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Old 03-11-2018, 09:15 PM   #16
JSWolf
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Hitch, is it OK to set the text alignment to justify in the body style of a Kindle eBook?
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Old 03-12-2018, 03:24 AM   #17
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Hitch, is it OK to set the text alignment to justify in the body style of a Kindle eBook?
It is not allowed. You're supposed to leave the body text alignment unset (so that the e-reader can toggle left/full justification based on the reader's preference).

I quoted the rule above, but again:

Quote:
"Normal" text must not have a forced alignment (left aligned or justified). "Normal" text must not have a forced line-height attribute, either.
https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G200673220

I really don't understand why an author would try to circumvent this; the rule is there for good reason, and obeying it only makes things better for the reader.
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:16 AM   #18
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Hitch, is it OK to set the text alignment to justify in the body style of a Kindle eBook?
No, Wolfie, m'love, it is not. That is pretty expressly verboten, in the PG. ;-)

NJ is saying that he does that--by not doing it--by setting the alignment on his narrative paragraphs.

It's also verboten to set the body font on the body tag. FWIW.

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Old 03-12-2018, 04:19 AM   #19
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I really don't understand why an author would try to circumvent this; the rule is there for good reason, and obeying it only makes things better for the reader.
It's the bloody LITB (look Inside the book). The authors (rightly) think that having a ragged-right LI looks less than professional. So, they flaunt the rule, so that their LI looks more professional, but, someday, Amazon's going to have readers/devices that allow the end user to decide--and those chickens are going to come home to roost, when that happens. I mean...I grind my teeth, whenever I see a rr alignment, but the thought of having to redo 3500 books, to "fix" them? THANKS, NO.

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Old 03-12-2018, 05:22 AM   #20
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So without an alignment specified in CSS, what happens to Kindles that don't have an option to change the alignment? What is the default alignment for those Kindles? Amazon cannot say the alignment has to be set in the options if there aren't such options.
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Old 03-12-2018, 02:34 PM   #21
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So without an alignment specified in CSS, what happens to Kindles that don't have an option to change the alignment? What is the default alignment for those Kindles? Amazon cannot say the alignment has to be set in the options if there aren't such options.
The CSS spec says that if unspecified it should default to “a nameless value that acts as 'left' if 'direction' is 'ltr', 'right' if 'direction' is 'rtl'”. So for English, it should act as left-justified/ragged-right; for Arabic it should act as right-justified/ragged-left.

However, older (pre-enhanced-typography) Kindles default to full justification. https://www.fastcodesign.com/3046678...at-doesnt-suck discusses the switch (made in 2015).
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Old 03-12-2018, 02:37 PM   #22
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So without an alignment specified in CSS, what happens to Kindles that don't have an option to change the alignment? What is the default alignment for those Kindles? Amazon cannot say the alignment has to be set in the options if there aren't such options.
Wolfie, don't be silly. Of course they can. Their intention is obviously to allow that at some point, otherwise, they wouldn't bother with the prohibition. (Moreover, we don't know what setting the alignment can do, vis-a-vis ET, either.)

The default display alignment for "Kindles," including the software ones, is justified. That doesn't mean it will always be that way--look at the massive differences, in Kindles (even just the eInks) today, versus 2009. Thre's no reason that we can't reliably expect Amazon to come out with a generation of devices (or upgrade the soft/firmware) to enable ragged-right, if people prefer it, sometime soonish, I should think.

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Old 03-12-2018, 03:38 PM   #23
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So no alignment is justified and without editing the code, you can only change this on newish/new Kindles.

What I don't understand is why Amazon could not use the same or similar firmware for older Kindles. Kobo does this and it means that older Kobos last longer.
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:00 PM   #24
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But Hitch, surely you have a workaround for Look Inside? I recall looking at one of your samples that you posted on the KDP forum (when LI changed to a more professional appearance last year or the year before), and I am sure it was justified.

Anyhow, almost every book from a reputable publisher is justified in the Look Inside sample. (And I include Amazon imprints in the "reputable" category, tee hee.)

Happily, I do not have 3500 books to fix, only 26. And at my age I'm not sure that I would even bother to fix them. A publishing world where books can be ragged right, double-spaced, block-paragraphed, or set in Courier boldface throughout is not one that attracts me very much. Let Jeff read that dreck if he wants. (He probably has his pool boy recite to him.)
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Old 03-13-2018, 04:16 PM   #25
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I just took a look at a KF8 eBook from Open Road Media and it has a bunch of left and justify in some of the used classes.

