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Old 03-19-2010, 11:30 PM   #1
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Reformatting .txt files

Hi all,

Probably a dumb question but, is there any way that I can reformat an ebook .txt file so that it is more friendly to my Sony PRS-505 when after importing I ask for a medium sized font (eyes aren't what they used to be). I hate reading when the lines are chopped in disarray and apparent disorder. I have Mac MS Word and Mac iWork Pages as word processing resources.

Any advice would be gratefully accepted. Thank you in advance.

jim
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:43 PM   #2
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Answered my own question

My test book for this exercise was "Seven Pillars of Wisdom" by T.E. Lawrence. I just ordered this out-of-print text from an Amazon vendor but shortly afterward I discovered a copy at http://gutenberg.net.au/

After loading it into my Sony PRS-505 it really looked choppy and because I am kind of picky on form and appearance, I sought to amend the form so that even after changing the font size on my eReader, it would still look orderly and consistent.

It appears to me that I have managed to do that with the help of the information found at the URL listed below. My text editor was Apple iWork PAGES.

http://www.handebooks.com/howto/tips.html

jim
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:35 AM   #3
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Actually, there's an LRF version of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom in our own upload section:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10190

Here are some simple ways of removing the annoying linebreaks in text files.
Start by pasting the file into a doc. Then try one of the following:

Replacing Breaks using Word
Paste the text file into a word document. Save it.
Open Find and Replace (In the “Edit” menu). You need to make three passes with it.
1. Find ^p^p (i.e. find two paragraph marks. The symbols are in More then Special. The paragraph mark is at the top of the list.). Replace with @ (These act as placeholders to preserve the real paragraphs.)
2. Now, for the second pass, find ^p (single paragraph mark). Replace with a single space.
3. Finally, for the third pass, find @ and replace with either a single paragraph mark, or two paragraph marks if you prefer an empty line between paragraphs.

Stingo’s Word Macro
This does a good job at removing the hard line breaks in text files and making a reflowable document. It also sets the font to Times New Roman, point 14. Once installed, it is very easy to use. Paste your text file into a word document. Save the Doc and run the macro.
You can find it here, together with instructions on how to install it:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8793
(The only time this has ever given me trouble was when I failed to save the doc before running the macro. It crashed.)

BookCreator
MobileRead member =X= has produced BookCreator. This is a Word template containing a number of useful macros, which speed up the editing process. He envisages using it in connection with Calibre. However, it is entirely feasible to run the macros and then import the edited document into BD.
BookCreator is available here:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28313
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:03 AM   #4
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Hello,

If you plan to use OpenOffice, you could use this extension called MyTXTcleaner
http://www.box.net/shared/etq31z1u15

It installs a little icon on the top left, and just do the job (well, open your file before...).
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:57 AM   #5
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My preferred solution is to use a freeware tool called "Textify" which you'll find here.
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Old 03-21-2010, 03:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricia View Post
Paste the text file into a word document. Save it.
Open Find and Replace (In the “Edit” menu). You need to make three passes with it.
1. Find ^p^p (i.e. find two paragraph marks. The symbols are in More then Special. The paragraph mark is at the top of the list.). Replace with @ (These act as placeholders to preserve the real paragraphs.)
2. Now, for the second pass, find ^p (single paragraph mark). Replace with a single space.
3. Finally, for the third pass, find @ and replace with either a single paragraph mark, or two paragraph marks if you prefer an empty line between paragraphs.
On a Mac you can just copy paragraphs and line breaks and paste them into the search and replace window.

To the OP: I would suggest using Pages for this - the search and replace seems to be more stable and a little easier to use than in Word. I've done this a lot recently with some books I've re-formatted, and whenever I start working in Word I often find myself shifting to Pages.

When finished, you can export from Pages to RTF - though I would suggest copying and pasting the whole thing into a new RTF document (TextEdit). It gives a 'cleaner' file. The RTF file can be converted in Calibre to for example ePUB if you don't like how RTF looks on the Reader.
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Old 03-21-2010, 03:47 PM   #7
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My preferred solution is to use a freeware tool called "Textify" which you'll find here.
WOW!!

Thank you, that is so easy to use.
The worst book I ever read was on my Palm Pilot. It had one 250 page paragraph, no indents, carriage returns etc.
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Old 03-21-2010, 11:23 PM   #8
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Mac Pages and MS Word - Text Editing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ea View Post
On a Mac you can just copy paragraphs and line breaks and paste them into the search and replace window.

To the OP: I would suggest using Pages for this - the search and replace seems to be more stable and a little easier to use than in Word. I've done this a lot recently with some books I've re-formatted, and whenever I start working in Word I often find myself shifting to Pages.

When finished, you can export from Pages to RTF - though I would suggest copying and pasting the whole thing into a new RTF document (TextEdit). It gives a 'cleaner' file. The RTF file can be converted in Calibre to for example ePUB if you don't like how RTF looks on the Reader.
To EA: You're correct about Pages. It's what I ended up using - both for its stability and ease of use with Find/Replace. Word couldn't hold the contents of the book for longer than 2 minutes before it crashed, regardless of what I did to fix it. Your photography is very nice.

To all: Thank you. I learn. The challenge is to remember.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:18 AM   #9
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To EA: You're correct about Pages. It's what I ended up using - both for its stability and ease of use with Find/Replace. Word couldn't hold the contents of the book for longer than 2 minutes before it crashed, regardless of what I did to fix it. Your photography is very nice.
Thank you - nice of you to say so

Word for Mac really isn't all that great. Pages generally work so much better. But I've read the next version of Word for Mac should be quite improved.
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:28 AM   #10
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My preferred solution is to use a freeware tool called "Textify" which you'll find here.
Where did you find this app? Or did you write it yourself?

Could we see the source code? FOSS FTW.
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:16 PM   #11
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Where did you find this app? Or did you write it yourself?

Could we see the source code? FOSS FTW.
I downloaded it from a Usenet newsgroup many, many years ago. I'm afraid I don't have the source code for it.
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:17 AM   #12
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This one?
http://1scripts.net/archive/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=5&p=88
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:03 PM   #13
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No, that's a different program with the same name.
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:57 AM   #14
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http://sno2.iwarp.com/ebook-faq/

I can't see any source code for it though, which is a pity.
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:05 AM   #15
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My preferred solution is to use a freeware tool called "Textify" which you'll find here.
Holy smokes! I've tried multiple text cleaning programs, including Text Soap on the Mac, and Textify cleaned multiple files perfectly. Brilliant little program, that is.
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