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Old 01-25-2013, 05:42 AM   #1
chaley
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Old FAQ posts

Kindle for Android (K4A) is one of the very few reader apps that does not publish to Android the kinds of books that it can open. Because of this, Calibre Companion cannot automatically pass books to it. It is possible that this can happen with other reader apps, in which case the steps below could help resolve the problem.

You can resolve this problem one of two ways:
  1. Use a different reader app that can open .mobi files (or the format you are trying to open). There are several. This will work only if your books are not infested with Amazon's DRM.
  2. Set Calibre Companion's storage folder to K4A's books folder. Its name is "kindle". Its location depends on the version of Android you are running. NB: later versions of Kindle for Android put books into different places. Some experimentation may be required to find the right folder so the K4A will see books stored by CC ("side loaded" in Amazon terminology).

    To change the folder CC uses for amazon books see FAQ How do I control which book extensions for instructions on how to change the storage folder.

    Important: K4A does not support subfolders in the "kindle" folder. Because of this, when using K4A you must not use a calibre save template that sends books to subfolders. The default calibre save template for smart phones does not use subfolders. If you have changed the template using the preferences for the "smartdevice", you must change it back or use CC's setting to use the calibre "book identifier" as the filename. To change the save template in calibre, click on Preferences, then Plugins (on the last line of icons). Enter SmartDevice into the search box as shown in the following image then press Enter.
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    Double-click on the Smartdevice line. The following dialog will open.
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    You should uncheck the box "Use sub directories", and you should also change the template to something that has no slash characters ('/') in it. The example in the image, "{title} - {authors}" typed without the quotes, should work in most cases. If you have different books with the same title and authors, then use "{title} - {authors} {id}", again without the quotes.
  3. After having changed the storage folder, the next time K4A is started it will import the books you have sent to Calibre Companion so you can read them.
Note: CC does some things with files to try to make Kindle for Android put the book you want to read at the top of its list. Unfortunately, starting with Kindle for Android version 3.8.2.4 (or perhaps a bit earlier), these "things" no longer work; the books are not re-sorted. We have tried and failed to find a way to cause K4A to reorder its list of books.

Note: Starting in early 2013, Kindle for Android started putting books in the Android/data/com.amazon.kindle/files folder, and switched to using the .prc extension. CC 3.2.1 supports that folder as well as the existing /kindle folder, and also knows that .prc books in either folder can be opened by the kindle app.

Last edited by chaley; 11-24-2014 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:44 AM   #2
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Calibre Companion won’t connect to calibre. What do I do?

We have tried very hard to make Calibre Companion able to automatically connect to calibre in many different network setups and situations. Unfortunately there are as many different network setups as there are networks and operating systems, and some combinations are unusual or complicated enough to defeat auto-connection.

First, try setting up automatic connection. To do this, first ensure that you have started the wireless device driver in calibre. Click on Connect/Share, then “Start wireless device connection”.
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Now attempt to connect CC to calibre. In CC, tap Connect, then As Wireless Device. Normally this is all you will need to do.

In some situations where the networking setup is unusual or complex, Calibre Companion will fail to connect. If this is your situation, continue with the steps below to troubleshoot the problem.
  1. Check that your firewall is allowing calibre to send and receive messages. For example, in Windows 7, go to the control panel, select Windows Firewall, and click "Allow a program or feature through Windows Firewall". Scroll down the list until you see "The main calibre program". Ensure that it has a check mark on the left side and (at least) in the "Home/Work (Private) column.
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    Some firewalls don't support application-based permissions, in which case you will need to use a fixed port (see below) and open that port in your firewall.

