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Old 05-21-2020, 10:59 PM   #1
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Kobo Forma Calibre Plug-Ins

I am moving from an Oasis 2 to a Forma and will be using Calibre to load Amazon purchased books on the Forma.
I viewed the Plug-In Index and was completely overwhelmed by the amount of content.
What are the Kobo Forma specific Plug-Ins that you recommend I add to Calibre?
I assume some of these Plug-Ins may have overlapping functions. If true which ones are preferred?
Thanks, Joe
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Old 05-21-2020, 11:34 PM   #2
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There are no Forma specific plugins. And see Purchased a new Kobo Libra H2O Reader what Calibre Plug-ins should I install for a recent discussion of the calibre plugins.
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Old 05-21-2020, 11:43 PM   #3
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Thanks for the link!
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Old 05-21-2020, 11:44 PM   #4
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There are no Kobo Forma specific plugins. The KoboTouch driver comes with calibre and there is the KoboTouchExtended driver which allows on the fly conversion to kepub which can be added. Otherwise, the KoboUtilities plugin is pretty much the only other plugin that I consider a necessity.

That said, the other plugins I use are
  1. Kobo Books which downloads metadata and covers from Kobo.
  2. KindleUnpack for extracting epubs from azw3.
  3. ModifyEpub which I find a bit better for my uses than calibre's built-in Polish.
  4. Find Duplicates. Once you get over a couple of thousand books...
  5. Obok for removing DRM from books downloaded from Kobo using their desktop application.
  6. DeDRM for obvious reasons.
  7. QualityCheck and JobSpy which are swiss army knife plugins. I use a few of their tools on occasion.

Last edited by DNSB; 05-21-2020 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 05-21-2020, 11:58 PM   #5
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David, thanks for the concise summary!
Joe
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNSB View Post
There are no Kobo Forma specific plugins. The KoboTouch driver comes with calibre and there is the KoboTouchExtended driver which allows on the fly conversion to kepub which can be added. Otherwise, the KoboUtilities plugin is pretty much the only other plugin that I consider a necessity.

That said, the other plugins I use are
  1. Kobo Books which downloads metadata and covers from Kobo.
  2. KindleUnpack for extracting epubs from azw3.
  3. ModifyEpub which I find a bit better for my uses than calibre's built-in Polish.
  4. Find Duplicates. Once you get over a couple of thousand books...
  5. Obok for removing DRM from books downloaded from Kobo using their desktop application.
  6. DeDRM for obvious reasons.
  7. QualityCheck and JobSpy which are swiss army knife plugins. I use a few of their tools on occasion.
Also add in...
  • Kobo Utilties
  • Reading List
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmcg9 View Post
I am moving from an Oasis 2 to a Forma and will be using Calibre to load Amazon purchased books on the Forma.
I viewed the Plug-In Index and was completely overwhelmed by the amount of content.
What are the Kobo Forma specific Plug-Ins that you recommend I add to Calibre?
I assume some of these Plug-Ins may have overlapping functions. If true which ones are preferred?
Thanks, Joe
The only one I added was KoboTouchExtended which will convert your ePub books to kepub books as they are transferred to your Forma.

Kepub is a spin on ePub Kobo came up with that does some different things than plain ePubs do. There are pluses and minuses to both. There's plenty of kepub vs. ePub threads here.

I've just recently added Kobo Books as Kobo often does have higher resolution covers available.
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNSB View Post
  1. KindleUnpack for extracting epubs from azw3.
  2. ModifyEpub which I find a bit better for my uses than calibre's built-in Polish.
I just dump .azw files into Calibre and let it convert to ePub with the built in converter. So far I have never spotted an error caused by the conversion.

What are the advantages of KindleUnpack? Is it just less prone to errors, or are there small things I might notice on every converted ePub?

Same question for Modify ePub.

I'm curious as I found ePubs on my Nook almost universally have nicer layout than kepubs on my Kobo*. But I'm assuming that has to do with the kepub layout engine rather than errors in the converted ePub. But I'd be happy to be proven wrong.

(*I'm assuming ePubs on the Kobo would look as nice as ePubs on the Nook.)

Last edited by ZodWallop; 05-22-2020 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 05-22-2020, 12:17 PM   #9
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IMO Kobo could do everyone a favour by reviewing the algorithm it uses to add the koboSpans. The clumsy attempt at applying one-per-sentence just makes word spacing, and sometimes letter spacing, worse than it needs to be.
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Old 05-22-2020, 12:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZodWallop View Post
I just dump .azw files into Calibre and let it convert to ePub with the built in converter. So far I have never spotted an error caused by the conversion.

