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Old 02-02-2011, 08:47 PM   #1
JohnnyRocks
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Font issue with the 350

I know this has been beaten to death but the HUGE difference between small and medium font sizes is a big issue for me.

Someone mentioned that if converting using Calibre, you could actually tinker with the input Font Size and kinda "leave it and forget it" thereby fixing (or at least rigging/working around) this issue.

Given that I just bought my e-reader yesterday and am equally new to Calibre, I'm wondering if someone can please tell me, step by step, how to achieve a font size that would be somewhere BETWEEN the default small and default medium font sizes that Sony uses.

Also, does anyone know if Sony is working on this issue for future firmware updates?
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:31 PM   #2
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Hi, JohnnyRocks. I agree that Sony needs a font size in between small and medium. It is a very common complaint so you are not alone! I doubt it is a priority in their firmware updates, but your guess is as good as mine.

I often use calibre to adjust the font size. First, this method will only work with books that do not have DRM so it won't work with most purchased books such as those from the Sony store.

1) You need to download and install the calibre software.
2) Then you can drag and drop your non-DRM book onto the calibre window to add it into your calibre library.
3) Then highlight your book in your library.
4) Select the icon at the top called "Convert books".
5) In the left hand column of the Convert window will be an option called "Look and Feel". Click on that.
6) You will see in that menu at the top a field called "Base font option: 0.0 pt". I usually change the base font size to something like 11.0 pt, 12.0 pt or 13.0 pt. You can experiment in that range to decide what works best for you.
7) Click OK in the lower right corner and it will start the conversion of your book.

That's the simplified process. Calibre is very powerful, and there are many more options that you can set to control how your books are formatted. The conversion process will place the book in a folder called "Documents/My Books/calibre" on a Mac. The PC file path should be similar.

If you want to manage your ebook library with the Sony software, then you need to import that converted file into the Sony software to transfer to your ereader. If you want to manage your ebook library with calibre, then you need to connect your ereader via USB. After a few seconds of patience, it will show up as a device icon in the top row of the calibre window. If you right click your book in your library, you will see an option Send to device. Select main memory. That's how you transfer your books using calibre. Don't forget to eject your ereader before disconnecting the USB cable. There is a drop down box on the device icon at the top that allows you to select the eject option.

Hope that helps!
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:01 AM   #3
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Thanks so much for this.
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:32 PM   #4
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There seems to be a huge difference in size between XS and S too! At least on some books. Don't forget that if you go to landscape, the font size increases autocrappily. That makes it even more fun to find a perfect font size(s).

I converted a book several times selecting a different size for the Base font option with each conversion, then compared the many conversions and chose the one that most pleased me. But there is still too much difference between sizes IMO.
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:05 PM   #5
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Agreed. I wish the Sony adjustments were more similar to the Kindle. It really is a trial and error approach. You need to do multiple conversions with different sizes to figure out what works best for you. I also like to set the paragraph line-heights and change the font type so it took several conversions to find my favorite combination of settings. It would be nice to have more control in the ereader settings rather than to use calibre software for conversions or do a firmware hack. Especially since calibre conversions only work for DRM-free content.
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:20 PM   #6
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It would indeed be great to have a lot more control within the reader app! Several reading apps written a decade ago for PDA OSes had much more flexibility as far as settings and fonts than does the typical reader app for a Kindle, Sony Reader, Nook, et cetera. Sad, but true.

One thing we should mention too is that each ePub has a unique CSS (cascading style sheet) that sets the book's formatting. Depending on how the CSS was written, you might encounter certain difficulties in modifying the ePub via calibre. Generally speaking, the less formatting that is hardcoded the better, but I've encountered a few ePubs that were so horribly formatted that calibre really didn't do a good job converting them and I had to edit the CSS file and/or HTML file(s) to get them to look good. Most of the time calibre will do a good job, but occasionally you will encounter a book that just won't cooperate!
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