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Old 12-31-2008, 05:40 PM   #1
pfisterfarm
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Converting pdf or Word to mobi with formatting

Is there a good way to convert pdfs or Word documents to Mobipocket? I've tried a bunch of things and they all throw the formatting out the window. It's not that complex... a cover image and then the text. I just want it to maintain line and page breaks. Everything I've tried seems to extract just the text. Am I doing something wrong?

Thanks!
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by pfisterfarm View Post
Is there a good way to convert pdfs or Word documents to Mobipocket? I've tried a bunch of things and they all throw the formatting out the window. It's not that complex... a cover image and then the text. I just want it to maintain line and page breaks. Everything I've tried seems to extract just the text. Am I doing something wrong?

Thanks!
Well, Mobipocket Creator does an 'adequate' job, but BookDesigner will at least let you re-insert chapter breaks. And why in heck would you want to keep line and page breaks when every time you select a different font size (or font in those devices which allow multiple fonts) you're going to get all your formatting thrown out the window?

Derek

P.S. The four pictures are:
#1 My normal font size in Constantia
#2 Same font "size" but changed to Verdana
#3 Verdana font again but upped by one font size
#4 Now same size but changed to GaramondNo8

Notice how the text flow changes to fit the new font family/size. This is why hard-coded line and page breaks are not a 'good thing' under Mobi.

P.P.S. The ebook, "Fledgling" is by Steve Miller and Sharon Lee, but Francis Turner and Chris Dolley have taken - with M&L's permission - the weekly chapter posts of the (very) rough draft and bundled them into .mobi files. Unfortunately, I've not yet taken this ebook apart and re-formatted it to show the proper author names.
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by delphidb96 View Post
Well, Mobipocket Creator does an 'adequate' job, but BookDesigner will at least let you re-insert chapter breaks.
I've tried BookDesigner in the past, but didn't get too far... I thought it was a llittle bit hard to use (BookDesigner 4.0). I've tried it again just now, and I think I've finallly got something that's reasonably usable.

Can you not open Word or RTF in BookDesigner if Word isn't installed? I'm using Open Office 3.0 and I had a hard time finding something it would even open. Any version of Word I save the file in, it gave a series of very similar dialogs, mostly along the lines of "check your MS Word installation" (it even said this when I wasn't opening Word files, like a PDF). The only thing I could open was HTML. It didn't do too bad a job, with a little work, but things like italicizing was gone.

Is there a newer version than 4.0?

As for formatting, I wasn't wanting to stick strictly to the input file, but I wanted things like:

- the cover scan
- a page break before each chapter (I found an option in BookDesigner that seem to almost do that, but it missed them at seemingly random intervals, so I had to go through and add them in manually)
- a page break putting title pages, etc. on their own pages

Thanks!
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Old 01-01-2009, 12:15 AM   #4
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Is there a newer version than 4.0?
Yes. Install the the latest update version on top of 4.0, see Wiki: Book Designer.
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:50 AM   #5
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OK, that's what I had installed... thanks!
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