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Old 10-13-2010, 09:16 AM   #1
jeff47
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Question Preserving format from ePub (Sigil) to Mobi

I've been using Sigil to clean up some PDFs I want to view on my Kindle v3. My goal is to get a Mobi file that looks as close to the original PDF as possible, but with flexible flow.

Right now, my workflow is PDF -> ePub using calibre, cleanup in Sigil, then ePub -> Mobi using calibre again. Generally this works great, although I'm open to alternatives if there is an easier way. (Mac-based)

A few formatting choices, however, are lost during the ePub->Mobi conversion. I can't tell if this is a calibre issue, or an intrinsic limitation of the Mobi format.

Some examples:
  1. I have a book that has footnote/endnotes. In the ePub, the reference is a superscript. This is gone in the Mobi, and the baseline of the endnote number is the same as the regular text. I've tried using <sup> or a css style with {vertical-align: top; } with no change.
  2. I have a dropcap, created as suggested in the Sigil documentation. Again, it appears as expected in the ePub but is gone in the Mobi format.
  3. Can I do font choices without embedding? This is a very minor issue, but a number of books use sans-serif for chapter titles and serif for the main text. At least with the books I've created, I can't seem to switch back and forth. My {font-family: serif} style appears to be ignored.

I apologize if there is a reference for these things - and I realize that editing an ePub when what I really want to look at is a Mobi is a bit backwards. But it seems to be the way best supported by available software under OSX.
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:28 AM   #2
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Mobi doesn't support at least some of the features you're describing. Dropcaps for instance are definitely not supported in Mobi. I think the same is true of font embedding, not sure about Superscript.

Mobi is based on html 3.2, which is quite old and outdated. As to specific features it supports, you should probably ask on the mobi subforum on Mobileread instead of Calibre. Once you know what's supported you should get good results as long as you keep your epub sources within those confines.
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:50 AM   #3
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Thanks - I will check in the Mobi forum too. Part of my rationale for asking here was because, AFIAK, at least superscript is supported in Mobi. So I wondered if my way of implementing it (and its subsequent loss) might be a calibre conversion issue rather than a format limitation...
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:21 PM   #4
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you need to put the superscript in <sup> tags. All the rest are not supported in MOBI.
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:28 PM   #5
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Thanks - the problem was the order of the tags that confused me.
<sup><a ...>1</a></sup> didn't work, but <a..><sup>1</sup></a> does.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:59 PM   #6
james.villacorta
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i have an epub file and convert it to mobi using calibre but the fonts i embed in the epub were not displayed correctly on mobi. Does mobi supports font embedding? Could someone advice me if there are other threads that i can read about this issue? thanks
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:00 PM   #7
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Mobi does not support font embedding.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:09 PM   #8
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thank you jeff, i am creating a dutch book to mobi and it is really hard to convert this book as I really don't know Dutch Language. It's a good thing that there's a forum like this. Another thing is that in epub I have a problem displaying he small caps in ADE but displays correctly in MOBI. Have you encountered this before, or ADE does not support font variant properties.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:12 PM   #9
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I don't know much about ADE, since my goal is to make things look good on the Kindle.
You could try making a style for smallcaps instead, it might not be exactly the same but would probably replicate the effect fairly well. That's what I do - I didn't realize Mobi would display the smallcaps variant.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:17 PM   #10
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Aha, thanks for that tip, BTW - Sigil doesn't display the 'small-caps' variant but it comes up fine in Kindle reader. That will be useful to me. Cheers!
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