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Old 08-30-2015, 10:04 AM   #1
Francois_C
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"Add file" security, please;)

There is a fine feature in Calibre, which allows adding a new file (ODT, DOCX, etc) file into an existing book folder.
But I had just a rather annoying misadventure: I often convert epubs with lots of mistakes into DOCX, then I save them into ODT, and work on the ODT with Libreoffice before I convert them back to epub. So I had worked for hours on an ODT, and corrected thousands of mistakes; the file was already nearly clean, I made an epub with Amanuensis, then thought that having my ODT known by Calibre would be pretty secure, in case one change in the metadata would have modified the name of the folder and erased all files which were unknown to Calibre.
So I added my ODT to Calibre (right-click on add books and so on)… then, in order to check the result, I converted the ODT into epub with Calibre. Horror! I got another book by the same writer!
What happened to me? When importing my ODT I chose the wrong folder, and Calibre silently overwrote my existing copy which cost me so much work with a renamed copy of the other book.
I had noticed this eventuality before, but this is the first time I'm completely unable to recover my work, for I usually keep several safety copies: The ODT was overwritten by the renamed one, and, of course, even the Amanuensis epub which would have kept my work had just been overwritten by my unfortunate test.
I know I was wrong, an totally ridiculous, as I lost my work by fear of losing it, but maybe a small "if exist" test when importing a new file would avoid this?
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:14 AM   #2
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You can also drag and drop onto the wrong Book. That assumes you know what you have (bypasses extract/decode the metadata)

Add books has a safety (of sort) setting (see image)

Tweaks also has settings if you use the Copy To Library feature
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Old 08-30-2015, 07:14 PM   #3
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@Francois_C - FWIW I find the easiest way to add a new ebook format (eg ODT) to an existing book, is to drag the file from a file manager and drop it onto the book details panel - its a big target and therefore not easily missed

I do something very similar to what you seem to be doing on 10-20 'books' every day.
  • I first convert <whatever> to RTF in calibre.
  • From calibre I open the RTF in Word.
  • After a applying a couple of RTF-only macros I save as DOCX.
  • I close the DOCX in Word.
  • I go back to calibre and open the book folder (press 'O')
  • I drag/drop the just created DOCX file to the book details panel.
  • I then 'View' the DOCX from calibre in Word and do my editing.
  • As and when I 'feel like it' I close the DOCX in Word, go back to calibre convert the DOCX to EPUB and have a look at it.
I keep the RTF until I have an acceptable EPUB then I remove it via Alt+Del.

In Windows Word locks the files it has open, if I try to do anything with such a file in calibre (e.g. convert) then calibre will pop a message telling me the file is locked. File locking is a Windows feature, I don't know if Open Office makes use of it.

I often make 'mistakes' when I get an interrupt, phone, door, text message etc. So, I put a pro-forma check list into the books I'm working on. Its in the form of a OneNote note (.ONE file), it gets removed along with RTF when I have 'finished' a book. My 'mistake' rate has dropped to near zero since I started to do this.

Occasionally I will have a book that requires extra steps in the process, often using software other than calibre, word and irfanview. I those instances I create a directory out of calibres reach and copy what I have in the calibre book folder to that location. I then use whatever tools are needed - including calibre command line tools - to get the job done. When I'm done I copy the files I want to have in the calibre book folder via drag/drop into the book details panel.

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Old 08-31-2015, 01:21 AM   #4
kovidgoyal
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Umm there is already a confirmation popup when you use Add Books->Add files to selected book records or drag and drop onto the book details panel. Perhaps you disabled it? If so, go to Preferences->Behavior->Reset disabled confirmation dialogs.
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Last edited by kovidgoyal; 08-31-2015 at 01:24 AM.
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