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Old 01-01-2013, 10:05 PM   #1
LouisAllan
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Wanting no margins in epub for iBooks

I see that all ebooks on my iPhone have margins (using iBooks reader), including Apple's own User Guide. The iPhone is so small (esp. narrow) so screen real estate is invaluable and margins take too much of each line. I'm using Sigil to convert html to epub and set margins to 0, but no success with that.

I saw somewhere that Calibre mobi to epub conversion with a no margin setting will do the trick, but that didn't work for me either, perhaps because I'm new at this. (This seems to be an iPhone issue, hence my post here.) Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:36 AM   #2
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The margin in iBooks is hard-coded and you simply can't get rid of it.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:40 AM   #3
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iBooks is unusable for me precisely and especially because it arrogantly enforces the default, too-wide page margins on the reader, even on such a tiny display as that of an iPhone. Apple often gets praised for their usability, but what were they thinking here? It's been a continuing debacle for years now.

To get rid of the margins, just use better e-reader software than iBooks. By far the best such software on the iPhone is Stanza, although it has no longer been developed in recent years and may not work flawlessly today in recent iOS versions. You might also take a look at apps like Bluefire Reader and Apabi Reader.

On the iPad, Stanza already has a successor that is even better than Stanza: Marvin. A Marvin version for iPhone should appear in the upcoming months, and once it does, it will become, hands-down, the finest software to read EPUB books on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

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Old 01-02-2013, 09:50 AM   #4
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Yup, I loaded iBooks for the first time on a new device last night (iPad mini) and remembered why I don't use it.

I guess they're just afraid of formatting issues in DRM material, no idea.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:44 PM   #5
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The Kindle app for iOS also forces large margins. We've been complaining for years, but Amazon and Apple (iBooks) don't seem to care. There are other eReaders which allow smaller margins, but none of those have a truly useful syncing option between multiple devices and multiple OSes, so I stick with Kindle as syncing is a major necessity for me. Besides, Amazon has the best bookstore available, period.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:08 PM   #6
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However, the Kindle app's page margins aren't as wide as in iBooks, and at least there are 3 margin-width options to choose from. Yes, even the narrowest Kindle margin is too wide, but it's better than the grand 0 (zero) options iBooks gives to users, while the iBooks margin-width default is extremely annoying, especially on the iPhone.

The best e-reader for iPad, Marvin, allows the full customization of margin-width, and will also support syncing across iPads/iPhones via iCloud in a future version. (Android coming up later, perhaps.) True, that won't be syncing across to (say) hardware Kindle devices, but I for one will forego syncing across platforms so I can avoid torturing myself by reading books in such abysmally mediocre software as the Kindle app. It's the best of all e-readers in terms of dictionary integration, but that's it.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:52 PM   #7
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Whatever... Marvin is okay and it has potential, but it is not anywhere near the level of what you proclaim loudly in every thread in this forum. Starting to sound like a broken record... And BTW it is not even available for the iPhone yet.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:27 AM   #8
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Whatever... Marvin is okay and it has potential, but it is not anywhere near the level of what you proclaim loudly in every thread in this forum. Starting to sound like a broken record... And BTW it is not even available for the iPhone yet.
But, it will be. I think Kris is looking at that once he gets the ipad version stable with all of its main features. Faterson loves it (I think) because its probably more a researcher's tool than "just" for readers. It does a LOT of stuff the other apps do not.

I like it, but won't switch completely until it does syncing. I dont much like iBooks margins, but I have now come to really like the syncing of bookmarks and so that has become important to me.

I think we all need to remember that each of us has different needs, and so each of us may see a different reader as being ideal.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:25 AM   #9
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Faterson loves it (I think) because its probably more a researcher's tool than "just" for readers.
Aah, I suppose Jack was asking for it, so here's my ode on Marvin:

Marvin's academic background is as palpable as the commercial background is palpable for iBooks and the Kindle app. (It then wasn't surprising to learn that the Marvin developer was a university lecturer.) Marvin seems to suggest to the user, "I want you to enjoy reading this book as much as posible, and offer you the most useful tools known to mankind to assist your reading," whereas iBooks and the Kindle app seem to be suggesting to the user, "We want you to spend as much money as possible on buying books from us... oh, and by the way, here's an app so you can then read the books in one way or another." The iBooks and Kindle apps seem like unpleasant afterthoughts, distracting their creators from their main object: selling books and making money. The priority is not to please the reader -- the priority is to fill the respective corporation's coffers. The difference in focus and emphasis is palpable when you use Marvin as opposed to using iBooks or the Kindle app. The lack of certain obvious features in iBooks and the Kindle app is so jarring it borders on user contempt, as if the app was jeering the user: "No, I'm not gonna give you this obvious feature! You've bought the book, now read it and shut up." iBooks and the Kindle app strike you as tools created by technocrats, contemptuously and lovelessly thrown like bare bones to the crowd just so the crowd doesn't starve to death. They condescend to give the crowd the absolute required minimum, but little more. Whereas Marvin looks like a tool created by "one of the crowd's own" -- a book-lover first, and book-"seller" second; someone who actually reads e-books, rather than just creates bare-bones tools for others to read them.

(As to "being loud" and "a broken record" in "every thread", it's definitely not every thread, and I trust each mention and recommendation of Marvin at least has been appropriate and on-topic for each thread where it occurred, not artificially introduced. I hate spamming and promotional campaigns as much as Jack and everyone. It's just difficult to contain one's enthusiasm regarding Marvin. It's easily the best Christmas gift I got this year, even though it arrived in early December. In fact, I see the release of Marvin as one of the top events of 2012, period. Here I was slowly, depressingly getting used to the fact we'll never again be reading books in such quality environment as Stanza offers, which has kept all my iOS devices on iOS 5 so far -- when out of the blue, an app arrives that is even better than Stanza, removing all reading concerns for the foreseeable future. It almost seems like miracle.)

Last edited by Faterson; 01-03-2013 at 04:40 AM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:26 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone for this info. I've started using Bluefire which seems to be a good reader. Could be better, but at least there aren't margins and sync is simple through iTunes. I tried Stanza, but it doesn't support the larger iPhone 5 display. Too bad, it's got a very nice interface. I've tried a few others but they require registration or have other limitations that I don't like. Basically I'm reading public domain stuff, so for now Bluefire seems to be my choice.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:21 PM   #11
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iBooks isn't as bad as it used to be.

Why mention Marvin at all when it's not available for iPhone/IPT?
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:25 PM   #12
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Why mention Marvin at all when it's not available for iPhone/IPT?
Because it soon will be, and no doubt Google will bring people to this thread in future months.

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iBooks isn't as bad as it used to be.
It's still extremely bad -- unusable for me. Your mileage may vary, of course.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:56 PM   #13
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Because it soon will be, and no doubt Google will bring people to this thread in future m...
That doesn't make any sense..why mention Marvin in a thread about iBooks?
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:20 PM   #14
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Question

It's not really a thread about iBooks but about getting rid of intolerably wide margins while reading books on the iPhone, which cannot be done if you insist on using iBooks.

Are you contributing to this thread to help the OP resolve the issue, or to criticize fellow posters?
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:38 PM   #15
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Thread title: wanting no margins in epub for iBooks

So, it's definitely a thread about iBooks, and, what does that have to do with Marvin?

Nothing.
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