    As there are many firewalls, most of which we do not have, we are unable to give more instructions for opening a port in the firewall. However, if you have McAfee, user feedback indicates that two settings must be checked: which programs are allowed to access the internet and whether the "home network" is trusted. Calibre should have "Full" access to the internet and the home network should be marked as fully trusted. If you look at the network map in McAfee, you should see your device and it should be trusted.
  2. Check that your antivirus/antimalware package is not blocking connections. This is not a problem if you are running Microsoft Security Essentials. We have heard that MalwareBytes and "ESET Smart Security" can block connections between CC and calibre. In general, if you are running a network "Security Suite" then be sure that it allows traffic to and from calibre. One way to do that might be to "exclude" calibre from checks. It is also possible that you will need to use a fixed port (see below).
  3. Check if the computer running calibre is also using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). If you don't know what a VPN is then you probably aren't using one. Using a VPN can make it impossible for Calibre Connection to connect to calibre. If you are in this situation then the only solution is to turn off the VPN.
  4. If the computer running calibre is running Windows, verify that the "Network Location" you are connected to is not "Public", but is instead "Home" or (on Windows 7) "Work". If the network location is Public then your device will not be able to connect to calibre. The tutorial Simple Questions: What are Network Locations in Windows 7 & Windows 8? might help verify and, if necessary, change the setting.
  5. If the computer running calibre is using WiFi, check that it is using the same network "band" that the Android devices are using. Many home routers come with 2 WiFi bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Devices using one band often cannot talk to devices using the other band. Either ensure that all the devices including the computer running calibre are using the same band, or ensure that your router permits devices on one band to talk to devices on the other.
  6. Check if your WiFi router is using "Guest Mode" or "Wireless Isolation". Wireless isolation and guest mode are two different techniques for securing a wireless network. Although the details are different, they both prevent wireless devices from connecting to computers connected by a wire, and in many cases prevent wireless devices from connecting to another wireless device. How these are set up varies a lot from router to router. For more information about these two modes, see this FAQ answer.
  7. If you still cannot connect and if you are running Windows, you can determine if something on the machine running calibre is blocking connections by starting windows in "Safe mode with networking". How you start windows like this depends on the version of windows you are running. Use these instructions if you are running windows 8 or 8.1. Use these instructions if you are running Vista or Windows 7. Once your computer is running in safe mode with networking, start calibre and attempt to connect CC. If it connects then some software on your computer is blocking connections, almost certainly a firewall, anti-virus, or "network security suite". NB: sometimes safe mode with networking does not work if your computer is connected using WiFi. You can check this by trying to go to some internet site using whatever web browser you normally use.
  8. If after making the above checks Calibre Companion still cannot connect to calibre then the next step is to use a fixed port and enter calibre’s IP address and port into Calibre Companion. See the instructions below.
Using a fixed IP address and port
If Calibre Companion does not connect automatically and you went through the steps described above, then you probably need to tell CC to connect using a fixed IP address and port. An IP address is a group of 4 numbers separated by periods, for example 192.168.0.44 , and a port is a single number, for example 9090.

First, follow these steps to try using a fixed port:
  1. In calibre, go to wireless connection menu shown above. If it says "Stop wireless device connection", click it and answer the question about auto-connection (however as you wish), then click the menu "Start wireless device connection" again. You will see the following dialog box.
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    Check the box "Use a fixed network port". Change the default port number (9090) if you wish. You must not enter the same port used by calibre's content server. Press OK. Calibre will complain if there is a problem with the port, for example if it is being used by another application on your computer.
  2. Be sure that any firewall you are running on the computer running calibre allows incoming connections to the chosen port.
Before going on to the next steps, try to connect Calibre Companion to calibre. In many situations, simply setting a fixed port in calibre and opening that port on your the firewall will be enough to permit Calibre Companion to connect.

If connection still does not work, then you need to enter calibre's IP address into Calibre Companion. Follow the steps below to do this.
  1. Click again on calibre's connect/share menu. Assuming that the wireless driver is running (a green dot is shown next to the menu line), you will see calibre’s IP address and port on the menu line. If you do not see the port then something went wrong when you checked the "Used fixed port" box as described above and you should follow those instructions again. If all went well, you should see something similar to the following:
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    Make a note the displayed IP address and port.Important note: If you see more than one IP address, read the answer to "My computer has more than one IP address. Which one do I use?" below.
  2. Enter calibre's IP address into Calibre Companion on your device. To do this, click CC's “Settings” menu item.
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    then click the wireless device connection line
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    You will see the following dialog.
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    Enter the IP address and port that you saw in the step above. You must enter the IP address exactly as it was shown in calibre, without any spaces or extra periods.

    As an aide, Calibre Companion's dialog shows you the IP address of your device. The IP address for Calibre you noted should be very similar to the one CC shows. For example, if your device's IP address begins with 192.168.203 then calibre's IP address should also begin with 192.168.203.

