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Old 05-01-2013, 02:32 PM   #1
ricroma
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Kindle and small caps

Hi, this is my first post and I hope this is the right section, if not, I'm sorry!
I'm editing a digital edition for a book of a friend, and I'm facing several difficulties related to fonts. Hope that someone can help.
Here I would like to have help for the most annoying issue I've found so far: I'm using Sigil for editing and then Kindlegen for convert into mobi format. Everything works, only problem is that the mobi file doesn't show small caps (that for peculiar reasons this book is full of). THese are all the information I can think of:

1) in the epub stylesheet I'm using a generic "serif" font:

Code:
@font-face
{
font-family: serif;
font-weight: normal;
font-style: none;
}
2) I created a specific "class" for small caps:

Code:
.sc
{
font-variant: small-caps;
}
3) When I open the mobi file with Kindle Previewer all small caps are shown as regular letters. I've been struggling with this small caps forever, now everything seemed to work excpt this big disappointment when I opened the converted file!

I don't know if Kindle default font doesn't support small caps or if I need to load the small caps font into the file.

Thanks for any help!

Ricroma
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:53 PM   #2
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The kf8 format indeed accepts small-caps. Of course, the text to be in small-caps must be "correctly written". If the original text is all in capital letters, then you won't see small-caps. The text must be written with the first letter as capital and the others as lowercase letters. So:

<span class="sc">TEST</span> -------------> INCORRECT: won't show as small-caps
<span class="sc">Test</span> -------------> CORRECT: will show as small-caps

The question is: how did you build the .mobi file? With Calibre? If so, that can be the source of your issue. Try building the .mobi file with kindlegen (or kindle previewer).

(I suppose you are using a kindle device that supports the kf8 format)
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:23 PM   #3
ricroma
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Hi RbnJrg!
And thanks for the answer!

What is a kf8 format? I'm sorry to ask what may be a stupid question, but I'm kind of new to the ebook "business", and I still miss lots of base knowledge.

Anyway, this is how I "work":

1) Edit the content with Sigil
2) Make sure everything looks right in Sigil viewer
3) Open the epub file with Calibre or an ebook reader on my tablet (Moon Reader) and make sure everything looks right
4) Convert the epub to mobi with KindleGen (I've been using calibre for the conversion but it was making a mess)
5) Check the mobi file with Kindle Previewer (and find out that everything looks ok except the small caps!)

Thanks again for the help!

RIcroma

PS. yes, all the text that supposed to be in small caps is written in lower case letters.

Last edited by ricroma; 05-01-2013 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:35 PM   #4
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The way to do it is to use uppercase and reduce the font size to .7em (or so) and then you'll have simulated smallcaps. It won't look quite right because it's simulated. The only real way to do it is to embed a font and the smallcaps version of the same font. That will work in KF8, but not Mobi.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RbnJrg View Post
The kf8 format indeed accepts small-caps. Of course, the text to be in small-caps must be "correctly written". If the original text is all in capital letters, then you won't see small-caps. The text must be written with the first letter as capital and the others as lowercase letters. So:

<span class="sc">TEST</span> -------------> INCORRECT: won't show as small-caps
<span class="sc">Test</span> -------------> CORRECT: will show as small-caps

The question is: how did you build the .mobi file? With Calibre? If so, that can be the source of your issue. Try building the .mobi file with kindlegen (or kindle previewer).

(I suppose you are using a kindle device that supports the kf8 format)
If it is done that way for KF8, it won't work for Mobi. See my previous post for how to get it to maybe work in both KF8 and Mobi.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricroma View Post
PS. yes, all the text that supposed to be in small caps is written in lower case letters.
You'll have to go through and convert all the smallcaps text to uppercase and simulate smallcaps.
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:19 AM   #7
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EDIT: There's a more elegant solution. See post #9.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ricroma View Post
1) in the epub stylesheet I'm using a generic "serif" font:
There's no need to define a serif font for body text. The Kindle will automatically assign a serif font to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
The way to do it is to use uppercase and reduce the font size to .7em (or so) and then you'll have simulated smallcaps. It won't look quite right because it's simulated. The only real way to do it is to embed a font and the smallcaps version of the same font. That will work in KF8, but not Mobi.
That's incorrect. Unlike ADE based devices, KF8 enabled Kindle devices and apps support small caps without embedded fonts. All you have to do is apply a font-variant: small-caps style.

