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Old 05-28-2013, 06:51 PM   #1
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How to correct odd, unwanted characters in an epub?

I've browsed the Sigil forum and Conversion sub-forum looking for a solution without success. I have an epub loaded with the following characters and cannot figure out how to correct the entire book. In conversions I have tried, individually: 'Unsmarten punctuation,' 'Transliterate unicode characters to ASCII,' and also selected utf-8 in 'input character encoding.' Nothing seems to work. Here are the unwanted characters:

â (throughout the text, possibly replacing single quotation marks)
 (between chapter breaks)

and then this - which I think is meant to be the word protégé with accents aigu:

protégé

I cannot do a simple search and replace in Sigil since the characters may represent more than one character and I have no idea what they might be.

Does anyone have a solution or suggestion how to correct this? Is there a conversion setting I am missing?
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:02 PM   #2
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Those are not unwanted characters. Those are actually the characters you do want. They are displaying incorrectly because of the wrong encoding being used.

In the header right after the title (if needed), I put the following...

Code:
<title>Cat &amp; Mouse</title>
<meta content="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml; charset=utf-8" http-equiv="Content-Type"/>
I cannot speak for the current Sigil, but in a pre-0.7.x version, when it got the code page wrong, it could convert things like your quotes to those sorts of characters and if you saved, your screwed.

Last edited by JSWolf; 05-28-2013 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:15 PM   #3
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Using the Modify Epub plugin, with the option Encode HTML in UTF-8 checked usually works for me.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie_w View Post
Using the Modify Epub plugin, with the option Encode HTML in UTF-8 checked usually works for me.
In most cases, it's not an encoding issue of the actual file. It's an encoding issue in the header of the XML. That is why I have to add in the line I specified so the software reading the XML gets it right. ADE doesn't have an issue because uses UTF-8 regardless of what the header specifies.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:21 PM   #5
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In most cases, it's not an encoding issue of the actual file. It's an encoding issue in the header of the XML. That is why I have to add in the line I specified so the software reading the XML gets it right. ADE doesn't have an issue because uses UTF-8 regardless of what the header specifies.
As far as I know, that's exactly what Modify Epub fixes, i.e the HTML headers.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie_w View Post
Using the Modify Epub plugin, with the option Encode HTML in UTF-8 checked usually works for me.
Neither this method (Modify Epub plugin) nor converting using 'input character encoding' as utf-8 works for me.

I'll try what Jon suggested and hope it works.

Edit: I applied the edit to a chapter and there is no change.

Last edited by Skydog; 05-28-2013 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:49 PM   #7
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@Skydog,

If you've converted it a few times it's possible the encoding is well and truly messed up by now. If all else fails, try going back to your clean original source before trying to correct.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie_w View Post
@Skydog,

If you've converted it a few times it's possible the encoding is well and truly messed up by now. If all else fails, try going back to your clean original source before trying to correct.
I am working on a "new" copy. I simply save each one as a "mod 1," mod 2," etc., but I always start with a fresh copy of the original.

In any case, I still have the problem.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:54 PM   #9
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When that's happened to me a few times, a simple epub-to-epub conversion in Calibre fixed all those odd symbols. I didn't check anything special, just my usual of "remove blank lines" and it worked every time for me.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ripplinger View Post
When that's happened to me a few times, a simple epub-to-epub conversion in Calibre fixed all those odd symbols. I didn't check anything special, just my usual of "remove blank lines" and it worked every time for me.
ePub > ePub to fix the encoding is not a good idea. In fact, ePub > ePub is not a good idea if things can be fixed any other way.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:05 PM   #11
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Third time is the charm! I once again copied the original and did nothing but apply the modify epub (utf-8 encoding), as jackie_w suggested. It worked!! Thank you, jackie_w. In this case, it accomplished the shortcut to Jon's suggestion.

@Ripplinger - I originally performed an epub-epub conversion as I mentioned above which did not work for some reason. The utf-8 encoding was indeed the issue -- I just wasn't initially able to get it to stick for some reason.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
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ePub > ePub to fix the encoding is not a good idea. In fact, ePub > ePub is not a good idea if things can be fixed any other way.
Is there a better way to accomplish widows: 0; orphans: 0; ?? I sure wish some talented person here would include it in the Modify Epub plugin.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:36 PM   #13
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Is there a better way to accomplish widows: 0; orphans: 0; ?? I sure wish some talented person here would include it in the Modify Epub plugin.
Use Tweak eBook (in Calibre unless you are already editing in Sigil) and you will then be able to edit the CSS to add in widows and orphans of 0 to the body style.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:39 PM   #14
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Use Tweak eBook (in Calibre unless you are already editing in Sigil) and you will then be able to edit the CSS to add in widows and orphans of 0 to the body style.
Thanks - I forgot about Tweak eBook.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:43 PM   #15
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Thanks - I forgot about Tweak eBook.
Happy to help.
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