    You must always enter both an IP address and a port number. You must not enter the port used by calibre's content server or any other web server.
If after all of this Calibre Companion still cannot connect, ask for help by emailing us. Calibre Companion's help menu has a button that will create an email message. In your email, please give us all the IP addresses that calibre displays, and the IP address of your device you found as described above. Also give us the port number that you set up.

Connections worked, but have stopped working

It is possible that connections can work for a time then stop working. The most common reason is that the computer running calibre changed its IP address. The can happen if that computer has not connected to the home network for some time (e.g., a laptop that was traveling), or if there was a general power failure and the home network controller box ("router") was restarted. If Calibre Companion has been successfully connecting but suddenly stops, then verify that the IP address entered in Calibre Companion still matches the one displayed by calibre. If it does not, then change the address in CC to match the new IP address shown in calibre.

Technical note 1: You can avoid having calibre's IP address change by setting up a "static lease" for that computer in your home network router. How to do this, or even if it can be done, depends on your router. The setup is usually in the DHCP setup section. Check the manual for your router to see how to set up static leases. Note that your router may call these something else, such as fixed IP addresses or static IP addresses.

Technical note 2: Calibre Companion will accept domain names in lieu of IP addresses. This can be useful if you are on a routed network or if calibre is on a machine that doesn't have a fixed IP address and you have access to a dynamic DNS server.

Last edited by chaley; 12-31-2014 at 07:47 AM. Reason: change commas to period
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:27 AM   #3
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What does CC offer over a web browser?

No browser offers connection as a calibre device. Connecting as a device gives you bulk operations, integration with calibre plugins, and the other advantages listed in the first post.

In addition, CC's library is on the device. You do not need an internet connection once you have transferred books.

Last edited by chaley; 04-19-2015 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:29 AM   #4
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Where do I get Calibre Companion?

Calibre Companion is available on Google Play and on Amazon Appstore for Android. It runs on Android Gingerbread (2.3) and later.

Last edited by chaley; 03-20-2014 at 06:05 AM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:30 AM   #5
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I must pay for CC to try it. What happens if I don't like it?

If you have any concerns about whether CC will meet your needs, please try the free demo version of CC. It is fully functional except that it is limited to 20 books on the device.

Last edited by chaley; 04-17-2015 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:32 AM   #6
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Posts: 7,569
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Join Date: Jan 2010
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How do I get help?

The best way to contact us is to post a message in this forum. We and other users can carry on a discussion to try to work out what problem you might be having and how to solve it.

Reporting problems or asking for help in reviews on Google Play is the most difficult for us. Our first problem is contacting you for more info; it isn't easy to find an email address for a reviewer, and might be impossible. The second problem is that other people who might have solved the problem cannot answer at all. The third problem is that we can't be sure that you even want a response and that you might consider us contacting you an invasion of privacy. We are not suggesting that people should not leave reviews, good, bad, or indifferent. Instead, we are suggesting that if you want support from us, a review is not the best way to go about it.

