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Old 05-30-2017, 04:31 PM   #1
Gregg Bell
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can the source file change line spacing in final epub?

I normally make my books starting with LibreOffice in the 'text body' "style" and the file is .odt. Then in LibreOffice I turn the .odt into an .html. Then I clean up the .html in the text editor Kate. Then I import the .html file into Sigil, where I make the epub.

Well, in order to make the paperback in Createspace I (in LibreOffice) exported the .odt into a pdf. Well, it turns out the line spacing is all funky. Espeically a little extra space between the first and second lines of every paragraph. The Createspace person send me a screenshot. (attached)

Then (mildly freaking) I turned my .odt into a .docx (in LibreOffice) and opened the .docx in Word 2010. The line spacing was normal.

But (back to the Sigil-made epubs) that got me wondering if using LibreOffice to make the .odt was throwing my line spacing off for the .epub too. Now I have stared at my Kindle till I don't even know what the heck I'm seeing and the spacing if not perfect, is pretty darn close to being right, but my question is, considering my work flow (as in the first paragraph) to make the .epub the way I do, is it possible that the line spacing could be goofy in the finished .epub (and hence the eBook as well)?

And then another question. If I have to, and I turn the .odt to a .docx in LibreOffice and I open the .docx in Word 2010 and I go to turn it into an .html there, do I choose "Single File Web Page" or "Web Page" or "Web Page, Filtered"?

Thanks
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Old 05-30-2017, 04:44 PM   #2
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The thing to do is look at the CSS and remove all line-height lines.

The next thing to do is cean up whatever mess there is. This is something that has to be done by hand. That means cleaning the CSS and all the XML. I've seen some pretty good messes come from Word. It may take some time, but once done, the book will be better for it.
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Old 05-30-2017, 06:17 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
The thing to do is look at the CSS and remove all line-height lines.

The next thing to do is cean up whatever mess there is. This is something that has to be done by hand. That means cleaning the CSS and all the XML. I've seen some pretty good messes come from Word. It may take some time, but once done, the book will be better for it.
Thanks, Jon, but I'm making everything from an .odt in LO. I had nothing to do with Word until I saw that the .pdf I made from the .odt was screwy.

And there's no line height stuff in my CSS.

I don't know, but I don't see how the spacing between lines that might exist in LO can exist in the epub once it goes to .html and gets cleaned up.

But the fact of the matter is the .pdf was goofy. Everybody touts how great LO is at making .pdfs but that hasn't been my experience.
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:27 PM   #4
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@GregBell - how about adding the following steps at the end of your workflow?

Save as DOCX in LO Writer
Open DOCX in Word
Save as PDF in Word
Close Word
Delete DOCX

I doubt any of Word's save as HTML options are significantly better than LO Writer options, if anything, they're more likely to be worse. But, in the context of producing ePubs, the option usually mentioned is Filtered HTML.

BR
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Old 05-31-2017, 12:17 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by BetterRed View Post
@GregBell - how about adding the following steps at the end of your workflow?

Save as DOCX in LO Writer
Open DOCX in Word
Save as PDF in Word
Close Word
Delete DOCX

I doubt any of Word's save as HTML options are significantly better than LO Writer options, if anything, they're more likely to be worse. But, in the context of producing ePubs, the option usually mentioned is Filtered HTML.

BR
Thanks a lot, Red. I was thinking of doing something along those lines but then, like you were saying, I've always heard LO makes a better .pdf than Word. So anyway I tinkered and I think I found the problem.

It was the Text Body style that was goofing things up.

I 'selected all' and then changed everything to "Default." That evened the spacing out. I formatted from there.

Really appreciate you responding to this weird one. I'm good now.
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Old 05-31-2017, 06:22 AM   #6
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Take the ePub and load it into the Calibre editor. Select the bits where it's off and have a look at the live CSS and see what you get.

Another thing you can do is use the ScrambleEbook plugin to scramble your eBook and post the scrambled eBook and tell us where the problems are and we can have a look at it and see what we can see.
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Old 05-31-2017, 02:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
Thanks a lot, Red. I was thinking of doing something along those lines but then, like you were saying, I've always heard LO makes a better .pdf than Word. So anyway I tinkered and I think I found the problem.

It was the Text Body style that was goofing things up.

I 'selected all' and then changed everything to "Default." That evened the spacing out. I formatted from there.

