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Old 03-04-2010, 09:28 AM   #1
BrentB
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Best source formats to convert to epub?

I think I saw a list of the best formats to convert to epub in order of best to worst somewhere, but for the life of me I can't find it with the search. Could someone post a short list? I've got a couple files in a few different formats (PDF, TXT, LIT, LRF, & RTF) and was wondering which would convert to epub the best.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:30 AM   #2
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Of those, probably LIT. PDF and TXT will convert terribly. RTF would probably work, but you wouldn't have a cover image, or table of contents... And I don't know enough about the LRF spec to offer a judgment on it.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrentB View Post
I think I saw a list of the best formats to convert to epub in order of best to worst somewhere, but for the life of me I can't find it with the search. Could someone post a short list? I've got a couple files in a few different formats (PDF, TXT, LIT, LRF, & RTF) and was wondering which would convert to epub the best.
From Calibre's FAQ.
Quote:
What are the best source formats to convert?

In order of decreasing preference: LIT, MOBI, EPUB, HTML, PRC, RTF, PDB, TXT, PDF
>>>>>>>>>>>>==========<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Quote:
Originally Posted by ATimson View Post
Of those, probably LIT. PDF and TXT will convert terribly. RTF would probably work, but you wouldn't have a cover image, or table of contents... And I don't know enough about the LRF spec to offer a judgment on it.
My format of choice has been to convert from Lit, usually with great success 99% of the time. Only lit files that were converted to lit from txt or pdf are bad. Lit files created as lit files from the bottom up are great. A badly formatted lit file (like any other) can be seen prior to conversion and should just be avoided. Garbage in, garbage out.

If you add a cover image before you convert to epub even a converted rtf file will have a cover when it changes to epub.

Last edited by DoctorOhh; 03-04-2010 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:43 AM   #4
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:36 AM   #5
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Don't forget formats like ODT. If you are starting with an RTF or TXT or such then importing that into openoffice and saving as an ODT will let you do some fancy formatting on chapter headings and so on that might not be in the RTF.
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATimson View Post
Of those, probably LIT. PDF and TXT will convert terribly. RTF would probably work, but you wouldn't have a cover image, or table of contents... And I don't know enough about the LRF spec to offer a judgment on it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by banjomike View Post
Don't forget formats like ODT. If you are starting with an RTF or TXT or such then importing that into openoffice and saving as an ODT will let you do some fancy formatting on chapter headings and so on that might not be in the RTF.
Good point if you have to start with rtf or text. Here is an old thread that talked about using ODT macros to setup text conversions to PDF.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:33 PM   #7
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I agree about using LIT and avoiding LRF. LRF is not based on HTML.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:47 PM   #8
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I use Calibre to convert from LRF to Epub with no problems at all.
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:12 PM   #9
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Not on your list, but html or xhtml will convert best, since EPub is just a wrapper around xhtml and css. Any process that converts what you have to xhtml - and looks good - will work well.

Another note - I downloaded a really awful looking EPub from Guttenberg. I downloaded the zip version, extracted the xhtml, and used Calibre to convert it back to EPub. The graphics came back (missing in the original EPub), and the result was outstanding. This was the very good book on knot tying, which was useless without the woodcuts.

Robert

Last edited by rmm200; 03-05-2010 at 02:18 PM. Reason: Add book note
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmm200 View Post
Not on your list, but html or xhtml will convert best, since EPub is just a wrapper around xhtml and css. Any process that converts what you have to xhtml - and looks good - will work well.
LIT is also just a wrapper around (X?)HTML and CSS. And as a bonus it already has an OPF file to yoink metadata and TOC from.
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:30 PM   #11
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This was the very good book on knot tying, which was useless without the woodcuts.
Can you post it or give me a link? I had a request for a book on knots just the other day!
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:04 PM   #12
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LIT is the best in my experience, and PDF is the worst.
I have trouble importing some RTF and HTML for conversion. Calibre would just freeze during "adding" stage. Other than that, Calibre is a godsend.
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmm200 View Post
Not on your list, but html or xhtml will convert best, since EPub is just a wrapper around xhtml and css. Any process that converts what you have to xhtml - and looks good - will work well.

Another note - I downloaded a really awful looking EPub from Guttenberg. I downloaded the zip version, extracted the xhtml, and used Calibre to convert it back to EPub. The graphics came back (missing in the original EPub), and the result was outstanding. This was the very good book on knot tying, which was useless without the woodcuts.

Robert
LOL! I downloaded that book too, though I haven't had time to play around with it to see if it even worked or not.
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