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Old 07-26-2010, 05:43 AM   #1
hkdorama
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em-dashes & Kindle

I found that in Kindle when you have an em space with no spaces on the sides, the Kindle does not allow line breaks before or after the em dash.

What I have is a paragraph of words and their translations formatted as follows (the paragraph is justified and I need to keep is justified, so left-align would not be an option):

Code:
word—the translation of the word; word—the translation of the word; word—the translation of the word; word—the translation of the word; word—the translation of the word; word—the translation of the word; word—the translation of the word; word—the translation of the word; word—the translation of the word; word—the translation of the word;
Looks like Kindle treats "word—the" as one word. But that results in really bad line breaks, especially when 'word' is long.

I have tried using thin-spaces on the sides on the em dash by Kindle treats even that as one word!

Would anybody have any suggestions?
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Old 07-26-2010, 05:47 AM   #2
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Perhaps replace the M dash with an N dash with a space on either side? It's what Penguin use in their printed books, and it looks good I think.

Last edited by Lexi Revellian; 07-26-2010 at 05:49 AM.
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:38 AM   #3
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Yes, that's what I do for that same reason.

On the other hand, other readers (Adobe ePUB readers, for instance) do the opposite, allowing a break at either side of an unspaced em-dash. This produces wrong and annoying linebreaks in Spanish.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:53 AM   #4
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Yes, we use spaced en dashes for our other books but this one has to be a kind of facsimile. So, I need to make sure there is no way to keep the em-dashes and have line breaks after them. Otherwise here is an example of how it looks now in Kindle Previewer:

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Old 07-26-2010, 10:27 AM   #5
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You could try adding zero width spaces (& #8203; but without space between & and #) at both sides of the dash, but I don't know if/which readers support it.
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:58 PM   #6
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Tried it just now on Kindle 2, the same problem. No line breaks before or after em-dashes...
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:01 PM   #7
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LRF/LRX format has the very same bug. ePub via ADE does not.
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexi Revellian View Post
Perhaps replace the M dash with an N dash with a space on either side? It's what Penguin use in their printed books, and it looks good I think.
I too use spaced 'Ndash' instead of mdash, but with a slight mod, since mobi/kindle will sometimes put the linebreak before the dash, which just looks wrong to me. So, I am using the format [word][non-breakspace][ndash][space]. Additionally, no space after a left quote, nor before a right quote. I apply the same ruleset to ellipsis as well (converting 3dots where necessary, since these seem to be positively guaranteed to fall at a line boundary!)

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