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Old 02-05-2011, 06:59 PM   #1
Forestfall
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formatting glitches

Hello All,

I'm at my wits end with this issue and tried googling the answer to no avail so I'm hoping to get some help here.

I have the Sony PRS 650. We have a MacPro computer. I have some books on my computer but when I import the files to the library in epub and then to the reader, the formatting is weird. (It is weird in both the library and the reader). Some books show a new paragraph every 2 lines; others books have sentences that are spliced together and then repeated; and others have a combination of both these issues.

I downloaded Calibre and tried converting the mobi file to pdf and then transfer to my reader. Still has the problem. Had Calibre auto convert the mobi file to epub -- still has the problem.

My friend used the same books and hers was solved with the Calibre transfer of mobi to pdf.

What am I doing wrong? Anyway to fix this as it is difficult to enjoy a book when the formatting of sentences/paragraphs are so wonky.

tia
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:32 PM   #2
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If you don't have a broken Calibre install (library conflicts etc) then this is almost certainly caused by a poorly formated original.

This can happen when ebooks are converted from PDF or other fixed margin formatted originals.

Wished I could give you some link to a one-step tool to fix this, but sadly, there does not seem to be an easy one-size-fits-all solution.

To fix these kinds of problems, I often have to compleatly re-author the ebook.

First I dump the plain text by using Calibre to convert the book into a simple .txt file.

Then I use tools like E-book Tidy, or Interparse4 to clean up and remove the excess hard-line breaks.

Then just load the text into OpenOffice and change to HTML 'Web' format and change the Chapter 1, Chapter 2 headings to style 'Heading 1' and save as a web formatted HTML.

Calibre will then seemlessly convert the HTML into EPUB, automatically generating a nice EPUB Table Of Contents based on the 'Heading 1' tags in the HTML.

I don't think tools like E-Book Tidy are available on the Mac, but I am running it just fine under Wine in Linux, so if you have a similar PC emulator app for the Mac then that should work.

Hope, I am wrong and there is some simple 'just check this option' solution, but if not, then this info should get you started.
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:05 AM   #3
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Thanks delphin. Darn, I hoped there was a simple solution. Seems to be a lot of work to fix the hard paragraph breaks.

Your solution doesn't look like it will solve the issue I have with the splicing/doubling of sentences either.

Here's an example from the book I'm reading:
She ran her hand over the neck brace and located the fastenings that held it in place. She opened them and fastenings that held it in place. She opened them and dropped the brace to the floor. Immediately it was easier to breathe.
As you can see, the underlined part is repeated from the prior sentence and spliced into the next sentence. This happens quite regularly.

The thing that is confusing is that I received these books from a friend who has had no problems with them and she has the same Sony Reader as I do. So I'm wondering if there is some "just check this" option since it is only happening to me.

On a separate note - I bought one book from the Sony store and continuted to get the DRM warning message periodically when I would try to continue reading. The Sony helpdesk finally told me that I required Adobe digital editions. When I downloaded this, I finally got the book to show properly and the info to show the digital rights as "full, viewable".

Forgive me because I'm not a techie, but do I need to run these new books that I'm having issues with through Adobe digital editions or something?

Thanks again!
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:22 PM   #4
delphin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forestfall View Post
Thanks delphin. Darn, I hoped there was a simple solution. Seems to be a lot of work to fix the hard paragraph breaks.

Your solution doesn't look like it will solve the issue I have with the splicing/doubling of sentences either.

Here's an example from the book I'm reading . . .
Sorry not to answer right away but this was a puzzler, so I had to let it percolate a little a little at the subconscious level before the probable answer popped up.

I believe that the issue is that the original material had been captured a page or screen at a time from reader software configured for single line overlap.

Some electronic reader devices offer this option in a misguided attempt to make folks who are not comfortable with the sudden page changes more comfortable.

The idea was to leave ONE LINE OF TEXT (or sometimes more) from the previous page at the top of the new page whenever you do a page change to give continuity.

Before DRM was broken, some folks undoubtedly figured work arounds involving text screen capture scripts, which could conceivably leave these kinds of duplications.

Now here's the fun part - Why wouldn't your friend notice the duplications???

Answer, because if she was reading the original MOBI or PDFs with the same page breaks, then the duplications are almost unnoticeable.

