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Old 03-21-2012, 12:50 PM   #1
ndelmonico
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Problem with footnotes

Greetings All,

I am new to Sigil and am having a problem getting footnotes to work properly. I produce my books first in LaTeX and have been able to convert them to xhtml using latexml and latexmlport. When I bring up the xhtml documents in a browser the footnotes work in the sense that when the mouse is over them the footnote text displays. That is what I would like to happen. But when I open that same xhtml in Sigil, the superscript footnote numbers are there, but the footnote text simply follows them as if it was part of the main text. I've fiddled a little with the html codes for the footnotes but nothing seems to make a difference. Here is how the footnotes appear in the html:

<span class="note footnote"><sup class="mark">2</sup></span>
<div class="note_content">
<span class="note footnote">Śrī Caitanya</span>
</div>

And here is what the CSS file has for footnotes:

/*================================================= =====================
pop-up footnotes */
.note .note_content {display:none; }
.note .mark { color:blue; }
.note:hover .note_content
{ display:block; position:absolute; z-index:10;
width: 70%; right:5%;
background:#E0E0E0;
border:3px outset gray; }

Any suggestions?

Best,

Neal
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:57 PM   #2
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I have no idea if pop-up/hovering footnotes are ePub compliant or not, but using Sigil as the previewer wouldn't be the proper test even if it is. Check it with ADE or an ADE device.

I'm guessing what you're trying to accomplish is going to produce fairly hit-or-miss results depending on various ePub rendering engines.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 03-21-2012 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:00 PM   #3
ndelmonico
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Thanks for the response. I did check the file I am working on in FBreader and the footnotes did not look any different from in SiGiL. I also tried ADE as you suggested. The results were the same, except that with ADE the diacritics did not work either which means I probably need to think about embedding the fonts I need to handle them.

I am not tied in to handling the footnotes this way. But I do need footnotes to be handled in some convenient way. The books I produce have lots of them and need them. Losing them would be an insurmountable problem. Has anyone else solved the footnote problem?

Best

Neal
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:39 PM   #4
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Are you targeting any particular hardware? Mouse-over events make sense on a desktop but much less on an e-reader... Most books I've seen use end-notes with internal links to-and-from.

(Edit : ...most *epub* books I've seen...)
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:03 PM   #5
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I have hoped to do the same as you have proposed, that is, to have the note pop up in a new small window on the page, which you can do in a web page, of course. But I think it is not yet possible in a straight epub system, only if you format your book as an ibook app or similar. What I settled on which does work is to make my text links to a note in a separate section of end notes and then link the end note back to the point in the text that you just left. This works smoothly in epubs, mobi, and in Sigil. The linking in your document can be done at any stage in the process.
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
This works smoothly in epubs, mobi, and in Sigil.
The link back in mobi is nice for thoroughness, but actually unnecessary for Kindle targeted mobis. The "Back" button takes you back to the exact place you were before you followed the link (as opposed to taking you back to a specific anchor point).
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:20 PM   #7
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Sony Readers also have no need for a back link as they have a back function as well.

You pop-up for the footnotes is not going to work. Endnotes will work best.

Last edited by JSWolf; 03-21-2012 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:21 PM   #8
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In the spec:

z-index is unsupported
position: absolute is discouraged
:hover may not be applicable (e.g. for devices with a touch screen)

and then there's issues with support and bugs in actual reading systems.

Footnotes are usually done as endnotes. Have an XHTML file dedicated to the notes, with pagebreaks between them, then link to and from them and you have a pretty workable system.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Sony Readers also have no need for a back link as they have a back function as well.
actually, the Sony touch screen readers : 3xx 6xx T1 .... have no back button - they do have a history function within the menus system but that is not as convenient as an actual button

you can go to / from an end page set of notes via hyper links if you can tap accurately on the little hyper link superscript numbers with the stylus, but personally I don't bother
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:26 AM   #10
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The T1 certainly does have a back button.

And the hyperlinks need not be superscript, that's a convention that *some* people use (okay, a lot) but is in no way mandatory. And tapping in the general vicinity of the link with my greasy finger usually get me by.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulPosition View Post
The T1 certainly does have a back button.

.

EDIT - you are right - I googled it some more, Sony changed "zoom" to "back" in the shift from 650 to T1,

but there is no back button on all the previous touch screen readers.

Last edited by cybmole; 03-22-2012 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:46 AM   #12
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And the hyperlinks need not be superscript, that's a convention that *some* people use (okay, a lot) but is in no way mandatory. And tapping in the general vicinity of the link with my greasy finger usually get me by.
Exactly. And even when you do add a superscript (or a bracketed number, or whatever) to indicate an end-note exists, there's no reason why one (or more) of the preceding words can't be included in the hyperlink as well—if only to create a larger tap-target.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:20 AM   #13
ndelmonico
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Thanks to everyone who responded with good advice on footnotes. I have changed my strategy to the one recommended, i.e. endnotes. Yes, it did not occur to me that mouse overs don't work on readers and smart phones. And the suggestion to create a separate xhtml page for endnotes helped, too. I created a few footnotes and they seem to work. It is a little labor intensive. I don't suppose Sigil has any features that help with the process. Am I correct? I basically had to type in the html link code. Is there a better way of doing it?

Once again thanks to all.

Best

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Old 03-23-2012, 11:33 AM   #14
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I know of nothing to help automate the process. Once you get on to it, however, it's not that hard to come up with a consistent anchor-naming scheme (id attribute actually) that makes it a lot easier to tell at a glance whether there's a problem or not.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:32 PM   #15
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I did all of my links in my original Word document and they carried through cleanly to HTML and then into Sigil. I grant that Word carries some junk into HTML and onward, put most of these are easy fixes in Sigil, mostly image labels\ formats and not-permitted xhtml categories, etc, and can be fixed with find/replace. About 25-30 fixes in a 40,000-word document didn't seem like a killer task to me.
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