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Old 11-24-2008, 08:50 AM   #1
Ler0y Jenkins
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What Default Settings in Calibre for a Sony 505??

Hi everyone,

I just received my 505 about a week ago and have been loving it ever since. I'm new to the ebook world so I'm sort of confused by a couple of things. One question I have is, what is the best default settings for Calibre to make files that are easily viewable on the 505?

I've been leaving the default settings but changing the following: (1) change the fonts (all 3 to Times New Roman); (2) add a header at the top of each page that says the name of the book and who it's by; (3) check the add chapters to table of contents button. Other than that I leave everything alone.

The ebooks look good on my 505 but I was just wondering if there was anything else I should do. Also, I never get a table of contents section to show up even though I check that box. Any idea why??

Thanks.
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Old 11-24-2008, 11:39 AM   #2
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Leave the fonts default, otherwise page turning will be slow.
I use these settings in BookDesigner.
Font size: 11
Left /right margin : 7
Top / bottom margin: 5
Line spacing: 105
Words: 20

I do not know if all of the above is adjustable in Calibre or not. In my experience BD conversion is MUCH better than Calibre.
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Old 11-24-2008, 04:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackVoid View Post
Leave the fonts default, otherwise page turning will be slow.
I use these settings in BookDesigner.
Font size: 11
Left /right margin : 7
Top / bottom margin: 5
Line spacing: 105
Words: 20

I do not know if all of the above is adjustable in Calibre or not. In my experience BD conversion is MUCH better than Calibre.
Define better.

I could never find my way around BD myriad small icons. With Calibre, I tweak just a few setting and get a very good ebook, with margins set the way I want them, pagebreak every chapter and cover image and metadata which it pulls off the net.

I don't doubt BD does a good job, but for me, Calibre is better .

Anyway, I don't know what exactly "Words" means, but I think all the other settings exist in Calibre as well.

Last edited by Dave Berk; 11-24-2008 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Berk View Post
I could never find my way around BD myriad small icons.
It is irritating, isn't it? All those features should be accessible through the menus, too. The documentation sucks as well. But one gets used to it...

Calibre on the other hand is an automatic conversion tool (let's put the databasing functions aside). You put stuff in, it shoots new stuff out. You can tweak certain settings, but you can't edit the file before conversion. You have no way of knowing what the end result will be.

If you have a book in format A, and want to convert it to format B and are already very satisfied with the layout and content of said book, calibre is the tool for the job. If the book needs work, BD should be used. The only point that is worth noting is that Calibre is very mature and constantly being worked on by Kovid.

But BD is a nightmare. It has a myriad of bugs, quirks and idiosyncrasies. Its development is dead, and the program is quite dated. Those of us who use it do so because there's nothing better out there, and we need an ebook editor. Hopefully there will be a better tool come February (I'm planning to start work on something of the sort myself by the end of January).

With BD, you get more freedom. More work (and frustration), yes, but more freedom too. In the end, the two programs are vastly different because they are designed for different things. Calibre is a converter, BD is an editor. Comparing them is academic.

Last edited by Valloric; 11-24-2008 at 10:06 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-26-2008, 05:15 AM   #5
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Many PDF books that I have convert badly with Calibre. Paragraphs lost, pages with a few or just 1 line - lots of formatting errors. (And NO, it is not the PDF that is badly formatted).
BD converts just fine with all formatting preserved. It is not that complicated to use really. I usually do not care about chapters navigation, I only set the title and author and convert.
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Old 11-26-2008, 05:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackVoid View Post
Leave the fonts default, otherwise page turning will be slow.
I use these settings in BookDesigner.
Font size: 11
Left /right margin : 7
Top / bottom margin: 5
Line spacing: 105
Words: 20

I do not know if all of the above is adjustable in Calibre or not. In my experience BD conversion is MUCH better than Calibre.
The best setting in BD are...
Font size: 10
Left /right margin : 0
Top / bottom margin: 0
Line spacing: 100
Words: 13

The only setting that is not adjustable with Calibre's converters is Line Spacing. But I convert the resulting LRF into LRS and then edit the linespace and then go from the LRS to the LRF and I'm done.

And I do not use headers and/or footers as they waste space on the screen and give less lines per page. I should know the book/author as I read and I'm not bothered not seeing which chapter I am on.
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Old 11-26-2008, 05:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Berk View Post
Anyway, I don't know what exactly "Words" means, but I think all the other settings exist in Calibre as well.
Words is the space between words.

Wordspace is the option used in Calibre to define the space between words.

My normal Calibre settings are....

mobi2lrf --top-margin=0 --bottom-margin=0 --right-margin=0 --left-margin=0 --wordspace=1 --base-font-size=10 book.prc

Occasionally I do change the cover if the cover image used is some generic cover.
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ler0y Jenkins View Post
Also, I never get a table of contents section to show up even though I check that box. Any idea why??
This is a common Calibre question and caught me out too.

The ToC is not embedded in the book by Calibre. Instead, when you are reading the book on the Reader, hit the Menu button and choose the Table of Contents option. This to me is better, because it is much easier to navigate too from whereever you are in the book.
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:26 AM   #9
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I like to get as much text on the screen as possible, so I use top and bottom margins of 0, and left and right as 10 (0 here means the text is too close to the edge of the screen).

I don't like books that have the title/author/chapter etc at the top/bottom of each page - this wastes space and if I don't know what I'm reading then I'm not paying attention.

I also use a base font of 8 points. This is readable in good light up close when using the small zoom. In less ideal conditions I simply use the medium zoom, which is similar to a base font of 10 points with small zoom.

If I use 10 point as the base font, then there is no way to make it smaller when the reading conditions are good.

I now re-format all books I buy/download to use 8 points as the base, and I would be grateful if more people did - if it is too small for you, simply zoom in! But if you give me a 10 point book, I can't make it any smaller without having to edit the book myself.
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