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Old 06-15-2010, 07:17 PM   #1
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More on working around the font-size issue

Just a comment on the font-size issue. Sorry if this has been said elsewhere, but I couldn't see it.

I have found that the minimal change to the .css files is to delete the lines
font-size: 1em;
Lines that define other sizes, for example:
font-size: 1.5 em;
are useful and do do not cause me problems

If the font sizes are defined in points, then I convert them to em using 12 pt (or occasionally 11 pt) = 1 em.
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:12 PM   #2
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that's good to know - so standard paragraph size is what? like 1.5em?
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekidintheclock View Post
that's good to know - so standard paragraph size is what? like 1.5em?
An em is a relative size - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Em_%28typography%29
  • 1 em is the default font size,
  • 1.5 em is 50% larger,
  • 0.5 em is half the default size, etc
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:28 AM   #4
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There are so many threads on the ePub font problem ... I'll try this one here.

I purchased a HarperCollins ePub from Kobo. It displayed correctly on the Kobo. But, I didn't like the cover and wanted to add a few comments, so I removed the DRM. I checked the file in Kobo -- it still displayed correctly. In other words, the DRM was gone, but the file itself was not altered.

Then I added the non-DRM edition to Calibre, made my change to the cover, etc, and allowed Calibre to recreate the ePub. I fired up the file in Kobo and -- voilá -- the font was tiny.

I then went back and compared the html and the .css files in the non-DRM Kobo original vs the post-Calibre converted files.

What do you know: all the wonderful formatting created by LD.css (size 6,214 bytes) and the original html files (such as chapter 1 at 17,419 bytes) in the Kobo edition had been overwritten by Calibre and a stylesheet.css (3,728 bytes) and newly crafted html files (such as chapter 1 at 17,924 bytes) as created by Calibre.

In other words -- while I thought Calibre was merely replacing the cover, and adding a few comments in the "overview", Calibre had done a wholesale reformatting of the entire book.

No wonder the ePub files appeared to be broken ... in this case it was the conversion itself which broke them.

Calibre is a fine tool -- but in this case it got in the way of a perfectly fine book. Obviously, where books arrive already with tiny fonts, Calibre is not to blame. So the fix the Kobo folks are working on -- to interpret CSS files in a new way -- is most welcome and may, passing, "re-fix" the fixes Calibre adds.

Last edited by SensualPoet; 06-20-2010 at 12:37 AM. Reason: added clarity
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:54 AM   #5
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@SP - It may be that Sigil is a better tool for making small changes to epub files. I haven't used either tool recently. I tend to use vi or gedit for editing text files, but I don't mind learning all about xhtml and css (and the epub standard...). In principle, it should be fairly easy, but the manifest and ncx files would certainly have to be changed. Perhaps an inquiry in the Calibre forum would uncover the correct switches to inflict minimal damage to existing css and html files.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:25 AM   #6
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SensualPoet, very interesting find.

When I was trying to figure out what I could do to alter the CSS files to get the font-sizing working on some of my ePubs. I found that if I moved the style with the font-size: 1em reference to to a class that was not being used on a <P> (paragraph) tag in the html that the whole thing seemed to work. After I found that I could do it on a few ePubs I gave up since each ePub had the HTML structure set a little differently and it meant that it was something I would have to figure out for each ePub.

I'm thinking that when you recreated the ePub using Calibre, the style sheet must have been adjusted to have the font-sizing set on a <P> and that might have caused it to stop working.

Hopefully the firmware that is coming will fix the problem completely and we can just forget it ever was.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:14 PM   #7
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Really ... can it be this easy?

I was poking around again ...

Calibre seems to rewrite everything. But in MOST epubs, there is ONE definition which applies to the vast amount of body in the book. Here's an example:

.calibre3 {
display: block;
font-size: 1em;
margin-bottom: 0%;
margin-left: 1em;
margin-right: 1em;
margin-top: 0%;
text-align: left;
text-indent: 1.5em
}

It's easy to see which is the main body since Calibre appears to re-assign the attribute on every single paragraph.

Here is ONE simple change that turns a left justified fixed very small book into a justified, user-controlled variable size font (the Kobo font button works) e-book:

.calibre3 {
display: block;
font-size: normal;
margin-bottom: 0%;
margin-left: 1em;
margin-right: 1em;
margin-top: 0%;
text-align: justify;
text-indent: 1.5em
}

This is the beauty of style-sheets: they are universal throughout the document(s).

Instead of "trashing" stylesheet.css ... make one small edit to the section which controls the main body of the book. In this example, it was ".calibre3" and that was easy to find since every paragraph in the html is labelled that way.

"Normal" appear to be a default which allows the e-reader to take control.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:37 PM   #8
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Sensual poet, If we have small font books in Calibre that are not from kobobooks can we just leave them until the update occurs and then load them to the reader and they will be fine? Does anything have to be done to them or is it just a matter of waiting for the kobo update?

I am not computer literate so I apologize if this is a stupid question. Thank you in advance.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:40 PM   #9
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The thing is, the update to the firmware is due out soon. So by the time you've edited all your ePub for the Kobo, the new firmware will be out.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:42 PM   #10
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I strongly agree that we lean on the Kobo update to fix things.

Having said that, I would hope Calibre might adjust it's conversion algorithm specifically for Kobo is necessary since its is the conversion which is "breaking" files. Kobo appears to require "Normal" to allow manual font changes ... that would be soooo simple to encode at Calibre.

In any case ... tons of folks here seem to be intent on DIY solutions and this might be one. BTW, have you sampled the Kobo yourself? It's a VERY nice e-ink device to hold and read from with its 6" display.
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Old 06-25-2010, 01:59 AM   #11
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ok, sorry to be a pain but ... I just got a Kobo a few days ago and love it but a, really confused about this font issue. I have been looking for ways to fix it but all the solutions i can find talk about editing .css ... I am aware of what a CSS is but I have no idea how to edit them in my ebooks. The books I am trying to use right now happen to be .lit files. I have Calibre and I like it so far as transferring books to my Kobo but I don't understand a single thing in the editing options. I even tried just copy/pasting the .css alteration found in Sensualpoet's post but it did nothing...what am I doing wrong? Seriously, speak to me like I am 5, because I am just not gettting this. Thanks for any help.

PS. I understand Kobo is supposed to be working on a fix for this but there are a bunch of books in my library I really want to read sooner than later, I am sure you all understand that feeling, thanks again
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Old 06-25-2010, 02:20 AM   #12
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I've been asking for simple for days. Doesn't look like this is the forum for simple.
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Old 06-25-2010, 09:08 AM   #13
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http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=83209

Just point at the folder with your troublesome epubs, and Voila!
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Old 06-25-2010, 09:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msjinxx View Post
ok, sorry to be a pain but ...
The books I am trying to use right now happen to be .lit files. I have Calibre and I like it so far as transferring books to my Kobo but I don't understand a single thing in the editing options.
You seem to have two problems here, and I don't know if you properly solved the conversion from .lit to .epub. Calibre will definitely do this job for you - just click on "Convert E-books". In the process of conversion, if you want to avoid any editing or using the font-fixer application that was suggested by Stinger, the easiest thing is to do disable the font size rescaling. When you select to convert your .lit books to .epub, on the "Look and Feel" option just check the "Disable font size rescaling".

Personally, I use Sigil to edit CSS files, but that would probably be too much if you want to keep things simple.
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