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Old 10-10-2010, 07:05 AM   #1
Gwen Morse
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Conversions from RTF (to mobi/epub)

I've just spent the past couple of days playing with conversions from RTF to epub and mobi format. I read epub on my android phone and mobi on my Kindle.

I realize html is a better starting format than RTF but I actually have fairly simple needs. I'm converting novels, so there's really no fancy formatting or graphics other than a bit of bold or italics, and I find RTF more human-readable.

That said, I'm having some newbie-ish trouble implementing calibre's structure detection

I have all chapter headers on their own line and start with the word "Chapter". I chose the setting to "force use of auto-generated table of contents". The chapter mark is set to "both" (page break + ruled line). I'm also pre-processing the file.

1) I get chapter markers but only for "some" chapters. On one book I don't get them for any. All have the word "Chapter" in bold text with the written name of the chapter number. (ie: Chapter One). This happens on both mobi files and epub files. There doesn't seem to be any obvious standard to when the chapter breaks occur and when they don't.

2) Dedication pages. Dedications are usually short but are supposed to appear on their own page. Is there some sort of hand markup I can put in a RTF file to force page breaks before and after? I tried ctrl-enter but it doesn't create a new page (maybe this is a limitation of RTF?)

3) Is there way to have calibre force epubs to create a new physical .xhtml page for each new chapter? My understanding is that simple devices like cell phones can struggle with big .xhtml pages in epubs and the more "pages" you can have in the epub the better.
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:02 AM   #2
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If you're enabling preprocessing and it's not working you could open a bug with the book, it should work with those types of chapter headings and preprocessing.

For the dedication it's probably easier for you to use Sigil after Calibre has converted from rtf to epub. I don't think there is a way to do this using rtf. It can be done if you use txt and markup, but that requires a few more technical hoops to jump through.

If you get chapter detection working then Calibre normally splits each chapter into it's own file.
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:14 AM   #3
Gwen Morse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldolse View Post
If you're enabling preprocessing and it's not working you could open a bug with the book, it should work with those types of chapter headings and preprocessing.

For the dedication it's probably easier for you to use Sigil after Calibre has converted from rtf to epub. I don't think there is a way to do this using rtf. It can be done if you use txt and markup, but that requires a few more technical hoops to jump through.

If you get chapter detection working then Calibre normally splits each chapter into it's own file.
Is there a converter from RTF to Markdown (I only find Markdown => RTF via google)? I _could_ go with HTML, but then all the escaping codes for quotes and things would drive me nuts. I find it really hard to read HTML when paragraphs are _not_ just a matter of <p> and </p>, with maybe some <em> or <strong> tags thrown in.

I have a copy of The Last Unicorn in LIT that I converted to RTF and then converted again to EPUB. It marked and split the chapters perfectly and I would have thought that one would be harder than the files I had hand edited as the chapter headers were Roman Numerals without any prefix. So I can see that Calibre does do what I want, sometimes. Presumably when I give it a properly formatted RTF input file .

What I don't know is why it won't split books that *appear* in all ways possible to be formatted correctly. I even opened some of the books in Notepad++ and looked at the RTF codes. I don't completely understand RTF syntax but I can look at the chapter headers that split and the ones that didn't and they _look_ the same.

It's copyrighted material so I'm not sure about my options re: open a bug report.
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:26 AM   #4
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If you use markdown you need to use txt instead of rtf. Still allows you to do formatting, etc, but it's a different way of doing it.
http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/

Page breaks aren't a part of markdown, but one nice thing about markdown is you can mix and match snippets of html which could include a page break.

For example, I've been working on a book using markdown text as my master source, and I just stick the following line in the text file where-ever I want a pagebreak:
Code:
<div style="page-break-before: always"></div>
If you follow through with that option you would also need to use text input with Calibre, and there is an option there to tell it to use the markdown syntax when converting the doc.

