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Old 10-31-2012, 02:07 PM   #1
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Text - Image alignment problem

I'd like one of my pages to have a paragraph of text 'book-ended' by two pictures.

I've achieved the desired look in Sigil but the alignment in ADE (and in some devices in kindle Previewer after conversion) has gone awry. I've spent some time tinkering but cannot find a solution.

I have attached a file showing screen shots of what appears in Sigil; what appears on my laptop version of ADE; and the code used.

I have a feeling that the desired display is too complicated, given the variety of potential devices, and that it might be better to simplify, but I thought if anyone could create the desired effect someone on here could.

Many thanks.
Attached Files
File Type: doc TWWW Sigil.doc (270.5 KB, 91 views)
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:09 PM   #2
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The course of least resistance that is guaranteed to work is to make the whole thing an image.

Of course this doesn't work if the text has to vary.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:20 PM   #3
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The problem with trying to do that means it will probably look awful once someone has changed to their own font, or even changed to a larger font. Remember some readers are only 5" as well, which alone might mess up the layout.

If it were me, I'd simply make it one block paragraph of text, with one of the images centered under it. You could add the opposite image centered above the block of text also, but honestly it adds nothing to the reading experience. But this layout should work on all readers no matter the size of screen or font size/style.

Last edited by Ripplinger; 10-31-2012 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:46 PM   #4
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I have to agree. When I look at that, the hair on the nape of my neck stands up and screams "fontsize changes!" You can try putting it inside a div, but...I just think that a) the likelihood of most readers having it work is slim, and b) it's not really sized for the average e-reading device, which is 3½".

If you're only going to sell it on, say, iBooks, you can probably make it work, more or less. You could, maybe, create it inside a table. But I think it's problematic for the larger (in terms of sales) platforms.

Just my $.02
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:58 AM   #5
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I'm grateful for the advice, Ripplinger & Hitch. The layout of that paragraph is not as important as reader-experience. I'll ditch the layout.

Thanks very much for sharing your wisdom.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitch View Post
... and b) it's not really sized for the average e-reading device, which is 3½".
This is a bit tangential to the topic, but it piqued my interest; it sounds intuitively plausible as most E-Ink devices are 6" (mine is 91mm wide). I usually give my epubs a quick once-over on my phone as well, but mostly to check that things don't break badly, they are really optimised for larger screens.

Do you know if there are any statistics of what people actually use most for reading aside from dedicated devices? Does it even make sense to spend time ensuring that everything looks nice on tiny screens?
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Man Eating Duck View Post
This is a bit tangential to the topic, but it piqued my interest; it sounds intuitively plausible as most E-Ink devices are 6" (mine is 91mm wide). I usually give my epubs a quick once-over on my phone as well, but mostly to check that things don't break badly, they are really optimised for larger screens.

Do you know if there are any statistics of what people actually use most for reading aside from dedicated devices? Does it even make sense to spend time ensuring that everything looks nice on tiny screens?
Hear Hear! I can't imagine doing serious (whole book) reading on my phones 1.5" wide screen. The 3" wide screen on my (5") PEz is the same as a mass market paper book. I tweak my EPUBS to be close to the paper version. I sometimes Rotate images (like Maps) t o make best use of the Aspect ratio of the screen.


HTML has a provision for setting 'Media'.
Unfortunately it does not seem to have been revised (modernized) to allow for screen size and screen orientation options (designer restrictions like: image-aspect-rotate:auto|right|left|never)
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Old 11-02-2012, 01:01 PM   #8
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I think was referring to the width of ereader screens being around 3.5" (looking at my 5" Sony it looks about 3").

I don't have a 6" reader, just my 5", but I figure if the layout looks good on the 5", it should work on the 6" just as well. I never bother loading them onto my phone to check it breaks anything, it's just too tiny for me to even consider reading from and don't think the majority of people read from their phones.

Like theducks, I try to keep the layout of books I do as close to the original as possible, as long as it also looks good on the ereader, including any images in the original. I'll generally try to code the first few pages that have the title page, publishing info, dedication pages, etc., in fixed fonts and layouts, just to keep their formatting which usually looks best kept to one page for each. But when it comes to the main part of the book, I don't specify any font so readers are free to change it to whatever they want. While I can't test it on a 6" reader, I do test various fonts and sizes on my 5" to be sure nothing gets broken (or even bad-looking) when they do change.

About the only exception to this is that I'll add a TOC even if there originally was none in the book. I can't think of any reason why someone wouldn't want a TOC if possible.

