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Old 12-21-2010, 12:57 PM   #1
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Table of Contents only one level

Okay, I don't know if I can explain this properly. I've got a couple of sideloaded books (right from this site), which are very large files. One's a Bible, the other Trollope's "Barsetshire" Omnibus. They're both weighing in at several thousand pages.

My problem is that the TOC only has one level, no sub-divisions. I.e. in the Bible, every Bible chapter is a Kobo chapter- so the TOC is 115 pages long. To get to, say, Book of Matthew Chapter 1, I have to tab through to page 73 in the TOC, every time.
In the Barsetshire Chronicles, there's the opposite problem: each of the seven books in the Omnibus is one chapter, and that's it. So "Barchester Towers" is one chapter, 700-some pages long; no sub-chapters to the book.

When I look at these books in ADE, I can chapter jump- i.e. in the Bible, go to "New Testament", then to "Book of Matthew", then "Chapter 4"; in "Barsetshire", click on "Barchester Towers" and then one of the Chapters.

Now, my questions:
-are other epub readers (like the Sony or something) capable of dealing with sub-chapters in the TOC? I.e. is this a kobo-specific issue, or is it inherent to epub files?
-is there a way around this in my kobo as it currently is?
-is it likely this'll be fixed in a future firmware update, e.g. via a "go to" function?

Any insight would be appreciated.
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Old 12-21-2010, 01:20 PM   #2
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Go-to is going to be on one of the updates down the road. I have no when it might be happening. Are you up for using something like Sigil and seeing if you can get something closer to what you want? I have no idea if other readers have multilevel TOC support.
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:16 PM   #3
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Yes, the lack of multi-level TOC support on the Kobo can be quite an irritation. The version of "On the Origin of Species" in the 100 pre-loaded books for the Kobo has 4 top-level entries so that the book is essentially one long "chapter" of over 500 pages.

I'm not holding my breath in anticipation of a firmware update for the Kobo that fixes the problem (nor for an update that supports soft-hyphens, another bugbear for me).

I check, and edit, any epub to be side-loaded onto the Kobo. For the TOC, that usually involves making a single top-level entry for each chapter; for the stylesheet(s), my preferred layout is indented paragraphs with no spacing between paragraphs, and with no preset font (serif or not); for the text, the format for anything in verse form has to be altered for indentation and wrap-around.

In your case, I would probably split each of the large epub files into a number of smaller ones. If 7 pages of TOC entries with 1 entry per chapter were the maxiumum desired, that would mean around 17 epubs for an epub with 115 TOC pages. For the omnibus, I would split it into separate volumes and edit the TOC in each case to give a single TOC entry per chapter.
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:59 PM   #4
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Taming, haven't used Sigil yet- I might be up for it?

bob, what are you using to edit? Calibre?

I'm such a newbie to the ebook world, I haven't gone into any of that. Plus, I work with an older Mac (OS 10.4.1) which seems to have issues with running Calibre (and can't run the Kobo Desktop at all). Wonder if it could handle Sigil?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:40 PM   #5
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bob, what are you using to edit? Calibre?
I use a combination of Lua scripts and hand-editing to form or re-form epub files.

Do you have a download link for either or both of the epub files you mention? I often think it would be useful to have some kind of list of epub files that have been especially formatted for the (idiosyncracies of the) Kobo. My usual starting point is a Gutenberg file, generally formatted for a web browser even if in epub format (and verse is a particular problem).
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:43 AM   #6
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Go-to is going to be on one of the updates down the road. I have no when it might be happening. Are you up for using something like Sigil and seeing if you can get something closer to what you want? I have no idea if other readers have multilevel TOC support.
I don't think that's going to do it.

ePub supports various levels of TOC headings. So you can have a TOC entry for sections, then chapters and then topics inside chapters. The Kobo sees all of the TOC entries, but flattens them into one big list.

Something like the bible has books, and then chapters inside them. There's literally hundreds of TOC entries, and just paging through the TOC takes a fair degree of effort. It would be cool if the TOC started off just showing the books (for the bible), and then expanded into the chapters for a book when you click on it.