If you want to open a bug with that book but you are worried about copyright issues just delete the majority of the content from each chapter, as long as the problem is reproducable I can take a look at it. I suspect it's because you're formatting the chapter headings, and however that gets converted to html isn't something that's accounted for.

bugs.calibre-ebook.com

Last edited by ldolse; 10-10-2010 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:45 AM   #5
Gwen Morse
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Gwen Morse never is beset by a damp, drizzly November in his or her soul.Gwen Morse never is beset by a damp, drizzly November in his or her soul.Gwen Morse never is beset by a damp, drizzly November in his or her soul.Gwen Morse never is beset by a damp, drizzly November in his or her soul.Gwen Morse never is beset by a damp, drizzly November in his or her soul.Gwen Morse never is beset by a damp, drizzly November in his or her soul.Gwen Morse never is beset by a damp, drizzly November in his or her soul.Gwen Morse never is beset by a damp, drizzly November in his or her soul.Gwen Morse never is beset by a damp, drizzly November in his or her soul.Gwen Morse never is beset by a damp, drizzly November in his or her soul.Gwen Morse never is beset by a damp, drizzly November in his or her soul.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldolse View Post
If you use markdown you need to use txt instead of rtf. Still allows you to do formatting, etc, but it's a different way of doing it.
http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/

Page breaks aren't a part of markdown, but one nice thing about markdown is you can mix and match snippets of html which could include a page break.

For example, I've been working on a book using markdown text as my master source, and I just stick the following line in the text file where-ever I want a pagebreak:
Code:
<div style="page-break-before: always"></div>
If you follow through with that option you would also need to use text input with Calibre, and there is an option there to tell it to use the markdown syntax when converting the doc.

If you want to open a bug with that book but you are worried about copyright issues just delete the majority of the content from each chapter, as long as the problem is reproducible I can take a look at it. I suspect it's because you're formatting the chapter headings, and however that gets converted to html isn't something that's accounted for.

bugs.calibre-ebook.com
When asking about RTF => Markdown conversion, I was asking about something to convert my RTF files to text files with Markdown syntax. That way I wouldn't have to export my document to plain text and then put in all the Markdown codes by hand.

Getting RTF formatting/conversion working is probably the better option. I'll open the bug report and take some chunks out of the middle of the book where none of the chapter headers work.

There wasn't much formatting. I just put the word "Chapter" in front of the chapter number, and I bolded each one.
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Old 10-10-2010, 10:48 AM   #6
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Not sure if 7129 is your bug, if so, this converts fine for me, all thirteen chapters detected with preprocessing and default chapter detection settings.

Maybe you've changed some other setting that's causing chapter detection to fail.
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Old 10-14-2010, 06:00 AM   #7
Gwen Morse
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Gwen Morse never is beset by a damp, drizzly November in his or her soul.Gwen Morse never is beset by a damp, drizzly November in his or her soul.Gwen Morse never is beset by a damp, drizzly November in his or her soul.Gwen Morse never is beset by a damp, drizzly November in his or her soul.Gwen Morse never is beset by a damp, drizzly November in his or her soul.Gwen Morse never is beset by a damp, drizzly November in his or her soul.Gwen Morse never is beset by a damp, drizzly November in his or her soul.Gwen Morse never is beset by a damp, drizzly November in his or her soul.Gwen Morse never is beset by a damp, drizzly November in his or her soul.Gwen Morse never is beset by a damp, drizzly November in his or her soul.Gwen Morse never is beset by a damp, drizzly November in his or her soul.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldolse View Post
Not sure if 7129 is your bug, if so, this converts fine for me, all thirteen chapters detected with preprocessing and default chapter detection settings.

Maybe you've changed some other setting that's causing chapter detection to fail.
For anyone else reading this thread, the "fix" turned out to be to adjust the "per book" conversion settings.

I had thought that the default conversion settings applied to all books being converted. That's not correct. If you converted a book previous to making a particular change, the "per book" settings will need to be updated as well.
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