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Old 01-29-2010, 05:04 AM   #1
jlinden
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left alignment revisited

Hi all,

My Kindle DX international arrived and I've been very happy with it.
There is only one thing that is nagging me. I have a lot of non-drmed mobi books which I would like to read on my Kindle. The only problem is that they all show up justified (with straight right margin) which I think is horrible.
My old Cybook shows the files with ragged right margin (which I like!).
I know that Kindle will obey the internal formatting, and I have been converting them with Calibre but with strange results. The only thing that works is converting them to ePub with Calibre, then editing them with Sigil, and then converting them back to .mobi with Calibre .
Most of the time, however, I loose the Table of Contents this way
Do any of you know a better way to reformat the right margin to ragged?
I don't want to wait for Amazon to put the left/right alignment choice back into the firmware...

Thanks,

Jan
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Old 01-29-2010, 03:50 PM   #2
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Here is the odd part...and I have been grousing about this since day 1. The K1 DOES have justification enabled. And apparently, the code is still in the K2 firmware, you need to hack a justification code. So at this point, it becomes either all left-justified or all full-justified.

The fact that the justification code is still alive and well, just disabled, really, REALLY peeves me. I get manual landscape mode..big whoop. But I don't get justification control. Go figure.
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Old 02-11-2010, 01:54 PM   #3
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I've done it messily by going back to the HTML and inserting "align=left" into (literally) every <p> or whatever. Putting it into the style definition at the top of the file didn't work. It's obviously a ludicrous waste of space but it did do the job.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:51 AM   #4
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it works !

Sorry that I didn't follow it up here, but in another thread (calibre) I posed the same question, and I learned that with the newest version (...37 or something) Calibre conversions with the no justification option on will now do the job !! Previous versions did not. All my mobi's are left aligned now.
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naumanqayum View Post
what these Guys talking abt ..maybe i m noob for this thread
They are talking about < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justifi...typesetting%29 >. Also please try to write at least somewhat proper English as some of us is not native English.

Last edited by Jonas777; 02-16-2010 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naumanqayum View Post
what these Guys talking abt ..maybe i m noob for this thread
I could say the same of you.
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argel View Post
I've done it messily by going back to the HTML and inserting "align=left" into (literally) every <p> or whatever. Putting it into the style definition at the top of the file didn't work. It's obviously a ludicrous waste of space but it did do the job.
The easiest way to get left justified is to read ePub with your 505.
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naumanqayum View Post
what these Guys talking abt ..maybe i m noob for this thread
Are youall truly confused about the justification thread, or is my leg being pulled?

The issue (assuming this is a serious inquiry) is that the Kindle forces full justification, that is, the text fully extends from the left to the right. So if there are not enough letters in a line, the Kindle will force the words to be unnaturally spread to make the text reach the right margin.

Left-justification, or ragged-right, allows the right margin to end where the line would naturally end, with no unnatural forcing of spaces.

Since the K1 had the option for ragged-right, and the code apparently still exists in the K2, but not turned on, this is an irk for some people, including me.
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Old 02-17-2010, 07:08 AM   #9
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What's so terrible about full justification? It's been used in books and newspapers for centuries.
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Old 02-17-2010, 07:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike L View Post
What's so terrible about full justification? It's been used in books and newspapers for centuries.
There are those who consider that the small size of the screen, combined with lack of decent hyphenation support, mean that fully justified documents do not look very nice, and prefer left-justification. Certainly not me, though!
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Old 02-17-2010, 04:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike L View Post
What's so terrible about full justification? It's been used in books and newspapers for centuries.
Books and newspapers implement full justification in a far more elegent fashion than the K2 does.

Also, the main - in fact only- reason for full justification is to allow columnar text on pages. Put three or four or five columns on a page and the text needs to be fully justified.

No such requirement for a one-column format such as the Kindle.

This is a matter of preference, but the awkward word spacing of forced justification where not needed, and is avoidable, is irksome to me.

So, Amazon expends the effort to allow landscape mode - a dubious benefit - yet does not bother to turn back on justification. Must be a reason....

Don
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:27 AM   #12
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If you really want left justification, get a Sony Reader PRS-600 and you can start reading ePub in gloriously left justified.
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Old 02-20-2010, 10:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwallbaum View Post
Also, the main - in fact only- reason for full justification is to allow columnar text on pages. Put three or four or five columns on a page and the text needs to be fully justified.

No such requirement for a one-column format such as the Kindle.
Curious, then, that 99.99% of the world's books use full justification, don't you think?
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Old 02-20-2010, 11:06 AM   #14
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What's so terrible about full justification? It's been used in books and newspapers for centuries.
And it works great and looks great when combined with all the other standard typographical conventions (66 letters per line average - clearly a problem for small screen readers, etc.). Professional typesetting software like InDesign or TeX also perform paragraph-level formatting, which means in order to get the spacing between words right so that the right margin is justified, the software will adjust the spacing ever so slightly amongst all the words in the entire paragraph, not just the individual line in question. That's a much more difficult thing to accomplish, but especially with lengthy paragraphs with lots of lines to maneuver, it produces much better results than line-level formatting. The Holy Grail of automated typesetting is page-level formatting or chapter-level formatting, but I don't know of any software package that does this at the moment. Typesetting software can also adjust individual character spacing, but that generally doesn't look as nice unless the allowable adjustment is kept to very tight limits.

Reflowable formats just as ePub or Mobi don't do any of this sort of complex formatting, so the text looks like crap compared to a PDF generated by InDesign or TeX. Thus, many people want to just have their right margins ragged so they don't have those annoyingly large gaps between words.
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Old 02-20-2010, 11:16 AM   #15
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Curious, then, that 99.99% of the world's books use full justification, don't you think?
Printed books are hand-formatted to fit a known form-factor and, more importantly, use hyphenation to preserve reasonable spacing. And they are actually proof-read to ensure a good appearance.

None of this is done in ebooks. In fact, my experience with ebooks purchased from major publishers is that they are not proofread at all.

The choice appears to be between ragged right margins, and erratic and unpredictable spacing between words— sometimes ending up with two short words on a line. I'll take the ragged right margin.

Mike

Last edited by JMikeD; 02-20-2010 at 11:17 AM. Reason: Tamned dypos
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