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Old 12-09-2012, 11:46 AM   #383
textchimp has a complete set of Star Wars action figures.textchimp has a complete set of Star Wars action figures.textchimp has a complete set of Star Wars action figures.
Posts: 15
Karma: 250
Join Date: Nov 2012
Device: Kobo Glo
So much wasted screen space...

Originally Posted by EldRick View Post
Here's one that should be in the firmware. The issue is the huge amount of wasted white space at the bottom of many pages, which is caused by stupid defaults for widow and orphan prevention.

Apparently (according to davidfor) the defaults for widow and orphan prevention are 3 and 3 (lines, I presume), which keeps the Kobo from breaking paragraphs across pages, but wastes a huge amount of display space and causes a lot of unnecessary page-turns. These default values may be appropriate for a magazine of a book, but are simply not appropriate on an e-reader, where screen space needs to be conserved, not wasted

If the defaults for both of these values were 0, perceived performance would be much better, and the annoyance factor would be greatly reduced.

Changing both values to 0 seems to work well on epubs - for the first time, text uses all the normally-wasted white space at the bottom of the screen, and goes all the way down to the menu-bar. You get several more lines/page on the average, and fewer page turns.

BIG thanks to textchimp for this one!
Actually, it looks like there are two problems here. The first is the issue with the default settings for widows & orphans, which seems like it can be improved by setting them both to 0 in the CSS conversion settings in Calibre or similar.

The other problem is to do with the huge amount of space that's wasted due to a layout bug, where a paragraph ends in the middle of the page, and the next does not start until the next page. This seems to happen when the next paragraph (the one that begins on the next page) is itself longer than a page. I read somewhere on this website that this is a problem with the Adobe Digital Editions software on the Kobo that renders the page layout. Whatever it is, it doesn't seem to be affected by changing the widows/orphans settings, and it's an embarrassingly huge bug for such a popular & high-profile ereader. Maybe Kobo could let us know when they're planning on fixing this?

Also, how about that option for fullscreen mode, i.e. no space reserved at the bottom of the screen for page numbers or the menubar? That's 10% of the screen space wasted for every page...
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