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Old 03-30-2011, 03:47 PM   #1
africalass
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Is it possible to change all commas to ampersands in author column? + more...

Hi!

I had put a lot of my books with multiple authors with commas separating the names, not realising this was incorrect . Now I see that they should be ampersands. Before I go through all the books, is there any shortcut to allow me to automatically change any comma in the column for an ampersand?

As a second (mini) query, is it possible to have the last book opened (any format, whether pdf, mobi etc..) at the top of the list? I constantly forget which book I'm reading! I'm guessing I would have to create a column of 'date last accessed' and then order it by that. Is such a thing possible? If so, I'll go through the tutorials on creating columns.

Finally, I like to write mini reviews of the books I read and would like to add them to Calibre (again, because otherwise I forget everything entirely). Do you recommend putting this in the comments section (that appears under the book art) or creating a column for it.

Version 0.7.33, Windows 7

thanks for your time. I love this program!
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:16 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by africalass View Post
is there any shortcut to allow me to automatically change any comma in the column for an ampersand?
Yes. Use Search and Replace to replace the comma with an ampersand in the authors field. It will convert the single author with a comma in his name to multiple authors.
Quote:
I like to write mini reviews of the books I read and would like to add them to Calibre (again, because otherwise I forget everything entirely). Do you recommend putting this in the comments section (that appears under the book art) or creating a column for it.
It's your choice. I put it in Comments. I put multiple reviews in Comments from multiple sources, and I consider my personal review to be just one more.
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:40 PM   #3
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HI

Thanks so much for your response!

I have tried this in Search & Replace. I have selected 'authors' put the comma in the search for box, and a space and ampersand in the next box. Then, when I type in test details it shows up correctly, but the books beneath that I had selected do not change. In these, there is a vertical line between the two author names, which doesn't change on either left or right of the search & replace dialogue. I hope this makes sense!

Thanks
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by africalass View Post
Then, when I type in test details it shows up correctly, but the books beneath that I had selected do not change. In these, there is a vertical line between the two author names, which doesn't change on either left or right of the search & replace dialogue. I hope this makes sense!
You mean that the next books' authors entry looks like "Name1 | Name2"? In that case, obviously there'll be no change- you're searching for commas to replace, the vertical bar is no comma. You'd need to do a second search for vertical bars and replace those with ampersands, as well.
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:04 AM   #5
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:57 PM   #6
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Brilliant thanks. That's saved a lot of time. Hopefully won't need to search like this again, but if I do will remember that Calibre interprets commas as vertical lines. Library looking much better now!

Just to check on my second query (being able to list books in order of when they were last accessed - is this possible? If you prefer I can open it as a separate enquiry.

Thanks once again for your help!
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:16 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by africalass View Post
Hopefully won't need to search like this again, but if I do will remember that Calibre interprets commas as vertical lines.
Uhm, no, it doesn't. The vertical lines only appear if you either typed in a vertical line or if a metadata import put them there.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:35 AM   #8
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Hi there!

thanks again. Bit confused by your reply though, and am now concerned that there is some kind of bug in my system. Have just had a play, and Calibre is definitely replacing the commas with vertical lines in the search & replace dialogue. Maybe you could let me know if there is something wrong with the way I have it set up?

To test it I just went into a random book and added a comma and pretend author to the author column (ie I changed 'Adrian Tchaikovsky' to 'Adrian Tchaikovsky, Brian Smith'). Then I selected this book and a random other book, pressed 'E' and went to the search and replace tab. I then chose 'authors' in 'search field' and then below could see that my comma had been interpreted as a vertical line. Exactly the same as had happened with all my other books. So to use search and replace to replace all my commas I had to input a vertical line for search instead. So if anyone else wants to replace commas, they would need to know that Calibre is interpreting them as verticals in order to have success, unless it's something I've set up wrong and unique to me.