Of course, the Bible's a bit of a special case.
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:34 AM   #7
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Jeff Potter's Cooking For Geeks is the same way with a nested TOC. Definitely makes finding recipes, etc. confusing. With something the size of the bible, I'd imagine a TOC is just about useless.

Supporting nested TOCs sure seems a worthy feature request to me.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:08 AM   #8
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Jeff Potter's Cooking For Geeks is the same way with a nested TOC. Definitely makes finding recipes, etc. confusing. With something the size of the bible, I'd imagine a TOC is just about useless.

Supporting nested TOCs sure seems a worthy feature request to me.
I'd agree with you mostly but...

complicated TOCs pretty much mean something other than a novel or text that you read through from beginning to end - which is going to put it outside of the Kobo's strength in any case.

Curious though, both of these examples are books that I think really aren't best served through epub renderings in any case:

For the Bible, I can picture an iPad app that allows you to find passages that illustrate particular teachings, organize daily readings for you, look up references and maybe have the passages tied to a giant gallery of artwork through the ages that are related to them. That kind of stuff.

Same thing for a cookbook. Turn it into an app that organizes menus, finds dishes that feature a particular technique, ingredient, sauce or cuisine. Allow you to keep notes on how a dish turned out when you made it, possible changes and tweaks that you've done.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:20 AM   #9
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Curious though, both of these examples are books that I think really aren't best served through epub renderings in any case[...]
OK, how about another example - Safari technical books. I've got many, including one I'm currently reading on IPv6 deployment. While I am reading through it front-to-back, I will definitely be referring back in the future and the TOC is heavily nested (seems to be common in all the Safari books, actually).

Certainly not a kobo usability show-stopper, but one for the devs to ponder, if there's capacity left.
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:24 PM   #10
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Do you have a download link for either or both of the epub files you mention? I often think it would be useful to have some kind of list of epub files that have been especially formatted for the (idiosyncracies of the) Kobo. My usual starting point is a Gutenberg file, generally formatted for a web browser even if in epub format (and verse is a particular problem).
Bible:
English, King James:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31709
German, Luther (that's the one I've got right now. The verse formatting is quite nice, actually, just like in my printed bible.):
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=85173

Chronicles of Barsetshire:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53280

If you've only dealt with Gutenberg before, do check out the MR E-books; there's a fabulous list here.
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:46 PM   #11
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complicated TOCs pretty much mean something other than a novel or text that you read through from beginning to end - which is going to put it outside of the Kobo's strength in any case.
Yes, that's what I'm beginning to realize- the kobo is for reading something cover-to-cover, it's no good for reference materials. But still, it would be great to be able to at least turn to a section of a book so I could read that part beginning to end. Complicated TOC's could also mean very large publications, like anthologies or omnibus editions of an author's works.

Quote:
Curious though, both of these examples are books that I think really aren't best served through epub renderings in any case:

For the Bible, I can picture an iPad app that allows you to find passages that illustrate particular teachings, organize daily readings for you, look up references and maybe have the passages tied to a giant gallery of artwork through the ages that are related to them. That kind of stuff.

Same thing for a cookbook. Turn it into an app that organizes menus, finds dishes that feature a particular technique, ingredient, sauce or cuisine. Allow you to keep notes on how a dish turned out when you made it, possible changes and tweaks that you've done.
Yes and no. I can see where functionalities like you're describing would be useful, but for myself, I wouldn't need fancy organizing or interactive capabilities like that- I want to just be able to read certain parts of whatever it is, to be able to go to those parts. I wonder how difficult it would be to allow for at least two levels of organization in the TOC? It doesn't even have to be more than that.

Oh, and from what others have said in the E-book forum, it seems other ereaders do have that capability. Whoever posted that King James bible specifically made a multi-level TOC for it for easy navigation, but the Kobo isn't recognizing it.
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:22 PM   #12
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Do you have a download link for either or both of the epub files you mention? I often think it would be useful to have some kind of list of epub files that have been especially formatted for the (idiosyncracies of the) Kobo. My usual starting point is a Gutenberg file, generally formatted for a web browser even if in epub format (and verse is a particular problem).
This is a public thank-you, Bob, for making me a readable Bible for the Kobo, and a TOC for "Chronicles of Barsetshire". You rock.

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