In this special case the best solution would be to format all small caps text as all upper case text and use text-transform: lowercase; for the KF8 part and font-size: 0.6em; for the non-KF8 part via media queries.

Code:
span.sc { font-variant: small-caps; font-weight: bold; }
@media not amzn-mobi { span.sc2 {text-transform: lowercase; } }
@media amzn-mobi { span.sc2 {font-size: 0.6em; } }

<p><span class="sc">M<span class="sc2">ORALISTS</span></span> and philosophers have adjudged those who throw temptation in the way of the erring, equally guilty with those who are thereby led into evil.</p>
(Since text-transform and font-variant aren't supported in Mobi7, they'll be ignored by KindleGen in the non-KF8 part.)
Attached Thumbnails
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ID:	105238  

Last edited by Doitsu; 05-02-2013 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:39 AM   #8
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Moved to the Mobi forum.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:05 AM   #9
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Hi Doitsu,

Your solution is correct but maybe it could be a bit simpler Let's see:

Code:
@media not amzn-mobi {
   span.sc { font-variant: small-caps;}
}

@media amzn-mobi { 
   span.sc {font-size: 0.7em; text-transform: uppercase;}
}

<p>M<span class="sc">oralist</span> and philosophers have adjudged those who throw temptation in the way of the erring, equally guilty with those who are thereby led into evil.</p>
That works for both, .kf8 and .mobi files.

But if the ebook is exclusively for privately use and the device that we use it supports the .kf8 format, then there is no need to use media queries; just using "font-variant: small-caps;" will be enough
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricroma View Post
Hi RbnJrg!
And thanks for the answer!

What is a kf8 format? I'm sorry to ask what may be a stupid question, but I'm kind of new to the ebook "business", and I still miss lots of base knowledge.

Anyway, this is how I "work":

1) Edit the content with Sigil
2) Make sure everything looks right in Sigil viewer
3) Open the epub file with Calibre or an ebook reader on my tablet (Moon Reader) and make sure everything looks right
4) Convert the epub to mobi with KindleGen (I've been using calibre for the conversion but it was making a mess)
5) Check the mobi file with Kindle Previewer (and find out that everything looks ok except the small caps!)

Thanks again for the help!

RIcroma

PS. yes, all the text that supposed to be in small caps is written in lower case letters.
Hi ricroma;

The .kf8 is the new amazon's ebook format supported so far by Kindle 3, Kindle 4, Kindle Touch, Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Fire. So, the older Kindle (Kindle 1 and 2) only can read .mobi files and not .kf8 (.azw3) files. If your device is a Kindle 3 or newer, then you should be able to read .kf8 files and see text in small-caps.

You are doing all well, but maybe you are not choosing the right device in Kindle Previewer. Choose Kindle Paperwhite as your device (and not Kindle) and you should see the text in small-caps.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RbnJrg View Post
The .kf8 is the new amazon's ebook format supported so far by Kindle 3, Kindle 4, Kindle Touch, Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Fire.
And also by the iOS and Android Kindle Apps.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RbnJrg View Post
Hi Doitsu,

Your solution is correct but maybe it could be a bit simpler Let's see:
Since ADE doesn't support text-transform, I assumed that it was a KF8 only feature that wouldn't work for Mobi7.

Your solution is of course much more elegant.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:51 AM   #13
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Wow! Thanks for all the answers!

Tonight I'll run some tests and see the best solution!

Anyway, in short this is what I've understood

1) mobi files do not support small caps, in this case I have to fake them (useful for older kindle readers or not updated devices)

2) kf8 files support small font-variant: small-caps but not all devices support kf8

Right?

and thanks a lot again!

Ricroma
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:01 PM   #14
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If the eBook in question is an eBook to be sold and it's also going to be sold in ePub, you have two choices. Do it uppercase way, or make two different versions of the eBook. One as the source for Kindles and one as the ePub to be sold.
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricroma View Post
Wow! Thanks for all the answers!

Tonight I'll run some tests and see the best solution!

Anyway, in short this is what I've understood

1) mobi files do not support small caps, in this case I have to fake them (useful for older kindle readers or not updated devices)

2) kf8 files support small font-variant: small-caps but not all devices support kf8

Right?
Yes, right.
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