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Old 09-22-2013, 10:22 AM   #1
Wyndham
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Keep reading settings for all books

Once the reading or layout settings for a book have been settled (font, font size, margins, etc), it would be nice if these could either be saved (for later selection), or kept until the user either resets or makes changes.

I read a lot of fanfiction which I have reformatted and set up using Calibre, and it is a little frustrating that I have to adjust every book when opened.

Sometimes using the publisher's settings works, but not always, and in the latter cases I would like to return to my favourite layout settings.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:03 AM   #2
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The settings definitely already are preserved, Wyndham. You are doing something in a non-standard way -- I believe that your switching to "publisher settings" keeps resetting the settings for you.

Normal procedure in Marvin is:
  • open your 1st book, adjust settings
  • close the 1st book -- all settings in it will remain sticky forever!
  • open your 2nd book -- all settings* from the 1st book are automatically applied to the second book!
  • the same is true of the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th new book... Each of them will automatically adopt the settings active in the most recent previously opened book.
I believe that your fiddling with "publisher settings" may be disrupting this work-flow.

* with a single exception: paragraph spacing is always reset to publisher default

Last edited by Faterson; 09-22-2013 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:30 AM   #3
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This wasn't working for me.

I only tried Publisher Settings once after I encountered the problem.

I open a book and change the settings as appropriate. Finish reading the book and open another, and the settings I had previously specified have been lost.

p.s. I'd prefer you didn't use the term 'fiddle' when you don't know me, as this is normally a derogatory term used for IT novices and illiterates.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:35 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Wyndham View Post
I open a book and change the settings as appropriate. Finish reading the book and open another, and the settings I had previously specified have been lost.
This is definitely not happening for the rest of us. What exactly do you mean by "settings"? Please consider that every e-book publisher may prefer other defaults, so that it is impossible for Marvin to open every book and make it instantly look exactly like the previous book in every single way. (This has been discussed in previous MobileRead threads.) The good news: unlike in other e-readers, you can easily adjust the settings in Marvin to your liking with a few button presses, and then they will remain forever sticky in that particular book.
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Old 09-22-2013, 01:50 PM   #5
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I am noticing a variant of the same problem. My preferences for margins, text size, etc. are saved for my iPad, but the text size setting is occasionally lost on my iPhone. This has occurred both when starting a new book and randomly within the same book when restarting. The problem has only occurred since installing IOS 7, and I haven't had time to evaluate if it occurs in the latest Marvin release. I was considering it most likely one of a number of bugs associated with IOS 7, not with Marvin, as I didn't have this issue prior to the upgrade. Just wanted to toss my two cents in to say Wyndham might not be the only one affected, but the root of the issue might lie elsewhere. If the issue at hand is independent of IOS 7, I apologize for muddying up the thread.
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Old 09-22-2013, 02:08 PM   #6
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My preferences for margins, text size, etc. are saved for my iPad, but the text size setting is occasionally lost on my iPhone.
That should definitely never occur. I have so far never encountered such a bug in Marvin -- neither on the iPad, nor on iPhone. Once you set a font size in a particular book, it is rock solid, and remains sticky there, unless you change it to something else again yourself.

Please note, however, that some e-books are so mal-formatted that text size varies within them. Yep... One chapter in one size, another chapter in another size... Not because that's what was intended, but because the e-book is badly formatted. That is what may have been occurring in that instance where you observed this on the iPhone.

If Marvin encounters a code inside an e-book, saying, "Now enlarge the font", then Marvin obeys. Marvin has no way of knowing whether such a code enlargement/shrinking was actually intended or not. Marvin can only obey the code that is inside the e-book. But, if it looks bad then on the screen, you can always adjust it using Marvin's plethora of formatting buttons.

To explain why every new book cannot always immediately show the same font size: if in book A, you tell Marvin to enlarge the font by 10%, then Marvin will enlarge the font by 10% in the second book, too. But, if the publisher of book B (foolishly) specified for the default font to be larger than the default font in book A, you will initially end up with a larger font in book B than in book A, although Marvin's setting is +10% in both books. There is no way for Marvin to predict all the potential whims on the part of publishers, other than actually opening the book and letting the Marvin user adjust whatever he/she sees there.
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Old 09-22-2013, 03:18 PM   #7
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I agree this should not occur, but it did. Specifically, I am observing the change in text size on the same displayed page of a book, between switching away from Marvin and coming back later to read, so it is not an ePub formatting issue. (I run my books through Calibre conversion to standardize all formatting specifically to remove differences in text size and such just to get rid of similar problems in other readers I've used, which would also tend to eliminate ePub formatting as an issue) This is only occurring on the iPhone since upgrading to IOS 7, I never saw this in IOS 6. It does not consistently occur, I just tried switching between multiple books, multiple pages and chapters, switching away from Marvin and switching back, completely closing out and restarting Marvin, jumping between sync points, and could not replicate the issue. I was not going to reply again except I had opened my book on my iPhone, same location as before, and the text size was back two sizes larger than I had left it, which prompted my testing. I will try better to keep track of what I do between reading on my phone to see if I can determine what may be causing this. Again, this only occurs on opening Marvin, not switching between pages, and only since the upgrade to IOS 7, and now has also happened with the latest Marvin release.

Now to put this in perspective, I don't think it is a Marvin issue, but most likely IOS, and even if I'm wrong, I still think purchasing Marvin for the iPhone was the best $4.99 I have ever spent.
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Old 09-22-2013, 03:38 PM   #8
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That is very odd. It would indicate that Marvin records your preferred setting the way it's supposed to, but iOS 7 then reverts the setting to a previous state. (I wouldn't put it past iOS 7, considering the general let-down that it is.)
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Old 09-22-2013, 04:47 PM   #9
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OK, I'm still using IOS 6.x on both iPhone 5 & iPad 4. Consistency for me on iPad is as follows;
  • Colors consistent
  • Justification consistent
  • Font size not consistent
  • Line spacing not consistent
  • Margins undetermined (I haven't noticed whether or not they are consistent)

One thing about noticing consistency in font size is there is no numerical size indicator, & maybe there can't be.