So if Amazon says not to use left or justify, how do the big publishers get away with it?
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Old 03-13-2018, 06:24 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
So no alignment is justified and without editing the code, you can only change this on newish/new Kindles.

What I don't understand is why Amazon could not use the same or similar firmware for older Kindles. Kobo does this and it means that older Kobos last longer.
Sorry, sweetie, don't know. Ask some of the steely-eyed programmers here. Out of my wheelhouse.

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But Hitch, surely you have a workaround for Look Inside? I recall looking at one of your samples that you posted on the KDP forum (when LI changed to a more professional appearance last year or the year before), and I am sure it was justified.
Hmmmm...surely I must, then. ;-)

Quote:
Anyhow, almost every book from a reputable publisher is justified in the Look Inside sample. (And I include Amazon imprints in the "reputable" category, tee hee.)

Happily, I do not have 3500 books to fix, only 26. And at my age I'm not sure that I would even bother to fix them. A publishing world where books can be ragged right, double-spaced, block-paragraphed, or set in Courier boldface throughout is not one that attracts me very much. Let Jeff read that dreck if he wants. (He probably has his pool boy recite to him.)
Yes--that's because they all upload ePUBs via FTP, and Amazon doesn't police the books. That's the bottom line. A crapload of readers would have to complain, about a given trade-pubbed book, to get Amazon to step in. For the rest of us mere mortals, well...that's a completely different story.

We're at the mercy of Kindle Quality Notices. I honestly don't know if Jeff would have the attachments to slap one of those suckers on a RH book.

Quote:
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I just took a look at a KF8 eBook from Open Road Media and it has a bunch of left and justify in some of the used classes.

So if Amazon says not to use left or justify, how do the big publishers get away with it?
See my comment to NJ, above.

Look, laddies, I'm not arguing in favor of ragged-right. I hate it. Loathing, here. BUT...ours is not to reason why. Ours is but to code and die.


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Old 03-29-2018, 12:45 PM   #27
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UPDATE for forced-alignment folks...

Hey, kids:

For a variety of reasons, I ordered a KFire HD10" this week. (Mostly b/c the new Fires are ET-enabled, and that's something I have to be able to test--specifically, pop-up footnotes on the Fires, which are different than on the KF8 eInks.)

And what to my wondering eyes should appear?????
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Yes, indeedy, if you guessed, alignment options, for justified OR ragged right, you would indeed be correct.

So, kids, the time has come; the cow is eating the cabbage, and all that. Not to be an "I told you so," or anything obnoxious like that...

See attached. ;-) Just thought you'd like to know.

Hitch
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Old 03-31-2018, 09:31 AM   #28
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Thanks Hitch!

I prefer ragged right myself - especially since it is no longer an indicator of typesetter skills or time spent creating the book. It is no longer an "art", just a click of a button. And, more importantly, I absolutely loath the 'rivers' of white space created by substandard justification.

The justification in your first image actually looks pretty good (no rivers). Is that peculiar to the new KFire, have the justification algorithms improved that much on all devices, or was that just a lucky page grab?

Cheers,
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Old 03-31-2018, 01:13 PM   #29
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Thanks Hitch!
You're welcome, Turt.

Quote:
I prefer ragged right myself - especially since it is no longer an indicator of typesetter skills or time spent creating the book. It is no longer an "art", just a click of a button. And, more importantly, I absolutely loath the 'rivers' of white space created by substandard justification.
Yeah, I know what you mean. I remember my first real intro to rivers, in the Selectric II/IBM OS/6 days...(whatever happened to the OS/6, anyway?)...and I didn't like them then. I won't like, I don't see them anymore, unless they are egregious. Too many years staring at KF7 MOBIs.

Quote:
The justification in your first image actually looks pretty good (no rivers). Is that peculiar to the new KFire, have the justification algorithms improved that much on all devices, or was that just a lucky page grab?

Cheers,
AFAIK, it's fairly representative. I did not notice a lot of rivers, when viewing the device's pages.

You know, it's not really designed for reading, ironically. It's HD shape, 10" on the long side/axis. It's...awkward, if you want to read, because when held the way I hold readers--portrait--it's damned long. But if you rotate it, you'll have waaaaaaaaaay more than 60chars/line, and your eyes would get very cranky after a while with that much reading without a line-break. I think it would be awesome sauce, though, for playing a show while you're working out, or the like.

And the HD? Breathtaking, I'll give them that. Routs the hell out of a "retina display." Hard to fault it.

Anyway, back on topic: I'll check random pages, and see if it's just ET, or lucky. I suspect, Turt, that it's the benefits of ET. Amazon does many things, and some things it really spends time on, and the MOBI developments tend to be biggish, when they occur.

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