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Old 01-17-2014, 06:18 AM   #1
Oxford-eBooks
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Question Best application for creating and editing eBook files?

I like to take a step back once in a while and review my eBooks creation process. Having made literally THOUSANDS of titles, I think I have the process down to a fine art but there's always room for improvement.

Being a bit of a code-head, I'm writing the XHTML directly using Notepad++ with all its lovely regex and fancy plugins. I find I need to do this because I get my source manuscripts from a variety of applications from the client and so very often they're a total tag-soup. It's the only way I can see of making sure that the output code is clean enough to work across all the eBook reading platforms.

My staff and I are able to "see the matrix" and edit XHTML directly with no problems, and that seems to be the way when we're working on eBooks with complex formatting.

But does anyone else use any WYSIWIG editors that, for example allow you to browse and apply CSS styles to the preview text and do all kinds of quick editing tricks without having to always edit the code.
I mean I can save a few seconds here and there by highlighting text and clicking BOLD, or paint paragraphs with a class rather than having to type the tags - yes, all those seconds add up!

I've returned time and again to the likes of DreamWeaver and Sigil - both seem to have their merits.
I like Sigil because it has a good search and replace and the all important REGEX. Dreamweaver's search and replace is PAINFUL.
Neither seem to have a good CSS browser - even in DreamWeaver, I manipulate the CSS directly in the code view when designing web sites.
Sigil doesn't seem to be cut out for DEVELOPING new eBook files, rather it's great for going in and tweaking them.

So... it'll be nice to hear what everyone else is using.



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Old 01-17-2014, 07:27 AM   #2
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I simply use my own add-in for initial creation and fine-tuning with Sigil.
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:38 AM   #3
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I think the best environment is a word processor environment with all its bells and whistles and capabilities. Then either publish as epub (as AWD) or use Toxaris' add in for Word.

This assumes that styles are used and the word processor is used as such and not as a typewriter.

I think this may be less so if the document is very heavily formatted. If that is so, it may be easier (relatively) to work directly with the code. But epubs are a poor way of displaying textbooks and other similar heavily formatted documents.
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:05 AM   #4
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Within the limitations of the tool (no tables) I use Atlantis (AWP) and work within the wysiwyg world of word processing fixing things using styles and then create/recreate the epub file. For minor CSS changes Atlantis also provides a free tool to edit the individual files inside an ePub. I reviewed it in our wiki.

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Old 01-17-2014, 04:43 PM   #5
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If you are copying images using the clipboard, it is very nice to just be able to copy and paste instead of having to save and add and place.
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Old 01-17-2014, 05:02 PM   #6
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I used to use TacoEdit on Mac for it's simultaneous code/preview, but I've pretty muched switched to vim->Sigil now.
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