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Old 05-28-2009, 09:05 AM   #1
sideburnt
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help with Claibre CSS override

view override CSS output

I have a bunch of LIT files that I am wanting to use on my PRS-505, on the whole around half of the files convert acceptibly and I am happy with the output, but the rest of them are all over the place, with linebreaks half way along the line

e.g.
Hello this is a test line and
this is the rest of the line.
Anyway this is a load of rubbish and I hope
this can be fixed.

and ropey paragraph layouts.

Now, I understand I can override the default layout via CSS which I am capable in, and I have used the p { text-indent: 0pt} command to test this, and it works well.

But on the whole I have no idea how my CSS override will effect the final outcome, it would be great to preview CSS changes on the fly. Is this possible? because I could fix the markup visually for each of my LIT files before I take the Epub conversion plunge.

Doing this by trial and error just seems mental for each file, since my source LIT books are layed out in different ways and need different customisation to make them readable as a epub ebook.

help, advice welcome. Thanks in advance
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:32 AM   #2
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Convert the LIT to HTML then use a web development tool to preview - something like Firefox's Web Development plugin's "Edit CSS" option, or "Topstyle Pro", to name two...
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:31 AM   #3
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how do I do that?, I've looked int he Calibre directory and there doesn't seem to be a lit2html.exe or in fact anything 2 html. Only html2xxx.exe
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:47 AM   #4
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What you want is lit2oeb. The Open EBook format is based on HTML, and a simple command of "lit2oeb -o newdir Book.lit" will create a "newdir" and put the HTML in it.

You may discover that the line-break issue is not a CSS issue, but the presence of BR tags. If so, you'll need to edit them out, since a CSS override won't be able to deal with them.
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:13 AM   #5
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I think you're right

I used ABC Amber Lit to convert to HTML and the book is formatted thus:

<p><span class=rvts6><br></span></p>
<p><span class=rvts6>In the world of Deathlands</span></p>
<p><span class=rvts6><br></span></p>
<p><span class=rvts6> There were, of course, survivors…</span></p>
<p><span class=rvts6><br></span></p>


However...I also converted another of my LIT books which converted well to epub via calibre, to html, and the page was formatted the same way, same CSS, same tags. Odd, can this be explained? (I checked some more of my LIT files and they all follow this tag format?!?)

In my experience a p tag is a paragraph tag, and I would expect to see more text inbetween these tags than a line, also p tags create space before and after themselves.

And soooo, on the face of things, I need to strip most of the <p> tags out, and delete the <br> tags. Is that right?

I'm so confused, I cant get my head around what the difference is between all of my LIT files that stops some from being converted correctly.
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:30 AM   #6
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eeeeer?

I used the lit2eob converter and got a different output, paragraph structure is liek this:

<p class="MsoPlainText">There were, of course, survivors.</p>
<p class="MsoPlainText">The world was not destroyed—just a way of life. The global population was cut </p>
<p class="MsoPlainText">down to perhaps one-fifth of what it had been. The ecosystems were utterly </p>
<p class="MsoPlainText">disrupted. The climate was transformed.</p>

which kind of shows AGAIN each line wrapped in p tags, but this time no <br>

how in the sweet bejeezus am I going to fix this little horror story, convert to txt then epub?
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:09 PM   #7
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My guess (and it is just that) would be either of two things are the culprit:
  • The metadata is different between the sample files you mentioned. Perhaps slightly different encoding or something else that is just slightly off. If either sample book comes with CSS, the issue may be there instead. (Although I know you said you checked this.)
  • The original source document at the publisher's end was handled differently. The publisher(s) used different software programs (or versions) to generate their output and the results, as you're finding, are not optimal.
You may need to use a text editor with strong regular expression (regex) support in it's search & replace function. Some things can be automated and others will require oversight and your best judgment. On Windows, Notepad++ (free, available from sourceforge) or RegexBuddy (commercial software) can be used if you don't already have a regex tool. A word of warning, regex logic is quite convoluted if you need more than a simple search & replace.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:25 PM   #8
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Calibre creates a million css tags with lit files in the current version. Of course that makes trying reformat the file by modifying the stylesheet nearly impossible. .6 css creation has been completely re-worked to resolve this, but you'll need to wait a few weeks until the beta. It looks like lit2oeb is creating better output than Calibre today, so that's a better starting point. You want to stay away from amber lit converter.

Regarding line breaks in all the wrong places, that's because many lit files are pirated, and they're straight OCRs - the original scanner just left all the lit file line breaks where they were in the original printed book. There is a new feature in .6 that will allow optional post-processing during conversion to resolve issues like this - the framework is there, but lit files don't have the regex replacements in place yet. .6 is still several weeks away so it will probably be in by then.

See this bug for info on the new function in case you're interested in contributing:
http://calibre.kovidgoyal.net/ticket/2359
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