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Old 10-04-2010, 04:02 AM   #1
jmacg
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Can't change font or font size in ereaders

I've just done my first ebook - using Sigil in Windows. It's mostly OK, but on the two readers I've looked at it on, the font size controls don't work. All they do is increase or decrease the leading. And they change the size of chapter headings. But not the body font. The readers I have used are Kobo and Stanza.

Nor can I change the font itself.

Any ideas? Surely I should have to tweak code to achieve these very basic things?
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Old 10-04-2010, 04:29 AM   #2
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Check in the stylesheet/css files, usually if the fonts can't be changed, they're set at given pt or px size, e.g. font-size:10pt;

Change these to 'em' values, - font-size:1.0em;

You man need to test various em values to get correct size you want.

Edit:
'em' values are better for the 'resizing' for e-readers

Last edited by Perkin; 10-04-2010 at 04:39 AM.
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmacg View Post
I've just done my first ebook - using Sigil in Windows. It's mostly OK, but on the two readers I've looked at it on, the font size controls don't work. All they do is increase or decrease the leading. And they change the size of chapter headings. But not the body font. The readers I have used are Kobo and Stanza.

Nor can I change the font itself.

Any ideas? Surely I should have to tweak code to achieve these very basic things?
There are a lot of things Sigil does not do for you.
Like Base font resizing (OK, almost nothing with fonts).
You get the very basic: Bold (1 font-weight), Italic (1font-style), Underline or StrikeThru (2 font-decorations) . Headings are not a substitute for font control

Perkin had the idea, play in em.
if you place a simple line with no styling
Code:
<p> Test </p>
and look at it on your reader without using any "Zoom" controls, that is 1em on your reader.


Now find the style selector that controls your standard Paragraph in your book.
locate, font-size: add 1 or 2 tenths to the 1em
and see how you like the result. Trim up or down by hundredths.

On my 5" Astak, I use 1.25em for basic text (and Zoom 2, the default Zoom 1 seems to ignore the base size)
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Old 10-04-2010, 04:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by theducks View Post
There are a lot of things Sigil does not do for you.
Like Base font resizing (OK, almost nothing with fonts).
Oh! And there was I hoping not to have to dirty my hands with code! (There was a typo in my original message, which said 'Surely I should have to tweak code to achieve these very basic things?' I meant to say shouldn't have to...)

Given that the ability to change font size and even the fonts themselves is one of the basic selling points of ebooks, I'm amazed that Sigil doesn't produce an ePub file that automatically allows this. We’ve only had our iPad for a couple of weeks and my wife just came back from a trip to Australia exclaiming about how much better books were to read on the iPad on the plane, compared to a standard book. The ability to have a larger type size, that was more contrasty, was what she really appreciated in the gloomy aircraft cabin. (She was less complimentary about the standard of typesetting in the two NYT Bestseller books she read on the Kindle Reader installed on the iPad.)

But thanks very much for the suggestions. I'll see what I can do with the code to provide something better. The text size that came out on my iPad was too small for comfortable reading. I imagine that on a smaller screen like the Kobo it would be very small.

Something your replies did not address was the issue of the ereader font size controls actually widening the leading between lines of type. I certainly need to stop it doing that - other than the increases/decreases in leading that should naturally accompany changes in size in the font itself.

Also strange was the fact that changing the font size in the ereader made chapter headings bigger, even if it didn't affect the body type.

I’ll have a bash at the code for type size and see what I come up with.

Thanks
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Old 10-04-2010, 05:15 PM   #5
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It is the readers fault if a font won't rescale., Not Sigil's.

All I was explaining is how to fudge the starting point on the re-scale.
Note that you can not rescale images of words (jpgs...) on your reader.
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Old 10-04-2010, 05:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmacg View Post
I'm amazed that Sigil doesn't produce an ePub file that automatically allows this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by theducks View Post
It is the readers fault if a font won't rescale., Not Sigil's.
Ducky said all that needs to be said.
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theducks View Post
It is the readers fault if a font won't rescale., Not Sigil's.
Yes it is not Sigil's fault that the font is not rescaling but neither is it the e-reader's fault either. The device is doing exactly what is asked of it; namely display the font at a fixed size.

Where a size is specified relatively (such as the aforementioned leading) it does that too.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shall1028 View Post
Yes it is not Sigil's fault that the font is not rescaling but neither is it the e-reader's fault either. The device is doing exactly what is asked of it; namely display the font at a fixed size.

Where a size is specified relatively (such as the aforementioned leading) it does that too.
Good point.
If I specify 12pt font.
That is what I get. No scaling allowed
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:40 PM   #9
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Specifying fixed type sizes is bad in principle, whether it's on a ebook or on the web. Not everyone has 25 year old eyes. And because screen resolution and screen sizes vary, there’s no way fixed font sizes can deliver the same actual font size to every viewer. Designers used to do a lot of type size specification for the web but in recent years, fortunately, they've largely given it up. They finally figured that people like the freedom to increase font size on their web pages. Fixed font size on the web became a particular pain in the butt as screen resolution increased on monitors and laptop screens – that can make a lot of text uncomfortably small. The principle is no different with an ebook reader.

