Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book Formats > ePub

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-29-2010, 06:20 PM   #1
Alda
Connoisseur
Alda began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 87
Karma: 22
Join Date: Jun 2010
Device: none
Converting from PDF to ePub, Calibre not working

Hello,

I recently published an eBook that is beautifully designed in InDesign, and then converted to PDF. A number of people have asked me for it in ePub and I have tried to convert the file using Calibre, but the text comes out all scrambled, formatting all over the place -- it really looks like the book went through a meat grinder.

I've tried to convert the PDF to html, hoping that might work better, but alas, it just looks the same.

The instructions for exporting from InDesign into ePub are so ridiculously complicated that it is far beyond my capabilities.

Is there any way to convert this PDF file to ePub in a reasonably easy way?

So grateful for any help!

Thanks.

Alda
Alda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2010, 07:21 PM   #2
charleski
Wizard
charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 1,188
Karma: 727236
Join Date: Sep 2009
Device: PRS-505
Indesign works fine for exporting epubs, though CS5 has some additional features that make it easier to produce a file that'll work on mobile readers.

All styling must be applied through paragraph or character styles, which you should be doing anyway, and the text (obviously) has to be laid-out in linked text boxes.

Don't even think of trying to convert from a PDF, that's truly a waste of time.
charleski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2010, 11:23 PM   #3
st_albert
Fanatic
st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.
 
Posts: 544
Karma: 64420
Join Date: Feb 2010
Device: none
What Charlski said, except that ID4 export to epub is just a starting point.

It will need some tweaking in order to become an epub worthy of the name. The biggest fault is that all the body of the book will be in a single .xhtml file within the epub, which will break some readers.

I know, because our small publishing house is now involved in converting our print books (imposed in InDesign) to epub, and I get the task of tweaking the output of ID4 so it will meet our standards.

Still, the following steps are orders of magnitude better than trying to convert from PDF, which is probably the worst possible choice of starting material (due to the diametrically opposed goals of each format).

Starting from the ID4 exported epub, you will need to:

1) expand the epub to a working directory

2) clean up the styles, and make sure that chapter headers are recognizable (i.e. <h1> tag instead of something like <p class="Heading-1"... or such.

3) Add chapter breaks (to break up the single book body file into manageable chunks, via something like sigil)

4) Adjust the CSS file to reasonable values.

5) Re-zip the working directory to an epub file

6) import the new .epub file into sigil, or some equivalent which AFIK does not yet exist.

7) make necessary modifications to text, and metadata, and save.

8) validate

9) you're done!

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn't it? and I have probably left out a few critical details at that. But really, it isn't that bad. Less than an hour to come up with a usable epub that will pass epubcheck.
st_albert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2010, 03:45 AM   #4
JvdW
Zealot
JvdW doesn't litterJvdW doesn't litter
 
Posts: 115
Karma: 146
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Netherlands Veenendaal
Device: Palm T5, Sony PRS-505, Nook Color
Quote:
Originally Posted by st_albert View Post
What Charlski said, except that ID4 export to epub is just a starting point.

It will need some tweaking in order to become an epub worthy of the name. The biggest fault is that all the body of the book will be in a single .xhtml file within the epub, which will break some readers.

Starting from the ID4 exported epub, you will need to:
0) edit with Sigil (0.23)
With it you can break the large xhtml into chapters, clean up the styles, add/remove images, edit text, etc.

Then if needed:
Quote:

8) validate
8a) goto 0 if needed

9) you're done!
Regards,

Joop
JvdW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2010, 07:07 AM   #5
charleski
Wizard
charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 1,188
Karma: 727236
Join Date: Sep 2009
Device: PRS-505
Quote:
Originally Posted by st_albert View Post
The biggest fault is that all the body of the book will be in a single .xhtml file within the epub, which will break some readers.

I know, because our small publishing house is now involved in converting our print books (imposed in InDesign) to epub, and I get the task of tweaking the output of ID4 so it will meet our standards.
If you're still using InDesign4, then you can fix this by restructuring your book in InDesign. Instead of laying out the book as a single document, create a 'Book' which contains each chapter as a separate document (you'll probably want to do the same for the cover, title page, front- and back-matter). Each separate document will then be output as a separate flow and this should solve the issue with flow-sizes. This is rather clumsy and involves pasting a lot of pages into new documents.

ID5 allows you to control flow breaks through use of heading styles which have been specified in the ID-generated Table of Contents. There's a video demonstrating the process here.