Last edited by Ripplinger; 11-02-2012 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Man Eating Duck View Post
This is a bit tangential to the topic, but it piqued my interest; it sounds intuitively plausible as most E-Ink devices are 6" (mine is 91mm wide). I usually give my epubs a quick once-over on my phone as well, but mostly to check that things don't break badly, they are really optimised for larger screens.

Do you know if there are any statistics of what people actually use most for reading aside from dedicated devices? Does it even make sense to spend time ensuring that everything looks nice on tiny screens?
Hi:

Well, when you say, "tiny screens," are you talking about dedicated devices like Nook, Kindle, which are not, in my experience, 6"? (Are we talking width in portrait or landscape, or are we speaking diagonally?)

Exclusive of the iPad, all the e-readers I have around here net out to about 3" wide, held in portrait, which is how most of my clients seem to use them. I have some younger clients who rotate their devices so that they get a two-column view on the Fire or NookColor, but they seem to be in the minority, or perhaps they are just younger--I don't know.

Or are we discussing reading apps on cellphones?

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Old 11-02-2012, 11:58 PM   #10
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Well, when you say, "tiny screens," are you talking about dedicated devices like Nook, Kindle, which are not, in my experience, 6"?
[...]
Or are we discussing reading apps on cellphones?
I meant cellphones. E-Ink readers tend to be five or six inches diagonal, as is the established standard for screen size measurements when no additional qualifications are supplied. As I mentioned, my prs-650 is 91mm, or about 3.6 inches, wide. It's perfect for reading. As in, Sony actually made a device that is so good it precludes the sale of its successors.

I work in a publishing company, and a couple of... well, "tech-ish" colleagues actually prefer reading on their phones in order to not carry an extra device. What I was interested in was if there are any statistics from polls querying reader behaviour, are there many casual readers who use phones as their priary reading device? Our books generally work fine on phones, but if many people read that way we might do a bit more testing on some of our publications which contain tables, for instance.

Side note:
Sorry for the confusion of units. Specifying measures in different units tends to get commonplace when you use American software and printers in a metric country, no-one ever bats an eye. I've actually seen "PC LOAD LETTER" on a real x4510 in our office. It's meaningless no matter where you live. Oh, and of course we used A4, which the printer supported... Unit conversion should be a piece of cake to understand for people adept at producing epubs, however
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:36 AM   #11
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I meant cellphones. E-Ink readers tend to be five or six inches diagonal, as is the established standard for screen size measurements when no additional qualifications are supplied. As I mentioned, my prs-650 is 91mm, or about 3.6 inches, wide. It's perfect for reading. As in, Sony actually made a device that is so good it precludes the sale of its successors.

...

Side note:
Sorry for the confusion of units. Specifying measures in different units tends to get commonplace when you use American software and printers in a metric country, no-one ever bats an eye. I've actually seen "PC LOAD LETTER" on a real x4510 in our office. It's meaningless no matter where you live. Oh, and of course we used A4, which the printer supported... Unit conversion should be a piece of cake to understand for people adept at producing epubs, however
I simply never think of reading devices, or any tablet device, in diagonal measurement, as for my purposes--e-readers--that would be truly meaningless.

I mean, when you think about it, from a e-reading standpoint, what do we measure in our ePubs diagonally? Nothing. We don't set the ems for images in terms of the diagonal; nor the height or width; we don't set body tags diagonally...everything is in terms of height and width, I think? (I've always found it, long before the advent of the tablets/reading devices, an equally useless measurement metric for monitors and televisions, as well--deceptive. Makes them sound larger than they are, even when you know what it truly means.)

With so many people using their dedicated devices in landscape mode, I simply wanted to ensure that we were discussing apples and oranges. I'm also not that familiar with the less-popular devices, or those that are very popular for ePUBs in Europe, so I wanted to be clear on what aspect (pun intended) we were talking about.

Back to the actual discussion: we test our books on cellphones as well as the larger devices. It's clear that younger people are reading on cellphones in increasing numbers. We do test our books on various cellphones, smaller tablets and cellphone readers, but it's mostly for my own peace of mind. Given the vast number of reading apps out there, I think all any conversion house or publishing company can do is aim at the larger 4 retailers: Amazon, B&N, Kobo and then either iBooks/Sony (depending on country). After that, if you try to get your books to be perfect on every possible reading app for every cellphone and device, you'd go mad.

My $.02, FWIW.

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