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Old 07-10-2019, 08:08 AM   #1
WDeranged
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Tapping footnote symbols on Paperwhite is driving me nuts.

Yesterday I bought the 2018 Paperwhite and although I still think my Kindle Keyboard has a nicer screen with better contrast I was on the verge of keeping it.

My big issue is trying to tap footnote symbols embedded into the text. Compared to the text size they're freaking tiny and maybe only one in five taps actually registers.

Worse, any footnote symbols at the top of the page are completely inactive due to the portion of the screen reserved for the kindle menu bar.

To top it off, sometimes I get a pop up box with the footnote and other times I get taken to the footnotes at the back of the (discworld) book. It's all very inconsistent.

Does anyone know of a way to make my life easier with regards to footnotes?
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:27 AM   #2
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Use a stylus. Any cheap stylus with a thin tip will do.
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Old 07-10-2019, 09:14 PM   #3
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I don’t know the HTML details, but Amazon’s footnote implementation tries to determine if something looks like a footnote (that can be extracted from its location and displayed in a pop up dialog), or something that navigates to another location in the book. Sometimes it fails to recognize a footnote as a footnote because the pattern it is looking for isn’t there, so it just jumps to a new location, and then you have to find your way back. I think you can find discussion of this in the Kindle Format forum here, if you are interested.

I don’t have my Paperwhite (also 2018) handy, but have at times found the touch screen finicky, or more so than the Voyage I have at hand. If my fingertip is particularly cold or dry, sometimes touch does not register. A stylus would give more consistent behavior if that is the issue.

Some publishers format the footnote link using text that is smaller than the ‘body’ text, just as is typical in print books. It’s probably a bad practice for ebooks, as it can make the target too small to tap consistently. And if you fail to hit the target, and the target is in the menu bar tap zone, it’s going to reveal the menu. So blame the publisher (there is a Report Content Error feature you can use), but again, a stylus might help in achieving more consistent results. Or you could increase the text size, at least when reading that book (Themes make it a little easier to restore your preferred text size).
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:54 PM   #4
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(a) Maybe consider using a larger font, so that the footnote is also larger?

(b) I insist on paper books for Pratchett, because his footnotes are so integral to the humor of the book, and because all kindles interrupt too much when you go to a footnote. Just my preference.
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Old 07-11-2019, 02:36 PM   #5
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Actually touching the small numbers and not just using a quick tap will work better also. Not quite a "long touch' but more aggressive than a tap.

My husband struggles some with the correct touch on his Paperwhite. He tends to jab instead of touching, and e-ink doesn't respond like a tablet device.
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Old 07-12-2019, 12:10 AM   #6
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I experienced similar discomfort with my first e-ink reader Kindle Touch back in 2011.
I ended up “calibrating” my expectations of a footnote tap:
1) Try to tap with your finger in such a way that when actually tap the footnote, your finger covers the footnote completely. I know it sounds strange, but then I just got used to it.
2) The thing is that iPhones and tablets predict very well and calibrate this difference between “where is that thing that we see on the screen” and “where we actually tap to get this thing”. This is especially true for iPhone’s keyboard.
eReaders, as far as I can see, lack this calibration.
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Old 07-12-2019, 12:36 AM   #7
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Note that the Touch was a special beast in that it used an IR grid, not a capacitive touchscreen, so it was, by design, at a handicap for the kind of one-off precision taps needed for that kind of action .

Last edited by NiLuJe; 07-12-2019 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 07-12-2019, 02:00 AM   #8
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So the IR-to-capacitive transition is poorly implemented I guess.
Not as bad as the precision of resistive touch screens though
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Old 07-12-2019, 05:38 AM   #9
WDeranged
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mergen3107 View Post
I ended up “calibrating” my expectations of a footnote tap:
1) Try to tap with your finger in such a way that when actually tap the footnote, your finger covers the footnote completely. I know it sounds strange, but then I just got used to it.
This is actually what I ended up doing. A 'whole fingertip tap' seems to be the best way to hit those things. Still massively inconsistent though, and it doesn't solve the problem that footnotes at the top simply don't work because of the kindle menu area.

I ended up returning my Paperwhite. Looks like I'm sticking with the Kindle Keyboard for another year or two

Selecting the footnotes on my KK doesn't interrupt me too much, it's not ideal but at least it works 100% of the time.
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