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Old 05-18-2011, 01:49 AM   #1
jttraverse
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eReader apps that do use embedded CSS 'stylesheets'

Hello all,
I've been formatting an ePub book that uses a CSS stylesheet for formatting and layout. The things displays perfectly when I check it on my laptop or desktop in ADE, Calibre, etc. (and Sigil reports no problems when the epub is validated). I also have a color Nook I purchased to test books on (fwiw, it's rooted so I can load the hacked Honeycomb preview or even install the original v1.1, or 1.2.)

What I'm curious about is: What ereader apps are out there that do read the CSS stylesheet and correctly display ebooks as the publisher/designer made them?

I've used Laputa, Cool Reader, Moon Reader and a couple of others (ones that would load and run on the hacked Honeycomb/Nook combo; not all apps do yet)...but not one of them reads the stylesheet and displays the book accordingly. I have an HTC Evo that has Laputa and Aldiko on it, and Aldiko -does- read and display using the stylesheet, but Laputa still does not.
So, I'm presuming at this point that Laputa and most others simply ignore CSS formatting in epub books (which might explain why some publishers are simply using a graphic image when they want to display a nice bit of text or formatting). Unfortunately, Aldiko won't yet run on my Nook (though I haven't tried it with the current Nook v1.2 software) or I'd stick with Aldiko as the best so far.

So that's the problem, can anyone suggest other ePub reader apps that will see and use embedded CSS stylesheets--when running on an Android tablet.
Thanks,
JTT
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:57 AM   #2
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Since this is specific to Android you might want to post in the Android forum on the site. I will move it for you.

Last edited by DaleDe; 05-18-2011 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 05-18-2011, 03:15 PM   #3
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So that's the problem, can anyone suggest other ePub reader apps that will see and use embedded CSS stylesheets--when running on an Android tablet.
Thanks,
JTT
The closest I 've found is th FB reader. It follows most of the embedded CSS but allows you to override the more common ones (line spacing, font size, indents and others).

Because most ereaders do not follow the embedded CSS my stylesheets are minimal. Sometimes with as few as three labels; .bodydef, .header and .text.

Just to help out if you haven't tried it. When you go to the Menu>More>Settings select "Text" then "More styles" you will find yourself on familiar grounds reading the options.

Here is the APK link. Scroll down to find FBReaderJ-1.0.12.apk (the latest version).

http://www.fbreader.org/FBReaderJ/

Regards -John

P.S. I use a Coby MID7024 (Android 2.2) for the same reason it comes with the Adobe DRM version of Aldiko and runs every ereader I have installed on it (non-rooted).
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Old 05-18-2011, 03:53 PM   #4
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My experience has been that coolreader3 ver 45, aldiko 1.x, and overdrive 2.2 all follow the embedded stylesheets when told to do so in their settings and that fbreaderj (as of the last version I tried a month ago) did *not*.
The feature has worked for me with commercial ebooks from Baen, Mobileread downloads, Calibre web to epub conversions, and conversions via the odf to epub plugin in libre office.
Obviously your "mileage" is varying.
Good luck.

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Old 05-18-2011, 03:58 PM   #5
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Hi John,
THANK YOU!!! I've just loaded FBReader on my Nook Color and though it doesn't (so far as I've seen in the last few minutes) get all the CSS styles, the one thing that I've been dying for is the long press to display images in imageview!! That alone makes this the reader I'd recommend as of now for anyone reading my book on a mobile device, and definitely an Android tablet.
Fwiw, the images that are crucial to this book, and have to be able to be seen full screen for detail, etc. It's been a problem because of the variety of ways they get handled in Android reader apps..of which none I've found yet had allowed a simple long press to pop them out in image view full screen. The iPad has the double-tap, but I've had to work around it on my Nook by simply having a link to jump to a full screen image. Works..but it isn't esoterically pleasing. The FBReader allowing that is a godsend for me to at least have something to recommend.
So, thanks for pointing it out. Now if I could get it to read the difference in font sizes, colors, etc. in the CSS stylesheet it would be perfect. I'll go look again, but it's a good day thanks to you.
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jttraverse View Post
Now if I could get it to read the difference in font sizes, colors, etc. in the CSS stylesheet it would be perfect. I'll go look again, but it's a good day thanks to you.
I think FBreader does color. I've think seen "blue TOCs"

One thing you could try is to put a "font-size:16pt;", or some number in your <body> statement with all other references to size in "em"s. This has worked to control the font size in some reader(s), I just can't remember which. I wonder if this would work for line-height? I think I'll play with this awhile. I'll post back at this thread with what I find out.

Regards - John
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:04 PM   #7
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After Thought

While playing around with the line-height and font-size I ran my test file through the newest version of Cool Reader (cr3.0.45-15.apk). It fixed many of my complaints. See what you think. Here is the link:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/cre...r3/cr3-3.0.45/

Regards - John
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Old 05-20-2011, 12:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jabby View Post
While playing around with the line-height and font-size I ran my test file through the newest version of Cool Reader (cr3.0.45-15.apk). It fixed many of my complaints. See what you think. Here is the link:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/cre...r3/cr3-3.0.45/

Regards - John
I downloaded CoolReader3 from your link and installed it on my HTC Evo for testing. Then I copied over my book and opened it in CoolReader to test it out. These are some of the..eh, issues, I guess you'd call them..that I see. I did check the settings and options to see if I could enable/fix them..but didn't see anything that would do it so far:
a) None of the links in my book work (i.e. internal hyperlinks that jump to illustrations, documents, etc. These do work in other reader apps, such as FBReader, Moon+Reader, Aldiko, Laputa.
b) The TOC is truncated (it's missing over half of what should be there, including the links to every chapter and a number of other items). I checked this with FBReader and Moon+Reader and both show all the items in the TOC.ncx. Strangely, navigating thru the book, Chapter 1 should be after the Prologue. But only 'Prologue' shows up in the TOC...and when I go to the prologue and page forward, where it should go to the next page and be on Chapter 1...instead it skips to the next item in the TOC, bypassing virtually the entire book since all the chapters don't show up in the TOC. Weird..!!

Anyway, I didn't go further with CoolReader since these above didn't work, and I didn't load it on my Nook either since I would have expected it to function best on my cell phone, however it's supposed to function.

So far, FBReader has been the best for image viewing and other niceties, even though it doesn't yet show the CSS styles throughout the book. Aldiko is perfect for displaying the book the way I designed it, but does not have the image handling capability of FBReader (long-press opens pics in the full screen image viewer). If I could find a program that correctly displayed the CSS styles like Aldiko, and let me double-tap or long-press on an image to open it in full screen mode, like FBReader...ah, nirvana!! Better yet, what I wish developers would do is let readers tap/press on an image and open outside the book in in an image viewer that would allow for pinch-to-zoom to enlarge the hi-res picture. That's the holy grail for what I'd like for image in my book. Ah well, someday.
-JTT
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