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Old 09-08-2006, 09:43 AM   #1
pdam
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Typography and book creation on the Iliad

Having read the document "How to make content for your Iliad" - it's interesting to note that the whole document helps people with technical formats for document creation, it does not refer in any way to how to improve your reading experience through the correct selection of typeface, spacing etc ...

If you pick any paperback off of a shelf in a bookshop (about the same page size) the text type and spacing hardly differ - because of (hopefully!) years and years of knowledge about creating the best reading experience for the medium.

Given that the Iliad creates a reading experience very similar to a paperback, and the device is all about being able to read easily and efficiently (right?); add this to the fact I am not a typographer ...

-- what is the (...getting started 1 page guide to) generally accepted typeface, size, spacing etc to create the best reading experience for this medium?
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Old 09-08-2006, 01:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdam
Having read the document "How to make content for your Iliad" - it's interesting to note that the whole document helps people with technical formats for document creation, it does not refer in any way to how to improve your reading experience through the correct selection of typeface, spacing etc ...

If you pick any paperback off of a shelf in a bookshop (about the same page size) the text type and spacing hardly differ - because of (hopefully!) years and years of knowledge about creating the best reading experience for the medium.

Given that the Iliad creates a reading experience very similar to a paperback, and the device is all about being able to read easily and efficiently (right?); add this to the fact I am not a typographer ...

-- what is the (...getting started 1 page guide to) generally accepted typeface, size, spacing etc to create the best reading experience for this medium?

I toiled over this problem for quite a while, pdam, but i think i have reached a middle point (not found the 'perfect' setting but quite close)

I found the PlanetPDF free pdf's to be quite nicely formatted, so i tried to emulate them. It proved to be quite difficult. The first problem i bumped into was the font: bembo
It was hard to find because it is a commercial font and i dont like paying for (free) things

After that things went a little smoother. I fired up Word (seems that many ppl dont like word, but imo it is more feature rich that OpenOffice, and i'm a bit more familliar with it)

First thing you do when you open Word (this mini-guide will be based on Word but i am sure it can beapplied to OpenOffice as well) is to go to Page setup to put the width and heit of the page and to set margins; i've found that top margin should be 0.3 cm bottom 0 cm left&right approx 0.3 aswell. This are just ballpark values and you should play with them until u find the optimum value.
Note: even i put the r&l values 0 the text is not as close to the margin as an htm.'s file.

After that, you just copy/paste the text to word. It will be messed up, but an AutoFormat will fix that.
Then i change everything to Bembo(or your preffered font) and then i go to Line Spacing and set that to 1.5, prefferably 2.
After that i go to Format>Font>Character and Spacing and set spacing to Expanded by 1.1 to 1.3 points.
Then you can browse the file and manually adjuts the title, chapter title etc... The last step is to make a pdf out of it (see iRex's file on how to make pdf's)

Thats all..... Dont forget that this is just a rough guide on how to adjsut some of the things. Play with the values, try different settings& see what you like.

If you like the font used in Plametpdf's pdf's send me a pm.
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Old 09-08-2006, 06:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdam
-- what is the (...getting started 1 page guide to) generally accepted typeface, size, spacing etc to create the best reading experience for this medium?
My OpenOffice template is defined as:
Width: 5"
Height: 6.5"
Right/Left margins: 0.04"
Top/Bottom margins: 0.20"
The default font is Nimbus Roman No9 L at 12 points.

This produces very readable documents (for me) on the iLiad.
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Old 09-11-2006, 03:49 AM   #4
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I have found that a slightly larger Roman font works best when compared to an average paperback and I reduce the width for slightly better readability.

I'd be great if iRex themselves came up with some suggestions on their site, it'd be a shame for the device to suffer what a lot of desktop publishing tools suffered in the late 90's - a powerful tool being placed in the hands of untrained users ... producing results that (arguably) damaged the reputation of the tool ....
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