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Old 02-04-2013, 03:50 AM   #1
JeremyBenson
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letter spacing errors

Hey,

I'm getting weird spaces between my letters. Some of the headers the words are stretched away from each other, as if the space bar was hit a random amount of times after each word...

I'm getting spacing errors in some of the text too, but there doesn't seem to be any indication in the HTML as to why this is happening. Looks fine in the web browser...

Also noticing that the spacing errors are different between kindle previewer and kindle for pc...

can someone help me? I'm working on my book...spending a lot of time getting spelling errors, and things of that nature out, I don't want it to be poorly formatted, lol...

I prefer the hard coding in HTML way to converting an rtf...
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:50 AM   #2
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You mention letter-spacing and then you indicate that in headers... it's the words that are spread out. Is it letter-spacing, word-spacing, or both? If it's word-spacing, that's probably the justification algorithm at work. Nothing to be done about it (although centering your headers should stop any justification attempts on the longer ones). I've never come across any of the letter-spacing situations you're suggesting using kindlegen/Kindle Previewer to convert. Perhaps a sample of the source html and a screen-shot of what you're seeing after the MOBI is built will shed some light on what's going on.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:38 PM   #3
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http://postimage.org/image/ahulmi3mx/

There's an image showing the spaces between the letters. Some places in the book are worse than others...

Here's a sample of the code, including my CSS section.

Code:
<html>
<head>
<title>
Illusion
</title>
 
<style type="text/css">
hr {page-break-after:always;}
 p { text-indent : 20px; }
 p  {margin: 0; } 
</style>
</head>
 
<body>
<br>
<a name="Dedication"></a>
<h1>Dedication</h1>

<p>I'd like to dedicate this book to my friends and family, as well as all the people who follow my blog and site. Thanks for 
the support guys.</p>
<hr>

<b>Table Of Contents</b>

<li><a href="#Dedication">Dedication</a></li><br />
<li><a href="#Chapter1">Chapter 1: Dr. Reinstein</a><br />
<li><a href="#Chapter2">Chapter 2: The Nightmare</a><br />
<li><a href="#Chapter3">Chapter 3: Home Sweet Home</a><br />
<li><a href="#Chapter4">Chapter 4: Illusion</a><br />
<li><a href="#TheEnd">The End</a><br />

<hr>

<a name="Chapter1"></a>
<b>Chapter 1: Dr. Reinstein</b>

<p>The rain beat down on Jake's car as he maneuvered his way around what he presumed to be a dead animal on the road.
 It was most likely a raccoon, or possibly even a cat, as such an occurrence wasn't out of the ordinary on that particular
 stretch of highway. There was always one kind of a creature or another emerging from the woods late at night to catch an 
 untimely end on the asphalt. Fate certainly wasn't on that creatures side as he was most definitely flattened, as Jake could 
 see his innards smeared across the road. Storms at night weren't particularly the best time for foraging for food in that area,
 and most animals found out the hard way.</p>
Thanks for your time
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:12 PM   #4
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Yep. That appears to be the justification algorithm. The extra spacing is between words, to make each line go from margin to margin, not between individual letters like I thought you meant. You can try specifying "text-align: left;" in your css, but I don't remember if that will survive conversion or not. I find it best not to specify and let the reading software "do what it does" so that users who've found ways to customize their reading experience can easily "do what they do."
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:26 PM   #5
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"so that users who've found ways to customize their reading experience can easily "do what they do."

that sounds great, but is it a good idea to release a book with spacing in its words like that right off the bat? I would hate for people to have an issue with the formatting...

I noticed it does look different when I try viewing in different apps. Like Kindle Previewer to Kindle for PC is different output...

Should I just leave it as it is and hope the readers can format the text themselves within their reader?

I've notice that Kindle for PC doesn't offer any options for changing fonts or anything of that nature, at least not that I've found.

Thanks for the help
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyBenson View Post
that sounds great, but is it a good idea to release a book with spacing in its words like that right off the bat? I would hate for people to have an issue with the formatting...
That spacing will be different on different screen-sizes and/or different apps. Full justification is the default. Kindle owners (and Kindle app users) know this and are familiar with the spacing between words. They're used to it. The ones that are bothered enough by it, have found ways to change it. But with regard to what you, the creator, should release?? I'd always err on the side of caution and the Kindle Publishing Guidelines myself, in that regard:
Quote:
3.1 Text Guidelines

