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Old 07-13-2011, 02:56 AM   #1
Frustrated
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Question Trouble with TOC in Mobipocket Creator

Okay. I give up. I've spent at least 25 hours over the past two days off trying to get this to work and it still won't do what I want it to do, so I'm really hoping someone can help me.

I recently installed Mobipocket Creator, the Publisher edition. I have two current projects I'm trying to get into .mobi format; they're not even for any sort of commercial publication, just things I want to be able to share with friends who prefer reading on the Kindle rather than on a computer.

Now, normally I'm a pretty bright bulb. I don't pretend to know everything there is to know about HTML for example, but I do manage to maintain my own website without help, right down at the coding level. Takes me a while, but I can do it, and I'm learning as I go. (Heck, I'm self-taught on most things I do these days.) But if I bang my head against this brick wall much longer, either the wall or my head will have a permanent dent. Possibly both.

Here's the problem: I simply CANNOT get Mobipocket Creator to build a TOC for my projects, either of them. One has 32 chapters, the other has 3 plus a Foreword. I've put them together in HTML, and they look great in my browser and in the Preview function on both HTML-Kit and NVU. The code checks out, and everything ought to be hunky-dory, right?

Hah.

When I go to build my mobi file, everything hums along smoothly at first. I input my chapter files (for the long work; the shorter is a trilogy of short stories, but functionally it's the same, no?) which are complete with the proper tags <h1>, <h2>, etc. I've even tried merging the trilogy into a single file and just pulling from the tags in that. When I get to the Table of Contents Wizard, I specify <h2> as the information I want it to pick up for the TOC. (I don't quite grasp the other attributes, so I don't use them. If I've been reading things correctly, I shouldn't need to, as long as I have the proper information tagged between <h2> and </h2>, right?) I press "Update" and a TOC is generated.

The problem is, invariably it's either blank other than the header "Table of Contents" or else it contains my chapter titles, but they aren't links, merely lines of text. Makes for a pretty list... but it's pretty useless.

Frankly, at this point I'm about ready to toss my computer, take to the woods, and continue my writing career via the cave-wall-and-charred-stick method. I've even tried building the TOC by hand, not knowing whether or not I'm doing that correctly although I'm following information found online, some of it right here on this forum. That gets me no farther; I still have either an empty TOC or one that is merely a list of chapters, but no links or anything allowing the reader to navigate. (I verify my work using Kindle for PC, in case anyone's wondering.)

So, can anyone here enlighten me?

Last edited by Frustrated; 07-13-2011 at 03:09 AM.
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:37 AM   #2
Frustrated
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Update: I'm finally getting a TOC of sorts, but now I get a BUILD error. Mobipocket now claims that my content file -- or files, in the case of multi-file builds -- does not have a BODY tag. The problem is, the BODY tag is right there in the HTML files. I've opened each and every one of them up in HTML-kit and double-checked. They're there. The code is fine; even checking it with TIDY checks out.

So now what the heck is going on? Or am I simply doomed for some reason to not be able to make this project work?
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:28 AM   #3
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Frustraded, you are damned right.
I am at first 12 of your 25 hours.
TOC wizard just does not work in Mobipocket Creator Publisher. Period.
Do it via HTML way, put it in front of book for accessing easier by "Go To" -> "Beginning".
If I find out something I publish here.
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Old 07-13-2011, 12:02 PM   #4
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Benoe, I tried that and it didn't work either. I finally did get the TOC wizard to work (hint: don't do this when you're tired, make sure you're awake enough to remember not to include "<" and ">" in your tag when you type it into the Wizard -- that's what fixed it for me).

But the problem I have now, of it suddenly not finding <body> tags that are clearly present in the HTML files... now that's my current issue.
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:39 PM   #5
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For you it's probably too late, but I solved my empty toc problem as follows:

1. Opened it and a (working) toc from previous project in notepad++
2. Pasted working toc into empty one
3. Went carefully over the first entry and changed the path to point to right html
4. Copy-pasted new path to other entries
5. Opened both htmls (in np++), copied <h2 id...> from old one
6. Searched for h2, did lot of copy-paste between toc and html (chapters' names were different in previous project), simultaneously checked that "mbp_toc_1" number was the same in both files.

Now I have a working toc!


Maybe someone else finds it helpful.
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