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Old 02-17-2014, 07:28 AM   #1
EdK
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Unsupported file types - .SNP extension

Note: This is a repeat posting of this post, the first one seems to have just disappeared, but I really would like my request to be taken up and put into Calibre, please. EdK

Hi there! I am a would be book author, 69 years young, and well into a book on my Grandfather's involvement in life and two wars (Boer War and WW1). I am using MS Access and it is both a data base and a book text producing "application".

I am rather late in checking out the possibilities of eBook publication, otherwise I would no doubt have used MS Word instead of MS Access. I would like to persist with the latter. I couldn't cope with re-doing it in MS Word. I am however having unsatisfactory results using the PDF format of my "book to date, unfinished" to get the content into Calibre, the image captions stray from their spot beneath the relevant image, and sometimes the images stray from their proper spot on the page and/or stretch. I don't want to know why, or how to fix that ....

MS Access produces exactly what I want (format/content) using its "Export to Snapshot Viewer" facility, creating a file with the extension .SNP. It would be wonderful if the exact same format/content could be imported correctly into ePub format (probably just as an image??).

I would humbly like to suggest that the development gurus (who, by the way, leave poor old Albert Einstein way behind) could/should consider adding .SNP files to their list of file types that Calibre can/will convert to ePub format. That way, I can publish my Ebook in due course, and entertain the universe.


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Old 02-18-2014, 12:46 AM   #2
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Hmm, I was unaware that you could use a database software to create ebooks...

If your book is written as a database (), there doesn't seem like a lot you can do with it. I highly doubt it's possible to map the contents of a .SNP suitably to ebook, since the internal composition isn't even remotely similar to (x)html. And you do NOT want to inflict images as pages for your readers!

Copy-paste what you can into MS Word, and work from there.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdK View Post
MS Access produces exactly what I want (format/content) using its "Export to Snapshot Viewer" facility, creating a file with the extension .SNP. It would be wonderful if the exact same format/content could be imported correctly into ePub format (probably just as an image??).
Since SNP is an undocumented proprietary binary file format and, AFAIK, nobody else came up with the glorious idea to use Access to create an ebook, it's extremely unlikely that anybody will put in the work to reverse-engineer this rare format and create an Calibre import filter just for you.

I.e., if you want to get your book published, you'll have to export it in a format the Calibre can handle, preferably .docx or .rtf. (I haven't used Access in ages, but, IIRC, its .mdb files can also be opened by Excel, which has a .docx filter.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by EdK View Post
I couldn't cope with re-doing it in MS Word. [...] I don't want to know why, or how to fix that ....
In that case you may want to consider using the services of an ebook service provider. However, I seriously doubt that any of them will accept .mdb or .pnp files.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdK View Post
MS Access produces exactly what I want (format/content) using its "Export to Snapshot Viewer" facility, creating a file with the extension .SNP.
Any reason why you can't convert the SNP files directly to PDF? I did a quick search and found this program:

http://www.columbia.edu/~jjm2190/projects/snapshot.html

This would probably be way better than trying to get Calibre to convert to PDF for you.

Side Thoughts: Is the SNP saving the text as a vector format, or is it just a bitmap? Would a text backend get transferred over to the PDF as well?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EdK View Post
I am however having unsatisfactory results using the PDF format of my "book to date, unfinished" to get the content into Calibre, the image captions stray from their spot beneath the relevant image, and sometimes the images stray from their proper spot on the page and/or stretch. I don't want to know why, or how to fix that ....
So how did you get this PDF format of your book... I thought you had SNP files exported out of Access?

PDF itself is also a completely dreadful format to work backwards from. It is designed as an "output"/final format.

PDF -> Anything = HORRIBLE... and the only way to get decent output out of it would be with LOTS of manual intervention.

Most of the work that I do is creating books by working backwards from scanned PDFs (explain many of the steps/ideas in this topic):

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=223817

Quote:
Originally Posted by EdK View Post
It would be wonderful if the exact same format/content could be imported correctly into ePub format (probably just as an image??).
An EPUB full of snapshots of pages out of a book would be completely worthless... and the complete antithesis of having a reflowable document that can be read anywhere, on any size device.

The format you chose to make this book in sounds absolutely dreadful. I would recommend getting the text/images/everything out of there and into a more compatible, and an easily accessible format.

Your best bet would be to abandon Access and start getting your text into a better format NOW, before you dig yourself into an even bigger hole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eschwartz View Post
Copy-paste what you can into MS Word, and work from there.
I am not familiar at all with Access, but there may be an easier way to export your information out of there, and get it into a more reasonable format other than good ol' copy/paste.

It seems like you can using Access to export a database into a spreadsheet (Excel)? But depending on the way this book is designed, who the hell knows what this spreadsheet would look like. But that spreadsheet MIGHT be easier to get information out of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doitsu View Post
In that case you may want to consider using the services of an ebook service provider. However, I seriously doubt that any of them will accept .mdb or .pnp files.
Heh, would probably just be easier for a conversion house to work backwards from a dreadful PDF (converted from .SNP -> PDF using the tool I linked above).

Anyway, if you do not mind EdK, email/PM me with a link to the files (.SNP and maybe the .MDB as well (or whatever the original database file is). I wouldn't mind tinkering around with it, but I can't guarantee anything!

My email = *insert my MobileRead username* @gmail.com.

Last edited by Tex2002ans; 02-18-2014 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex2002ans View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doitsu View Post
In that case you may want to consider using the services of an ebook service provider. However, I seriously doubt that any of them will accept .mdb or .pnp files.
Heh, would probably just be easier for a conversion house to work backwards from a dreadful PDF (converted from .SNP -> PDF using the tool I linked above).
Pretty much any format is better than PDF, which, as you well know, is the worst input format for ebooks. If I had to convert the book, I'd probably first try to export it as a .docx file and if that doesn't work, I'd try to open the .mdb file with Excel or write a VB macro for Access that exports all pages along with the image references in an easy to handle output format.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doitsu View Post
I'd try to open the .mdb file with Excel or write a VB macro for Access that exports all pages along with the image references in an easy to handle output format.
Just an update on this.

SNP itself just seems to be a Microsoft proprietary format designed to compete along the lines of PDF. I would avoid working backwards from SNP at all costs.

Me and EdK have done some communications over email. He was able to export the entire database as an Excel spreadsheet.

From there, we were able to pull out the relevant text columns. It looked to be a form of rough HTML plopped into the cells:

Quote:
<div align=center><font size=7><strong>PREFACE</strong></font> </div>_x000D_
_x000D_
<div>&nbsp;</div>_x000D_
_x000D_
<div><font size=3><strong>&quot;</strong></font><font face="Lucida Calligraphy"_x000D_
size=3><strong><u>Bonzer</u></strong></font><font size=3><strong>&quot; (definition, Macquarie Dictionary, 1985) - <em>/'bonza/</em>, adj. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&n bsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Colloq. &nbsp;Excellent, attractive, pleasing. &nbsp;Also, bonza, boshter&quot;</strong></font></div>
But, with a little bit of elbow grease, you could export the cells and regex this into some clean/proper XHTML. Still would require a lot of manpower to rereplicate everything wanted (headings, captions, images, etc. etc.). But at least all of the text transferred to the spreadsheet fine.
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