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Old 08-05-2009, 10:58 PM   #1
Steven Lyle Jordan
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I finally had the chance to try Sigil

Well, I finally had the chance to try Sigil on my newest file, after going through all the other file conversions I had to get out of the way first.

I admit, I wish Sigil could handle Word-created HTML better... as I've done with manual ePub creation, I basically had to manually copy-and-paste a clean HTML file for use with the program. I had to do a few extra cleaning passes, too, as I would discover an odd character or two that Sigil didn't like (like Word's smart quotes and apostrophes).

But after that, Sigil did an admirable job of creating my file. Other than adding chapter breaks, then editing the TOCs to remove subheadings showing up as chapters, I only had to save the file as an ePub... no manual building of the rest of the ePub files, no problems with the images, nada.

One thing: The TOC links on the ePub page show up in ADE, but the links do not work... clicking on one brings you to the top of the first page. The TOC links in the ADE side menu work fine. And the file looks identical to my manually-built file in ADE, without all that manual work.

This should save me a lot of work in the future! I still have to try it out on other ePub readers, but at this point, I'm all thumbs-up!
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:06 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
One thing: The TOC links on the ePub page show up in ADE, but the links do not work... clicking on one brings you to the top of the first page. The TOC links in the ADE side menu work fine. And the file looks identical to my manually-built file in ADE, without all that manual work.
I'm not sure I understand this "The TOC links on the ePub page show up in ADE, but the links do not work". Please elaborate.

BTW do you mind if I move this to another thread? Just trying to keep this thread from cluttering up, it's too big already.
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:31 AM   #3
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I'm not sure I understand this "The TOC links on the ePub page show up in ADE, but the links do not work". Please elaborate.

BTW do you mind if I move this to another thread? Just trying to keep this thread from cluttering up, it's too big already.
Go ahead. To be clear, the TOC links in the display window (the part you read) were there, but did not work. In ADE's TOC window (to the left), the TOC links did work.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:27 AM   #4
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To be clear, the TOC links in the display window (the part you read) were there, but did not work.
Do you mean you created a TOC inside the XHTML flows? An "inline" TOC, so to speak? With <a> tags and "href" attributes?

If so, this will not work on export. All links currently break on export and are not yet supported. Yes, this is a pretty crucial feature, I understand. I haven't yet had time to work on this.

But I would like to encourage you to not add inline TOC's to epub books. With the NCX, they are unnecessary.

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In ADE's TOC window (to the left), the TOC links did work.
Those are read from the NCX file, and those should most definitely work.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:38 AM   #5
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But I would like to encourage you to not add inline TOC's to epub books. With the NCX, they are unnecessary.
I add them because not every ePUB reader supports NCX TOCs, but I add the linear="no" property in the spine, so that complying readers would not display it in the normal text flow.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:49 AM   #6
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I add them because not every ePUB reader supports NCX TOCs, but I add the linear="no" property in the spine, so that complying readers would not display it in the normal text flow.
Oh this is good. I like this. My biggest problem with inline TOC's is that I have to go through them even when I have an NCX. But adding linear="no" is agreat idea I didn't think of.

But exactly what reading systems do not support the NCX? That's horrible and completely against the spec.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:12 AM   #7
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Oh this is good. I like this. My biggest problem with inline TOC's is that I have to go through them even when I have an NCX. But adding linear="no" is agreat idea I didn't think of.
Note that most readers just ignore linear="no"

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But exactly what reading systems do not support the NCX? That's horrible and completely against the spec.
Umm... I can't say, when I started with ePUB I think I found some browser plugin... and I believe I read somewhere that readers are not forced to do anything special with NCX, i.e., support for NCX is not compulsory.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:14 AM   #8
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Quote:
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Do you mean you created a TOC inside the XHTML flows? An "inline" TOC, so to speak? With <a> tags and "href" attributes?
For clarity: The TOC tags in the HTML file are 'a href="#00"' links to anchor points, specified as 'a name="00",' "01", "02", etc. In the display frame (where you read), the links are blue and underlined normally, but clicking on one brings you to the cover page for every link.

In the navigation frame on the left, the same markup generates TOC links that display exactly as they are designed, and clicking on one takes you to the appropriate chapter.

