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Old 07-05-2010, 11:05 AM   #1
curio
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Question [Old thread] Multiple versions of a book in the same format

I'm kind of surprised that nobody appears to have asked this before -- my search in the forums came up empty.

With PDF in particular, I think it is not uncommon that it would be desirable to have multiple instances managed with a single book entry (e.g., an original PDF and one post-processed for small-screen devices). However, due to the way Calibre automatically replaces existing files of a given format when a new one in the same format is added, I'm left wishing for something which does not appear to be possible.

Is there a way to keep multiple files of the same format with a single book entry? If not by design, is there a workaround other than adding differently-named files manually to the book's directory?
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:26 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curio View Post
I'm kind of surprised that nobody appears to have asked this before -- my search in the forums came up empty.
It's been asked before, but not often. It would be hard to find by searching.
Quote:
With PDF in particular, I think it is not uncommon that it would be desirable to have multiple instances managed with a single book entry (e.g., an original PDF and one post-processed for small-screen devices). However, due to the way Calibre automatically replaces existing files of a given format when a new one in the same format is added, I'm left wishing for something which does not appear to be possible.

Is there a way to keep multiple files of the same format with a single book entry? If not by design, is there a workaround other than adding differently-named files manually to the book's directory?
I'm not sure why you want a single book record. I copy the first book and all its formats/metadata (make a blank book and use the merge-keep others option), then replace the pdf in the new book record and mark that book with a tag or title change. Alternatively, just drag the new pdf over to the main GUI screen, wait for it to ask if you want to keep duplicates, say yes, then merge the metadata/formats from the first book record (with the keep option)

If you really need it in the same book entry, add a zip or rar file with all of your pdfs inside.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starson17 View Post
It's been asked before, but not often. It would be hard to find by searching.


I'm not sure why you want a single book record. I copy the first book and all its formats/metadata (make a blank book and use the merge-keep others option), then replace the pdf in the new book record and mark that book with a tag or title change. Alternatively, just drag the new pdf over to the main GUI screen, wait for it to ask if you want to keep duplicates, say yes, then merge the metadata/formats from the first book record (with the keep option)

If you really need it in the same book entry, add a zip or rar file with all of your pdfs inside.
Once again, you have a workable solution.

I have found a few reasons to have "versions" of the same document.

"Stripped" of images that don't scale well.
Other, less than optimal tweaks just for the tiny, small screens

Having to remember to press "Keep"
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Having to remember to press "Keep"
I've made that mistake, too. That's why I usually start off by duplicating the whole book record first (add an empty book, select it, then merge/keep in the other). If I accidentally merge/delete, I don't lose anything. If I do it right - with merge/keep - then I can play around with the new record without risk to the formats/metadata in the old record.
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:07 PM   #5
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I'm not sure why you want a single book record.
Because it's cleaner that way. It's the same book, why have multiple records just because I have multiple files in the same format? After all, I don't create separate records for different formats either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starson17 View Post
I copy the first book and all its formats/metadata (make a blank book and use the merge-keep others option), then replace the pdf in the new book record and mark that book with a tag or title change. Alternatively, just drag the new pdf over to the main GUI screen, wait for it to ask if you want to keep duplicates, say yes, then merge the metadata/formats from the first book record (with the keep option)

If you really need it in the same book entry, add a zip or rar file with all of your pdfs inside.
I'll probably go the Zip/RAR route -- thanks for the suggestion! Both this and the suggested duplication are kludges, though. IMHO the single-file-per-type assumption is a design flaw, or maybe I'm just too stubborn in persisting to be able to add all versions of a book to a single record.
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Because it's cleaner that way. It's the same book
If you have it formatted a different way for different devices, you'll want to tag it differently ("an original PDF and one post-processed for small-screen devices"). Tags are associated with the book record, not the formats within that record, so for that to work, you need separate book records for all of your "post-processed for small-screen devices" formatted books.

However, one thing I've learned is that everyone has a different way of doing things that seems "right" to them. Fortunately, Calibre can accommodate most of them.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:38 PM   #7
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Fortunately, Calibre can accommodate most of them.
Yup!
That is why it is so great.
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:54 AM   #8
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Just want to add my voice to this thread. I too would like to see calibre with the ability to have multiple versions of the same filetype, (I'm beginning to experience situations where this would have been handy).

Thankyou and goodnight.
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Old 07-30-2010, 01:56 AM   #9
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I've come up with a kludge of my own to work around the limitation: Whenever I create an optimized version of an eBook for my Nook, I add the original with a suffix of "-orig" (i.e., "foo.pdf" would become "foo.pdf-orig"). This way, I can keep both the original and a modified PDF in Calibre. No silver bullet, though, as you'll again face issues if you create multiple optimized versions, say, for multiple devices.
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Old 07-31-2010, 05:10 AM   #10
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Thanks Curio... that's actually a pretty neat work-around.
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curio View Post
I've come up with a kludge of my own to work around the limitation: Whenever I create an optimized version of an eBook for my Nook, I add the original with a suffix of "-orig" (i.e., "foo.pdf" would become "foo.pdf-orig").
Hi, curio

This is an interesting work-around. Have you tried moving your Calibre library since you started doing this. I was wondering whether the Calibre-unknown formats, such as .pdf-orig, got properly moved with the known formats (epub, zip etc) for any particular book.
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:21 PM   #12
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This is an interesting work-around. Have you tried moving your Calibre library since you started doing this. I was wondering whether the Calibre-unknown formats, such as .pdf-orig, got properly moved with the known formats (epub, zip etc) for any particular book.
No, I haven't. Does "moving the library" mean simply moving the base directory someplace else? I don't think that this would have any side-effects.
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:24 PM   #13
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whether a format is known or not doesn't matter when moving the library.
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:35 PM   #14
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Thank you for quick replies. A possibility then. I haven't dared risk it before.
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Old 05-13-2011, 04:37 AM   #15
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it's a rather old, thread, but I too still like the more versions-option.
Despite the workaround.
For example, if I have mybook - me.pdf and add mybook_lowres - me.pdf and I rename the author (say make it you) or the title, mybook_lowres - me.pdf will not be removed from my calibre-folder.
A post-processed file will often have a (significant) different size, so I will know which one I want to use if I use the edit-metadata screen.

Also, while I my library expands extreme, copies of my processed books take more space but more annoying, I have to use more covers (I want (small) covers for all books). This is a lot of slowdown during calibre start.
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