It could be that we will need a calibre debug log to help analyze the problem. You can get a calibre debug log by running calibre in debug mode. Start calibre, then click the small down arrow next to preferences as shown in this screenshot.
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Click on "Start calibre in debug mode". Let calibre restart and answer OK to the dialog that confirms that calibre is in debug mode. Attempt to connect CC to calibre. Get to where you are having the problem, then close calibre. You will see a debug log in a new window, probably in a text editor. An example is
Spoiler:
SMART_DEV ( 0.00: 0.002) startup_on_demand try port 18700
SMART_DEV ( 0.89: 0.803) startup_on_demand listening on port 18700
Started up in 37.73 seconds with 66 books
SMART_DEV ( 95.11: 12.261) reset
SMART_DEV ( 95.12: 0.000) set_progress_reporter
SMART_DEV ( 95.14: 0.000) open
SMART_DEV ( 95.17: 0.016) _call_client GET_INITIALIZATION_INFO
SMART_DEV ( 95.90: 0.718) open selected formats [u'epub', u'mobi']
SMART_DEV ( 95.92: 0.000) card_prefix
SMART_DEV ( 96.17: 0.218) set_progress_reporter
Job: 1 Get device information started
SMART_DEV ( 96.20: 0.000) get_device_information
SMART_DEV ( 96.25: 0.016) _call_client GET_DEVICE_INFORMATION
SMART_DEV ( 96.56: 0.281) _call_client SET_CALIBRE_DEVICE_INFO
SMART_DEV ( 96.82: 0.249) card_prefix
SMART_DEV ( 96.84: 0.000) free_space
SMART_DEV ( 96.85: 0.000) _call_client FREE_SPACE
DeviceJob: 1 Get device information done, calling callback
DeviceJob: 1 Get device information callback returned
SMART_DEV ( 97.18: 0.312) set_progress_reporter
Job: 2 Get list of books on device started
SMART_DEV ( 97.20: 0.000) books None
SMART_DEV ( 97.21: 0.000) _call_client GET_BOOK_COUNT
Job: 1 Get device information finished
No details available.
SMART_DEV ( 104.11: 6.879) books carda
SMART_DEV ( 104.14: 0.000) books cardb
DeviceJob: 2 Get list of books on device done, calling callback
SMART_DEV ( 107.98: 3.822) set_plugboards
READING LIST: Metadata available: {u'main': {u'device_store_uuid': u'efc3cde6-794f-4d23-bf8d-c7f95613e2b3', u'prefix': u'', u'device_name': u'SmartDevice', u'calibre_version': u'0.8.64', u'location_code': u'main', u'last_library_uuid': u'62e15c2b-a8ca-40fd-a784-05773082742a', u'date_last_connected': u'2012-08-12T12:17:32.261000+00:00'}}
READING LIST: Sync Now - force_sync= False
DeviceJob: 2 Get list of books on device callback returned
Job: 2 Get list of books on device finished
No details available.
SMART_DEV ( 108.18: 0.187) set_progress_reporter
Job: 3 Send metadata to device started

Copy all the text in that window and send it to the email address provided in the thread. Alternatively, attach it to the thread where we are having the discussion. Do note that there might be information about your library in the log that you do not want public, in which case don't post it. Please do not paste the log into a post. It will lose formatting and be too long to easily analyze.

When you send a calibre debug log you should also send one from CC. To send a CC debug log, go to CC's settings, scroll all the way to the end, and choose "Send a debug log to MultiPie". When given a choice of which app to use to send the log, pick your email client. You should see a message open addressed to us, with the debug log as an attachment. We might ask you to remove one or the other of the standard "To:" addresses you see in that dialog.

Last edited by chaley; 04-19-2015 at 06:26 AM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:33 AM   #7
chaley
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Posts: 7,569
Karma: 1971460
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: France
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How do I report bugs or make comments?

Please make comments or report bugs using the Calibre Companion MobileRead forum (this forum) (a thread per comment would be good), via private messages to either of us (chaley or steve_haley), or via email to “steve [at] MultiPie dot co dot uk”. Be sure to type “MultiPie” (many pies) and not “multiple”.

Please don't post problems (that you actually want us to fix) in reviews on Google Play. We want to fix problems but because we can't contact you for more information, in most cases we can do nothing about the problems you are reporting.

Last edited by chaley; 03-22-2014 at 02:18 AM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:35 AM   #8
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Posts: 7,569
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: France
Device: Many android devices
Isn't support for MTP (newer Android devices) built into Calibre?

MTP (Media Transfer Protocol, designed for cameras and the like) is supported in calibre as of version 0.8.70 when running on Linux, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Calibre does not support MTP on MacOS or Windows XP.

Note that Calibre Companion has many features not included in calibre's MTP support. See the first post for a list.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:39 AM   #9
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Posts: 7,569
Karma: 1971460
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Device: Many android devices
My computer has more than one IP address. Which one do I use?

If you see more than one IP address listed in calibre after you start the wireless device driver (see "The app won’t connect to calibre. What do I do?" above), then it is highly likely that only one of the IP addresses will work in Calibre Companion. The following image shows two IP addresses.
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You need to pick the IP address that your computer uses to talk to the wireless network. You can find the correct IP address to use with the help of Calibre Companion by clicking on the “Calibre’s IP address” menu item.

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then click the wireless device connection line

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You will see the following dialog.

