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Old 05-30-2014, 07:40 PM   #1
Zora
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Blank pages before new chapter on iPad

Recent client is a dream client, in many ways, but he is fussy about how his ebook displays. He uses an iPad, which I do not have. The ebook I have formatted for him (and tweaked endlessly) is now close to what he wants except ... he says that he sees a blank page before every new chapter.

My .css file has

div.chapter
{
page-break-before:always;
}

That works perfectly on every other reader. Is there some reason this is generating blank pages on the iPad? If so, is there some way I can fix this without breaking it for every other ereader?
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Old 05-31-2014, 01:00 AM   #2
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If chapters are in new files then there is a break always anyway, no css required.

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Old 05-31-2014, 01:08 AM   #3
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All in separate files. I will edit the .css file and see if that fixes the problem.
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Old 05-31-2014, 04:50 AM   #4
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Don't do that, I have been banging my head at the wall many times trying to solve this issue.
It's a problem with iBooks and there is absolutely no way to solve it, some pages will disappear depending on font-size and others won't.

Q: Why shouldn't you use page-break- rules?
A: Because the eBook is NOT only made for iPad but for other readers, if you use Calibre for example then you will see this easily, there won't be a page break and that's exactly what you want there to be.

Solution:
1. Keep every chapter in separate file.
2. Validate your file according to the EpubCheck 3.0.1 for EPUB 3
3. If you get a blank page try to play with the margins/padding and line breaks in the page before so on most font sizes the blank page will disappear. It's best to make it work for medium->bigger font sizes following the notion that people who can read smaller letters are usually younger, hence, care less about these things.

I have an iPad 3, if you want, send me the file and i'll try to fix it for you.

Last edited by odedta; 05-31-2014 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 05-31-2014, 01:25 PM   #5
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Thanks, Odedta. I have notified the client that version 20140530-3 of the epub is now deprecated as well as sending him your comment. Perhaps he can just accept that the software on his iPad *will* insist on doing this. He tends to want to optimize for the device he uses and forget about the others.
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Old 05-31-2014, 01:34 PM   #6
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I should add that I don't want to mess with the font sizes. That is for each user to determine.

That's a real issue for me, because I do most of my reading on the tiny, tiny screen of my old iPod. Works for me because I'm incredibly near-sighted. I set the font to the tiniest possible, take off my glasses, and hold the iPod two inches from my face. Extreme fonts r us.
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Old 06-07-2014, 02:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zora View Post
Thanks, Odedta. I have notified the client that version 20140530-3 of the epub is now deprecated as well as sending him your comment. Perhaps he can just accept that the software on his iPad *will* insist on doing this. He tends to want to optimize for the device he uses and forget about the others.
ALL clients want to do that. We get clients that will literally insist that we insert a page-break, to force a line that they are seeing as a widow, to have a companion line. Naturally, they're seeing it at ONE font size only, on one device...they don't even try to change the font sizes, or the screen orientation, or (if Kindle Previewer, for example), other "devices." The same is spectacularly true for iPad-clients; bet he hasn't even changed the font, much less the font-size. {shrug}. You shouldn't try to satisfy that type of insensibility to the environment of eBooks; they need to better understand the workings.

I've lost track of the hundreds--literally--of images and videos of this I've made for clients on this very topic. "This is what your ebook looks like. This is your ebook on drugs (font size 4). This is your ebook with a different font, at font-size 5," and so on and so forth. And do we have all this stuff in our FAQ, Resources and Handbook? YES, we do. Do they read it? NO, they don't. It's an uphill battle, but if you give in to it too much, it gets unmanageable.

If you're making the book with all the sections/chapters in their own files, as odedta said, the "page-break-before:always" is redundant. You should remove it; the chapters will all start on their own pages naturally without it, on virtually every device I've ever seen. iBooks will insert additional blanks for what SEEMS to be no apparent reason, but it's usually something, if you spend enough time tracking it down--and it's particularly noticeable in the first-gen iPads. I wouldn't spend more time on it, really.

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Old 06-07-2014, 03:53 AM   #8
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I chatted with another ebook formatter at Stackexchange and he also advised dropping the page-break command. I did that and the ebook worked fine in Calibre and ADE after all. Have not heard back from the client re acceptability of the latest version.

It would be much simpler if I had an iPad, but I am too poor to buy one. I still feel somewhat diffident about my formatting skills and am reluctant to advertise myself. I'm learning and improving, however. Perhaps I'll feel like a pro someday
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Old 06-07-2014, 02:02 PM   #9
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The thing is, if you are making eBooks to be used with iBooks, you really HAVE to have iBooks handy and sometimes you have to have the same device. If the device is an iPad, you'll need an iPad. And you might need the same version iPad. It the iPad is an original iPad, then you'll need to find an original iPad. All the other can be used interchangeably for now. If it's an iPhone, you'll need the same size iPhone. The 5 and 4s are not interchangeable even with the same version iBooks due to the screen size.
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