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Old 02-18-2013, 01:52 PM   #1
veole
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Question Is there a tool like Sigil to edit mobi ebooks?

I tried Mobipocket creator, but it does now allow to import already made mobi files.

I know that I could use Calibre to convert from mobi to epub, then edit the book in Sigil.

I'd like to know if there is a mobi editor or a better solution.

Thanks.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:08 PM   #2
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You can't edit a Mobi like you can an ePub. If you don't want to convert to ePub and edit with Sigil you can use Mobi Unpack to get the HTML and other bits and then edit the HTML. You'll then have to recompile it to Mobi using KindleGen, Calibre or MobiCreator.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veole View Post
I tried Mobipocket creator, but it does now allow to import already made mobi files.

I know that I could use Calibre to convert from mobi to epub, then edit the book in Sigil.

I'd like to know if there is a mobi editor or a better solution.

Thanks.
In short, No.

Every time you make edits to the source for a mobi, you have to rebuild it. One edit; one hundred edits, doesn't matter. You rebuild it. That's why most of us make the ePUBs first, make all the various edits, etc., therein, and then build the finalized ePUB into a mobi file. If you're determined to do mobi only, then what AnemicOak said is the only way: unpack an existing mobi with mobiunpack, edit the bits you want with an html editor, and then rebuild the mobi using KindleGen or KindlePreviewer.

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Old 02-20-2013, 02:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitch View Post
In short, No.

Every time you make edits to the source for a mobi, you have to rebuild it. One edit; one hundred edits, doesn't matter. You rebuild it. That's why most of us make the ePUBs first, make all the various edits, etc., therein, and then build the finalized ePUB into a mobi file. If you're determined to do mobi only, then what AnemicOak said is the only way: unpack an existing mobi with mobiunpack, edit the bits you want with an html editor, and then rebuild the mobi using KindleGen or KindlePreviewer.

Hitch
Exactly true. The mobi format should be treated like a binary file because that is what it is. KF8 is a compiled ePub. KF7 is proprietary compiled file. You wouldn't directly edit a binary executable and you shouldn't try and edit a compiled mobi.

Dale
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
Exactly true. The mobi format should be treated like a binary file because that is what it is. KF8 is a compiled ePub. KF7 is proprietary compiled file. You wouldn't directly edit a binary executable and you shouldn't try and edit a compiled mobi.

Dale
Hi, Dale:

Actually, {blush}, I literally use, verbatim, something that I picked up here from Diap, I think it was, about mobi being a binary database file, etc., in my client communications. I copied and pasted it ...hell, I don't know how long ago, and it's been in my canned responses ever since. Because you haven't lived until you try to explain to a client why editing their "Kindle book" takes more time than editing in Word, particularly after they've watched all the happy-happy joy-joy videos about how you can just upload a Word file and auto-magically make the world's best-lookin' book. ;-)

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Old 02-20-2013, 04:28 PM   #6
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after they've watched all the happy-happy joy-joy videos
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:31 PM   #7
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The best solution is to start with ePub, fix whatever the problem is and then convert that to Mobi. Mobi code is a real mess when you decompile it. I've seen enough cases where it just doesn't quite compile properly. You never know with Mobi.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:26 PM   #8
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What's the problem with using Calibre to convert from mobi to eupub, edit the epub file, and then to use Calibre to convert it again to mobi?

Why is better to decompile the mobi file and edit raw html?
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veole View Post
What's the problem with using Calibre to convert from mobi to eupub, edit the epub file, and then to use Calibre to convert it again to mobi?

Why is better to decompile the mobi file and edit raw html?
It's not better to decompile the Mobi and edit the raw HTML file. It is better to use ePub as the source. But given that it's a Mobi file, you may have some work to do to clean up the source before you make your edits. Some Mobi can have very sloppy code and it translates into sloppy code for the ePub.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veole View Post
What's the problem with using Calibre to convert from mobi to eupub, edit the epub file, and then to use Calibre to convert it again to mobi?