3.1.1 Text Guideline #1: Body Text Must Use Defaults

The body text in a reflowable Kindle book must be all defaults. Amazon encourages content creators to use creative styles for headings, special paragraphs, footnotes, tables of contents, etc., but not for body text. The reason for this is that any styling on body text in the HTML will override the user’s preferred default reading settings. Users report such behavior as a poor reading experience. Here are the most important points:
  • Body text must not have a forced alignment (such as left aligned or justified).
  • Body text must use the default font size. Body text should not use the <font size=”…”> tag or its equivalent in CSS.
  • Body text should not be bold or italicized. Selected parts of the text can be bold or italicized. This guideline only prohibits a book that would be entirely bold, for example.
  • Body text should not have an imposed font color.
  • Body text must not have a white font color. Customers report this as a bad user experience.
  • Body text must not have a black background color. Customers report this as a bad user experience.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:30 PM   #7
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There is absolutely nothing wrong in the screen shot shown. if you want to avoid that spacing between words, you would have to jailbreak the Kindle and turn on hyphenation for Mobi format. There is no hyphenation for KF8. Not even jailbroken.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
There is absolutely nothing wrong in the screen shot shown. if you want to avoid that spacing between words, you would have to jailbreak the Kindle and turn on hyphenation for Mobi format. There is no hyphenation for KF8. Not even jailbroken.
While I might be tempted to argue with your "absolutely nothing wrong" on a semantic level ... we're basically in agreement.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:42 PM   #9
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okay I understand what you guys are saying. It's got nothing to do with code, but rather how the code is interpreted when it's compiled....so these are normal things then?

I'll just go with defaults, so that users can change everything they like.

Thanks for the help guys
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyBenson View Post
okay I understand what you guys are saying. It's got nothing to do with code, but rather how the code is interpreted when it's compiled....so these are normal things then?

I'll just go with defaults, so that users can change everything they like.

Thanks for the help guys
There are no options to fix the gaps.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:40 PM   #11
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I'm not sure if that was a question, or not...lol..

I find Kindle for PC is very limited in functionality. I can't find a way to change font, letter spacing, or anything, lol.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:24 PM   #12
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I'm not sure if that was a question, or not...lol..

I find Kindle for PC is very limited in functionality. I can't find a way to change font, letter spacing, or anything, lol.
That's because it is limited.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:18 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
There is absolutely nothing wrong in the screen shot shown. if you want to avoid that spacing between words, you would have to jailbreak the Kindle and turn on hyphenation for Mobi format. There is no hyphenation for KF8. Not even jailbroken.
Odd. Auto-hyphenation works for me, at least in Kindle Previewer's Kindle Fire and Fire HD modes. No promises about whether the actual devices will do it, but they probably will.

Try adding:

Code:
p {
        text-align: justify;
        hyphens: auto;
        -webkit-hyphens: auto;
        -moz-hyphens: auto;
}
For the Kindle, I suspect the magic bit is the -webkit-hyphens declaration, as the Kindle KF8 readers appear to be built atop GTKWebKit, and WebKit has supported the CSS3 hyphens property when prefixed with -webkit- since August of 2011.

You can, of course, narrow the scope of the declaration a bit or override this in a more specific style if you have certain paragraphs that you explicitly don't want to auto-hyphenate, e.g.

Code:
p.ragged {
        text-align: left;
        hyphens: manual; /* or none */
        -webkit-hyphens: manual;
        -moz-hyphens: manual;
}
Note that this didn't always work; about a year ago, I filed a bug with Amazon about that little bit of CSS crashing the previewer. They seem to have fixed it since then.

Last edited by dgatwood; 02-06-2013 at 01:23 AM.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:48 AM   #14
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Kindle devices do not support auto-hyphenation (even with KF8). Furthermore the hyphen css selectors are not among the list of supported selectors in the latest Kindle Publishing Guidelines.

EDIT: I believe the iPhone Kindle app (maybe others?) support auto-hyphenation, but even then... to my knowledge, it's not controlable with in-book css selectors. Kindle devices don't do auto-hyphenation at all (mobi or kf8).

Last edited by DiapDealer; 02-06-2013 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:35 AM   #15
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Kindle devices do not support auto-hyphenation (even with KF8). Furthermore the hyphen css selectors are not among the list of supported selectors in the latest Kindle Publishing Guidelines.
Have you tried -webkit-hyphens on the actual device? Because it does work in Kindle Previewer, and I would hope that they used the same version of GTK WebKit....

Worst case scenario, you can insert soft hyphens (& shy;). IIRC, Kindlegen strips them out on the way to Mobi7, and if you combine them with hyphens: manual; and appropriate -webkit- and -epub- variants, the reader should break if necessary at that point even if the Fire uses an older version of GTK WebKit that doesn't have true auto-hyphenation support.

Incidentally, WebKit itself doesn't support the hyphens selector, last I checked. It supports only the -webkit-hyphens vendor-prefixed variant. So even if/when unaided auto-hyphenation works on a Kindle, you'll probably never see that vendor-prefixed property in Amazon's officially supported property list....


Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
EDIT: I believe the iPhone Kindle app (maybe others?) support auto-hyphenation, but even then... to my knowledge, it's not controlable with in-book css selectors. Kindle devices don't do auto-hyphenation at all (mobi or kf8).
Last I checked, Kindle for iOS didn't even support KF8 except fixed-layout, so I doubt it supports hyphenation usefully.
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