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Old 12-01-2012, 03:43 AM   #5
Sigil developer
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Posts: 1,275
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: UK
Device: Kindle PW, K4 NT, K3, Kobo Touch
Originally Posted by Jim Chaffin View Post
It appears that Sigil saves all work only as ePub data. Perhaps I'm very old school and I know I'm pretty dense but I find it extremely mystifying trying to use Sigil.
Sounds like you've jumped right into using Sigil without reading through how its meant to be used. That's ok - I do that all the time. But as long as you're willing to read through some documentation it should become a lot clearer. And posting specific questions here is a great way to get help. It's a little hard to know where to start with your post, but I'll try to add a bit to what the others have already said.

Have you looked at the User Guide at all - just under Help? Or at any of the Tutorials? If there's something that's not clear enough, just let me know - I'm even re-doing the tutorials for 0.6.1 so they're getting updated anyway.

First, it crashed on me on about the 10th chapter!
What version are you using, on what OS? As Hitch said, 0.6.0 has been rock solid with no reports of crashes that you're likely to have triggered.

No problem, I've been saving manually for every one, I'll simply reopen all those 'chapter' files. Uhmn, where are they?! Nothing but '.epub' files on my drives. Why weren't the originals saved? They are simply text files, pure ASCII, probably.
Sigil is an EPUB Editor, not a text editor or an HTML editor. It saves .epub files - but an .epub file is just a zip of HTML files, images, etc. So your 'files' are in the epub. When Sigil is open - you can see the individual files on the left in the Book Browser.

Of course, Sigil lets you edit your HTML files, but it will save them in an EPUB - since that's what you want in the end, an EPUB not an HTML or text file. You aren't the first to find this a little confusing - but it'll make sense eventually.

And if you are pasting plain text copied from a text file or PDF, I recommend pasting it into Book View. If you paste it into Code View it'll be a mess because Code View is meant for valid HTML code.

Of course, the file(s) that were open when the crash occurred are none existent now, nothing left but an .epub that won't open. Lesson learned, I'm now saving copies via BBEdit!
If the epub won't open, then something corrupted it. This is a bit odd if you've saved it since Sigil usually makes sure its a valid file when saving. If you still had a copy of it you could post here we could look at what went wrong. 0.6.1 will allow invalid EPUB files to be opened, but I don't think that will do you much good.

OK, I start the process over completely. Fortunately, I used iBooks Publisher to create the first version so I already have an iBook, txt and PDF version to play with. I used the PDF to copy stuff into Sigil.
I can only agree with Hitch who's done this a lot more than me, that copying PDF is not great. Better to even start with the raw text and add the formatting you want after. Sigil is meant to clean up and format files you import from other software and turn them into EPUBs or better EPUBs - and its mostly used to import HTML or EPUB files - so loading your book into Sigil from your software is certainly the way to start. (Sure, you can create a book directly in Sigil - that's how the User Guide was done - but that's not very common).

Now, I don't have time to finish this in one sitting. So I save it for the hundredth time and Quit Sigil. Now, even without a crash, there are still no files other than those needed for an ePub. Why not? OK, I'll try opening the ePub document just created in Sigil and see if that will get all my data, css, TOC, etc back for new editing.
There is only the EPUB file you saved, because that EPUB contains all your chapters, etc. Oh, and when doing lots of edits I recommend saving multiple copies just in case, as with any editor.

Well, sorta. The list of 'chapter' files are displayed in the side panel and so is the TOC. But Sigil opened a new window with nothing but the standard template. Where is the menu that let's me view/edit any of the previous work?!
The File menu on the menu line has an Open entry, and a list of your recent files. And there is an Open button on the toolbar. This is pretty standard - are you missing something in your interface?

I suppose there are tutorials somewhere but the only ones I've found just repeat the extreme basics. I've found absolutely nothing about actually using the app that would require more than a hours work.
It sounds like you need a basic tutorial though, to make sure its clear how its supposed to be used. What are you looking for in a tutorial - maybe I need to add a new one to the list.

I'd appreciate anyone having the time to answer my obviously super-simple questions.
Glad you took the time to ask.
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