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Old 07-16-2013, 12:13 AM   #46
Gregg Bell
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I'm a believer!

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Originally Posted by gmw View Post
By italics I presume you mean emphasis of one or more words within a paragraph (character type styles rather than paragraph type styles). Yes such emphasis is generally represented by italicised text in novels but I make the distinction because it is generally better that a style is named for the purpose (which presumably will not change), rather than the formatting used, which could change.

The distinction can be important. For example I may have emphasis in the dialogue in the main text, but I may also have - for example - a bibliography at the end that uses variously formatted text. If my emphasis style is named "italics" and today I choose to format parts of my bibliography as italics, then I may make the mistake of using the "italics" style. And now, suddenly and presumably accidentally, I have tied the formatting of my bibliography to the formatting of my main text. If I want to change one without changing the other I would have to go back and change the styles of all the relevant words. I can avoid such accidents by naming my styles by purpose. A style of "Emphasis" means I one thing, "BiblioBookTitle" means something else.

And yes, the result is that your html looks like:

Main text: I will <span class="Emphasis">not</span> do that.

Bibliography: Smith, A, B. <span class="BiblioBookTitle">Words of Wisdom</span>, pages 325-329.

This is normal and expected. Both styles exist within your CSS and can be adjusted if needed - and because they are clearly named you know specifically what you are changing. Obviously "<span class="Emphasis">" is much longer and uglier than "<i>", but the reader is never supposed to see the raw HTML. Yes, HTML and XML can be horribly verbose languages and do increase the file size significantly, but this is also normal and expected. (And anyway, we only use emphasis carefully and deliberately - don't we? - so there is not going to be that many of them.)

PS. Thanks for the apple.
Thanks for the explanation about the use of italics and controlling the naming of the styles. So like for instance though, when I manipulate the paragraphing by modifying the style, I undo the manipulation before turning the .doc to a .html. But when I have an italic (or emphasis) style, I leave that style in there, right? Then it gets picked up properly as an italic because of the CSS of the .doc (the CSS that partially is created when creating the italics/emphasis style.)

And I gotta tell you I came across a ten-year-old .doc novel and (remember how I said earlier that I wrote so simply and didn't really need to use styles?) and oh my gosh! I looked at the styles and there were TONS of them. Just a mess.

And I experimented today and just hit a single tab to see what would happen. In the html there were like ten non-breaking spaces. A mini-mess.

So yes, I am a believer. I WILL write with styles from now on. Thanks again!

P.S. Please don't ever leave MR (in case I have questions).

P.S.S. 1000 views on this thread. I'm sure I'm not the only one you're helping!
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:11 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
Thanks for the explanation about the use of italics and controlling the naming of the styles. So like for instance though, when I manipulate the paragraphing by modifying the style, I undo the manipulation before turning the .doc to a .html. But when I have an italic (or emphasis) style, I leave that style in there, right? Then it gets picked up properly as an italic because of the CSS of the .doc (the CSS that partially is created when creating the italics/emphasis style.)
I'm not sure I'm clear on what you mean here. There are paragraph styles (spacing and indent and font etc. that effect the whole paragraph), and there are character styles (that effect just a span of text). You play with each according to the purpose of the style.

As I understand it, you (like me) tend to write your text with additional paragraph spacing - which, of course, you don't want in the final result. (I believe some people write in double or 1.5 line spacing.) If that is the manipulation you are talking about then it is your choice whether you modify the style in the original source (to remove the paragraph spacing) before export, or whether you modify the style in the CSS in the resulting output (epub or html). I tend to do it in my original source mainly because, when the time comes, I am producing not just an EPUB but also a print-ready PDF.

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Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
[...]
So yes, I am a believer. I WILL write with styles from now on. Thanks again!

P.S. Please don't ever leave MR (in case I have questions).

P.S.S. 1000 views on this thread. I'm sure I'm not the only one you're helping!
Okay, and now for the bad news. I've sold you on styles, which means I've also ruined you for Scrivener. Or that's my understanding, I have not yet worked out how to achieve styled text in Scrivener, it doesn't look to be possible (which is a significant disappointment after all the good things I've said and thought about it in the past).

Last edited by gmw; 07-16-2013 at 02:45 AM. Reason: Improving clarity - I hope.
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:37 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
I'm not sure I'm clear on what you mean here. There are paragraph styles (spacing and indent and font etc. that effect the whole paragraph), and there are character styles (that effect just a span of text). You play with each according to the purpose of the style.

As I understand it, you (like me) tend to write your text with additional paragraph spacing - which, of course, you don't want in the final result. (I believe some people write in double or 1.5 line spacing.) If that is the manipulation you are talking about then it is your choice whether you modify the style in the original source (to remove the paragraph spacing) before export, or whether you modify the style in the CSS in the resulting output (epub or html).