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But I would like to encourage you to not add inline TOC's to epub books. With the NCX, they are unnecessary.
Force of habit, I guess. I'll try creating the TOC from the editor and heading tags next time.

Last edited by Steven Lyle Jordan; 08-06-2009 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:25 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jellby View Post
Note that most readers just ignore linear="no"
Ah great.

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Umm... I can't say, when I started with ePUB I think I found some browser plugin... and I believe I read somewhere that readers are not forced to do anything special with NCX, i.e., support for NCX is not compulsory.
From the OPF spec, section 2.4.1.2:

Quote:
Reading Systems must support NCX.
OPS Publications must include an NCX.
There is no "optional".

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For clarity: The TOC tags in the HTML file are 'a href="#00"' links to anchor points, specified as 'a name="00",' "01", "02", etc. In the display frame (where you read), the links are blue and underlined normally, but clicking on one brings you to the cover page for every link.
As I've said, HTML links currently don't work in Sigil. Hm, I thought I made an issue for this... looking for it now, I can't find it.
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:14 PM   #10
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Reading Systems must support NCX.
OPS Publications must include an NCX.

There is no "optional".
Yes, the question is what does "support" mean exactly. I'm afraid someone could claim that it does not necessarily mean "give the user a convenient interface to view and navigate the TOC".

Anyway, just above that it says:

"It is important to emphasize that these navigation features are intended as a convenience for users who want them, and not a burden to those who do not. The alternative guide to the book may be provided for those users not requiring the navigation features of the NCX."

It also assumes the NCX to be present in addition to an inline TOC. Another advantage of an inline TOC is the possibility of controlling the style and appearance, which one can't quite do with NCX.

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For clarity: The TOC tags in the HTML file are 'a href="#00"' links to anchor points, specified as 'a name="00",' "01", "02"
Note that, IIRC, the "name" attribute is deprecated, use "id" instead for ePUB (and it does not have to be in an <a> element, you can have <h1 id="01">).
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:51 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jellby View Post
Yes, the question is what does "support" mean exactly. I'm afraid someone could claim that it does not necessarily mean "give the user a convenient interface to view and navigate the TOC".

Anyway, just above that it says:

"It is important to emphasize that these navigation features are intended as a convenience for users who want them, and not a burden to those who do not. The alternative guide to the book may be provided for those users not requiring the navigation features of the NCX."

It also assumes the NCX to be present in addition to an inline TOC. Another advantage of an inline TOC is the possibility of controlling the style and appearance, which one can't quite do with NCX.



Note that, IIRC, the "name" attribute is deprecated, use "id" instead for ePUB (and it does not have to be in an <a> element, you can have <h1 id="01">).
If you want that inline TOC, there's a perfectly good way to use it. As Valloric says, Sigil is breaking them, but you can still edit the epub more directly. You can open the epub with a Zip app (I use 7zip) open the contents and edit the TOC (I do that with Notetab) Take care to use absoloue adresses instead of anchors (say you have an "#chap1" anchor - that will be say split1.xhtml#chap1). Save.Voilà! Working inline TOC. No big deal, honestly. If you split up your file chapterwise, you do not even need an anchor, just link chapter 1 to split01.html (or whatever 's the name in Sigil, I haven't opened the belly of the monster yet) But Valloric is right, inline TOCs are really not necessary!
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:53 PM   #12
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If you want that inline TOC, there's a perfectly good way to use it. As Valloric says, Sigil is breaking them, but you can still edit the epub more directly. You can open the epub with a Zip app (I use 7zip) open the contents and edit the TOC (I do that with Notetab) Take care to use absoloue adresses instead of anchors (say you have an "#chap1" anchor - that will be say split1.xhtml#chap1). Save.Voilà! Working inline TOC. No big deal, honestly. If you split up your file chapterwise, you do not even need an anchor, just link chapter 1 to split01.html (or whatever 's the name in Sigil, I haven't opened the belly of the monster yet) But Valloric is right, inline TOCs are really not necessary!
Yes, this is the problem why links don't work: any link you create in Book View referencing an ID will have to be updated on export.

But this is not the real problem. The real problem is importing files. I'll need to scan through all of the XHTML files on import and make sure all ID's are unique for ALL files. If they are not, they need to be replaced. This means updating CSS styles too.

Anyway it's not too hard, just haven't had time to get around to it.
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