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Old 12-14-2013, 02:50 AM   #61
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I posted a major revision at post #1 of this thread.

  • Processing. Rewrote and shortened Processing section. It used to follow the general workflow order Choice #1. Now it follows workflow order Choice #2. Thank you BetterRed and theducks for your comments above, which helped me reconsider general workflow order and seriously wonder why I hadn't been using Choice #2 until recently.

    -----
    General workflow order. When processing new books into calibre, do you:
    1. add books, then assess/convert/fix format, then download/edit metadata? or,
    2. add books, then download/edit metadata, then assess/convert/fix format? or,
    3. assess/convert/fix format outside calibre, then add books, then download/edit metadata?
    -----

  • Configurations. Removed Configurations section, rewrote that content and divided it into two new sections: Library, Metadata.

  • Library. Devoted Library section to discussion of multiple libraries vs one library; tailoring library structure and metadata scheme; search; order of metadata (columns) for viewing and editing. Coined a new term "metadata clique".

  • Metadata. Devoted Metadata section to the metadata scheme I use in my library, including descriptions by field/attribute: each with metadata elements, usage conventions, rules. Provided separate lists for calibre fields (including columns), and custom columns.

Last edited by unboggling; 02-15-2014 at 07:51 PM. Reason: Clarify.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:01 AM   #62
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Meh, nevermind, figured it all out. Now I can read the book I paid for.

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Old 01-07-2014, 09:13 AM   #63
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A tool I find so necessary in editing/creating epub is editpad. I prefer the EditPad Pro because of the additional features such as being able to add a spell checker but EditPad Lite is equally useful. I actually use both programs.

I can open multiple files at the same time so find it very useful in conversion of multiple pdf files after converting them to basic html.

Many pdf's convert with the same problems.

Problems such as <br/> or <br> instead of <p> tags or use of only the opening tag or outdated html such as <center> or <big> can then be searched across multiple files.

The ability to use regular expressions to find the <br> tag that is followed by a lowercase letter and replace it with a space across say five or ten files at a time is something that saves so much time.

Another feature is being able to find the next and replace or skip as you choose with just a click saves time also.

I find that editing multiple files with similar problems cuts the "cleanup" time significantly. This may be in part because you can then use the same css stylesheets and streamline the editing process.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:32 AM   #64
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EditPad looks interesting. Are you are recommending I include EditPad in the Links section of Post #1 as a recommended text editor?

I can't try it myself because I'm on OS X, while EditPad Lite and Pro are Windows only.

My criteria for inclusion as "recommended" by experienced MobileRead people means I need more than just one recommendation, particularly since I haven't checked it out myself. So I'll wait and see if any other Windows users contribute an opinion.

Thanks for the tips.
And thanks for the karma

@ other Windows users, any opinions about EditPad Lite or Pro ?

Last edited by unboggling; 01-07-2014 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:15 PM   #65
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I expanded abbreviations for genres, types, awards, source. I think the only short metadata elements I have left now are in the rating columns #formatq and #read. If a few abbreviations of metadata elements got past me, I'll eventually sniff them out.

After some discussion over in chaley's Plugboard thread, I gave a hard rethink to my use of primary and secondary genres. Then redid them, while expanding abbreviations. Now #genres is for high-level genres only, preferably just one per book but two is okay for now. The "secondary" genres I moved from #genres into a new column #keywords -- they got expanded and promoted.

And I terminated use of exclamation point as a primary genre prefix and @ as an award prefix. With abbreviations expanded the primary genres and the awards are unique enough not to need the poor little prefix symbols. Bless their little symbol hearts for all the sorting and uniquifying work they provided over the years . . . but they got fired.

Some reasons for these changes:
  • I'm much better at searching now than 2 years ago. So I don't need to always see at a glance in the booklist all of the values in a comma-separated text column. So abbreviations aren't as necessary. In search bar I don't have to type the entire tag; using a "contains" search I can type just the first 3 or 4 letters of a tag -- just as fast as the old abbreviation.
  • I'm more experienced with templates and plugboards now. Can shorten things as necessary such as: {#genres:shorten(3,,0)} or {#genres:.3}
  • Abbreviations don't allow simple comparative searches between key words or phrases in (Comments, Series, or Title) and key abbreviated words or abbreviated phrases in for example (#genres). It's like comparing apples and oranges, they don't match.
  • The exclamation point and @ prefixes were ugly and clunky (despite their best effort). I don't care anymore which metadata element is sorted to leftmost in the column, and additional uniqueness is now redundant.
  • It's part of an ongoing effort to clean up all of my fields and metadata elements.

Party
Spoiler:

The keywords really like their job promotions and new dedicated home. They're singing off-key bawdy songs at their combined promotion and house-warming party.

They graciously invited @ and !, who secluded themselves away from the festivities in the corner of the patio behind a potted tree, whispering conspiratorially.

