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Old 05-08-2014, 09:17 PM   #1
trianglekitty
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Converting epub to text/then copying without formatting

I'm running into some major frustrations while doing something that I'm convinced SHOULD be simple.

Sometimes I want to take an ebook and copy it into a Word file. I'm going to say straight out that I'm usually doing this because I want to write fanfiction. Basically I want to copy the original text, then rewrite my own version and delete the original paragraphs as I go. Except I'm usually not rewriting ALL the text...I might add a few paragraphs in a chapter, delete others, and keep some the same.

My issue is that occasionally when I open an ebook in epub format, the formatting is wonky. It just depends on the book and how it was formatted, but sometimes the text is in a narrow column that might be only six or seven words across. For reading I don't really mind this. But when I copy/paste into Word, the text remains in that format, and that's just plain annoying. The end result is that the new text I'm writing fills the whole of the Word screen, so I either have to fix the copied text line by line, or just deal with having two very different formats on the screen.

I've tried everything I can think of. On the Word end, copy and pasting special as plain text doesn't work. Removing all style doesn't work. On the calibre end, I've tried converting the epub to both rtf and txt, but it still comes out in that strange column style. Same if I copy it into Notebook first, then Word. I've tried selecting the option to force maximum line length on the output file and entering 99 as the length...doesn't work.

Any help? (Basic summary...I just want to copy text from an ebook into Word without any formatting, and the obvious answers don't work.)
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Old 05-08-2014, 09:23 PM   #2
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What does the .txt conversion look like?

If it is being broken up across multiple lines, perhaps the issue is lines being formatted as separate paragraphs?

In any event, .txt output should be the easiest to work with. There are settings to convert it back to EPUB using text blocks separated by blank lines for paragraphs, and various others. At least it should be easy to fix.

Last edited by eschwartz; 05-08-2014 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 05-09-2014, 02:33 AM   #3
BetterRed
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@trianglekitty can you post a screen shot of what you see in word in an RTF with formatting marks

Main question is - can you discern paragraph breaks as say consecutive end of paragraph (pilcrow ¶) characters and do lines end in a pilcrow. If so
  • replace all the double pilcrows (type ^p^p in Find) with say '56789'
  • now replace all the single pilcrows (type ^p in Find) with nothing.
  • now replace all the '56789's with end of paragraph ^p.
BR
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Old 05-09-2014, 09:41 AM   #4
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Check this setup a for a txt export:
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