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Old 11-16-2011, 07:03 AM   #1
bramwell1922
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style sheets

I'm completely new to Sigil, so I read the manual. No where could I find any information for creating a style sheet. If I click or double click the styles folder on the book browser, nothing happens, not a bean. I was hoping that the main editing window would open, ideally with a set of headings for different elements of styles, eg paragraphs, emboldening, headings, captions etc so that I could easily select the options to create the look and feel of my book (ie without having to edit CSS tags). But even having an ability to edit the CSS tag file would be a useful first step (I'd have to learn how to use the tags though).

I thought that perhaps under the file menu there would be an import function for importing styles, but no indication even on how to get a style created somewhere else into Sigil.

Can someone point me in the right direction? Thanks.
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:50 AM   #2
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There's no specific CSS editor in Sigil, if not for the syntax highlighting.

You can import an external stylesheet file in the same way that you would import an external xhtml file: right click on the "Styles" section of the book browser (the pane on the left) and select "Add existing items...".
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:00 AM   #3
bramwell1922
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Style sheets

Thanks.

Can you recommend a style sheet editor, preferably one that allows me to select style elements from drop down lists so that I don't have to learn a lot of tags?

Are ePub styles the same as HTML CSS tags?

Will Sigil display my writing using the style sheet, or does Sigil use the style sheet just to create the final ePub file?

Thanks.
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bramwell1922 View Post
Are ePub styles the same as HTML CSS tags?
Short answer yes. Long answer, according to the spec EPUB 2 uses a CSS implementation based on CSS 2. Not all properties are supported and some EPUB specific ones have been added. You can see a list of required properties here. Required properties must be implemented by a conforming reading system. However, this is often ignored and reading systems implement pretty much what ever they feel like.
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bramwell1922 View Post
Thanks.

Can you recommend a style sheet editor, preferably one that allows me to select style elements from drop down lists so that I don't have to learn a lot of tags?

Are ePub styles the same as HTML CSS tags?

Will Sigil display my writing using the style sheet, or does Sigil use the style sheet just to create the final ePub file?

Thanks.
I usually use Sigil, especially since I usually need only to modify existing stylesheets, not to write them from scratch. And yes, Sigil correctly renders all the styling you apply in the stylesheet(s), apart from the rendering of embedded fonts (there's a bug in the QTWebKit library which Sigil's rendering is based upon).

Even with editors like the one you're describing (I know of bluefish and CSSed under linux), you still have to know what you're doing, at least approximately.
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:21 PM   #6
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Thanks. Okay I've started to create a style sheet. I've looked at the required properties, but the list does not tell me what the values mean. Where can I find a reference for epub style sheets that allows me to find all the tags that I need, and how to use them, ideally with examples, for the effects I'm looking for?
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:11 PM   #7
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I would recommend this for starters. You can also take a look at some books to see how the stylesheets look like. The epubs in this forum are usually of good quality.
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bramwell1922 View Post
Thanks. Okay I've started to create a style sheet. I've looked at the required properties, but the list does not tell me what the values mean. Where can I find a reference for epub style sheets that allows me to find all the tags that I need, and how to use them, ideally with examples, for the effects I'm looking for?
Bottom line. You need NO stylesheet (as long as you are willing to accept the devices default).

IMHO the best way to decide, is to reverse engineer from EPUBS you like.
I lean toward the older Baen (Webscription) model. Lean and mean.
Set the <body>,
Set the basic <p>,
Maybe a tweak to the default <h#> (usually a chapter heading) style

All the rest is custom per book (no bloated, kitchen sink stylesheet for me)
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:47 PM   #9
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How to learn ePubs (not web pages) CSS?

Thanks but I don't want to use CSS for webpages as it is different from CSS for ePub. I do want to control the appearance of the 'printed page'; my book is about design so I can hardly not design the look and feel of my own book!

Is there a reference for ePub style sheets, ideally with examples?
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:07 PM   #10
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as the ducks said - fastest way to learn is to reverse engineer from EPUBS ...
grab some free epubs, load them up in sigil, see how they work....

another way is to save some html articles, add them to calibre & have calibre convert to epub then inspect the stylesheet which calibre generates.

if I get stuck, I google CSS + expression, or come here & ask !
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bramwell1922 View Post
Thanks. Okay I've started to create a style sheet. I've looked at the required properties, but the list does not tell me what the values mean. Where can I find a reference for epub style sheets that allows me to find all the tags that I need, and how to use them, ideally with examples, for the effects I'm looking for?
You can try our wiki. It should get you started. There are pages on CSS and several example and template pages.

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Old 11-16-2011, 04:05 PM   #12
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This may or may not be of any help but this is the basic style sheet that I use. Many times it has everything I need, if not I add or modify.

I am attaching the text file of my basic css file. All I do is open up Sigil and right click on Styles in the Book Browser then select Add New Item. Click on Styles again and you will see the empty stylesheet (Style0001.css) that was just created. I then cut and paste my css file into Sigil.

This will give you an idea of what a simple css stylesheet looks like and some of the forms it can take. There also a couple of free online tutorials that could be of help.

As has been said, there are some pretty sharp guys on this forum. And many with a great deal of experience, patience and willingness to help. Being a newbie myself, with some of the shine worn off, I can attest to that fact.

Regards - John

Thought I'd add a test epub I use to "see what happens". Something to play with.
Attached Files
File Type: txt BaseMin CSS.txt (1.6 KB, 103 views)
File Type: epub Meth_Lab_Test_File .epub (78.2 KB, 71 views)

Last edited by Jabby; 11-16-2011 at 04:27 PM. Reason: Adding a file to play with
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