I'm hanging with you on this. The thing is though if I do the italics/emphasis (in the "character" style), then I need to leave that in (otherwise the italics wont' show up in the html, right?), whereas I can make my line spacing whatever by modifying the "normal" style (in the "paragraph" style) and then unmodify it back to the original (single spacing) when I'm done, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post

Okay, and now for the bad news. I've sold you on styles, which means I've also ruined you for Scrivener. Or that's my understanding, I have not yet worked out how to achieve styled text in Scrivener, it doesn't look to be possible (which is a significant disappointment after all the good things I've said and thought about it in the past).
Not worried about Scrivener, G.M.. I just like the blank canvas. Thanks.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:01 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
Okay, and now for the bad news. I've sold you on styles, which means I've also ruined you for Scrivener. Or that's my understanding, I have not yet worked out how to achieve styled text in Scrivener, it doesn't look to be possible (which is a significant disappointment after all the good things I've said and thought about it in the past).
Agreed. There are lots if things I like about Scrivener, but the lack of styles has sent me back to LibreOffice. I still haven't found a workflow I'm entirely satisfied with
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:45 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
I'm hanging with you on this. The thing is though if I do the italics/emphasis (in the "character" style), then I need to leave that in (otherwise the italics wont' show up in the html, right?), whereas I can make my line spacing whatever by modifying the "normal" style (in the "paragraph" style) and then unmodify it back to the original (single spacing) when I'm done, right? [...]
Yes. (Wow! a short answer!*)

* Damn, I spoiled having a short answer by getting excited about it.

Last edited by gmw; 07-16-2013 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:59 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by avantman42 View Post
Agreed. There are lots if things I like about Scrivener, but the lack of styles has sent me back to LibreOffice. I still haven't found a workflow I'm entirely satisfied with
Being a software developer I have taken a brief look at building my own, based around LibreOffice as the editor. I got something very basic working under Windows using OLE - it wasn't usable for serious writing but proved to me that it should be possible to do (but in a serious attempt I'd avoid OLE and either try the API directly or perhaps write in Java). Now all I need is more hours in the day so I can have time to do my paid work, time to write this software, and still have time for writing.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:23 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avantman42 View Post
Agreed. There are lots if things I like about Scrivener, but the lack of styles has sent me back to LibreOffice. I still haven't found a workflow I'm entirely satisfied with
Some one else on another forum said....

Quote:
The 2.0/Mac version has styles. However, the entire point is to not style your text in the editor, but instead use the compiler to format it.

Just a thought for you on this...
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:05 PM   #53
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shockingly short!

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Originally Posted by gmw View Post
Yes. (Wow! a short answer!*)

* Damn, I spoiled having a short answer by getting excited about it.
Thx. Feeling pretty comfortable with it now.
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:57 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
Some one else on another forum said....

Quote:
The 2.0/Mac version has styles. However, the entire point is to not style your text in the editor, but instead use the compiler to format it.
Just a thought for you on this...
It is interesting, if frustrating, to know the Mac version has styles.

Regarding the quote: As you know, the computer needs to be told what you want - which is what styles are all about. My first novel could have been written with nothing more than Chapter, Text and Emphasis styles - in other words, it could have been written in Scrivener without any issue. However...

My second novel contains a small amount of email correspondence. Without the use of styles I would have to find and change each instance if I want to adjust it inside the epub - which is quite likely. That's not so bad, there aren't many of them. But my third novel, and to a lesser extent the second, also contains some "telepathic" dialogue that I wanted to make distinct from normal dialogue. Finding and changing all of these individually in an epub, if I decide it looks better in some other formatting, would be a major PITA. The use of styles allows me to mark all these and leave any final formatting decisions until publication.

Last edited by gmw; 07-17-2013 at 04:59 AM. Reason: Clarification.
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:11 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
Some one else on another forum said....

Quote:
The 2.0/Mac version has styles. However, the entire point is to not style your text in the editor, but instead use the compiler to format it.
Just a thought for you on this...
I'm all in favour of not formatting in the editor, and using the compiler to format. However, Scrivener does allow formatting in the editor. There's a whole formatting toolbar. If it allowed me to set styles, I could be sure that any formatting was consistent, but it doesn't, and I've had trouble with inconsistent formatting. I'm not sure where it came from, because I didn't specify formatting, but font sizes and line spacing were different in different documents. That just irritated me and distracted me from the writing. If Scrivener had no formatting controls, that'd be grand, but I found formatting without styles a real pain. (To be fair, I'm using the Linux version, which is a beta release).

