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Old 09-09-2010, 03:29 PM   #1
mcforman
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Mac user needs help converting pdf's (TV Scripts) and keeping format!!

Hi there -

Just got a Kindle DX and here's my issue. I read a lot of scripts for work. I need to be able to convert the scripts (from PDF) to my Kindle BUT keep my formatting. When I send to "user@free.kindle.com" it changes the file and justifies everything to the left. That's not how a script looks.

If I simply drag and drop my pdf onto the Kindle disk residing on my desktop, then I lose any annotating functionality and the boldness/contrast of the document becomes very faint.

ANY ideas would be most appreciated/welcome!
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:20 PM   #2
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I'm on a PC and using a K3 but converting the script via MS Word may work for you.

I found a free copy of L.A. Confidential online as an HTML file. I opened it in Word and converted it to a doc file then to an .rtf file and lastly to a .txt file. You probably can go from html to txt but you'll have to play with that to see if it works. The formatting isn't perfect but the Kindle does read text files and you will be able to make notes.

I've included some screen grabs below using the 3rd font size (remember I'm on a K3 and not a DX).
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:24 PM   #3
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Thanks for the inout but the formatting still screws up. Even in the screen shots you sent I can see that it's wacky. This shouldn't be so hard!
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:34 PM   #4
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The problem is that PDF is not text format. So converting from PDF will not be error free. There is no program out there that can convert from PDF to a text format without errors. The errors will vary and you may very well lose some formatting. There really isn't much you can do other then A/B compare to fix all the errors. But if you are going to A/B compare, then convert to HTML as that will be the best format to start with since you cannot directly edit a Mobipocket eBook.
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:45 PM   #5
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Old 09-14-2010, 01:37 AM   #6
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Here's a possible solution

I briefly experimented with something similar last summer. However, in my experiment I used an HTML screenplay, not a PDF document, so I don't know if it will work for you.

http://booksprung.com/how-to-format-...for-the-kindle

The short version: import your HTML screenplay into Celtx (or maybe Final Draft, I dunno), export and clean up any bad tags, swap out the CSS, and then import into Calibre and use that program to convert to a Kindle-friendly .mobi format. Good luck.
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:13 PM   #7
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As people have said there doesn't seem to be a simple way to convert a PDF Screenplay into a readable format with formatting on the Kindle.

I'm sure it must be possible as the formatting on a screenplay is very unusual and consistent but it is a completely different set of rules to a normal document.

If there was some way in the conversion process to have more variation in the type of CSS used on HTML tags then it would be quite easy to deal with this.

Unfortunately I can't even see a way to do this easily from Final Draft if only they had an option to output the script in a format that contained the information you need to allow you to create a nice kindle version.

By the way by playing with the CSS options you can create something that is partially indented and looks more like a script but in no way perfect.

Be fascinated if anyone manages this consistently.
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scurzuzu View Post
I briefly experimented with something similar last summer. However, in my experiment I used an HTML screenplay, not a PDF document, so I don't know if it will work for you.

http://booksprung.com/how-to-format-...for-the-kindle

The short version: import your HTML screenplay into Celtx (or maybe Final Draft, I dunno), export and clean up any bad tags, swap out the CSS, and then import into Calibre and use that program to convert to a Kindle-friendly .mobi format. Good luck.
Very interesting and thanks - that definitely is an improvement the trick is definitely using celtx which does a good job on the HTML output which you can then use CSS to format.

Code:
body {
font-family: "Courier New", Monospace;}

p.character {
margin-left: 30%;
}

p.parenthetical {
margin-left: 24%; margin-right: 20%;
}

p.dialog {
margin-left: 12%; margin-right: 20%px;
}

p.sceneheading:before {
margin-bottom: -16px ! important;
}

p.sceneheading:after {
margin-top: -16px ! important;
}
Also you can just add this into Calibres "Look and Feel" css section. I need to have a bit more of a play but the current version of celtx seems to format HTML with a number of CSS elements:


Code:
action
 - sceneheading
 - character
 - dialog
 - parenthetical
And so probably adding an action element might work better but overall if you have a text / html script version this works well.

Now to work out how to do the same with a PDF
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:07 PM   #9
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Having played further with this I have posted some more information that might be useful in this thread.