Thats the key. By default EPUBs have no fixed page-breaks and do text re-flow as the font size changes, but If you can get text to NOT RE-FLOW, and KEEP the PAGE BREAKS IN THE SAME PLACES, then all those text duplications will magically BECOME ALMOST UNNOTICEABLE (they will still be there, but be less noticeable, because the only duplication will be the LAST line of text on one page, repeated as the FIRST line on the next page).

If the PDF's you created won't work, see if your friend can forward the actual PDF's she used and then disable reflow on your PRS-650 by using the 'original' or 'margin cut' page mode on your Sony with the "small" font option (open the ZOOM font - page formatting menu with the magnifying glass button, and pick the "small" font).

The problem is that for material like this, standard EPUB is basically hopeless, because it's a format that does not have hard-page-breaks by default, and if you don't remove those duplicate lines, the only way the material is going to remain readable is in a FIXED PAGE BREAK FORMAT LIKE PDF.

Even then, the Sony PRS-650 will TRY to helpfully "reflow" the text if you use a font bigger than "small", which unfortunatly can not be done without changing the page breaks and causing trouble.

The reason I suggested that you may have to get your friends PDF, is that if you converted in the sequence you mentioned, then your PDF's are probably also broken.

The reason is that if you convert from Mobi to EPUB then later do another conversion to PDF, by default Calibre will use the broken EPUB (with the reflowed page breaks) as the basis for its conversion to PDF, most likely giving PDF's with different page-breaks.

If you don't want to bother your friend, and still have the original MOBI files, try forcing a direct MOBI -> PDF conversion by overriding the source option at the top of the Calibre conversion screen.

Maybe this is common in some MOBI to EPUB conversions, and if there is some tool or option to fix it and someone can pop in here and let us know that would be great, but in the mean time, to make the material at least minimally readable, probably the easiest thing is to get the EXACT PDF's your friend used, disable re-flow by using the "SMALL" font on your reader, and if all works out, just ignore that duplicate line of text at the top of each page.

Last edited by delphin; 02-07-2011 at 06:34 PM. Reason: ro
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:02 PM   #5
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Woah, Thanks for all that info! It's amazing that you figured it out. I've had to read through your answer a few times to wrap my brain around it. I'm going to get my husband to read through it because it will make much more sense to him.

A few nights ago we used calibre's heuristic processing and it seemed to fix (with a few remaining glitches) the issue with the hard break paragraph every 2 lines that I was getting in another book. But it didn't work with the spliced/double sentences.

When you say "Answer, because if she was reading the original MOBI or PDFs with the same page breaks, then the duplications are almost unnoticeable." I don't think that my friend was reading the original Mobi file because she got the books from her friend. But maybe I just don't understand the whole process.

I do read on the medium font so does that mean I need to read on the itty bitty small font to not have this issue. I think I actually used the MOBI->PDF conversion (without going to epub first), but I'll check this again.

I appreciate all your feedback delphin, you've been a great help!
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:11 PM   #6
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Oh, I just viewed the MOBI file in calibre. It has the duplicate sentences in it. Does that mean anything to you, delphin?
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:43 PM   #7
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If the duplications occur where there were page breaks, then they will repeat at very specific intervals.

Let me see if I can explain this a little better, so you can see what I am talking about.

Here's an example using some text from "The Wonderful Wizard of OZ"

..... suppose this is the first page .....

Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies,
with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who
was the farmer's wife. Their house was small, for the
lumber to build it had to be carried by wagon many miles
. There were four walls, a floor and a roof, which made
one room; and this room contained a rusty looking cookstove,
a cupboard for the dishes, a table, three or four chairs, and
the beds. Uncle Henry and Aunt Em had a big bed in one
corner, and Dorothy a little bed in another corner. There was
no garret at all, and no cellar—except a small hole dug in the
ground, called a cyclone cellar, where the family could go in
case one of those great whirlwinds arose, mighty enough to
crush any building in its path. It was reached by a trap door
in the middle of the floor, from which a ladder led down into
the small, dark hole.
When Dorothy stood in the doorway and looked around,
she could see nothing but the great gray prairie on every side.
Not a tree nor a house broke the broad sweep of flat country
that reached to the edge of the sky in all directions. The sun
had baked the plowed land into a gray mass, with little cracks
running through it. Even the grass was not green, for the sun


