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Old 12-06-2009, 08:51 AM   #1
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PRS-505 cannot show foreign characters?

I've installed some books in ePUb-format, and all accented characters are displayed as question marks. If I import the same books in EPUBReader, everyting is fine. That means that the Sony-readers do not understand UTF8 characters sets?

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:15 AM   #2
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This appears to be the fault of the formats rather than the device, Paul. My tech colleagues and I are currently converting over 120 titles to various ebook formats from the Word.doc source material we used to create our PDF ebooks. Some include foreign accents and punctuation that simply seems to be beyond accurate conversion so far. We have to write around them editorially to avoid mangling. Cheers. Neil
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:27 AM   #3
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This appears to be the fault of the formats rather than the device, Paul.
I've tested the same ePub-book in 6 different devices and programs now:

iPhone: Stanza: no problem
Mac: Stanza: no problem
Windows: Mobipocket Reader: no problem
Firefox EPUBReader: no problem
Sigil: no problem
Sony PRS-505: all accented characters gone!

The character set of the book is declared as follows:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:22 AM   #4
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AFAIK, the built-in fonts for the prs-505 don't support extended characters. Your choices are to either install a unicode-supporting typeface on the device using some kind of firmware hack, or embed the font in the epub file itself.
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:07 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by LDBoblo View Post
AFAIK, the built-in fonts for the prs-505 don't support extended characters.
Thanks for your answer! In the mean time I found the reason why:
A mobile version of Adobe Digital Edition's engine is used on the Sony Readers and the vast majority of other portable reading devices that can display epub books. All of these devices inherit ADE's shortcomings, e.g.not being able to show characters other than plain ASCII.
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Old 12-06-2009, 05:32 PM   #6
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Aha... thanks Paul and LD. I'll put this info over to our tech chaps. I use a 505 and thought the punctuation format problem was common to all ereaders. Much appreciated advice. Best. Neil
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Old 01-14-2010, 05:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by LDBoblo View Post
AFAIK, the built-in fonts for the prs-505 don't support extended characters. Your choices are to either install a unicode-supporting typeface on the device using some kind of firmware hack, or embed the font in the epub file itself.
Thanks for your suggestion! I've embedded the fonts in the ePub now, and this works perfectly for the book itself, but in the Table of Contents the problem remains. Do you have any idea why?

Thanks!
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Old 01-16-2010, 02:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by paulpeer View Post
Thanks for your suggestion! I've embedded the fonts in the ePub now, and this works perfectly for the book itself, but in the Table of Contents the problem remains. Do you have any idea why?

Thanks!
You have to replace the fonts on the reader. The device itself is capable of dealing with unicode the fonts are not. To fix this, see here: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20644
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Old 01-17-2010, 05:10 AM   #9
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You have to replace the fonts on the reader.
Thanks for your help. Bus as I already said elsewhere in these threads, a publisher of e-books cannot expect that all his customers start flashing fonts to their devices. Not every user of an e-reader is a computer guru. The only thing publishers can do is disrecommend the use of Sony-readers, until Sony (or Adobe) is willing to repair this bug.
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Old 01-17-2010, 05:32 AM   #10
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Thanks for your help. Bus as I already said elsewhere in these threads, a publisher of e-books cannot expect that all his customers start flashing fonts to their devices. Not every user of an e-reader is a computer guru. The only thing publishers can do is disrecommend the use of Sony-readers, until Sony (or Adobe) is willing to repair this bug.
It's not really a bug. It's not unreasonable that reading devices sold for western European and US markets will have western-European fonts. If you want to create books which require fonts with other characters, you can simply embed the necessary font in the book itself.
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Old 01-17-2010, 05:54 AM   #11
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If you want to create books which require fonts with other characters, you can simply embed the necessary font in the book itself.
Can you? You can embed fonts, and from that moment on the body of the text will be perfect, but the TOC and META files will still show errors, because they use the internal fonts of the device. That is at least what my experience tells me and what is confirmed by others.
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Old 01-17-2010, 05:59 AM   #12
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Can you? You can embed fonts, and from that moment on the body of the text will be perfect, but the TOC and META files will still show errors, because they use the internal fonts of the device. That is at least what my experience tells me and what is confirmed by others.
That's correct, but it doesn't prevent you from reading the book. How often do you use the TOC when reading a novel?
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Old 01-17-2010, 06:27 AM   #13
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That's correct, but it doesn't prevent you from reading the book. How often do you use the TOC when reading a novel?
Sigh...so you're saying because it's a flaw, it's not important. We might as well go another step and call it an unintended "feature" and that it gives "character" to an otherwise uneventful ebook reader menu.

I have a few dozen Chinese books on my Sony. Before changing the fonts, they would only show up in the book list as a series of blank squares, making them all pretty much identical and rendering the menus useless for navigation.

Now I don't read Chinese on my 505 because the screen quality is insufficient for text, but the menu problem would remain for anyone who doesn't buy one with built-in Unicode-capable fonts. It's especially the case here since Sony units here are not sold domestically, but rather imported from the USA.

For the initial poster...it's an unfortunate situation, but publishers don't care and most ebook device makers don't care.
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Old 01-17-2010, 06:35 AM   #14
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Sigh...so you're saying because it's a flaw, it's not important. We might as well go another step and call it an unintended "feature" and that it gives "character" to an otherwise uneventful ebook reader menu.
No, I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying that it's not a "bug" that a reader sold for western markets will not display non-western characters in its own internal fonts. When buying a reader, one of the factors you need to consider is whether or not it's suitable for the type of books you want to read. If reading Chinese is your interest, you should probably buy a reader that's aimed at the Chinese market, not the western European market.
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:38 AM   #15
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No, I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying that it's not a "bug" that a reader sold for western markets will not display non-western characters in its own internal fonts. When buying a reader, one of the factors you need to consider is whether or not it's suitable for the type of books you want to read. If reading Chinese is your interest, you should probably buy a reader that's aimed at the Chinese market, not the western European market.
There should be no need to do that. Further, there are almost no devices that default in traditional Chinese, though there are some that do default to simplified for the Mainland market.

I'm a former gadget nerd and knew from the start that there would be tweaking involved, but many people don't have any clue why their books won't display. Basic international character support is something that should come to be expected on these kinds of devices. Not having it is just an extra insult to ebook readers.
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