The newly fattened genres like being the only genres in town. They're at the party too. Swaggering around...

The source and types folks made a brief but weighty appearance. Then apparently all went off together to a convention in Las Vegas.

The awards people didn't even bother to show up, except for @, who doesn't represent them anymore.

Last edited by unboggling; 02-07-2014 at 12:15 AM. Reason: Cut unneeded para.
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:09 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyKate View Post
A tool I find so necessary in editing/creating epub is editpad. I prefer the EditPad Pro because of the additional features such as being able to add a spell checker but EditPad Lite is equally useful. I actually use both programs.

I can open multiple files at the same time so find it very useful in conversion of multiple pdf files after converting them to basic html.

Many pdf's convert with the same problems.

Problems such as <br/> or <br> instead of <p> tags or use of only the opening tag or outdated html such as <center> or <big> can then be searched across multiple files.

The ability to use regular expressions to find the <br> tag that is followed by a lowercase letter and replace it with a space across say five or ten files at a time is something that saves so much time.

Another feature is being able to find the next and replace or skip as you choose with just a click saves time also.

I find that editing multiple files with similar problems cuts the "cleanup" time significantly. This may be in part because you can then use the same css stylesheets and streamline the editing process.
Lady Kate,
Oh, I'm sorry I probably misinterpreted your comment yesterday when I was tired. If you shared your experience with fixing formats as a way you manage ebooks, then thank you for sharing. EditPad does look like a handy tool. You might also want to investigate calibre's feature Edit Books if you haven't yet. It is a powerful ebook editor with capability for fixing EPUB or AZW3 formats.

Last edited by unboggling; 01-08-2014 at 01:02 AM. Reason: clarify
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:58 PM   #67
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I tried the edit books but as I come from a web development background (started back in the 90s lol) it is easier for me to edit books in batches using my own preferred formats (setting up using standard css when possible).

I find the edit books ok for a "quick fix" like changing a font size or whatever but for a cleanup of a pdf file or an old html file, in particular one made with a word processor where there are spans and font settings all over it I want to use an html editor with strong regex support.
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:03 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyKate View Post
I tried the edit books but as I come from a web development background (started back in the 90s lol) it is easier for me to edit books in batches using my own preferred formats (setting up using standard css when possible).

I find the edit books ok for a "quick fix" like changing a font size or whatever but for a cleanup of a pdf file or an old html file, in particular one made with a word processor where there are spans and font settings all over it I want to use an html editor with strong regex support.
It sounds like you know more about the mechanics of working with html and css than I do. So I won't offer you advice in that arena.

Edit: But I'll probably ask you html or css questions when they crop up.

Afterthought: in case you haven't noticed it yet, calibre feature Unpack Book will probably be useful to you. That used to be called Tweak Book. Explodes the zip to allow easy access to the files with editor of choice.

Ah, well, never mind. Unpack Book handles only one book at a time, not bulk explodes/rebuilds.

Last edited by unboggling; 01-11-2014 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 01-17-2014, 05:19 PM   #69
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I made my #genre column hierarchical, but now I'm toying with the thought to undo it. Too many repetitions - Science Fiction.Military, Science Fiction.Space Opera, Science Fiction.Romance seems to be better as Science Fiction, Military, Space Opera, Romance. It is easy to include or exclude genres in search results just by clicking in tag browser.
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:13 PM   #70
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I made my #genre column hierarchical, but now I'm toying with the thought to undo it. Too many repetitions - Science Fiction.Military, Science Fiction.Space Opera, Science Fiction.Romance seems to be better as Science Fiction, Military, Space Opera, Romance. It is easy to include or exclude genres in search results just by clicking in tag browser.
travger, thanks for sharing.

Because they weren't singly hierarchical together is one reason I do #genres and #keywords as separate columns now, and previously had primary genres and secondary genres in one column unhierarchical except generally for primary or secondary.

Also over time I noticed it's simpler to assign, search, or send (plugboard) just one genre per book, so I'm gradually reducing occurrences of multiple genres in #genres as I find them, where feasible, entering the cut genre as a #keyword. (But some books such as the anthology Dangerous Visions are really legitimately two genres, in this case (1) fantasy and (2) science fiction, which I categorize as separate genres.)

Like you said, including or excluding search criteria using Tag Browser is easy. Alternatively it is also easy to manually type "contains" search criteria into search bar such as
Code:
#genres:fantasy and #keywords:military and not #types:collection
and even easier to use preset grouped search terms as lookup name aliases, combined with shortening the metadata elements, in "contains" search criteria such as
Code:
g:fant and k:milit and not ty:coll

Last edited by unboggling; 02-17-2014 at 10:28 AM. Reason: clarify; #type -> #types.
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Old 01-18-2014, 03:29 AM   #71
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unboggling, I do use the unpack book or tweek book as it was when I want to edit one book. Usually for the worst offenders, pdf files, I start off with either a save from either my rather outdated acrobat 7 or use the old mobipocket creator.

