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Old 05-19-2009, 09:46 PM   #31
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Unless an ebook is in pdf format, I generally feel that the design and layout of ebooks to be "blah" and generally looks the same.

I understand both sides of the coin. I want pdfs that are faithful to the original intentions of the author but I also want the flexibility for the ebook to be viewed adequately on any device and/or to change the font size as desired.

My answer: Ebook vendors should allow us to buy/download their books in both formats (i.e. epub and pdfs) at the same single price to allow us the best of both worlds.
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:56 PM   #32
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I'm another who really doesn't pay attention to layout unless it's really strikingly different. Amazingly, I do care what my furniture looks like.
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:37 AM   #33
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For fiction I want the printed text to diasappear. Otherwise it disrupts my immersion in the text.

I used to be able to do that as a kid, but no longer....
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:31 PM   #34
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I'm another who really doesn't pay attention to layout unless it's really strikingly different. Amazingly, I do care what my furniture looks like.
A beanbag can "reflow" to take many shapes, and accommodate many seating positions.... Why does any end-user need the constraints of anything else?!
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:32 PM   #35
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I think, whetever fonts are being used, ebooks cannot be created by mass converting via calibre by serious publishers.
Each ebook's master must be hand made like I do in BD. You have to use certain font for some things and different font for other things and capital letters in the center and capital letters on the left hand side, and italics, and verses, and epigraphs, etc. Just like in a standard pbook. I believe that is what makes ebooks different.
You can do all that with ePub in the CSS. Plus you have more control over the actual fonts being used. You can just add the fonts you want to the ePub file, edit the CSS to use them and go from there.
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:53 PM   #36
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Hm, nothing to do with "flashy" covers (although, a nicely done cover is a good thing.)

More to do with page layout and font selection. Take a look at a well-done hard-cover, to see what I mean.
Personally, I like embossed calfskin and gold leaf!
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Old 05-20-2009, 03:10 PM   #37
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Do you care how your bed-mate looks? Or your house? Or furniture? Or how you look?

Same with fonts and layout.

You may not notice it, but it often makes the experience better. For most, anyway.
With books, I see the words as the work of art, not the formatting. So long as the formatting is clean and not distracting, I don't care what font I'm reading, as long as it's easy to read.
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Old 05-20-2009, 06:34 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Sonist View Post
Do you care how your bed-mate looks? Or your house? Or furniture? Or how you look?

Same with fonts and layout.

You may not notice it, but it often makes the experience better. For most, anyway.
Interestingly, I agree with this, but my conclusion is completely different. Font and spacing and layout *do* make a difference - and that's why I prefer ebooks, where I can control it and create a standard for my own reading and then just duplicate with each. At that point, it stops becoming a potential distraction and I can focus only on the actual content of what I'm reading.
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Old 05-20-2009, 06:58 PM   #39
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... that's why I prefer ebooks, where I can control it and create a standard for my own reading and then just duplicate with each....
And I guess, this answers the Wired question: "Why E-Books Look So Ugly?"

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Old 05-20-2009, 07:29 PM   #40
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You can do all that with ePub in the CSS. Plus you have more control over the actual fonts being used. You can just add the fonts you want to the ePub file, edit the CSS to use them and go from there.
That is great for tech savvy e-book users, but I am not computer proficient enough to do that. I am stuck with however the file I download is formatted. E-books sold by publishers need to be formatted for people like me who don't know how to customize e-books.
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:36 PM   #41
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And I guess, this answers the Wired question: "Why E-Books Look So Ugly?"

in part it does. Most people really do not have a typographer's/typesetter's eye. And even if they did, the ePub format won't allow you to actually typeset and work on layout problems. Besides, who the heck wants to play around with typeset and work on layout problems when the whole point is to read and engage the reading perhaps through jottings.
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Old 05-21-2009, 12:19 PM   #42
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That is great for tech savvy e-book users, but I am not computer proficient enough to do that. I am stuck with however the file I download is formatted. E-books sold by publishers need to be formatted for people like me who don't know how to customize e-books.
Actually the problem is that when the publisher forces a format then the user doesn't have a choice. You only get a choice when they use standard defaults. There is the dichotomy. The current system doesn't typically allow overriding. At some point there may be an easy to use system for permitting both to exist but today that is not the case. If the publisher forces margins, font sizes, justification, font choices, etc. these can be difficult to override when they are done in the file itself. This can make the book difficult to read by some class of users.

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Old 05-22-2009, 06:34 AM   #43
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You can do all that with ePub in the CSS. Plus you have more control over the actual fonts being used. You can just add the fonts you want to the ePub file, edit the CSS to use them and go from there.
I have no idea how to edit CSS or what CSS is about(well a tiny little bit I do know about its purpose). So, this is not a solution for me.
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:08 AM   #44
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You can do all that with ePub in the CSS. Plus you have more control over the actual fonts being used. You can just add the fonts you want to the ePub file, edit the CSS to use them and go from there.
JSWolf, if you are willing (and only if you're willing as I know this would be a encroachment on your valuable personal time which I, myself, value), it may be helpful if you or someone else can write a tutorial how to do this. I have taken the time to read some material about CSS and have learned how to change the fonts on a 505 using the sticky and calibre but I have no clue on how to embed my preferred font into an epub as an example.

I would guess that there are several folks here that may be interested in knowing how to do this as well. Whenever I've seen you respond that ePub can do this and that by just editing the CSS, I keep saying to myself "how?".

Not that the mainstream may even be interested in doing this with their ebooks but there seems to be several of us willing to go down that road if they knew "how".
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:16 AM   #45
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JSWolf, if you are willing (and only if you're willing as I know this would be a encroachment on your valuable personal time which I, myself, value), it may be helpful if you or someone else can write a tutorial how to do this. I have taken the time to read some material about CSS and have learned how to change the fonts on a 505 using the sticky and calibre but I have no clue on how to embed my preferred font into an epub as an example.

I would guess that there are several folks here that may be interested in knowing how to do this as well. Whenever I've seen you respond that ePub can do this and that by just editing the CSS, I keep saying to myself "how?".

Not that the mainstream may even be interested in doing this with their ebooks but there seems to be several of us willing to go down that road if they knew "how".
An ePub file is just the files contained in a ZIP file with a .epub extension. I use WinRAR which I have associated with .epub so I right click an ePub file and select open with and one choice is WinRAR I can then extract the contents easily. And it also allows me to put back in the files that I have changed.

Go into the ePub section and have a look at the sticky on fonts for the 505 and 700. Also look at the thread in the ePub section with code snippets.

Also what I've done is just searched for what it is I want to do to make sure I was doing it correctly.

Most of the changes I do involves the margins and the fonts.
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