Why is better to decompile the mobi file and edit raw html?
If you're using the epub and mobi for yourself, no reason. If you're planning to sell it, Amazon has rejected a lot of files made with Calibre, over the last few years, starting in 2010, and on-and-off through now. Now, mostly off, and even books made with Scrivener are occasionally being rejected. So, the answer is: it depends. ;-)

With regard to the ePUB, I prefer to make my own, over Calibre's coding. A lot.

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Old 02-21-2013, 06:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
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With regard to the ePUB, I prefer to make my own, over Calibre's coding. A lot.

Hitch
Amen to that. Calibre's epub code, while valid, is not, shall we say, maintainer-friendly. Just fine for quick-and-dirty format shifting for personal use, though.

As for epub -> mobi via calibre, I find it more convenient most of the time to just use kindlegen.

Albert
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:48 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by st_albert View Post
Amen to that. Calibre's epub code, while valid, is not, shall we say, maintainer-friendly. Just fine for quick-and-dirty format shifting for personal use, though.

As for epub -> mobi via calibre, I find it more convenient most of the time to just use kindlegen.

Albert
(who is not a cat slave, but a cat senior staffer.)
Isn't kindlegen, or kindlegen through Previewer, the only "supported" method of conversion? I know calibre can do it to transfer directly to your kindle, but I thought it had to go through kindlegen for submission to Amazon??
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:45 PM   #13
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Isn't kindlegen, or kindlegen through Previewer, the only "supported" method of conversion? I know calibre can do it to transfer directly to your kindle, but I thought it had to go through kindlegen for submission to Amazon??
Well, if you consider the KDP conversion to be Kindlegen, then I suppose the answer is Yes. But I like some others upload Sigil-generated epubs to the KDP. Works great, whatever the conversion software may be.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:54 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Turtle91 View Post
Isn't kindlegen, or kindlegen through Previewer, the only "supported" method of conversion? I know calibre can do it to transfer directly to your kindle, but I thought it had to go through kindlegen for submission to Amazon??
Turtle:

Yes. KDP also = "Kindlegen," from Amazon's standpoint. Any other non-Kindlegen method, e.g., Calibre, is not supported.

Albert:

Indeed, vis-a-vis Calibre. Great tool for many things, but I don't love the code. Wonderful catalogue program!

and at my age, I definitely feel like a cat SLAVE. Look at it this way: slaves get emancipated, staff get fired. ;-) BWAHAHHAHAHAH.

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Old 08-02-2014, 05:08 PM   #15
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Editing mobi ebooks

Quote:
Originally Posted by veole View Post
What's the problem with using Calibre to convert from mobi to eupub, edit the epub file, and then to use Calibre to convert it again to mobi?

Why is better to decompile the mobi file and edit raw html?
The answer for me is that Calibre does not respect class names when it converts. Some class names depict what follows, and Calibre simply blindly renames them calibrexx and you lose the original meaning. That is a no starter for me, and I continue to look for a way to decompile ebooks that does not involve Calibre with its sticky fingers renaming everything.
No explanation about why this is done, just that 'I am not interested in changing it.' That is really too bad, because a number of people use Calibre to get to the source html to work on that, but with classes all renamed, it is difficult if not impossible to know what you are editing.
One example is that I work with cookbooks in mobi/epub format. Before conversion, the html class may say <div class="titlel">. Afterwards, it says <div class="calibre59">.
A cookbook with 100 'pages' has 100 recipes. All the title tags are lost, although the text of the titles is there. The point is that there is no longer a reliable tag remaining with which to automate identification of the titles.
I have found that if you use the debug function, you can get the html as it was inside the ebook before conversion takes place. However, each page is a separate html file, so editing those is nearly impossible, too, unless you can find a way to merge the html files into a single file in the correct order. Not easy, but doable with sufficient effort.
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