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Old 01-30-2018, 09:58 AM   #1
johnamy
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Auto-Hyphenation

I've come on here because I use Sigil to create my ebooks. One of my clients has asked for hyphenation on his book. I always thought this was automatic. I've searched all over the place to find an answer to this but totally confused... Plug-ins for Calibre... CSS etc. I work on a Mac so PC not available.

Anyone?

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Old 01-30-2018, 10:04 AM   #2
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Sigil doesn't have any inherent features that would affect hyphenation. It's a question of css and the rendering engine being used to display the ebook. I saw in your original post that the hyphenation is needed in the resulting kindlebook created from the epub.

In that case, you'd probably be better served asking the question in the Kindle forum. Something to the effect of: "is there anything I can do to my epub to ensure hyphenation in the resulting kindlebook?"
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:39 AM   #3
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The Hyphenate This! plugin for Calibre will perhaps do the trick.
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Old 01-30-2018, 07:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnamy View Post
I've come on here because I use Sigil to create my ebooks. One of my clients has asked for hyphenation on his book. I always thought this was automatic. I've searched all over the place to find an answer to this but totally confused...
As DiapDealer said, hyphenation is completely dependent on the device/renderer the person reading is using.

Older devices typically don't have automatic hyphenation, while newer devices typically have a user-controlled preference.

The only semi-reliable thing you can do is use CSS to DISABLE hyphens in things like headings:

Code:
h1 {
	-epub-hyphens: none;
	-webkit-hyphens: none;
	-ms-hyphens: none;
	hyphens: none;
	adobe-hyphenate: none;
}
but I wouldn't really use that either and just leave all hyphenation up to the reader. (Imagine using a HUGE FONT on a small device [cell phone]).

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
The Hyphenate This! plugin for Calibre will perhaps do the trick.
While this might be okay for personal usage, I wouldn't recommend this AT ALL for a book that would be released to the public (ESPECIALLY for sale).

What the plugin does is inserts soft hyphen characters throughout the book. While this might look okay on the surface, it causes serious issues underneath.

Here is just one of the other soft hyphen topics I remember:

https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...37#post2726037
  • If a device doesn't support soft hyphens, you get ? all over your book.
  • It can interfere with search
  • It can interfere with dictionary lookup
  • It can get in the way of the automatic hyphenation
  • Different languages may hyphenate differently
  • It could create crud when you copy/paste outside of the book, or if you converted to a different format
  • [...]

Last edited by Tex2002ans; 01-30-2018 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:05 AM   #5
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Yes, I'm well aware of the fact that it inserts soft hyphens, but that appears to me to be what the OP is asking for.
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
The Hyphenate This! plugin for Calibre will perhaps do the trick.
If the OP is reading ePub, then this is not a good idea at all. In most ePub renderers, this won't work properly.

If the OP is reading an eBook on a Kindle in KF8, then yes, it is a good idea as it does work properly.

Oh and don't apply the hyphens to an ePub. Apply the hyphens to the KF8.
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
If the OP is reading ePub, then this is not a good idea at all. In most ePub renderers, this won't work properly.
Interesting - I wasn't aware until now that ePub renderers didn't support soft hyphens! That's useful to know.
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Interesting - I wasn't aware until now that ePub renderers didn't support soft hyphens! That's useful to know.
We probably should ask Jon to qualify these statements. Which device don't they work on and how it doesn't work. For example, the last time I tried them on my Kobo, the books displayed perfectly. But, searching for a word was interesting. If you selected a word, it would be found in the book. But, if you typed the word in, it wasn't found because of the soft hyphens.

Jon's statement is probably correct, but it feels like it is so imprecise that it isn't particularly useful.
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:30 AM   #9
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Moving this to the Workshop forum, as there are both epub and kindlebook aspects to the topic. But as mentioned early on, it's not really a Sigil topic.
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Old 01-31-2018, 08:24 AM   #10
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In Microsoft Edge and RMSDK (ADE) you cannot search. I've tested this with RMDSK on the H2O, ADE 2.0.1, and MS Edge.

But, if you are reading ePub with ADE 2.0.1 or later, you get hyphenation.

Last edited by JSWolf; 01-31-2018 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 01-31-2018, 08:44 AM   #11
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Since the OP mentioned a client, I assume that this is a book intended for sale. In that case for the Kindle platform hyphenation should be automatic as part of Enhanced Typesetting for anyone reading using a device sold within the last four years or so with recent firmware.

Some e-book formatting can block conversion to KFX format and thus Enhanced Typesetting. The EPUB can be tested using the Kindle Previewer to determine if that is the case.
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Old 01-31-2018, 09:21 AM   #12
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So if soft hyphens are out, because they interfere with searching, I guess that means that the OP is out of luck? Just have to rely on what each device gives you in the way of hyphenation?
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Old 01-31-2018, 09:22 AM   #13
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The how is this client going to be reading this eBook? That would help us maybe come up with a solution.
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Interesting - I wasn't aware until now that ePub renderers didn't support soft hyphens! That's useful to know.
While this is an example on a (now very) dated device, the image here is the potential horror you might run into:

https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=28108

Similar problem with thin spaces around dashes (I just ran into this in an ebook today! " — " showed up as "?—?" on my device.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
So if soft hyphens are out, because they interfere with searching, I guess that means that the OP is out of luck? Just have to rely on what each device gives you in the way of hyphenation?


This also doesn't even get in the madness that is hyphenation in other languages (like German, Dutch, etc., etc., sometimes characters can change/disappear/duplicate depending on the hyphenation split).

Soft hyphens are just a horrendous solution all-around. Best to leave it up to the algorithms.

Last edited by Tex2002ans; 01-31-2018 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 02-02-2018, 02:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
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So if soft hyphens are out, because they interfere with searching, I guess that means that the OP is out of luck? Just have to rely on what each device gives you in the way of hyphenation?
Honestly, this is a CLIENT EDUCATION issue, not a technical issue.

In either ePUB or MOBI, you can turn hyphenation off, or on. We typically turn it off, in ePUB, because of the nightmare of clients viewing the ePUBs in ADE, and seeing hyphen ladders willy-nilly. then we turn it back ON, when we give them the finals, so that when they upload it, the resulting final book doesn't suffer from rivers.

Regardless, though--the client requires education. When we get the client that insists on hyphenation (just like they insist on "moving that line up, from an otherwise blank page" or widows or orphans or, or, or...), we EDUCATE them. That's an investment in time, that has little return, unfortunately, but if you don't, you either have an unhappy client, or, as discussed above with epubs that aren't searchable, you've made a sh*t book. Take your pick.

The correct answer is, educate the client as to the realities of hyphenation. If you inadvertently turned it off, in the CSS, then turn it back on, and explain the "why." WHY you turned it off, assuming you did, WHY you didn't, if you didn't, and so on.

If, however, you are trying to humor a client by inserting SPECIFIC hyphens, to address a SPECIFIC line, then stop doing that. You end up giving the client a crap book, which wreaks havoc everywhere it's read. Explain WHY ebooks don't work that way. Don't give an ill-educated client an even worse education.

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