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Old 12-17-2009, 10:23 AM   #1
Laurentiu
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Convert RTF to ePub -some questions

Hello eReaders,

I have my PRS600 for about a week anow and I am very happy with it. With the help of a fellow member here, I maanged to convert some RTF files and send them to the reader. I noticed, though, a few things that bother me and I don't know how to fix them (or, if they canbe fixed). Probably this has been discussed here a thousand times before, but I can't find the answer, so, here are my questions:

1. Is there a way to format an ePub to have justified text? Mine seems to be left aligned, even when I format the RTF file in Word to be justified.
2. Do I need to change the fonts to be the same as the set I have loaded into my Reader?
3. Does the font size used in RTF have any influence on how the book would appear on the reader?
4. When I read a book, sometimes I see small numbers appearing on the right side of the page. The weird thing is that the page break is not consistent - sometimes the reader shows 3-4 pages on the same screen, sometimes there is only one. The RTF used does not have page numbers anywhere. Does anyone know how to solve this?

Thanks and happy reading!

Laurentiu

Last edited by Laurentiu; 12-17-2009 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 12-17-2009, 02:34 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurentiu View Post
Hello eReaders,

I have my PRS600 for about a week anow and I am very happy with it. With the help of a fellow member here, I maanged to convert some RTF files and send them to the reader. I noticed, though, a few things that bother me and I don't know how to fix them (or, if they canbe fixed). Probably this has been discussed here a thousand times before, but I can't find the answer, so, here are my questions:

1. Is there a way to format an ePub to have justified text? Mine seems to be left aligned, even when I format the RTF file in Word to be justified.
2. Do I need to change the fonts to be the same as the set I have loaded into my Reader?
3. Does the font size used in RTF have any influence on how the book would appear on the reader?
4. When I read a book, sometimes I see small numbers appearing on the right side of the page. The weird thing is that the page break is not consistent - sometimes the reader shows 3-4 pages on the same screen, sometimes there is only one. The RTF used does not have page numbers anywhere. Does anyone know how to solve this?

Thanks and happy reading!

Laurentiu
1. The Sony device does not support justified text while most other readers do. Sony has an early port of ADE and never updated it.
2. No for the Sony
3. Not on the Sony device but on other devices it will.
4. Those small numbers are only in ePUB and are a function of ADE (Adobe Digital Editions). Generally they represent 2,000 characters and are used to emulate a paper book page number. They currently cannot be removed.

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Old 12-17-2009, 02:38 PM   #3
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Hi Dale,
Thanks for your reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
4. Those small numbers are only in ePUB and are a function of ADE (Adobe Digital Editions). Generally they represent 2,000 characters and are used to emulate a paper book page number. They currently cannot be removed.
It's strange, because sometimes I can see something like page 3-7 of xxx. For sure there are not 6000 characters displayed at once!
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Old 12-17-2009, 02:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Hi Dale,
Thanks for your reply.



It's strange, because sometimes I can see something like page 3-7 of xxx. For sure there are not 6000 characters displayed at once!
The way Sony displays page numbers on the status line is to display the ADE number and a sub-number. So you see 3 ADE page number and a sub-number of 7 within that main number. The number of available sub-numbers varies since it is a virtual page number based in the screen and font size. Images will also increase the screen number but not the ADE number. The idea of the ADE number is to have a single number that can be referenced like a book reference you sometimes see in academic works so it should not change based on font size or screen size. This is unique to ADE implementation and is not in the ePUB standard. PDF can also have a page number but it is based on a real paper edition book. It is possible for ADE ePUB to have a real page number based on the paper edition book but generally you do not see that in the ePUBs you read since they would require special custom conversions to support this ADE unique feature. ADE has other unique features as well as quirks. Read about it in our wiki.

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Old 12-17-2009, 03:57 PM   #5
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Thanks again, Dale.
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
The way Sony displays page numbers on the status line is to display the ADE number and a sub-number. So you see 3 ADE page number and a sub-number of 7 within that main number. The number of available sub-numbers varies since it is a virtual page number based in the screen and font size. Images will also increase the screen number but not the ADE number. The idea of the ADE number is to have a single number that can be referenced like a book reference you sometimes see in academic works so it should not change based on font size or screen size. This is unique to ADE implementation and is not in the ePUB standard. PDF can also have a page number but it is based on a real paper edition book. It is possible for ADE ePUB to have a real page number based on the paper edition book but generally you do not see that in the ePUBs you read since they would require special custom conversions to support this ADE unique feature. ADE has other unique features as well as quirks. Read about it in our wiki.

Dale
Thanks for this information. I downloaded and installed Atlantis so I could test the epub format on my reader (I'd been using PDF as my ebook format). I was concerned when I saw this type of page number (like "1-2 of 47") in my reader's status bar, but the above post answered the question.

