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Old 10-25-2009, 04:59 PM   #1
Edwin Fong
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Losing formatting when converting PDB

Hi,
I got my eReader last week after quietly reading these forums to help me decide, and got a PRS 300. Got a few books from the Waterstones website, and they all seem fine. However, I got a few ebooks from a friends, and they are in .PDB format, which I understand to be an ereader format. The books are Palmdoc books, and don't seem to have DRM. (they can just be read).

Now, I've tried two methods to convert them. First i used Amber ABC palm converter then Book Designer. This gave a decent looking book, but one that was too big for the smaller screen on the 300. Also, some formatting was out, but I think that was because I didn't check the HTML as I was just seeing if it worked.

I then tried Calibre, as it seemed to be an easier way to convert them. Now, then conversion goes fine, the font size is fine and everything, but there is absolutely no formatting left in the book. Is there any way to get it to reproduce the book to the same standard as it first was? If I open it in eReader for Windows the book is formatted fine, but if I open it in Calibre the book doesn't seem to have any formatting at all.

Is the best way of doing this to convert it to HTML first? And if so, is there a converter that provides nicer HTML than ABC?

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 10-25-2009, 05:43 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwin Fong
I got a few ebooks from a friends, and they are in .PDB format, which I understand to be an ereader format.
PDB is a container format similar to zip. Meaning it can contain any number of format. eReader is just one of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwin Fong
If I open it in eReader for Windows the book is formatted fine, but if I open it in Calibre the book doesn't seem to have any formatting at all.
Can you either attach or email me the file (john at nachtimwald.com) so I can see what is going on with it?
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Old 10-25-2009, 06:15 PM   #3
Edwin Fong
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Hi,
I've sent the book to your email address. I've been messing with the HTML I got from it earlier in Book Designer, and seem to be getting somewhere with that. The only problem I have with BD is setting the font size to less than 14 and also getting the page size right. Obviously Calibre would be a much simpler way of doing it, or so it seems, so any help you provide will be much appreciated.
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Old 10-25-2009, 06:36 PM   #4
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The reason it's not formatting is the file is not an eReader PDB. It is a PalmDoc PDB. I need to see the file to verify this. PalmDoc PDB files do not support any kind of formatting. The formatting you're seeing in the eReader viewer is being added by the eReader viewer itself. It is not part of the file. Sadly calibre does not add formatting it just transforms existing formatting. With these files your best option is to use something like book design, sigil or convert to TXT and use markdown to add formatting.
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Old 10-25-2009, 07:53 PM   #5
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I thought about it a bit more and I believe I know exactly what is happening / what you are seeing. By default calibre assumes paragraphs in PalmDoc PDB files are separated by a blank line. The files has each line as a paragraph. Convert with the --single-line-paras option and you will have differentiated paragraphs.
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:20 PM   #6
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Thanks, I'll give that a whirl. Been messing with BD more as well, then converting the HTML that that provides with Calibre and it seems to be working quite well.

Is there any way to edit the output profile for the reader though? I like using font size 8 for my reader, but when I set that as the base font size then the title is ridiculously big. Its not a massive issue by any means but if there is a way of changing it then that would be good.
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