If you use a lot of internal links in your book you'll want to take a look at this blog post and use the script linked there.
charleski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2010, 07:50 AM   #6
Alda
Connoisseur
Alda began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 87
Karma: 22
Join Date: Jun 2010
Device: none
Thanks everyone!

Quote:
Sounds like a lot of work, doesn't it? and I have probably left out a few critical details at that. But really, it isn't that bad. Less than an hour to come up with a usable epub that will pass epubcheck.
I'm an ePub virgin and so all talk of styling, reasonable values, etc. is like Greek to me.

My husband is the InDesign whiz, but he has no knowledge of this new format.

Looks like some in-depth study is needed -- and I fear it will take more than an hour!
Alda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 01:48 AM   #7
st_albert
Fanatic
st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.
 
Posts: 544
Karma: 64420
Join Date: Feb 2010
Device: none
@charleski Thanks for that Info! I am glad to know the differences with ID4 and ID5. Our small publishing house JUST paid for upgrading to ID4, and we are not willing to go to ID5 until we see some real benefits. As it is, the ID4 output can be easily converted to something sigil-ready so we are content to stand pat.

@alda: The epub format may seem intimidating at first, but actually it is quite understandable. Don't give up too soon. As tools, look at sigil and calibre, especially the discussions in these forums (and of course this epub forum itself), and you'll soon get a grasp on the issues.

One of the strange and wonderful things that I've observed is that "small" publishers are more than willing to share what they've learned in order to help other small publishers. This is in contrast to the "large" brick-and-mortar publishers. So just ask, if you have further questions.
st_albert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 06:25 AM   #8
Alda
Connoisseur
Alda began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 87
Karma: 22
Join Date: Jun 2010
Device: none
@ st_albert -- thank you. That little bit of encouragement made my morning.
Alda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 01:41 PM   #9
charleski
Wizard
charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.charleski ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 1,188
Karma: 727236
Join Date: Sep 2009
Device: PRS-505
Quote:
Originally Posted by st_albert View Post
@charleski Thanks for that Info! I am glad to know the differences with ID4 and ID5. Our small publishing house JUST paid for upgrading to ID4, and we are not willing to go to ID5 until we see some real benefits.
If you paid for CS4 after April 12 2010 you may qualify for a free upgrade to CS5, phone Adobe to check.
charleski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2010, 09:15 AM   #10
JSWolf
Resident Curmudgeon
JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
JSWolf's Avatar
 
Posts: 37,652
Karma: 18475502
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Roslindale, Massachusetts
Device: Sony Reader PRS-650, iPad, nook STR
One of the reasons we have lots of eBooks out there with errors is because a PDF source was used as the master document to make the eBook versions. I know of no program that can take a novel length PDF file and convert it without introducing errors. That's just how things are.

For example, I have read the first two Sookie Stackhouse books and by looking at the CSS, I se that they were converted from PDF. And because of this, there are errors. In most of the italics, there are missing or extra spaces at the begging and/or ends of the italics. Also, after the simulated small caps, the space was missing. Those sorts of errors are unacceptable. If I had not gotten the ePubs from the library, I would have been asking for my money back.

So please do not start with a PDF source ever. Take the PDF and delete it. Make It go away. If there is no existing PDF, there cannot be a convert ion that introduces errors that never should have been introduced in the first place. The only way to make sure a conversion from PDF is correct is to compare the PDF to the converted output and that means checking every word, every letter, every punctuation mark, and even every space.
JSWolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2010, 01:00 AM   #11
st_albert
Fanatic
st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.st_albert calls his or her ebook reader Vera.
 
Posts: 544
Karma: 64420
Join Date: Feb 2010
Device: none
JSWolf, I heartily concur! As I see it, the .pdf format (page structure is preserved no matter what printing system you use) is diametrically opposed to the .epub concept of flowable text that adopts itself (via the ebook reader software) to whatever "page" size you are using at the moment.

.pdf is the WORST possible choice -- the last resort -- to convert to epub.

@Alda and @charlski, thanks for the good advice and wishes. Will check on the eligibility to upgrade to ID5. We really want the ability to have one master file of corrections, etc. That being the InDesign file itself.
st_albert is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
converting pdf to epub Gagan ePub 56 10-12-2014 03:22 PM
Problem converting pdf to epub (size) using calibre abadguy PDF 6 03-23-2012 05:33 AM
Problem converting PDF to EPUB in calibre adgpro Calibre 2 07-09-2010 01:10 AM
Converting Merged HTML file to Epub/PDF Not Working MV64 Calibre 1 06-07-2010 07:48 PM
Calibre: wrong drawings when converting Pdf to epub gillesB. Calibre 1 05-01-2009 12:48 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:17 PM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.