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Old 10-06-2009, 01:51 PM   #1
Sassyinkpen
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Question Quote marks not formatting in .TXT to .EPUB?

I'm having a new problem with converting TXT files to EPUB and loading them onto my iTouch, that I was not having before, but I don't know what changed.

Last night, I added several TXT files to Calibre, converted them EPUB and pulled them into Stanza on my iTouch (Just like I've done several times before)

But this time, in most of the files on the iTouch, all the quotation marks render as a black diamond with a question mark in it. Now, I've seen that symbol before in files, where there is odd punctuation, and I've had that happen to apostrophes before....but not to all the quote marks. I can handle a few of those, but this is unreadable.

I'm at a loss to figure out what's changed or how to fix it, because no explanation covers ALL the file problems.


All of these TXT files are created using Save As, while sitting on various webpages and LiveJournal entries.


* I'm running version 0.6.16, and I wish I could remember if ALL the messed up files were done after I last updated. Is there any known new issue?

* Most of the files I loaded last night had been saved on a machine running Vista, rather than XP (on the comp where I use Calibre) - Does Vista do anything hinky to TXT files? BUT at least one of the messed up files I KNOW I saved on the XP machine.

* At least one of the files I loaded last night looks fine, like they have been since I started using Calibre a couple weeks ago, so this doesn't seem to be a universal problem, except that I just wasn't having it before last night, and now MOST of the files are going bad.

* Could this be an issue with Smart Quotes, and can they even travel in a TXT file?



Does anyone know anything about this, or have any suggestions for me?

Calbre has been BRILLANT for managing all the blog entries, articles and short stories that I'be been saving off the internet, and I REALLY want to be able to keep using it.

Thanks!
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:07 PM   #2
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The chances are that these quotes are not the ASCII style quotes but instead something else such as "Smart Quotes" which use values outside the ASCII range. How such characters get rendered depends on the character encoding selected.

Most modern text editors handle characters outside the normal ASSCII range and simply copy them across using their byte values so that the final result depends both on the font and character set selected.
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:09 PM   #3
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Is there a way to strip them off when I'm saving/creating the TXT file? Or convert it all to ASCII?
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:54 PM   #4
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Probably better would be to copy the desired parts of the page and paste into Word or Open Office instead. Save as RTF and Calibre will convert it. That will save all of the formatting as originally intended, including fancy quotes.
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Old 10-06-2009, 04:15 PM   #5
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Thanks, Polly, I'll give that a try - at least for the one's I'm really having trouble with.


If anyone has other ideas on why this JUST started cropping up when I wasn't a problem before, I'd still appreciate it. I was thrilled with the ease of TXT to EPUB and don't really want to have to start cutting and pasting and fiddling around if there's another answer....
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:58 PM   #6
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Use the ASCIiize (Transliterate unicode characters to an ASCII) option in Look and Feel to have all unicode characters turned into their ASCII equivalent.
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:07 PM   #7
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Thanks, user_none....I tried that and it stripped all the quotation marks off completely. Also, all the text was one big block with no breaks

I used the same LiveJournal post and made two TXT files:

One Unicode UTF-8
One Western European (windows)

Then opened Word and saved each of those as an RTF file.

I tried all four files in Calibre, both with the ASCIIizing and without, and can't seem to create a usable file out of any of them.

It's so frustrating because up until now, I've not had any real trouble with TXT files converting to EPUB in a state that I can read it. Most of the time, it was coming out beautifully.

Are there things I need to know to make a good TXT file?

Is all just dependant on the formatting of the web page/blog/LJ I'm saving the text from?

It's killing me that NOW I'm having all this trouble.....
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:09 PM   #8
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Posting to add that if I copy and paste the text from a page into a Word doc and save THAT as RTF, I get a gorgeous and beautiful EPUB file I can read on my iPod... (and I did this using the same page I referred to in the above post)

Still - if anyone has other ideas or advice for me regarding making "Save As" TXT files that will format into EPUB properly, I'd still like to hear it. Because it's SO much faster and easier.

I know it CAN be done, because I have - I just don't know what circumstances determine if it will format right or not.
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:48 AM   #9
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Can you email me (john AT nachtimwald.com) or post the txt file(s) that are produced form you're web browser that you're having trouble converting?
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:23 AM   #10
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Sure

It may be that it's simply a case of the webpage format and there's nothing I can do about that, but since SOME of them do fine, I'd like to find an answer if there is one to be had.

Thanks very much!


These are the two TXT files I made using Save As and selecting different options.
Attached Files
File Type: txt Test one Unicode UTF-8.txt (52.1 KB, 319 views)
File Type: txt Test one Western European (windows).txt (49.3 KB, 111 views)
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:49 PM   #11
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Try specifying the input encoding as utf-8 and see if that fixes the quote issue. I can't reproduce but I'm setup for unicode as the default encoding. This sounds like the solution.

As for the big block of text. It's because the text file is one big block of text. If you look at it the file you will see that there is no spacing between paragraphs and they wrap over multiple lines. All without any indentation to start. The only thing I can think of to fix this would be to save as HTML and use that as your input instead of a TXT file.
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:27 PM   #12
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Thanks much - I'll give that a try.

This whole thing is driving me nuts. Today I made several RTF files using the same copy, paste into Word, save as RTF method I used for the first one I mentioned earlier.

ALL of them looked good in Word, with proper spacing and everything....but turned into a big block of text in Calibre.

It's making me nuts that none of these methods reliably gives me the same results.

ARGH.
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