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Old 05-28-2010, 04:52 PM   #1
Hitch
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Question Format tabbed text columns, NOT flowing


Hi, gang:

n.b. - this post is NOT about flowing text through newspaper-like columns.

I have a client who had her rights-reverted books scanned, sent 'em to me in Word to convert, so all good so far. She has one sort of unique aspect to the books; she has a "cast of characters" page(s) in the front, in which the players are identified, e.g.:

John Doe: (imagine a tab of white space here) Sarah's Husband
Michael Black: (imagine a tab of white space here) Sarah's Friend
Jane White: (imagine a tab of white space here) Sarah's Married Sister

I mean, you get the drift. In a word processor, these would be simple tabbed-over to x items with hard returns between them, since there's no "flowing" text.

I am completely clueless how I can format this in Sigil to look remotely reasonable. Does anyone have any suggestions? I've simply not used any type of tabbed (?) function or indentation within a line in Sigil, so insight would be freaking great. This is my first conversion for this client, so I'd be mighty grateful if I could look halfway smart coming out of the blocks, keep getting her books. I searched here and I've already read the manual (twice)....any thoughts?

Thx in advance!
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Old 05-28-2010, 05:46 PM   #2
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It looks like you need to use a table. Check out W3C tutorial:

http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_tables.asp

Good luck.
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dynabook View Post
It looks like you need to use a table. Check out W3C tutorial:

http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_tables.asp

Good luck.
The last time I looked, .epub did not support tables. If it does now, can somebody udpate me on this?

Anyone else?

Hitch
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Old 05-29-2010, 11:53 AM   #4
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My Star Wars eBooks have a simple Dramatis Personae page, example:
Quote:
Allana Solo; child (human female)
Ben Skywalker; Jedi Knight (human male)
Han Solo; captain, Millennium Falcon (human male)
Gavar Khai; Sith Saber (human male)
Jagged Fel; Head of State, Galactic Empire (human male)
...
No spaces similar to tabs, but it works for me. Not sure if it will be acceptable to your client.
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Old 05-29-2010, 03:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wetdogeared View Post
My Star Wars eBooks have a simple Dramatis Personae page, example:


No spaces similar to tabs, but it works for me. Not sure if it will be acceptable to your client.
Hi, Wetdogeared:

It's just going to have to do. I'm not going to drive myself even crazier trying to get that bit right; the scanning guy scanned it as though it were going to a POD publisher, so I got all the bloody page headings (book name) and author name, yadda yadda...and of course all the mystery characters from the OCR, so I'm already demented on this one, LOL. I was hoping someone here had worked some div magic, but sans that, I'm rolling with a list like yours. In the light of day, the original Fawcett imprint list wasn't that great, anyway.

Thanks for taking the time to respond on a holiday weekend.

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Old 05-29-2010, 03:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitch View Post
The last time I looked, .epub did not support tables. If it does now, can somebody udpate me on this?

Anyone else?

Hitch
I just looked it up and tables are a required part of OPS 2.0.

Here is an example (for Sigil's codeview)
Code:
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"
    "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
  <title>Tables</title>
  
<style type="text/css">
td {padding-right:1em;}
</style>
</head>

<body>
  <h1>Table demo</h1>

  <table>
    <tr>
      <td>John Doe:</td>
      <td>Sarah's Husband</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td>Michael Black:</td>
      <td>Sarah's Friend</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td>Jane White:</td>
      <td>Sarah's Married Sister</td>
    </tr>
  </table>
</body>
</html>

Last edited by pietvo; 05-29-2010 at 04:59 PM. Reason: Example added
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Old 05-29-2010, 04:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pietvo View Post
I just looked it up and tables are a required part of OPS 2.0.
I have used Tables in ePUB and ADE supports them sort of. No borders, which is ok for this case, and if they are too wide they just keep going sideways with no way to view the rest, again for this case that may be fine.