Really appreciate you responding to this weird one. I'm good now.
Yeah. I was just about to post, that I tried exporting a PDF from LO 5.1.6.2 and it looked fine (except for the first line of a paragraph that starts with a dropcap, but I expect that). The difference is that I use custom styles, which although they are mostly based on Text Body, have been thoroughly modified by me to specify line spacing, indent, etc.

Could you tell what settings in the Text Body style are problematic?

Albert
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Old 06-02-2017, 03:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Take the ePub and load it into the Calibre editor. Select the bits where it's off and have a look at the live CSS and see what you get.

Another thing you can do is use the ScrambleEbook plugin to scramble your eBook and post the scrambled eBook and tell us where the problems are and we can have a look at it and see what we can see.
Thanks Jon. I really doubt the Calibre editor is going to show anything since the .odt got straightened out. (Things were funky in LibreOffice, not in making the .epub.) It's good to keep in mind though in case I run into anything like this in the future.
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Old 06-02-2017, 03:59 PM   #9
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Yeah. I was just about to post, that I tried exporting a PDF from LO 5.1.6.2 and it looked fine (except for the first line of a paragraph that starts with a dropcap, but I expect that). The difference is that I use custom styles, which although they are mostly based on Text Body, have been thoroughly modified by me to specify line spacing, indent, etc.

Could you tell what settings in the Text Body style are problematic?

Albert
Thanks Albert. I am not real expert (understatement) at using Styles in LO. I like the Text Body style because I don't have to mess with indenting paragraphs when I compose. Anyway, I just select Text Body (where Default was) and that's it. (I didn't know there were settings within the Text Body style.) One thing that is different is where the second arrow (in the attachment) points. When I hover the cursor over it it says:

Ctrl+Shift+F11

I've clicked on it and I don't think it does anything. All I know is that that icon never used to be there.

But like I was saying in an earlier post, when I 'selected all' and went back to the Default style (again in that box in the upper left corner) it straightened the funky spacing out.

So now I'm just figuring to keep it simple. Compose with the Text Body. Then when I'm done do the 'select all' and Default. I'm okay with that.

Then (I'm formatting the epub in Sigil now.) I'll see if there's any spacing issues in the .epub but I highly doubt it since the .odt got straightened out.
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Old 06-02-2017, 04:42 PM   #10
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I use Word2CleanHtml dot com online to strip out all the painful html that Word creates. It does a good job with OpenOffice Writer files, too, though sometimes it yields <p class="normal"> instead of just <p>. There are of course other ways to get clean html. Toxaris has a plug-in that does it, among other things. (It doesn't work for me in Word 2007, but I'm sure that's my fault.)

I am always astonished by the html created by word processors and purpose-built software like Scrivener and even by Calibre. It can all be reduced by half, if not by 90 percent. Word2Clean might have been designed for Sigil; it doesn't bother with html declarations, so it can be pasted right into a Sigil page in Code View, between the body tags. (I appreciate that some people don't care to process their books online.)

I use OpenOffice Writer to do the final tweaking for paperback. I've done twelve or thirteen books and never had a problem with the PDF it generates. I mostly use 12 point Georgia on a 1.2 line spacing, with an extra .02 inch between paragraphs. I spend a LOT of time tweaking the layout, perfecting every page. I think a print edition deserves the attention.
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Old 06-02-2017, 06:44 PM   #11
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I use Word2CleanHtml dot com online to strip out all the painful html that Word creates. It does a good job with OpenOffice Writer files, too, though sometimes it yields <p class="normal"> instead of just <p>. There are of course other ways to get clean html. Toxaris has a plug-in that does it, among other things. (It doesn't work for me in Word 2007, but I'm sure that's my fault.)

I am always astonished by the html created by word processors and purpose-built software like Scrivener and even by Calibre. It can all be reduced by half, if not by 90 percent. Word2Clean might have been designed for Sigil; it doesn't bother with html declarations, so it can be pasted right into a Sigil page in Code View, between the body tags. (I appreciate that some people don't care to process their books online.)

I use OpenOffice Writer to do the final tweaking for paperback. I've done twelve or thirteen books and never had a problem with the PDF it generates. I mostly use 12 point Georgia on a 1.2 line spacing, with an extra .02 inch between paragraphs. I spend a LOT of time tweaking the layout, perfecting every page. I think a print edition deserves the attention.
Thanks Notjohn. I remember using that a long time ago. I'll take another look. Appreciate it.
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