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Old 08-15-2010, 05:20 PM   #1
James_Wilde
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Non-ascii symbols on Story

A general question - can the Story handle non-ascii symbols? I have a book in epub format, converted by Calibre from an odt file and from a pdf file. This book contains some words in pinyin, which is a representation of Mandarin (Chinese) using accented western characters, such as á à ó ò and so on. Some of these appear as a question mark.

Anybody noticed similar things? And more importantly, anyone found a workaround?

TIA
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Old 08-19-2010, 02:47 PM   #2
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Just in case anyone's interested, I've taken this issue up not only with Iriver's agent in Sweden and Iriver themselves, but I dropped a question about it in the Calibre forum since there's a lot of technical know-how in there. I'll report back as and when.
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Old 08-19-2010, 03:21 PM   #3
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Have you tried changing the font to one which includes the symbols? Perhaps the fontset is missing the symbol? Alternatively convert the epub to pdf. I think Calibre can do this, or http://epub2pdf.com/
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Old 08-20-2010, 07:57 AM   #4
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Japp, Kafkaesque, thanks for the tip. I actually prepared a new document with about 20 of the most common typefaces, and all of them produced the same output. I've had a tip about a new test from the Calibre forum, which involves embedding font details in the epub file, but I've not had time to test it yet.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:47 AM   #5
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Hi James,
It's been commented on in other threads that the default English-language font on the Story doesn't support most accented characters, which is a shortcoming. You can copy other fonts into the device's Font folder, and you've probably seen that you can change the font choice in the settings, but that only affects the font display in the notepad and diary. It doesn't change the display of TXT, DOC or ePub files. I asked iRiver if they were going to implement font selection for documents as well, and the tech guy said yes "at some point", but I have a suspicion it was like the guy who recently told you you could change the brightness/contrast of the screen.

The only two options you have, as far as I've been able to discover, is to convert documents to PDF, as long as you use embeddable fonts. But then you have the limitations of trying to read a PDF.

The alternative, which is a bit effort-intensive, is to convert the document to ePub format and embed fonts in the ePub file. You can't do that directly in Calibre, but if you use an ePub-editing app like Sigil after the ePub has been created, you can add fonts to the file's Fonts folder and specify their use in the CSS with code like the following:

@font-face {
font-family: "Fontin";
font-weight: normal;
font-style: normal;
src: url(../Fonts/Fontin-Regular.ttf);
}

to tell the device where the font file is, and then referencing that font in the style with something like:

body {
font-family: "Fontin", serif;
}

I've tried this on the Story, and it works without any hiccoughs. I could get different fonts on-screen, and it didn't noticeably slow down the screen display speed.

But having to recode documents and the like gets a bit tedious. My wishlist includes being able to install fonts on the device and tell the Story to use them for standard display, and either increase the number of zoom sizes to more than the three you currently get, or else give us the ability to assign specific point sizes to the ones that are already defined.

Anyway, I hope some of this helps.

Last edited by MacEachaidh; 08-21-2010 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 08-27-2010, 06:00 AM   #6
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Thanks MacEachaidh, and sorry for the late response. Haven't been in the forum for a few days.

Yes, I asked a similar question in the Calibre forum and got a similar reply, and I've been investigating the option since then. Fortunately it's only the one book that has these special symbols. It also has a few rows in Mandarin ideograms, so I'll probably need to embed a font for that. But yes, it would be a pain if it was every book, but for one book I think I can live with it.
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Old 08-27-2010, 06:13 AM   #7
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Hi James,
The ideograms you could maybe do as a graphic, if you have something else to create it in - though it wouldn't resize with the zoom on your reader.
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:36 AM   #8
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Back again, MacEachAidh. A thought. I've had a look at the recommended sample epub file in another thread, where she (can't remember her name) embeds fonts and does a mass of other fancy stuff to try out all the options in epub. She embeds normal, italic and bold. In my case, since these represent foreign phrases, they should be in italics, and presumably I only need to embed the italic form. And that being so, and since these phrases occur only fairly rarely, it won't be so noticeable if the normal font is different.

I'm assuming I would add a serif font in italics with the letters I need.

Regarding the ideograms, would I create a png or tiff or jpg graphic for these? And refer to the graphic in a similar way in the epub file?

Sorry this is a bit off-topic, but you've got me going, and I'm raring to get my story onto my Story!

//James
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:27 PM   #9
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Hi James,
Yep, if it's only the italic form of the font you'd need to call on, then that's all you'd need to embed. It's only if you were also going to use that same font for other quotations, or maybe for the body text, that you'd need to embed the roman and bold variants. (Was that Zelda whose code you were reading? She sure seems to know her stuff!)

For the graphic, I'd definitely stick with JPG, which any ereader device will be able to read. PNG and (especially) TIFF will cause you problems because they're not supported widely enough.

Good luck!
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:08 PM   #10
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Yes, Mac, Zelda-Pinwheel who did a job on Three Men in a Boat. If you'll pardon the phraseology!
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:52 AM   #11
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Hi,

I'd like to fix font of my lithuanian books. Now some of lithuanian letters are displayed as ?. I've uploaded a font which has lithuanian letters but nothing happened (later I read in forums that these fonts change just memo and diary). So what exactly should I do in order to see all letters?

I've converted all lithuanian books from pdf to epub using calibre.

When I open epub using Total Commander, I see these files:



stilesheet.css file contains of this code:

Code:
@namespace h "http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml";
.calibre {
    display: block;
    font-size: 1em;
    margin-bottom: 0;
    margin-left: 5pt;
    margin-right: 5pt;
    margin-top: 0;
    page-break-before: always
    }
.calibre1 {
    display: block;
    margin-bottom: 1em;
    margin-left: 0;
    margin-right: 0;
    margin-top: 1em
    }
.calibre2 {
    display: block;
    font-size: 2em;
    font-weight: bold;
    margin-bottom: 0.67em;
    margin-left: 0;
    margin-right: 0;
    margin-top: 0.67em
    }
.calibre3 {
    font-style: italic
    }
.calibre4 {
    font-weight: bolder
    }
Should I change that file? If yes, so how should it look? I've uploaded font times.ttf.
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:21 AM   #12
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Calaquendi, there's a thread in the Epub format forum with the title Problem with embedded fonts started by me that deals with how to do it. Take a look there. It's not that hard, just don't miss a closing bracket as I did.
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James_Wilde View Post
Regarding the ideograms, would I create a png or tiff or jpg graphic for these? And refer to the graphic in a similar way in the epub file?
Yes, exactly. You may wish to look at my Haggard Anthology, Vol 2, specifically at Chapter III of "She", the first book in the anthology. It has lots of fragments of Greek (and other things too) done as graphics. It's by far the easiest and most portable way to add such things to a book.
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Old 09-12-2010, 05:15 AM   #14
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Thanks, Harry, I'll take a look
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