Mobipocket creator is good for creating a reasonable html file from a pdf. The prc files it creates are rather horrid for calibre to handle and not the nicest of formats and for my favorite authors I like nice formatting. (I'm one who enjoys going back to reread old favorites so want them nice looking)

To get to the next step I like an old tool called "HTML Book Fixer" by Snowsoft. I can't find it anywhere at all these days lol. Perhaps it's time to throw up a small webpage with freebie tools that are considered outdated but useful. This tool removes a lot of the spans and excess font settings that are in most html that has come from a word processor or pdf file (that could be because a lot of pdf files are from word processors)


Another tool that is very useful is "HTML Book Checker" that checks for things like paragraphs with no punctuation etc.

BUT back to the reason for recommending either the pro or free version of editpad.

One of the first steps after clearing up the excess spans and font settings in an html file is to check for paragraph markings.

A book that has <br> or <br/> as a means of separating paragraphs of text is not going to allow you to use calibre to indent the first line of paragraphs.

I will use a regex search setting the editpad to be sensitive to case to search for line breaks that are followed by a lower case letter. This will usually indicate that the break was put in to make it look right in a word processor.
eg search string would be
<br>
([a-z])

replacement string would be
\1

This is a very fast way to remove a chunk of stuff that needs to be cleaned up.

oops. Just looked at how much I typed. Maybe I should start a thread on html cleanup tips.
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:20 AM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyKate View Post
One of the first steps after clearing up the excess spans and font settings in an html file is to check for paragraph markings.

A book that has <br> or <br/> as a means of separating paragraphs of text is not going to allow you to use calibre to indent the first line of paragraphs.

I will use a regex search setting the editpad to be sensitive to case to search for line breaks that are followed by a lower case letter. This will usually indicate that the break was put in to make it look right in a word processor.
eg search string would be
<br>
([a-z])

replacement string would be
\1
I'm confused.

I'm not much good with html and usually don't fix books by messing with html tags, but I would've thought I'd want most of those <br> tags replaced with </p><p>

I thought <br> didn't have a closing tag? Or is <br/> an alternate form of <br> ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyKate View Post
...Usually for the worst offenders, pdf files, I start off with either a save from either my rather outdated acrobat 7 or use the old mobipocket creator....
I save time by not converting or fixing PDFs at all. Nonfiction PDF: if unavailable in a better format, I keep the nonfiction PDF without any conversion or format-fixing, and easily read it in PDF format on any device. Fiction PDF: if unavailable in better format, never acquire fiction PDF equals never convert/fix fiction PDF -- I'd rather not have it than mess with it at all.

Last edited by unboggling; 01-18-2014 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 01-18-2014, 11:13 AM   #73
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@unboggling: yet another nail in the coffin of my hierarchical #genre column. Though I put 'coll' or 'anth' into tags, some of those could really belong to several genres. I never even thought to classify stories separately. But usually stories are gathered into anthology so that they have some over-all theme. Except something like Year's Best...

I am slow typist, only search I've done so far is for author - and even so, when I made a mistake, Calibre went into search before I had a chance to correct it. Or before I finished typing some longer name. Happily, this behavior has stopped on my netbook. Don't know if it's because of newer version or if I have some auto-completion tweak turned on at home.
Searching is currently not very important to me. I don't want to search - I want the ability to search. (and categorize etc)
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Old 01-18-2014, 11:32 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unboggling View Post
I'm confused.

I'm not much good with html and usually don't fix books by messing with html tags, but I would've thought I'd want most of those <br> tags replaced with </p><p>

I thought <br> didn't have a closing tag? Or is <br/> an alternate form of <br> ?
<br> (and others) is no close needed

To help parse and to avoid confusion, All tags must close. Some can self close like:
Code:
<br />
<hr />
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Old 01-18-2014, 11:36 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by travger View Post
@unboggling: yet another nail in the coffin of my hierarchical #genre column. Though I put 'coll' or 'anth' into tags, some of those could really belong to several genres. I never even thought to classify stories separately. But usually stories are gathered into anthology so that they have some over-all theme. Except something like Year's Best...
My column #type is for publication type. I based my tags for this column (with some modifications) on ISFDB's definitions of publication types:
Help:Screen:NewPub, ISFDB wiki (definitions for publication-level metadata).

Quote:
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I am slow typist....
I'm a pretty fast typist; I'd use Tag Browser more if I were slower typist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by travger View Post
when I made a mistake, Calibre went into search before I had a chance to correct it. Or before I finished typing some longer name. Happily, this behavior has stopped on my netbook. Don't know if it's because of newer version or if I have some auto-completion tweak turned on at home....
Probably in Preferences > Searching, you had checkmark in checkbox for the first option "search as you type". Subsequently you probably turned that off.

Last edited by unboggling; 02-12-2014 at 11:07 AM. Reason: #type -> #pubtype -> #type
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