I'm not sure if I'm putting this clearly, but hopefully you will understand. Please let me know if there are any settings I need to change. I really appreciate your time on this forum.

Kind regards
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by africalass View Post
To test it I just went into a random book and added a comma and pretend author to the author column (ie I changed 'Adrian Tchaikovsky' to 'Adrian Tchaikovsky, Brian Smith').
As a side note: You'd have to use an ampersand to delimit two or more authors.

Quote:
Then I selected this book and a random other book, pressed 'E' and went to the search and replace tab. I then chose 'authors' in 'search field' and then below could see that my comma had been interpreted as a vertical line.
I can't reproduce that. I just tried, and what I'm getting is a comma where you'd expect a comma to be- where I put it. When delimiting authors with an ampersand as above, so that Calibre actually understands that the field contains multiple authors, I get the ampersand replaced by whatever character I select in the search & replace dialog.

Bottom line: Either there's a miscommunication between us, or Calibre is doing something that I just haven't seen yet, or there's something wonky at your end. Could you attach a screenshot of what you've described above? That would at least determine if it's one of the first two possibilities.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:56 AM   #10
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Hi!

I hope this screenshot works - not sure if I've linked to it correctly.

At the bottom you should be able to see I've typed in a comma with adding the false author - but then in search and replace it is now a vertical line.

The reason I was searching for all the commas, was to change them for ampersands - once I realised that this was the correct format for multiple authors, and mine were all in in wrong. That's when I came across the problem of it not recognising commas in the search dialogue. I don't really think it's a problem or matters particularly, as once I knew to search for vertical lines instead it took moments to fix. So if it's just something weird in my system, that's fine (assuming it's not an indicator of other problems).

Thanks again.

Kind regards
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:21 AM   #11
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No idea. Upgrade Calibre ?

Stumbled over this post.
Have you tried updating Calibre ? Today it's 0.7.52 and another update will normally be available tomorrow (saturday EU time)
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:47 AM   #12
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I don't remember all the details, but at one time, the vertical bar was the author separator that replaced commas. 7.38 issued a fix regarding that issue:
Quote:
Change search/replace to show commas instead of vertical bars as the separator for multiple authors
Perhaps Kovid or Charles recalls more about this, but it sounds like he's using an older version of Calibre.
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:53 AM   #13
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I hope this screenshot works - not sure if I've linked to it correctly.
You didn't link to the image, but to the page containing the image, so the image didn't show. Nevermind, I saw the link when I started my reply to tell you that I couldn't see the image.

Quote:
At the bottom you should be able to see I've typed in a comma with adding the false author - but then in search and replace it is now a vertical line.
Well, that rules out the miscommunication. I would suspect that pchrist7 is right and this is a case of Calibre's behaviour changing over time, I have 0.7.52 and realized by comparing the screenshot to what I am seeing in that dialog that there have, indeed, been changes to said dialog. I don't understand why it would change commas to vertical bars, though. Ampersands would make some sense, but commas would lead to having a vertical bar in the midst of every author if one were to use LN, FN in the authors field.

Quote:
I don't really think it's a problem or matters particularly, as once I knew to search for vertical lines instead it took moments to fix. So if it's just something weird in my system, that's fine (assuming it's not an indicator of other problems).
If you want to move on to bigger and better things, that's fine. I'm just continuing because I'm curious about what happened here.
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:18 PM   #14
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Hi

Thanks so much for these replies. There's one of my replies from earlier in the moderator queue (due to screenshot attachment I presume) - but it sounds like something that's been fixed. I can't see where to ask Calibre to download the lastest version. Does it update through a proxy server?

Cheers
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:31 PM   #15
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I'm just continuing because I'm curious about what happened here.
IIRC, the vertical bar was the multiple author separator at one time - before the ampersand was adopted. I vaguely recall it was used internally in metadata.db and there were conversions from commas to vertical bars between the human interface and the internals. I can't find my old metadata.db to look, but I can recall problems relating to this issue.
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