..... now the second page .....


running through it. Even the grass was not green, for the sun
had burned the tops of the long blades until they were the same
gray color to be seen everywhere. Once the house had been
painted, but the sun blistered the paint and the rains washed
it away, and now the house was as dull and gray as everything
else.
When Aunt Em came there to live she was a young, pretty
wife. The sun and wind had changed her, too. They had taken
the sparkle from her eyes and left them a sober gray; they had
taken the red from her cheeks and lips, and they were gray also.
She was thin and gaunt, and never smiled now. When Dorothy,
who was an orphan, first came to her, Aunt Em had been so startled
by the child's laughter that she would scream and press her hand
upon her heart whenever Dorothy's merry voice reached her ears;
and she still looked at the little girl with wonder that she could find
anything to laugh at.
Uncle Henry never laughed. He worked hard from morning till
night and did not know what joy was. He was gray also, from his
long beard to his rough boots, and he looked stern and solemn,
and rarely spoke.


Did you notice that the last line on the first page is repeated as the first line on the second page? This is how some e-readers work, and all I can figure is that you got a file that was page formatted like this. This is the only way that the file could have these kinds of duplications, but that they would not be noticed by your friend that sent you the files.

Sooooo, the ONLY way you are going to be able to read it properly, without the duplicate lines looking funny, is if you can get the pages to display THE EXACT SAME WAY (with the same page-breaks, so only the last line at the bottom and first line at the top repeating).

Can you see what I am talking about now?

Don't go by how the MOBI file looks in Calibre, as the Calibre MOBI viewer is pretty bad (actually coverts back to EPUB for viewing!).

So check to see if those duplicated lines seem to correspond to uniform intervals of approximately every page or so.

If so, you will have to get the pages in a fixed page PDF format, with all the duplications nicely grouped at the top and bottom of each page (like the Wizard of OZ example above), if you want to view them on the PRS-650 without major hassles.

There may be some software that will take out the duplicate lines, but I have never heard of any, so that's why I suggested that you just figure out how to get the book to read with the original page-breaks.

Again, for the PRS-650 the ONLY format that offers this kind of "fixed paging" is PDF, so that's why I suggested that you get your friend's original PDF files and then set your font to 'small'. That should make the pages view in their original arrangement. With a duplicate line only at the top of each page (which you very quickly learn to tune out, as the way the page feed is supposed to work)

Edit:
Sony LRF format may also have a fixed page format, I not sure. In any case, just get the exact same files your friend used and USE THEM (making sure to set your reader to it's default 'small' font size so it doesn't override the paging).

If the originals are not available, and the files you have available have already gone through a conversion that has caused the original pagination to be messed up, then there is nothing you can do except perhaps try to find some Script Writing Guru to write a custom script to remove the duplications.

Last edited by delphin; 02-09-2011 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:08 PM   #8
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delphin you're brilliant - you don't have the connoisseur tag for nothing! You are right, it's the duplicate line at page breaks at uniform intervals. Unfortunately, I only have the MOBI and Epub files and I'm pretty sure the same goes with my friend - I don't think she had a PDF file to begin with, but I'll check with her.

Maybe we can put out the challenge to a script writing guru to see if they can come up with something!
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:53 PM   #9
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What is the source format? is it Mobi or is it ePub? If it is Mobi, you need a Windows machine to have a look at it. And if it is Mobi, there is no reason for the duplicated lines. Is your Calibre updated so you can convert to ePub? maybe your install is botched. I cannot say. Try using Windows and see what happens.

If the eBooks are ePub to star with, do not use Calibre. Take the copies that have not been put in the Calibre library and move them to your 650 using Reader Library. Maybe it's a problem with Calibre. I know Reader Library will not change your ePub in any way when moving to your 650. So try it and see.
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:40 PM   #10
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Hi JSWolf,

I have both a MOBI and an EPUB format of the book. I've added the epub to the reader via both the Sony Reader library and calibre and both have had the same issue. We use a Mac.

I just downloaded the calibre so should have the most up to date version. I tried converting the mobi to epub with calibre and have the problem still.

thanks!
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:23 AM   #11
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What book is this that you are having problems with?
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