I do have a questions about fonts in the epub format:

When I created my epub ebook (from an RTF file) in Atlantis and put it on my reader I found that all of the text was rendered in a serif typeface, including the san-serif text. Is this normal in the epub format?

Also, what affect does the font size in the original document have on the font size in the epub and how it will display on my reader?

As I said above, this is my first foray into the epub format. I originally did my ebooks as RTFs. Then moved to PDFs to give me complete format control over my ebooks. But the size of PDFs has led me to consider epub as my ebook format.

The factors in the above issues could be with my reader, the original document, or the program I'm using to make the epub. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time.
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:34 PM   #7
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The font size, if specified will be honored and most implementations will not override it but some may. It is a bad idea to specify specific font sizes for this reason. Much better to specify relative font sizes. It is one of those things that is a bit messy in ePUB depending on who you think should be in control of the presentation of data. In some cases the implementation may get the units wrong interpreting points as pixels for example. Sony gets this right.

Font typeface is another area that is often implemented poorly in ePUB. The standard lets you specify but the implementation may not support it. In particular ADE seems to have its own notion of fonts. CSS can specify the fonts to use explicitly but most of the time the system cannot find them and will use its own. It is better to use generic names for typefaces rather than specific type font. There is no standard place to put fonts and if the CSS defines an exact place it will likely work in only one system. It is also possible to embed fonts by putting them in the epub file itself. However, you would need to ensure that it was legal for you to distribute the fonts in that case since fonts themselves may be copyrighted. In some cases you can distribute them by encrypting the fonts you embed. There is a defined system (actually two) for doing that. But again the rendering system may not support the way you did it.

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Old 01-24-2010, 12:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
The font size, if specified will be honored and most implementations will not override it but some may. It is a bad idea to specify specific font sizes for this reason. Much better to specify relative font sizes. It is one of those things that is a bit messy in ePUB depending on who you think should be in control of the presentation of data. In some cases the implementation may get the units wrong interpreting points as pixels for example. Sony gets this right.

Font typeface is another area that is often implemented poorly in ePUB. The standard lets you specify but the implementation may not support it. In particular ADE seems to have its own notion of fonts. CSS can specify the fonts to use explicitly but most of the time the system cannot find them and will use its own. It is better to use generic names for typefaces rather than specific type font. There is no standard place to put fonts and if the CSS defines an exact place it will likely work in only one system. It is also possible to embed fonts by putting them in the epub file itself. However, you would need to ensure that it was legal for you to distribute the fonts in that case since fonts themselves may be copyrighted. In some cases you can distribute them by encrypting the fonts you embed. There is a defined system (actually two) for doing that. But again the rendering system may not support the way you did it.

Dale
Thanks for the information, it's a great help. As far as font size goes, I'm basically just concerned with its size at my reader's smallest zoom level. Regardless of the format, I prefer the base size of my fonts to be 12 - 14 points at the smallest zoom level and to increase from there.

For example, with RTF files, I've found that an 18 point font in the original document renders as about a 12 point size on my reader. With PDF files, I format my documents so that my fonts render the actual size on my reader.

Thanks for the heads up on legal issues concerning distribution of fonts with ebooks. If I ever get to the point of distributing ebooks I will definitely check on this issue. Most likely and to keep it simple, I will look for non-copyrighted fonts that I can freely distribute for use with my ebooks.

From the way you described it, it sounds like epub doesn't support the HTML guide on specifying fonts which says: specify a specific font, then a commonly available alternative, and then a general type (serif, san-serif, or monospaced). Font issues were one of the main reasons that I started formatting my ebooks as PDFs, the text always appears in the font that I've selected. I was hoping that epub would also provide this kind of font support.

Again, thanks.
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:35 AM   #9
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Actually ePUB as a standard supports CSS 2.1 which includes the font selection you described. Unfortunately the rendering engines aren't up to snuff in all areas. Some of the things I told you are related to the real world of ADE and similar portable ePUB support, not the specification.

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Old 01-26-2010, 09:11 AM   #10
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When I created my epub ebook (from an RTF file) in Atlantis and put it on my reader I found that all of the text was rendered in a serif typeface, including the san-serif text. Is this normal in the epub format?

Also, what affect does the font size in the original document have on the font size in the epub and how it will display on my reader?
The latest beta version of Atlantis will allow you to embed fonts in your epub so they show up properly. This will increase the size of the epub a bit, so choose a font that doesn't have every conceivable character in it (adding the standard Windows OpenType versions of Times in regular, bold and italic would add well over 2MB to your file). Alternatively, tag the text which should be in sans with a font size that will be easy to spot (4pt or something like that), then edit the css and change the font size attributes to font-face:sans-serif;

Atlantis does respect font sizes in the original and converts them to relative measures. 11pt text comes out as 100% (or 1em) and other sizes will be larger or smaller relative to that.
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