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Old 05-05-2011, 08:55 PM   #1
december
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Problems creating "thin space" between nested quotes

I'd like to think that the more often I create and edit ebooks, the less I have to ask for help here... but really, I think I'm just kidding myself. Hello again!

This week's tiny adventure is trying to insert a "thin space" separator between nested quotation marks, so that

Quote:
“‘Because,’” he read.
would look something more like

Quote:
“ ‘Because,’ ” he read.
From what I can find online, I think the special character code I need to use is " ",but every time I insert this into Sigil [version 0.3.0] and save the file, it promptly reverts back to a normal space (equivalent of   ). Am I using the wrong entity code here, or does Sigil simply not recognize it?

Last edited by december; 05-05-2011 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 05-06-2011, 02:46 AM   #2
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could be that sigil or tidy just implements it.

e.g. I know that all explicit … will vanish and all you see is the 3 dots when you next open to edit, but that means it has actually worked!

maybe the same thing happens to  
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Old 05-06-2011, 03:00 AM   #3
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I am curious to see if the readers would accept the code though... Not all codes are accepted and will be replaced by question marks or boxes on some readers. I know that the … will not always display correctly.
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by december View Post
From what I can find online, I think the special character code I need to use is " ",but every time I insert this into Sigil [version 0.3.0] and save the file, it promptly reverts back to a normal space (equivalent of   ). Am I using the wrong entity code here, or does Sigil simply not recognize it?
In my experience, the support for Unicode spaces is fragile. In principle, what you want is not   (#8201), which is a breaking space (a line break can happen on it), but rather & #8239;, which is non-breaking.

My opinion is that you should not introduce any kind of space between the quotes, and the spacing should be handled through font kerning instead.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:47 AM   #5
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Hi All,

I am finding a similar problem with   in Sigil it is showing as a thin "block" character.

How would I implement kerning between double and single quotes?
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Old 05-16-2011, 04:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John123 View Post
How would I implement kerning between double and single quotes?
Kerning is part of the font, you'd have to edit the font files in, e.g., FontForge. But most readers ignore kerning, as far as I know...
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:03 AM   #7
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So, basically, there's nothing can be done to produce nice looking spacing at quotes within quotes?
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:44 AM   #8
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You could create an empty transparent PNG image, and scale it to the desired size:

Code:
“<img class="spacer" src="empty.png" alt="">‘Because,’<img class="spacer" src="empty.png" alt="">” he read.
with:

Code:
img.spacer { width: 0.15em; }
for example.
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John123 View Post
So, basically, there's nothing can be done to produce nice looking spacing at quotes within quotes?
define "nice looking" - the default presentation on Sony e-reader is "nice" enough for my eyes"

without getting out a measuring tape, how much difference between printed & e-books is at issue here ?
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Old 05-16-2011, 01:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John123 View Post
So, basically, there's nothing can be done to produce nice looking spacing at quotes within quotes?
I think the basic problem is one of fonts. If the thinsp font is not present in the font set then it cannot show up. Try embedding the font and see what happens. You can reference it by number I think. Try  & #8201; (only without the space between & #

Last edited by DaleDe; 05-16-2011 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jellby View Post
You could create an empty transparent PNG image, and scale it to the desired size:

Code:
“<img class="spacer" src="empty.png" alt="">‘Because,’<img class="spacer" src="empty.png" alt="">” he read.
with:

Code:
img.spacer { width: 0.15em; }
for example.
The first code sample is unreadable.
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:16 PM   #12
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Instead of using nested quotes, have you thought of using italics or something? Nested quotes are not very common.
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cybmole View Post
define "nice looking" - the default presentation on Sony e-reader is "nice" enough for my eyes"

without getting out a measuring tape, how much difference between printed & e-books is at issue here ?
I've been in book production as a compositor for 40 years, I think I know what "nice Looking" looks like.

Without getting into semantics. It all depends on what you find acceptable, whether it's spelling, grammar or visual presentation. Some books, in my humble opinion, are visually pleasing which makes the reading of them that much more enjoyable.

"Luddite!" I hear you cry. Well maybe so, but how far does this dumbing down go? Who among you would accept books written like text messages. Not many I suspect.
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John123 View Post
I've been in book production as a compositor for 40 years, I think I know what "nice Looking" looks like.

.
ok - so explain to those of us who haven't please. what exactly do you want to see in your e-book - and more importantly - how's it supposed to look as the user cycles thru XS, S, M , L XL font size options on their Sony reader , or toggles normal / condensed on their Kindle .

Can you define "nice" in an environment where the end-user is in control of the display, & you have no control over e.g. number of characters per line.. ..

to my eyes a normal space " ' is fine & it scales /justifies sensibly with all user settings.

Last edited by cybmole; 05-17-2011 at 04:35 AM.
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:22 AM   #15
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Without workarounds, spacing at nested quotes would be nice.
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