What are the advantages of KindleUnpack? Is it just less prone to errors, or are there small things I might notice on every converted ePub?
If available, KindleUnpack will extract the epub source file stored inside the azw3 container. Calibre has become much better but it still likes modifying the CSS, removing inline styles, flattening the CSS, etc. There are relatively small differences but enough to sway me to use KindleUnpack. As a test, I just unpacked one azw3 and also converted it. The converted one had 27 added css entries where inline styles were converted to stylesheet entries. 24 of them were paragraph indents ranging from 12 to 23 pixels plus the occasional italic or bold. In the unpacked one, I simply looked for the style= with a bit of regex while the calibre converted one took 4 passes to get the same result.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZodWallop View Post
Same question for Modify ePub.
Much the same. When I edit the book, I tend to leave unused spans as <span> and then strip the empty spans using ModifyEpub. Basically, ModifyEpub does everything that Polish does other than adding soft hyphens and adds more functions that I find useful such as removing inline javascript and files.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZodWallop View Post
I'm curious as I found ePubs on my Nook almost universally have nicer layout than kepubs on my Kobo*. But I'm assuming that has to do with the kepub layout engine rather than errors in the converted ePub. But I'd be happy to be proven wrong.

(*I'm assuming ePubs on the Kobo would look as nice as ePubs on the Nook.)
I seldom use the kepub renderer on my Kobo since being a bit of a typography nerd, I prefer the font handling in RMSDK. I do make exceptions for ebooks that require kepub such as epub3 FLO books and the occasional book where there are enough high resolution images to make the image zoom worth having (I think I might need one hand to count those books).

Last edited by DNSB; 05-22-2020 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 05-22-2020, 03:44 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jackie_w View Post
IMO Kobo could do everyone a favour by reviewing the algorithm it uses to add the koboSpans. The clumsy attempt at applying one-per-sentence just makes word spacing, and sometimes letter spacing, worse than it needs to be.
Or Kobo could get the latest RMSDK and forget Access.
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Old 05-22-2020, 03:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNSB View Post
If available, KindleUnpack will extract the epub source file stored inside the azw3 container. Calibre has become much better but it still likes modifying the CSS, removing inline styles, flattening the CSS, etc. There are relatively small differences but enough to sway me to use KindleUnpack. As a test, I just unpacked one azw3 and also converted it. The converted one had 27 added css entries where inline styles were converted to stylesheet entries. 24 of them were paragraph indents ranging from 12 to 23 pixels plus the occasional italic or bold. In the unpacked one, I simply looked for the style= with a bit of regex while the calibre converted one took 4 passes to get the same result.
How do you get KindleUnpack to extract the ePub source? All I've seen is KindleUnpack shifting the KF8 code to ePub. In most cases, it works well because the source was an ePub. But in some cases, not well at all because the KF8 is a real mess.


Quote:
Much the same. When I edit the book, I tend to leave unused spans as <span> and then strip the empty spans using ModifyEpub. Basically, ModifyEpub does everything that Polish does other than adding soft hyphens and adds more functions that I find useful such as removing inline javascript and files.
I use Modify ePub because It does more then Polish and I use it on every ePub I edit.

Quote:
I seldom use the kepub renderer on my Kobo since being a bit of a typography nerd, I prefer the font handling in RMSDK. I do make exceptions for ebooks that require kepub such epub3 FLO books and the occasional book where there are enough high resolution images to make the image zoom worth having (I think I might need one hand to count those books).
Would that be "where the are not enough high resolution images"?
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Old 05-22-2020, 07:42 PM   #13
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How do you get KindleUnpack to extract the ePub source? All I've seen is KindleUnpack shifting the KF8 code to ePub. In most cases, it works well because the source was an ePub. But in some cases, not well at all because the KF8 is a real mess.
If the source document is included in the azw3 and is an epub, KindleUnpack will extract that file. For some reason, probably since Kindle Previewer/Kindlegen includes source by default, there are quite a few of those. If the source file is not there, you get a conversion. There are some oddities when you convert an epub to a joint Mobi which are reflected in the embedded epub.

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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Would that be "where the are not enough high resolution images"?
Nope. As I wrote:

Quote:
I do make exceptions for ebooks that require kepub such as epub3 FLO books and the occasional book where there are enough high resolution images to make the image zoom worth having (I think I might need one hand to count those books).
I specified high resolution images so that zooming them is worthwhile. Zooming a lower resolution image is useless unless pixelation and artifacts are what you are looking for. Zooming in on a map that is 4000x6000 pixels allows you to see details that are not visible on the full screen display I normally use for maps.
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