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Old 01-23-2013, 07:05 AM   #1
_savage
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EPUB validates, and breaks in iBooks

Hello,

(Duplicate of this post, because I wasn't sure which forum would be more appropriate.)

I am a bit baffled. Been building EPUB books that validate without errors/warnings in "epubcheck", which work just fine on my Nook, various applications including ADE, convert to .mobi using Kindlegen... No problems at all.

Then today I tried them on an iPad and everything looks just very broken

- In portrait mode, the text on a page is cut off on the right side and it seems they indent too much on the left side of the page. Some work in double-page landscape, but some also cut of in landscape mode.

- They seem to have empty pages inserted after each short page-chapter. I use chapters to enforce a page break, and so (in the beginning of the book) there are short one-page chapters with a dedication and such. Each of those is followed by an empty page.

- Looks like the cover image is a page of its own, but not on the actual front cover of the book. I mean that the book (in iBooks) doesn't open visually, it is already open with a cover image rendered onto the first page, and I just turn the page like any other page.

- The weirdest thing though is that none of the chapters render for more than two pages. The chapters of the book should be many pages long, but only the first two are rendered, followed by the next chapter!?

I am lost here, to be honest. I didn't use any iBook specific tags/tricks, and I (wrongly, so it seems) assumed that a validated EPUB is a "safe enough" implementation. Wrong, huh?

Has anybody seen the same issues, similar issues, and can offer tips and experience regarding their solution? Any help and insight is appreciated :-)

Thanks!
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:48 AM   #2
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I wrote something about that quite some time ago. There is something in your stylesheet causing this. Can you post your stylesheet, especially the html, body and @page if it is there.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:36 AM   #3
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I did a quick check in my notes and it appears that there were two culprits here. It might be that one is solved though.
If you have height:100% in your body and/or html classifiers in the stylesheet, this might occur. I also found this behavior when the @page is in the stylesheet, this was not really supported in iBooks. That might have been changed though.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:53 PM   #4
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Thanks for the response. The stylesheets vary across the books. The one that gets cut off but doesn't have its chapters truncated
Code:
html {
  width: 100%;
  height: 100%;
}
whereas this stylesheet is for the book which has its chapter content truncated to a single page size
Code:
html, body, table {
  width: 100%;
  height: 100%;
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
  border-width: 0;
}
Let me see what happens when I remove width/height in both cases...
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:07 PM   #5
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Why do you have width and height in html and body? You don't need them there.

Code:
body {
widows: 0;
orphans: 0;
margin-top: 0;
margin-bottom: 0;
margin-left: 0;
margin-right: 0;
text-align: justify
}
That is all you need. If you need something just for the table, use a different style. You also do not need a style for html.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:59 AM   #6
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Toxaris, JSWolf: Nice, that seems to have taken care of almost all the issues :-)

What about the cover image though? Is that normal that it renders on the first page, instead of looking like an actual book cover one opens?
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _savage View Post
Toxaris, JSWolf: Nice, that seems to have taken care of almost all the issues :-)

What about the cover image though? Is that normal that it renders on the first page, instead of looking like an actual book cover one opens?
Yes, it is correct for the cover image to be the first page.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Yes, it is correct for the cover image to be the first page.
That doesn't make much sense visually

I'd have thought that the cover image is rendered as an actual book cover, one "opens" the book, and then starts to turn pages... Ah well.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Why do you have width and height in html and body? You don't need them there.
The only time it might be useful to have height on the html and body tag is if you're doing a single-page fixed-layout spread, such as a dedication page with a single line centered vertically. In paged media, a height of 100% means one page height (or at least it is supposed to—not all renderers seem to get this right).
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgatwood View Post
The only time it might be useful to have height on the html and body tag is if you're doing a single-page fixed-layout spread, such as a dedication page with a single line centered vertically. In paged media, a height of 100% means one page height (or at least it is supposed to—not all renderers seem to get this right).
All fixed layout ePub is different as it was designed before ePub 3. So each engine that supports fixed layed does it it's own way.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgatwood View Post
The only time it might be useful to have height on the html and body tag is if you're doing a single-page fixed-layout spread, such as a dedication page with a single line centered vertically. In paged media, a height of 100% means one page height (or at least it is supposed to—not all renderers seem to get this right).
Hah! That's why I had put it there: to center an image on a single page Glad I did that right! (But then the width/height crept into the rest of the book.)

However, on the iPad this single page caused an empty page to follow, but I _suspect_ that's because of the "width:100%". (I noticed that the width seemed to refer to landscape/double-page rendered width!)
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Code:
body {
widows: 0;
orphans: 0;
...
}
I noticed the "widows" and "orphans" here, and added them to my styling. I assume it's these two that affect the spacing/stretching between paragraphs to fill a page, and to avoid paragraph breaks that would create widows and orphans.

Frankly, I am torn about this. Do I mind looking at widows/orphans if it gets me consistent spacing? Or do I accept large(er) gaps between paragraphs to avoid them?

Hmmm...
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:19 PM   #13
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The widows and orphans bit is just Jon pushing his own agenda. Don't use them if you don't want to.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
All fixed layout ePub is different as it was designed before ePub 3. So each engine that supports fixed layed does it it's own way.
I'm not talking about fixed-layout EPUB. I'm talking about doing a single pseudo-fixed-layout page in a flowing book using either an image or SVG (which I suppose is technically an image, sort of, but...).

Last edited by dgatwood; 01-25-2013 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:06 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by _savage View Post
Hah! That's why I had put it there: to center an image on a single page Glad I did that right! (But then the width/height crept into the rest of the book.)

However, on the iPad this single page caused an empty page to follow, but I _suspect_ that's because of the "width:100%". (I noticed that the width seemed to refer to landscape/double-page rendered width!)
You're setting the body height to 100% of height of your page, and then any top and bottom margins/padding/border on the body/html elements are added to that, making the total height greater than will actually fit on a page. If you set height to 100%, be sure to zero the margins, padding, and border for the html and body tags, too. (Not that any renderer will realistically set a default value for the border property, mind you—I'm being a little pedantic with that one.)

And be sure to not include any such hacks in actual flowing content.

Last edited by dgatwood; 01-25-2013 at 10:09 PM.
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