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Old 05-29-2010, 04:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
I have used Tables in ePUB and ADE supports them sort of. No borders, which is ok for this case,
I can get borders in ADE (and also visible in Sigil's Book View) with either:
Code:
<table border="1">
or
Code:
  <style type="text/css">
  td {border: thin solid}
  table {border-collapse:collapse;}
  </style>
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Old 06-01-2010, 04:22 PM   #9
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Hi, Pietvo, DaleDe:

Sorry, forgot to subscribe to this thread, like a total wanker. I'll give those tables a shot, but I could have sworn that somewhere around here I read a thread in which the use of tables was strenuously discouraged by the Sigil developer--and my experiences with using tables for html for Kindles has been prtty disastrous via .mobi.

BUT: I'll give it a try. Thank you!!

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Old 06-01-2010, 06:23 PM   #10
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Hi,

Another method is to make an image from the tabbed columns (even a screen capture of the table) and use the image in place of the table. This works for all ereaders I have seen. You can make the contents of the image "searchable" by including the text as "hidden" html values right before the table.

I have also seen svg used to create images of tabular data as well.

Hope something here helps,

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Old 06-02-2010, 02:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitch View Post
I'll give those tables a shot, but I could have sworn that somewhere around here I read a thread in which the use of tables was strenuously discouraged by the Sigil developer--and my experiences with using tables for html for Kindles has been prtty disastrous via .mobi.
My knowledge is lacking in this area but I think it might be best to set table size via percentages to ensure they make the most use of the screen size without going over.
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Old 06-02-2010, 04:18 PM   #12
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My knowledge is lacking in this area but I think it might be best to set table size via percentages to ensure they make the most use of the screen size without going over.
As a follow-up, just in case somebody else is following the breadcrumbs here:

While it's probable that I could manage a table that would display in Sigil, tables are flat-out not supported in Kindle via the DTP upload function. Since I'm creating ebooks for clients that are going both to Kobo and Kindle, using tables is not an option for me.

But thanks, gang--I am particularly head-slapping myself over the obvious "use an image" response. Duhr! You'd think I'd have thought of that one, because I do it for other clients with some of their weirder uh, stuff.

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Old 06-06-2010, 02:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitch View Post
As a follow-up, just in case somebody else is following the breadcrumbs here:

While it's probable that I could manage a table that would display in Sigil, tables are flat-out not supported in Kindle via the DTP upload function. Since I'm creating ebooks for clients that are going both to Kobo and Kindle, using tables is not an option for me.

But thanks, gang--I am particularly head-slapping myself over the obvious "use an image" response. Duhr! You'd think I'd have thought of that one, because I do it for other clients with some of their weirder uh, stuff.

Hitch
Sometimes it's easy to overlook the simplest solution. Once, I had create a word processor file that had to look a specific way and I didn't have access to a PDF generation program. My solution was to print the pages, scan them, and insert each scan into the document as a page. It wasn't elegant but it worked.

Another option I've used to generate a table is to use a fixed font (like Courier New) and just manually space out the table. As long as the reader displays a fixed font as a fixed font it should work.
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Old 06-06-2010, 02:37 PM   #14
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Sometimes it's easy to overlook the simplest solution. Once, I had create a word processor file that had to look a specific way and I didn't have access to a PDF generation program. My solution was to print the pages, scan them, and insert each scan into the document as a page. It wasn't elegant but it worked.

Another option I've used to generate a table is to use a fixed font (like Courier New) and just manually space out the table. As long as the reader displays a fixed font as a fixed font it should work.
Open Office 3.x (free) has a Print to PDF button.
Eliminate the Scan step
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Old 06-07-2010, 04:04 PM   #15
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Open Office 3.x (free) has a Print to PDF button.
Eliminate the Scan step
Unfortunately, I didn't have access to OpenOffice.org at that time. I had to do the job in MS Word and print-scan-insert graphic was the only option I had to get the job done the way that it was needed (some pages were landscape, some portrait, and each had to look the same on all computers).
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