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Old 03-22-2012, 02:36 PM   #1
novation
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Unhappy Help! epub book looks awful on Nook previewer

If this posting is in the wrong place, please let me know...outside of the Nook Developers forum, I couldn't find where to post a Nook question.

I have an epub book that I am trying to put on the BN bookstore. It looks fine on Calibre, Sigil and other desktop ebook readers. But, when I upload the file to Pubit, the previewed book is awful. I looked at the guidelines, which state that for a Nook, the CSS margins must be pixels not ems. I converted everything in my CSS to pixels (margins, font specs) but it didn't change anything. The formatting on the title page is nonexistent, same for chapter heads, captions and text. Does the Nook not recognize any formatting? It does seem to recognize the spacing between chapters, photos, captions, etc. but it adds a space between every paragraph. Color photos are fine but any color in the fonts is ignored. Can anyone enlighten me on what I need to do to get the Nook to recognize my formatting?

Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:32 PM   #2
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The Nook recognizes standard formatting just fine, could it be that there is an issue with how Pubit is converting your epub? Sigil and Calibre aren't good for testing how an epub will display, what other desktop e-book readers did you use? For the Nook I would recommend Adobe Digital Editions or Sony Reader (both use the same rendering engine as the Nook so should give you a good idea how it will display). Could there be some error in your CSS? Sigil and Calibre are very forgiving with CSS errors. Most other e-readers are not. You can check your CSS here, just copy and paste the contents of your CSS file.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:21 PM   #3
novation
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Ok, I'm a newbie at this ebook thing but this is really weird to me. Perhaps not to you? I have a horizontal line in my CSS that was tagged as an error in the validating site you gave. I had –

margin: 0em 0em 0em 0em padding: 1em;

which should be

margin: 0em 0em 0em 0em; padding: 1em;

With the semi-colon added, the entire book looks good – except my horizontal line is way too wide. How can I make a very thin (say .5pt in printing terms) horizontal line? Here is what I had that worked. (Or, should I say, seemed to work.)

border: none;
color: #9cc1b8;
background: #9cc1b8;
height: 1px;
width: 100%;
margin: 0em 0em 0em 0em padding: 1em;

What should it be?

Another thing – I previewed this same epub file on my iPad using Apple's book proofer software and it looked fabulous. Go figure...
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:43 PM   #4
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Is that CSS is for a horizontal rule (<hr />)? If it is, remove the padding, that makes it 1em + 1px [Oops my mistake, that should be 1px +1em +1em +1px] high. Use this,
Code:
border: none;
 color: #9cc1b8;
 background: #9cc1b8;
 height: 1px;
 width: 100%;
 margin:0;
This will make the line 1px high.

A single CSS error will break all the formatting on all ADE based e-readers (Nook, Sony, Kobo), that is probably why the Pubit preview was not showing any formating. Use Adobe Digital Editions to preview your epubs to catch these errors. I don't know how many times I've pulled my hair out over a dropped semi-colon in my CSS when I started creating epubs.

Added thought, the original appeared to work in Sigil and Calibre because of the missing semi-colon, it ignored everything after this, margin: 0em 0em 0em 0em in that line.

Last edited by Keroberos; 03-22-2012 at 08:05 PM. Reason: Sometimes I suck.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:04 PM   #5
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Hair? What hair? It's gone. No fingernails, either.

Thanks so much. I think this pub will be just fine now.
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novation View Post
Another thing – I previewed this same epub file on my iPad using Apple's book proofer software and it looked fabulous. Go figure...
That is not saying anything... I suspect you viewed it with iBooks. Apple took a shortcut and used WebKit as rendering engine for books with some adaptions. However, an ePUB is a subset of xhtml and css, not the full set. So, some things will work that will not work on anything else because it is not in the specs. Also, their 'adaptations' messed up some things badly by not following the specs.
Your results may be quite different compared to your aim.
Most on this forum advise to test at least on ADE. That seems to be the safest choice at the moment.
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxaris View Post
That is not saying anything... I suspect you viewed it with iBooks. Apple took a shortcut and used WebKit as rendering engine for books with some adaptions. However, an ePUB is a subset of xhtml and css, not the full set. So, some things will work that will not work on anything else because it is not in the specs. Also, their 'adaptations' messed up some things badly by not following the specs.
Your results may be quite different compared to your aim.
Most on this forum advise to test at least on ADE. That seems to be the safest choice at the moment.

Apple is targeting iBooks toward ePub 3 not the current standard used by the vast majority of eBook readers, ePub 2. ePub 3 has more web like features in it.

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Old 03-28-2012, 12:37 PM   #8
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If by "targeting ePub 3" you mean "ignoring basic XHTML+CSS" then I guess you're right
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