The result is that the CSS file I am now using is:

Code:
body {
font-family: "Courier New", Monospace;
}
p.action {
text-align: left;
margin-left: 0px;
margin-right: 0px;
}
p.character {
text-align: left;
margin-left: 50%;
margin-right: 10px;
margin-bottom: 0px;
margin-top: 8px;
}
p.dialog {
text-align: left;
margin-left: 20%;
margin-right: 30px;
margin-top: 0px;
margin-bottom: 0px;
}
p.sceneheading {
text-align: left;
text-transform: uppercase;
}
p.sceneheading:before {
margin-bottom: -16px ! important;
}
p.sceneheading:after {
margin-top: -16px ! important;
}
p.transition {
text-align: right;
text-transform: uppercase;
margin-right: 15px;
}
p.parenthetical {
text-align: left;
margin-left: 23%;
margin-right: 20px;
}
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Old 06-19-2011, 04:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanjay View Post
Having played further with this I have posted some more information that might be useful in this thread.

The result is that the CSS file I am now using is:
Does the above work for you? I'm not sure what I'm doing but I copied and pasted this into the "Extra CSS" box in the "Look & Feel" section. Is that right?

My result was the same as default settings.
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Old 06-20-2011, 12:54 PM   #11
alanjay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feralicious View Post
Does the above work for you? I'm not sure what I'm doing but I copied and pasted this into the "Extra CSS" box in the "Look & Feel" section. Is that right?

My result was the same as default settings.

the alternative is to edit the html file you have created and replace the CSS stuff with the detail above that should work.

Not sure why your Extra CSS isn't working did with me but after playing decided it was easer to edit the source file.

Also with Calibre did you save the default settings with the extra css in that or in the single file?

Good luck.

PS Recently discovered someone has written an iPAD app to read Final Draft FDX files directly and display them on an iPAD directly and correctly formatted with the ability to increase and decrease font sizes etc "FDX Reader" so it should be possible to write a suitable convertor to take the FDX XML file and convert it into HTML with the correct tags I'm not sure I am able to programme it but it seem like it might be possible
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:51 PM   #12
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I just pasted it into the Exta CSS box and clicked OK and it started converting. I just opened Calibre and the CSS is still in there.

I'm seeing that there is a lot to learn for all this ebook stuff and this seems a bit advanced for me so what you said above is over my head. I don't know about using HTML or how to convert it to that etc...

Quote:
Originally Posted by alanjay View Post
the alternative is to edit the html file you have created and replace the CSS stuff with the detail above that should work.
When did I create an HTML? <--- (laughing at me, not you)

I'm not stupid, but this is new to me and I guess I really need to spend a day just reading about how ebooks are formatted and learning the code. It's hard for me to not be able to jump in and get things going though, seems there's a lot to learn to just get started!

Did you find a way to edit it that worked? I will need to read more screenplays in the future and would love to figure this out eventually. I just don't have a clue about any of this atm since I just got the Kindle.

And I already read my screenplay in the bad formatting so I could get a bigger font on the Kindle. I was researching this right now for a friend who is trying to decide on a Kindle or iPad but maybe he needs to spend his own free time figuring this out!

Oh, also, most of the screenplays he and I will need to read are sent to us in pdf so that app wouldn't help for that, but thank you for that info, good to know.

Thanks for the reply.

Last edited by feralicious; 06-20-2011 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:28 PM   #13
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Okay. I followed these steps to create an HTML. Three actually since I didn't know which I needed:


1. Convert PDF file to text file using Acrobat Reader or any program similiar. Just save it as a text file, no need for pro or extended versions of reader.

2. Open TextEdit.app, open up the text file you've created, copy/paste whole thing to a new document window.
- Open Preferences in TextEdit
- Go to the "Open/Save" Tab
- Change Document Type to HTML Strict or XHTML strict depending on your needs. In Styling, select No CSS.
- Go back and save the new document now as a html file.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=326146


I made the following versions:
- no css
- embedded css
- inline css

Also, when I open these in Firefox they all have lost the screenplay formatting so that everything is justified left, just as it looks when it is converted to MOBI using Calibre. Should they have proper formatting when opened in Firefox? According to this article it looks like they should.
http://booksprung.com/how-to-format-...for-the-kindle

In which case it seems I need to get an HTML using a different process.

Okay... I just took the txt file I got from the PDF using Acrobat and imported that into Celtx and it isn't completely correct. Most of it is but some of the dialogue isn't centered and some of the "CUT TO" type stuff is centered as if it were dialogue. I exported it as HTML anyway, just in case, and it looks the same as in Celtx.

I'm lost. How do I edit and enter the CSS to the HTML file?

Sorry for being such a n00b, believe me, I hate it more than you do!

Last edited by feralicious; 06-21-2011 at 11:10 PM.
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