Oh, and this is using Marvin v 2.1.

Last edited by slayda; 09-22-2013 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 09-22-2013, 05:41 PM   #10
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Slayda, as explained above, absolutely everything is 100% consistent, with a single exception: paragraph spacing, which gets reset to the publisher default upon opening a new book.

I believe we are misunderstanding each other here. Because there are really 2 meanings of the word "consistency". As an example formatting feature, let's take font size. There are 2 possible meanings as to what it means for Marvin to be "consistent" regarding font sizes:
  1. When opening a new book, initially display the same size compared to the publisher default as in the previous book. If the fonts are enlarged by 10% in book A, also enlarge them by 10% in book B.
  2. When opening a new book, initially display always the same size of the main text, completely disregarding the code in the e-book.
Right now, Marvin is using approach #1. What you, Wyndham, and perhaps other Marvin users seem to be expecting, is approach #2. Such as, telling Marvin that you would prefer your main reading font to be always 12 pixels, and that Marvin should always initially open and display a book using that main font size.

I have no idea whether displaying e-books in this way, using approach #2, is technically possible; that is up to Kris to answer. One problem may lie in determining what is the book's "main reading font". Sometimes, there is a Preface in a book, or some lengthy technical notes, blurbs and whatnot... These can appear in a different font size from the rest of the book... what then? How is Marvin supposed to "guess" which font in the book it is that you wish to see displayed sized 12 pixels? Or, would you simply "level" all fonts in the book to the same size, so that blurbs, endnotes, main text, etc. etc., would all display in the same font size? Would such forcible uniformity of font sizes, disrespecting the original book, really be desirable?

The same dilemma, as explained above pertaining to font sizes, also applies to line spacing and paragraph spacing. Margins are 100% consistent in Marvin even today.
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:38 PM   #11
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@slayda 100% consistency is a bit of a problem because publisher of different books use different layout settings (e.g. they might fix a margin). However, in the next version, Marvin will have improvements in how text size is "inherited" between books.
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:32 PM   #12
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Ok, I'll check Marvin with two books that I have scanned and know that the ebooks font size is the same. I admit the books I've noticed my definition on 'not consistent' may very well have had inconsistent font size in the ebook itself.

Thanks Faterson, for your explanation.

Until recently, I always reformatted my books to my own specifications, mainly because as my eyes have aged I've needed larger font size and until Marvin came along my ebook readers were not as flexible in choosing a large number of font sizes. My poor eyesight is one reason I use ebook readers.

Last edited by slayda; 09-22-2013 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 09-23-2013, 05:25 AM   #13
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Third try to post - each time I was getting something about a token having expired...

I said settings were being lost when I could have been more specific and said Font Size. Apologies if this sloppiness on my part caused any misunderstanding. My assumption was wrong - as assumptions often are.

The reason I noticed this and thought it noteworthy, was that the books in question were generated by myself using Calibre. All my 'self published' books, mostly FanFiction, are formatted using MS Word styles (etc). I am quite fussy about getting a consistent 'look and feel' and often spend many hours tidying up the eBooks so they look right for comfortable reading.

As far as I am aware Calibre creates good quality eBooks (ePub).

If it will help I am happy to provide more details about the process I follow and the coding I put into the eBooks. I can also send you a few samples if that will help.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:17 AM   #14
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I just don't get why it should be so important for Marvin to immediately show the ideal font size (when every reader believes something else to be ideal!) upon the first opening of a book. I mean, why do we have all the fantastic formatting buttons in Marvin? Anyone can just push a few buttons, and there it is -- the ideal layout, and it remains sticky.

As to "MS Word styles", they are notorious for being a disaster. MS Word may be the world champion in producing inefficient, bloated code. I would not be surprised if any EPUB created in Word, out of all software packages, would fail to display as expected; I would be surprised if it did.

Does your code get validated in the w3c.org validator, Wyndham? In the EPUBs I create, I avoid anything but absolutely necessary code, so any MS Word styles are out of the question. I especially avoid specifying any font sizes, other than relative ones for (mostly) headings, and so, the e-books then look very nice in Marvin not just to me, but to any reader whose reading preferences may be very different from mine.

Specifying font sizes (other than relative ones) should not be a matter for the e-book code to handle -- it should be left up to the e-book reader (such as Marvin) to handle, and Marvin handles it beautifully.
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Old 09-28-2013, 04:43 AM   #15
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I just don't get why it should be so important for Marvin to immediately show the ideal font size (when every reader believes something else to be ideal!) upon the first opening of a book. I mean, why do we have all the fantastic formatting buttons in Marvin? Anyone can just push a few buttons, and there it is -- the ideal layout, and it remains sticky.
Well, to begin with, it's not sticky from book to book it's only sticky within a book. For those of us who read downloaded fanfic in epub format on our mobile devices, this can mean a "book" of anywhere from 500 to 150,000 words. If I'm reading a slew of short stories, having to go through and "push a few buttons" every single time (i.e., every five to ten minutes) is very annoying.

It doesn't make sense to me that Marvin doesn't have a sticky default for font size that spans all books (publisher settings that override it notwithstanding).

And for the record, I'm using the FFDL plugin for Calibre to download and convert fanfic. I've checked (using Sigil) the epubs it creates and the files have no specific font/font size settings, so Marvin is obviously using its own default to display these particular epubs. All I want is to have control over those default settings.
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