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Old 04-19-2010, 01:21 PM   #1
McAlsop
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Suggestion: Don't set "color" tag in .epub css

I've been using Calibre for a long time and never seen this, but recently it's happened a couple times. Note: I'm using version x.67, not .68 yet.

I'm converting from several formats to .epub.

After some recent conversions, the .css file in the epub includes the "color" tag and is set to "rgb(0, 0, 0)" [black].

I use Stanza on the iPhone and that is causing the font color to stay black, ignoring any font color settings within the app. When I read at night, I like to set the background to black, and obviously I can't read black text with a black background.

Right now, I'm opening the epub with winzip, then opening stylesheet.css with notepad, then removing all instances where it's setting "color: rgb(0, 0, 0)" and/or "color: XXXX". After doing this, it works as expected in Stanza.

Is this tag necessary for some reason? If not, I'd suggest making sure it's never set - though I don't know how difficult that is to program.

p.s. It also seems to be setting a color for the hyperlink tags "a", but I never have hyperlinks because I only read books.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:37 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McAlsop View Post
I'm converting from several formats to .epub.
What was the source format for one of the problem books? Could it have been html?
Quote:
p.s. It also seems to be setting a color for the hyperlink tags "a", but I never have hyperlinks because I only read books.
You must have had a hyperlink tag in your source book. I suspect your source specified the color as black. If all color is automatically stripped from every book, then you lose some formatting from the original book. For some books it may be critical to have the colored text.

I'm really bad at CSS and conversion settings, so someone else will have to tell you how to remove the color tags.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Starson17 View Post
What was the source format for one of the problem books? Could it have been html?
Actually never converted from HTML. The specific two I have seen this with are .lrf and .lit.

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You must have had a hyperlink tag in your source book. I suspect your source specified the color as black. If all color is automatically stripped from every book, then you lose some formatting from the original book. For some books it may be critical to have the colored text.

I'm really bad at CSS and conversion settings, so someone else will have to tell you how to remove the color tags.
There were a couple hyperlinks, it was setting them to "blue" not black. I just never use them, so I don't care what color they are, but I figured I should mention it.

I honestly don't convert enough ebooks for it to matter to me - I don't mind doing the manual work of deleting the color tags. I just don't see why an ebook should require me to view it in a specific color. I'm guessing the source did specify that font color = black, because I don't have the issue with all .lit and .lrf source files. However, I have yet to read a book, magazine, or newspaper where the font color was important... not to say it can't happen...
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Old 04-19-2010, 05:28 PM   #4
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Being able to set text color is used in the catalog for formatting purposes. I for one need calibre to continue to respect color attributes.

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Old 04-19-2010, 09:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McAlsop View Post
I'm guessing the source did specify that font color = black, because I don't have the issue with all .lit and .lrf source files.
That would be a good guess, Calibre respects the source as much as possible.

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However, I have yet to read a book, magazine, or newspaper where the font color was important... not to say it can't happen...
Many folks read these books on their computer and colored links within the book or to outside sources may be of benefit. In the future as ereaders migrate to an appropriate color format and more ereaders use wireless to connect to the world then colored links will become even more prevalent.

I agree that specifying a default color for the entire document limits the flexibility of that document, but that fault falls squarely at the feet of the initial person or group formatting the book.

I don't have an iPhone or equivalent device so I don't have a need for this, but maybe Calibre could add an option to strip out any color html code during conversion.

Last edited by DoctorOhh; 04-19-2010 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:08 PM   #6
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The discussion is why I posted it as a suggestion here instead of adding it to the bug tracker. I still don't see any reason to require text coloring, but obviously a couple people do. I'm not sure anything needs to be added/changed - I just figured other people are (or will be) seeing this problem in Stanza. And I'd guess that any device reading the epub format will respect the black font tags and they might see the issue as well.

On a side note, Stanza has distinct internal settings for background color, font color, and link color. It simply ignores those settings when color is defined in the .css.

And not that it will ever change, but perhaps the eBook readers (like Stanza) that allow you to set font colors should internally ignore font settings.
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Old 04-20-2010, 04:44 AM   #7
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Stanza also has the option for you to ignore the .css file. This may not always, however, be desireable as other aspects of formatting may be controlled via the .csss file.
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Stanza also has the option for you to ignore the .css file.
I thought, when I posted, that some CSS guru would be able to specify an override for font color in the Extra CSS conversion. I was thinking of something like color=none for whatever font he's having trouble with. Does anyone know if that's possible?
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:55 AM   #9
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Stanza also has the option for you to ignore the .css file. This may not always, however, be desireable as other aspects of formatting may be controlled via the .csss file.
This actually did work for one of them, but another one looked pretty funky.

Like I said, I already know how to fix it myself (and described the fix for anyone having a similar problem). I just didn't see a reason that an eBook's font color should be set by the source instead of the reader. But others disagree, which is fine. Though I'm not sure what GRiker's "catalog" is.
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:04 AM   #10
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Like I said, I already know how to fix it myself (and described the fix for anyone having a similar problem). I just didn't see a reason that an eBook's font color should be set by the source instead of the reader.
Your fix was to manually edit the file. yes, that works, but if you could just set the override CSS to remove font color, then you'd have the functionality you want, without affecting the font color that others want. That's what the "extr CSS" is for - to override internal CSS so that you get a consistent appearance in converted books, without the variations imposed by different source material. Of course, I have no idea if it's possible to override with a color that is "none." I'm reasonably certain, however, that you can override with color equal to black or white. If you can't force no color, maybe you can have a night version and a day version with font colors forced to white/black?
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:34 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Starson17 View Post
Your fix was to manually edit the file. yes, that works, but if you could just set the override CSS to remove font color, then you'd have the functionality you want, without affecting the font color that others want. That's what the "extr CSS" is for - to override internal CSS so that you get a consistent appearance in converted books, without the variations imposed by different source material. Of course, I have no idea if it's possible to override with a color that is "none." I'm reasonably certain, however, that you can override with color equal to black or white. If you can't force no color, maybe you can have a night version and a day version with font colors forced to white/black?
Actually, I don't think it's possible to override the color set within the css in this case.

I know some CSS, which is why I knew where to look for the font color settings. Though, it'd be nice if someone came along who knew otherwise.
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:16 AM   #12
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Actually, I don't think it's possible to override the color set within the css in this case.
Yes, I know a bit of CSS, but not enough to tell it to remove color. That's why I said I was terrible at CSS and hoped for a guru. You may well be right that there's no way to specify "none" for the color to override a specific color definition for a font. In that case, an option in the code might well be desirable. I doubt Kovid would make calibre remove color by default, but he might be willing to add it as a checkbox option. There are some similar checkbox overrides already implemented.
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:53 AM   #13
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It definitely comes from the source file. Hard to tell you how to override it without the source file in question.
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Old 04-23-2010, 05:29 PM   #14
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Just wondering... why not a conditional test? Something like:

If background == black
then
text == white
else
text == black

Assuming it is feasible to do this in CSS, it should work for most situations with the exception of dark gray backgrounds with black text.
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Old 04-23-2010, 05:34 PM   #15
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I don't think it's feasible to do this in CSS... there's no conditional statements as far as I know.
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