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Old 02-21-2011, 06:09 PM   #1
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ibooks update and blank pages

I updated to the latest version of iBooks recently and suddenly noticed that pretty much all my books converted through Calibre now had blank pages between every "chapter". Digging around I found that if I removed the css property "page-break-before: always", that the books went back to displaying the way they had before the update.

Now I have a lot of epubs to edit by hand to make them display as before but for new conversions, is there a way to tell Calibre to not use or set that property to a different value?

Thanks.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:59 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adv_dp_fan View Post
Digging around I found that if I removed the css property "page-break-before: always", that the books went back to displaying the way they had before the update.

Now I have a lot of epubs to edit by hand to make them display as before but for new conversions, is there a way to tell Calibre to not use or set that property to a different value?
Calibre only does what it's told. If that code wasn't in the original source file then perhaps you have Preferences - Common Options - Structure detection - Chapter mark set to pagebreak.

Maybe someone else can tell you if there is a easier way to remove this from your books.

Good Luck.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:13 PM   #3
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Thank you! That is exactly what I needed to know. What option to turn off in Calibre. I assume then to get the old display style in iBooks I would want to set that to "None". It must be that setting as these are books I scan and created myself and don't have anything like that before I convert to epub in Calibre.

Seems iBooks either ignored that property in the past or they broke the handling of it with the latest release. Just noticed I'm not the only one having issues with it.

Don't mind going back and fixing all the old ones, just wanted to avoid it going forward.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:18 PM   #4
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Ok I have tried playing with that setting and Calibre still adds the property "page-break-before: always" to the files it is converting to epub. I am converting html files and have check that the property is not anywhere in there before the convert.

Does anyone know if it is possible to tell Calibre to not add that property when it converts?
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adv_dp_fan View Post
Ok I have tried playing with that setting and Calibre still adds the property "page-break-before: always" to the files it is converting to epub. I am converting html files and have check that the property is not anywhere in there before the convert.
In your test are you re-adding the html to an existing book record that you have previously converted and are now trying to fix? If you are read this post.

Simply changing the Chapter mark to None and removing any expression the Insert pagebreaks before Window (see attached) in the main Preferences area isn't enough. Calibre remembers old conversions settings.
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Last edited by DoctorOhh; 02-22-2011 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:19 PM   #6
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Yes, it is set exactly as in your image. These are not re-converted epubs. They're html files from books I scan myself, load into Calibre, edit my metadata and add a cover and then convert to epub.

The resulting CSS file has the "page-break-before: always" set in the .calibre style.

Didn't use to be an issue, just that iBooks was either ignoring it before or broke how they handled it as the latest update is putting blank pages before everything now.

For the time being I'm having to go back after the convert and hand remove that from the CSS to get the book to display correctly.

*shakes fist at Apple*
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:07 AM   #7
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Update of iBooks produces blank pages in Calibre ePub eBooks

Hi All,

I discovered the same problem after updating to the latest version of iBooks on my iPad.

All the ePub books that I've generated from Calibre now have a blank page before every chapter and the index links to a blank page instead of the page it points to.

The big question is, does Apple not conform to the standards or does Calibre generate an incorrect setting?

The strange thing is that my ePub books still display correct in Adobe Digital Edition on my Mac.

Hopefully we'll find the cause, for this must be something many Calibre users will run into.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:55 AM   #8
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While I dont use ibooks so I can't comment with any certainty, I'd guess this is caused by having a css page-break-before:always at the start of an individual html file inside the epub.

After the update iBooks is breaking the page at the start of the new html file *and* adding another page break because of the css. Which is silly. While I doubt this particular wrinkle is covered by the standards, iBooks' behavior is not backward compatible with itself or with Digital Editions, the only other epub reading software that honors page-break-before.

So report the problem to Apple and hopefully they will fix it.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:11 PM   #9
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I do use it and I am certain that Apple has messed up the page-break-before:always property. And I have reported and hope they fix it at some point, the more people who report it the more likely they will.

So not pointing a finger at Calibre, just asking if there is someway to keep it from adding that property when it creates an epub. So far it appears that there isn't and I'm just hand editing each file to remove that property after I create it.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:17 PM   #10
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I added code to calibre to remove unnecessary CSS page-break properties. Should fix this if it is indeed the cause of the problem. Will be in next release.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:19 PM   #11
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Fantastic, thanks! I look forward to the next release.

And thanks for a fantastic program as well. Your work is greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:40 AM   #12
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Hi Kovid,

Thanks for your reaction and thanks for Calibre!
In connection with this issue, what are the preferred settings in the "Structure Detection" conversion settings? (see attached screenprint)

Gert
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:34 PM   #13
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Today I was able to get my hands on a copy of the iBookstore Asset Guide which gives lots of little details about creating epubs for the iBookstore. In it I learned that yes, they did just start to implement the "page-break-before" and the "page-break-after" properties with this last release. Appears that before they ignored them.

It seems that if you have that as part of an element that starts a new page, say a new xhtml file, then you get the page break from the element AND a forced page break (assuming "page-break-before: always") and thus a blank page at the start of each chapter.

I experimented with it a little and a new book I was working on and discovered two fixes, either remove the "page-break-before" property OR change it from "always" to "auto". Setting it to auto seems to prevent iBooks from placing the extra page-break and thus the blank page.

Hope this info is helpful to others besides me.
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:02 AM   #14
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Thanks for the tips!
Calibre has now come with an upgrade (7.47).
The following line is now left out the CSS file:

page-break-before: always;

I've tested it on my iPad and it works fine now. No more blank pages and the index points to the correct page.

The only thing I still wonder about is the effect of the XPath settings in the "Structure Detection" section of the conversion settings.
Do those settings have any effect?

Gert

Last edited by netman49; 02-26-2011 at 06:42 AM.
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:16 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by netman49 View Post
Thanks for the tips!
Calibre has now come with an upgrade (7.47).
The following line is now left out the CSS file:

page-break-before: always;

I've tested it on my iPad and it works fine now. No more blank pages and the index points to the correct page.

The only thing I still wonder about is the effect of the XPath settings in the "Structure Detection" section of the conversion settings.
Do those settings have any effect?

Gert
They still do, because that's how Calibre knows where to split the epub into multiple chapters/flows. i.e. structure detection still inserts page breaks.

The change in the new release is that after splitting the page-breaks are removed, since they are then superfluous anyway.
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