There was a lot I liked about Scrivener, but that was one of the reasons I eventually decided to look at another method of working.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
Regarding the quote: As you know, the computer needs to be told what you want - which is what styles are all about. My first novel could have been written with nothing more than Chapter, Text and Emphasis styles - in other words, it could have been written in Scrivener without any issue. However...
I suspect the person who wrote that assumed that only Chapter & Text styles are needed, in which case they can be set when compiling.
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:11 AM   #56
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G.M.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
Yes. (Wow! a short answer!*)

* Damn, I spoiled having a short answer by getting excited about it.
Let me bounce this off you. For my novels (in Sigil) I use an external style sheet. Being as unsophisticated (a euphemism if ever there was one) as I am, and since if I use a style for italics this will complicate my external style sheet and since if I just use the toolbar italic button it just shows up as the <i></i> deal, wouldn't I be better off just using the tool bar italic button for my italics? (when composing)
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:27 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
Let me bounce this off you. For my novels (in Sigil) I use an external style sheet. Being as unsophisticated (a euphemism if ever there was one) as I am, and since if I use a style for italics this will complicate my external style sheet and since if I just use the toolbar italic button it just shows up as the <i></i> deal, wouldn't I be better off just using the tool bar italic button for my italics? (when composing)
Yes, epubs should use an external style sheet. The plug-in I use for LibreOffice creates the epub directly, including this external style sheet with all the used styles set up for me. (I presume there is something similar available for Word, but don't know the details.) Since I don't have to manually set up this style sheet I don't see any particular benefit in not using a style for emphasis (it's not like it's a difficult style to define).

Having got that disclaimer out of my system, there is probably not a huge difference, either way, in the case of emphasis, because I don't imagine there will be situations where you want to change how it is displayed. BUT, remember what I said in another post, don't make the mistake of making the same assumption in other cases. As a general rule: avoid using explicit formatting. But as an exception to the general rule, plain italics for emphasis doesn't seem likely to cause a problem.
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:49 PM   #58
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perfect

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Yes, epubs should use an external style sheet. The plug-in I use for LibreOffice creates the epub directly, including this external style sheet with all the used styles set up for me. (I presume there is something similar available for Word, but don't know the details.) Since I don't have to manually set up this style sheet I don't see any particular benefit in not using a style for emphasis (it's not like it's a difficult style to define).

Having got that disclaimer out of my system, there is probably not a huge difference, either way, in the case of emphasis, because I don't imagine there will be situations where you want to change how it is displayed. BUT, remember what I said in another post, don't make the mistake of making the same assumption in other cases. As a general rule: avoid using explicit formatting. But as an exception to the general rule, plain italics for emphasis doesn't seem likely to cause a problem.
Thanks G.M. Since my external style sheet that I use for everything has everything set up the way I want it, I'm going to modify the style for the paragraphs for spacing and then when I'm done I'll change it back. I'll use the toolbar for italics.

And I think I understand your way. (And am going to experiment with it.) Your way sounds like the styles create the CSS Styles for you. Isn't that right? But can you set up first line paragraph indentations (I know you can set up block paragraphs) in the style or does that have to come later? Then when you're done working on your LO doc, you have a whole CSS Style sheet. Granted, the CSS would have to be transferred to an external style sheet but that is one copy and paste.

It's so exciting learning this stuff. Thanks.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:05 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
Thanks G.M. Since my external style sheet that I use for everything has everything set up the way I want it, I'm going to modify the style for the paragraphs for spacing and then when I'm done I'll change it back. I'll use the toolbar for italics.

And I think I understand your way. (And am going to experiment with it.) Your way sounds like the styles create the CSS Styles for you. Isn't that right? But can you set up first line paragraph indentations (I know you can set up block paragraphs) in the style or does that have to come later? Then when you're done working on your LO doc, you have a whole CSS Style sheet. Granted, the CSS would have to be transferred to an external style sheet but that is one copy and paste.

It's so exciting learning this stuff. Thanks.
Yes, the styles used in my LibreOffice source are all exported to the CSS by the plug-in. The plug-in I use (Writer2xhtml*) produces a complete and reasonably clean epub file. The contents of that epub file (which is really just a zip file) includes the various .xhtml files for each chapter (the plug-in can be set to automatically split the text by heading level, so each chapter ends up in its own xhtml file with extra no work on my part), and it automatically creates the stylesheet.css file that is referenced by the various xhtml files. (Obviously it also includes all the other stuff needed by epub as well.)

So I don't have to write or maintain anything separately, I can just export directly to epub and then play in Sigil to adjust those things I want to adjust. I do a bunch of mostly unnecessary things likes rename the xhtml files to reflect the actual content: titlepage, dedication, chapter1, etc. (the export just named every separate xhtml as chapter1 .. etc.), and I play with the CSS that was automatically created to do whatever it is that I want to do. One necessary thing to check for (for best results on all ereaders) is that the CSS uses all em and % measurements rather than pixel or inches/cm.

* Note that the site heading says Writer2Latex but it offers a few conversions, one of which is Writer2xhtml - which provides an epub export option in LibreOffice and OpenOffice.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:12 AM   #60
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Just make sure you run your result through the epub validator

http://validator.idpf.org/

and make sure you have no warnings or errors when done.


Also, I am pretty sure using <i> </i> is not valid in EPUB, that you need to us CSS for that.
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