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The dialog shows you the IP address of your device. Calibre's IP address should be very similar to the device's IP address. To give some examples: if your device's IP address begins with 192.168.220. then calibre's IP address should also begin with 192.168.220. If your device's IP address begins with 192.168.0. then calibre's IP address should begin with 192.168.0. If your device's IP address begins with 172. then calibre's IP address should begin with 172. For example, in the image of calibre's menu above, you see 2 IP addresses: 192.168.220.38 and 192.168.102.10. In the image of CC's IP dialog you see 192.168.220.6. You pick the closest match that in this case are the IP addresses beginning with 192.168.220, meaning you would enter 192.168.220.38 into Calibre Companion. And remember, enter an IP address shown by calibre, not one shown in this answer.

If you cannot determine which IP address to use, ask for help by emailing us. Calibre Companion's help menu has a button that will create an email message. In your email, please give us all the IP addresses that calibre displays, and the IP address of your device you found as described above. Also give us the port number that you set up when following the instructions in the "Calibre Companion won’t connect to calibre. What do I do?" answer above.

Last edited by chaley; 01-25-2013 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:43 AM   #10
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: France
Device: Many android devices
I have books on my device that don’t show up in CC. How do I fix this?

You can ask Calibre Companion to scan the folders where it puts books. Click on the menu button, select settings, then "Scan for books on connect" to check the box. The next time you connect, CC will do the scan and add any new books to its database.

Notes:

1) CC does not add books to your calibre library. It does check if the book matches an existing book in your library, and if it does CC will download that book's metadata. If the book CC found does not match a book in your library,the metadata for that book in CC will likely be incorrect because it is coming from the book itself.

2) Calibre Companion does not look in folders other than the ones for formats/extensions selected in its "Book formats and folders" dialog. CC also looks only for the formats that it is willing to put in that folder. For example, If mobi and epub files are going into two different folders, CC will not scan for .mobi files in the epub folder and vice versa. If you are in this situation then you should either combine the folders or move the books to the right folder.

3) If you want to add the book(s) to your calibre library, connect as a wireless device and go to calibre's device view. Right-click on a book and either add the book to calibre's library or match the book with an existing book in calibre's library.

Last edited by chaley; 02-17-2014 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:24 AM   #11
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Posts: 7,569
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: France
Device: Many android devices
CC connects but then sits there doing nothing. What do I do?

Calibre Companion connects to calibre as a "device", which means that calibre is in charge. After Calibre Companion connects, you use calibre to send books to your device and delete books from your device, just as if your device were connected using a cable.

After connecting, go to your computer running calibre, select some books, then click on the "Send to device" button.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:25 AM   #12
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Posts: 7,569
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The content server gives "Error retrieving book details". What do I do?

Upgrade to calibre 0.9.2 or later.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:28 AM   #13
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Posts: 7,569
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Join Date: Jan 2010
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I am a Sony user and I want my collections. What do I do?

First, check if the grouping and sorting features available in CC don’t already provide an alternate way to get the same information. If they do not, then you can enable collections for the Smartdevice driver in the same way you did for the Sony driver.

Go to the device preferences (in calibre, go to preferences -> plugins -> device plugins -> Smartdevice App Interface), and enter the lookup names for the columns for which you want collections. The Sony collections tweaks work here as well. Reconnect the device and your collections will appear under the group menu item “User Collections”.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:29 AM   #14
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Why does the sort menu disappear when I select User Collections?

Collections are sorted by calibre, and Calibre Companion must respect that order. Although it would be possible to add yet another sort type to the list, we thought that the need would be too rare to compensate for the extra confusion about what it means.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:32 AM   #15
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Posts: 7,569
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: France
Device: Many android devices
How do I add my custom columns to the Grouping drawer?

Calibre Companion supports grouping on calibre custom columns. To group on a custom column, add that column to Calibre Companion’s list of custom columns to show in the grouping drawer. You do this by clicking the menu button on your device (usually three dots), choosing "Settings", "Grouping Drawer", then choosing "Group/sort on custom columns". Put a check in the box next to any custom column you want to see in the grouping drawer.

By default columns you add will be shown in the Grouping drawer and the Sort menu. You can remove the column from the grouping drawer in Settings, Grouping Drawer, Select groups to show. You can remove the column from the Sort menu in Sorting, Select sorts to show in menu.

When you add or change check marks in this setting, Calibre Companion must rebuild some information in the database. If you have a large number of books in Calibre Companion this process can take a few moments. You can see a progress indicator by checking the status bar.

Last edited by chaley; 04-17-2015 at 06:47 PM.
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