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Old 03-28-2013, 12:43 PM   #1
Chaihana Joe
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Creating Pop-up Notes and Links (was Creating an index)

I have started work on creating a new version of an old book (a very old book), of about 500 pages. The book is historical and has hundreds of names of people and places. It is my intention to provide the reader with a facility to tap on a name to see a brief profile of the person/place and a list of other references to that person/place.

My thinking is to publish in Kindle format as I hope to charge a small price for the book.

I have read about Amazon's X-Ray system which provides a very similar functionality to what I have in mind, though without giving the control over the indexing content that I would like. My own thinking is to place an anchor at each name in the text, then use these to generate index data automatically. I'd like to be able to display the relevant part of the index as a pop-up or overlay when the reader requests it.

Can anyone advise whether this is even possible and, if it is, what tools/workflow I might employ to achieve this?

Last edited by Chaihana Joe; 03-30-2013 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:53 PM   #2
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You can try to use the index function of Sigil...
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:28 PM   #3
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Thanks for the pointer, Toxaris. It looks like that can work well in ePub 3's, probably using Links and IDs. I'm a little less confident as to how that will translate across to Kindle, but I'll give it a try and report back.
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:13 AM   #4
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The index in Sigil is basically anchors and a file containing those references (the index itself). It works fine in ePUB2, ePUB3 and should convert without issues to the Kindle I should assume. It is no rocket science, just saving a lot of work.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:48 AM   #5
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Toxaris is right, use Sigil to create the index. When you run the resulting epub through Kindle Previewer, the index works as advertised!
It sure beats manual linking!
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:24 PM   #6
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Ok, I've found this method by Liz Castro which does pretty much exactly what I described upthread.

She is recommending her method in the context of iBooks. I created an ePub using her method, sideloaded it into iBooks and the pop-up worked beautifully.

Unfortunately there was no such luck on other platforms. Kindle recognised my tags, but its implementation gave me a new page rather than a pop-up. Other platforms either just jumped to the target text or failed to recognise the tags at all.

Only iBooks hid the target text as intended.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mncowboy View Post
Toxaris is right, use Sigil to create the index. When you run the resulting epub through Kindle Previewer, the index works as advertised!
It sure beats manual linking!
Bob
Toxaris and mncowboy, thanks for your help.

I can see now that titling this thread 'Creating an Index' was misleading. My original post describes the use case exactly, but I fell into the trap of using printed book terminology where it wasn't appropriate. I'll edit the thread title to reflect this.

Last edited by Chaihana Joe; 03-30-2013 at 06:37 PM. Reason: Oh, it won't let me!
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:58 AM   #8
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Oops! I obviously skimmed over your use case. I hate it when I answer the wrong question!
As far as I know, there is no way to implement your use case on the Kindle.
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaihana Joe View Post
Ok, I've found this method by Liz Castro which does pretty much exactly what I described upthread.

She is recommending her method in the context of iBooks. I created an ePub using her method, sideloaded it into iBooks and the pop-up worked beautifully.

Unfortunately there was no such luck on other platforms. Kindle recognised my tags, but its implementation gave me a new page rather than a pop-up. Other platforms either just jumped to the target text or failed to recognise the tags at all.

Only iBooks hid the target text as intended.
Yes, that's because basically, as much as I love Liz, she's a Jobbleshead to the core. Yes, she tests other platforms, etc., but she loves her some Apple. Naturally those tags won't work, because of all the major retailers, only Apple will support the psuedo-ePUB3 that is required to make that work. (I don't mean that the tags are psuedo-ePUB3; I mean that iBooks is pueudo-ePUB3, caring only about the media aspects, rather than the important stuff. I guess they may as well, as they drove the entire ePUB3 "boat" and the result is All Apple, All The Time.)

While the latest Kindle Fire is beginning to support some ePUB3, the bottom line is that Amazon and B&N are still oriented toward books--things people are reading--rather than multi-media. The two user communities are really very different. It's easily demonstrable though A/B testing with various types of books on the different platforms. I suspect that while the Kindle devices will move toward ePUB3 for a variety of things (like footnoting), it will still be far less multi-media than Apple, for a long time to come. IN the books themselves, I mean.

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Old 04-07-2013, 02:39 AM   #10
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Amen to that... The footnotes part is actually one of the few things I like about ePUB3...
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:05 AM   #11
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Subsequent to the above, I thought it would be instructive to reverse engineer the Kindle X-Ray functionality, to see whether I could get what I wanted in a similar way. However, in attempting to do that I found that X-Ray-enabled books are delivered to the PC and, presumably, all other platforms except Kindle Touch as regular ePubs with no additional functionality. Since I don't have a Kindle Touch I have been unsuccessful.
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