The fixed font size that Sigil gave to my ebook file was also too small for comfortable reading. So yes - it is Sigil's fault that the font is not scalable on the eventual ebook reader. Scalable faults should be Sigil’s default situation.
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:27 PM   #10
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Code:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.1//EN"
  "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml11/DTD/xhtml11.dtd">

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
  <title></title>
</head>

<body>
  <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;test</p>

  <p><br /></p>
</body>
</html>
Show ME where Sigil encoded a font size?
(This is the blank page Sigil starts wit. I typed the Word "Test" (return)
And saved.
NO FONT INFO AT ALL
NO STYLESHEET CREATED
Sigil's creator came out and said it adds no font sizing and yoy just called him a Liar.


If I could give you negative Karma I would

Go Away
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:10 PM   #11
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Others in this thread have suggested that Sigil does deliver a fixed font size by default. That's how I interpret comments like: "There are a lot of things Sigil does not do for you. Like Base font resizing (OK, almost nothing with fonts). You get the very basic: Bold (1 font-weight), Italic (1font-style), Underline or StrikeThru (2 font-decorations)."

Now I admit I'm a total newbie, and I may have misinterpreted the above, and other comments, that led me to believe I would have to change the code myself before fonts could be made scalable in an ereader. And while I’m a newbie as far as HTML and Sigil are concerned, I do have long experience with book design and I know that what Sigil delivered to the ebook readers on my iPad was not good design.

I do know I did exactly as I was advised to do in the Sigil tutorial. I loaded text created in MS Word and saved as HTML (web page, filtered). I made no changes to the code whatsoever, and the result was a small fixed font in the ereader.

So what’s with the negative karma nonsense?

My point is that I believe Sigil should produce code that by default allows fonts to be scalable in ereaders.

Would my result have been any different if I had loaded plain text into Sigil, rather than HTML?
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmacg View Post
Others in this thread have suggested that Sigil does deliver a fixed font size by default. That's how I interpret comments like: "There are a lot of things Sigil does not do for you. Like Base font resizing (OK, almost nothing with fonts). You get the very basic: Bold (1 font-weight), Italic (1font-style), Underline or StrikeThru (2 font-decorations)."

Now I admit I'm a total newbie, and I may have misinterpreted the above, and other comments, that led me to believe I would have to change the code myself before fonts could be made scalable in an ereader. And while I’m a newbie as far as HTML and Sigil are concerned, I do have long experience with book design and I know that what Sigil delivered to the ebook readers on my iPad was not good design.

I do know I did exactly as I was advised to do in the Sigil tutorial. I loaded text created in MS Word and saved as HTML (web page, filtered). I made no changes to the code whatsoever, and the result was a small fixed font in the ereader.

So what’s with the negative karma nonsense?

My point is that I believe Sigil should produce code that by default allows fonts to be scalable in ereaders.

Would my result have been any different if I had loaded plain text into Sigil, rather than HTML?
Your source provided a fixed font, if any, NOT SIGIL.
In absence of any instructions, your reader provides a fixed font.
Them's called DEFAULTS.

Hear no font specification, see no font size controls.

GIGO
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:00 AM   #13
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I believe that, if readers provide a fixed font in the absence of any instructions, then in the interests of ergonomics and good design, Sigil should output instructions that let readers to do scalable fonts.

Now hopefully I'll find time to try code tweaking tomorrow. I haven't been able to get near the project today.
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Old 10-05-2010, 04:38 AM   #14
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The 'fault' is with whoever provided the original document. They would have set a default font size (Or the program they used). Go and moan at them about providing a document that doesn't rescale, and see what help you'll get from them. (none probably)

Open the epub in sigil, open each of the stylesheets, look for font-size: #pt or font-size: #px, especially in body{} or p{} definitions.

Change them to font-size: #em , and as a rough guide:
If the orignal was 'pt' then divide the # by 10 (so for 10pt change to 1.0em)
If the original was 'px' then dividie the # by 20 (so for 20px change to 1.0em)

Save and test epub in reader, if it still won't resize, you'll have to open each of the document sections and also check the header for style content which sets the font-size.

Even worse depending on how old the document or bad the original designer was, there could be thousands of font-definitions in the html code of the documents, which you'll need to remove, search & replace is your friend here.

It could just be one definition in one stylesheet, inside a body{} definition.

The reason the headers aren't stuck at one size, is they are defined differently from the body/paragraph texts, in there own h# definitions (if they've even been defined), and were probably overlooked by the original designer. (be thankful for that)
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Old 10-05-2010, 04:50 AM   #15
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I believe that, if readers provide a fixed font in the absence of any instructions, then in the interests of ergonomics and good design, Sigil should output instructions that let readers to do scalable fonts.
The problem is that there probably ARE instructions to set the font-size, so how will Sigil know that's not what you want?
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