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Old 03-02-2009, 12:09 PM   #1
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Insert Blank Lines Between Paragraphs

Hi Kovid,

I know that one of the options in Calibre for converting files to lrf is "insert blank lines between paragraphs", which I love.

However, I don't see the same/similar thing for converting files to epub. I see "remove spacing between paragraphs", which is usually antithetical to what I want to do. My brain wants to wrap itself around an isolated paragraph, for some perverted need for clarity.

So...is there any way to get Calibre to insert blank lines between paragraphs in a conversion to epub, and if not, could this be a feature request for a future version of Calibre?

Thanks!
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timoleon View Post
So...is there any way to get Calibre to insert blank lines between paragraphs in a conversion to epub, and if not, could this be a feature request for a future version of Calibre?
You can use some override CSS to achieve that. From the command-line --override-css='p { margin-top: 1.2em; }' should be about right, or using the GUI just put the same CSS (inside the single quotes) in the appropriate field.
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timoleon View Post
Hi Kovid,

I know that one of the options in Calibre for converting files to lrf is "insert blank lines between paragraphs", which I love.

However, I don't see the same/similar thing for converting files to epub. I see "remove spacing between paragraphs", which is usually antithetical to what I want to do. My brain wants to wrap itself around an isolated paragraph, for some perverted need for clarity.

So...is there any way to get Calibre to insert blank lines between paragraphs in a conversion to epub, and if not, could this be a feature request for a future version of Calibre?

Thanks!
You can edit the CSS of the created ePub and add in the spacing you want. Then just zip the CSS file back into the ePub and go from there.
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:30 PM   #4
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Thanks, guys!

But since I'm a lazy bum, is there a way that Kovid could code this into Calibre as an option, without ripping the "pythons" out of his head?
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timoleon View Post
Hi Kovid,

I know that one of the options in Calibre for converting files to lrf is "insert blank lines between paragraphs", which I love.

Where is that option? [Actually I hate the blank lines and I would like to turn it off]
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llasram View Post
You can use some override CSS to achieve that. From the command-line --override-css='p { margin-top: 1.2em; }' should be about right, or using the GUI just put the same CSS (inside the single quotes) in the appropriate field.
Hmmm...having some issues

In the GUI epub css overide box under "Look and Feel" in Calibre, I put this:

p {
margin-top: 1.2em
}

It appears to convert ok, but when I look at the output on my PRS-505 nothing is changed; the paragraphs are still not separated. Any ideas what I might be doing incorrectly?

Thanks!
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timoleon View Post
Hmmm...having some issues

In the GUI epub css overide box under "Look and Feel" in Calibre, I put this:

p {
margin-top: 1.2em
}

It appears to convert ok, but when I look at the output on my PRS-505 nothing is changed; the paragraphs are still not separated. Any ideas what I might be doing incorrectly?

Thanks!
Try a margin-bottom: 1.2em
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Try a margin-bottom: 1.2em
No joy

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it's a lit file that is being converted over by Calibre.

What I've done in the meantime is convert the lit over to plain text, add the paragraph spacing in Interparse4, suck the output back into Calibre and then convert that to epub.

There must be some simple screw-up that I'm doing with the style sheets... Kovid can you pipe in on this?
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:38 PM   #9
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the problem with css is that you can't really have "override rules". So there may be something in the CSS from the LIT file that is pverriding the margin setting.

Also you have to make sure that in the HTML in the LIT file <p> is actually what is used for paragraphs and not something like <br> or <DIV>
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Old 03-03-2009, 12:26 AM   #10
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great info!
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
the problem with css is that you can't really have "override rules". So there may be something in the CSS from the LIT file that is pverriding the margin setting.

Also you have to make sure that in the HTML in the LIT file <p> is actually what is used for paragraphs and not something like <br> or <DIV>
Thanks, Kovid! The LIT files were produced by Book Designer 5.0 from various original formats. I'll bust apart the files and take a closer look...

Now for some investigation and some experimentation...I'm so glad I've got today off! It will keep my mind off the nasty cold I have and the minor surgery I'm going to have done later on this morning.
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Old 03-03-2009, 10:13 AM   #12
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hm... since you are talking about a height measurement and not a width measurement, try your same css but use the unit "ex". "em" is the width of the letter "m" in whatever font / size you are using ; "ex" is the height of the letter x in whatever font / size you are using.

so :

p {
margin-top: 1.2ex
}

also, to check if it's working, try with some outrageous value like 5ex ; then you are sure to see a difference, and you can refine it later to find the value you like.
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Old 03-03-2009, 10:21 AM   #13
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@zelda_pinwheel: That's definately true in traditional usage, but if you check the CSS spec it defines ems as a just a fraction of the current font-size. I proposed 1.2em as an approximation of the total line-height including leading, although there are certainly better ways with full control over the CSS.
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Old 03-03-2009, 10:23 AM   #14
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hm, how odd ! why did they change that unit ? that doesn't make sense to me. as far as i know, ever since traditional printing em has been a measure of width and ex a measure of height (that's why we talk about the "x-height" of a font). now you are making me curious, i'm going to do a bit of experimentation myself.
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Old 03-22-2009, 02:43 PM   #15
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Exclamation Eureka!

Great news for all of you, like me, who needs to chew each paragraph separately --- the peas cannot touch the corn cannot touch the mashed potatoes:

Kovid has written me off-site and given me a simple style sheet override for Calibre's ePub output that separates each paragraph with a line/space:

{{{
p { padding-bottom; 3em; margin-bottom: 3em}
}}}

That's all there is to it --- I've tried it and it works!

Thanks, Kovid --- I must pinch myself now to make sure that I'm not dead and already in Elysium...
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