable font size rescaling unchecked
-- Minimum line height 120%
-- Line size: .5em

(I did not fool around with these too much since I am not sure what to do -- forgive my being a noob)

For structure detection, everything is turned off. That is basically it. Everything else is, I guess, at default and/or turned off. Is there something wrong with these settings?

The formatting problems I noticed are as follows:

1. On my kindle, the line spacing of AZW3 is much larger than with the old mobi files, so that I have to keep switching between medium and large line spacing when switching between mobi and azw3 books. Is this normal? The line spacing problem does not show when I view the azw3 format using Calibre's viewer. It only shows when the books are in my kindle. All the AZW3 books I converted have really large line spaces.

2. The dropcaps do not convert properly. I have attached screenshots of this. The first one is the epub, with a much larger dropcap letter. The second is the AZW3, where the letter becomes much smaller.

I am sorry if these are noob questions but I would really appreciate some help on the proper settings to use for converting epub to azw3. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:11 PM   #2
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Update: I tried checking (turning on) disable font size rescaling and then setting minimum line height to zero. This seemed to work all right. Are these settings all right? Do I need to do anything else?

I am not yet sure if this will fix my problem with the line spacing on the kindle. Will check and let you know.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:04 PM   #3
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Okay. Now that I have changed my settings, I have a new problem. The smaller fonts for set-off quotations are showing up larger than the font of the body text. Everything is as it should be in epub, but in AZW3 there is clearly a problem.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:18 PM   #4
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Here is a suggestion. Use Kindlegen to convert the ePub. Then if the drop cap looks better, use Tweak Book in Calibre to have a look at the CSS code and then you can replace the code in the Calibre made AZW3 for the drop cap. But just remember, that changing the line spacing an through off the code for the drop cap as it wasn't designed for a larger line space.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:48 PM   #5
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Okay, with font size rescaling disabled, the fonts show up super super small in my kindle! And I couldn't figure out why in one book, the .85 em fonts look a lot bigger than the 1em fonts. I could not see any difference in the font style in the code.

Aargghh! I think I'm going back to mobi.

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Old 01-20-2013, 12:25 PM   #6
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Okay. Let me rephase my question. What are the settings I should use to properly convert epub to azw3, especially with regard to font size rescaling and other settings under Look and Feel? Thanks.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:31 PM   #7
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There are no settings that apply to all books. If you are having a particular problem with a particular book and you want help, then you need to post a sample that demonstrates the problem on conversion. In general, if your epub file was made by someone incompetent and contain lots of font size settings in different types of units (device dependent vs. device independent), you are never going to get a conversion that is 100% accurate, you will see the same problems doing an epub to epub conversion as well.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by topquark View Post
Okay. Let me rephase my question. What are the settings I should use to properly convert epub to azw3, especially with regard to font size rescaling and other settings under Look and Feel? Thanks.
There is NO magic setting. Dropcaps render differently (or not at all) on different devices.

Personally, I Edit the EPUB stylesheet, convert and see what I get.
(repeat) until it is close.

Simplest is to lose (edit out the code) the Dropcaps
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:25 PM   #9
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Simplest is to lose (edit out the code) the Dropcaps
I hate to admit to it, but I've done this on multiple occasions. Sometimes it is just easier to dump it then fuss with it.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:01 PM   #10
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All right, got it. Thanks, kovid, and thanks, guys for clearing that up.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:43 PM   #11
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The thing to do is to find a KF8 format eBook that has well done dropcaps, strip the DRM (if there is any), copy the code and use it whenever you want dropcaps in a KF8 eBook.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:07 PM   #12
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@topquark,

This thread may help you with the dropcap size conversion, particularly post #4.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:32 PM   #13
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@JSWolf, that is a great idea. Thanks!. Jackie_w, thanks for the link.

Actually, I could bear to part with the dropcaps, so that is not my main concern. What I am really worried about is the font size rescaling. I do not yet understand it fully and I am not sure whether to leave it on or disabled, and I don't know the "ideal" font sizes to use for AZW3. I tried enabling and disabling font size rescaling and both options proved unsatisfactory. I could not get the proper font sizes that would look good on the kindle.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:17 PM   #14
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I need to clarify what I want to achieve. I want to get the same line spacing I used to have with mobi, but using the nicer fonts and style of azw3. I've tried all manner of settings (line spacing=0, minimum line height=0) but could not get the same effect for all azw3 books I have tried.

The only thing that seems to work is to set my line spacing to small in the kindle itself, but it would be really tiresome to keep switching line spacing settings when I shift from book to book, which I do all the time.

I guess what I am hoping for are some settings that would be ideal for converting to azw3 that would achieve the above-mentioned effects (smaller line spacing and regular-sized fonts.

I found that disabling font size rescaling usually leads to disaster when converting from epub. Most books I've tried to convert ended up having super small text sizes, so I guess it's font size rescaling or bust.

Would really appreciate some good guidelines from the epub to azw3 conversion experts.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:43 PM   #15
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I've done some research on this problem and it seems like the KF8/azw3 format really has a line spacing "problem."

It would be cool though if Calibre could fix this for us by having an option to override this and give us the old mobi line spacing for KF8.
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