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Old 03-21-2012, 11:29 AM   #1
Oxford-eBooks
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Question Editing PRC content with Calibre?

I thought I heard somewhere that you could edit PRC CONTENT with Calibre, not just the metadata.

I need to edit a load of PRC files for a client. The actual content on the Indicia page needs editing, so I need to go in and change the HTML.

I've got ePUB files to do the same to, so if I'm UTTERLY stuck, I could just pull the content from there and throw it through our own creation tools, but I don't want to create extra work - nor do I want to surprise my lovely customer with a larger bill. (Bad business practice, I guess but I'D be annoyed at getting an extra bill).

I'm slightly nervous about using Calibre or any other tool to convert formats back and forth (I thought about just converting the ePUB edits to PRC with Calibre). Knowing how FRAGILE the Kindle is with various types of formatting, I'd rather make the edit myself.

... oh, sorry, I rambled... just go back read the first two paras
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:40 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oxford-eBooks View Post
I thought I heard somewhere that you could edit PRC CONTENT with Calibre, not just the metadata.

I need to edit a load of PRC files for a client. The actual content on the Indicia page needs editing, so I need to go in and change the HTML.

I've got ePUB files to do the same to, so if I'm UTTERLY stuck, I could just pull the content from there and throw it through our own creation tools, but I don't want to create extra work - nor do I want to surprise my lovely customer with a larger bill. (Bad business practice, I guess but I'D be annoyed at getting an extra bill).

I'm slightly nervous about using Calibre or any other tool to convert formats back and forth (I thought about just converting the ePUB edits to PRC with Calibre). Knowing how FRAGILE the Kindle is with various types of formatting, I'd rather make the edit myself.

... oh, sorry, I rambled... just go back read the first two paras
Calibre is NOT an editor.
While converting, it can make certain predefined, replacements (removals)
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:46 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Oxford-eBooks View Post
I thought I heard somewhere that you could edit PRC CONTENT with Calibre, not just the metadata...
No, PRC files are not editable.

PRC files are compiled binary files. It is a "container" file format and not specifically and ebook. The only ebooks that are commonly compiled into PRC files are Mobipocket (Kindle) format. Calibre can convert these to other editable formats, generally ePub is the preferred format.

Quote:
I'm slightly nervous about using Calibre or any other tool to convert formats back and forth (I thought about just converting the ePUB edits to PRC with Calibre). Knowing how FRAGILE the Kindle is with various types of formatting, I'd rather make the edit myself.
It's not that the Kindle being "fragile" is the source of some people's grief. It is, instead, that the MOBI/Kindle format does not support some of the formatting structures supported by ePub. When the ePub uses formatting that is not supported in MOBI, the conversion program has to omit those instructions or replace them with the most similar MOBI-compatible construct.

I would suggest that you start by editing the existing ePub, something you need to do anyway, and then convert to MOBI using calibre. Test the results in Kindle Previewer and/or on a Kindle device. Don't rely on calibre's ebook viewer to proof a conversion.

If this initial ePub>MOBI conversion is unsatisfactory you may find that converting the existing PRC to ePub, making the changes again, and reconverting that ePub back to MOBI resolves the issues.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:58 AM   #4
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thanks dwig: I was thinking about going the PRC -> EPUB -> PRC route. At least it SHOULD catch any Kindle-specific coding that the origial authors may have put in.

I always test on the actual devices... especially since Kindle for PC seems not to allow me to drag MOBI files into it any more.
I don't trust Kindle Previewer either, it has some interesting ideas about line spacing / blank lines that are different to the Kindle itself.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:53 PM   #5
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...
I always test on the actual devices... especially since Kindle for PC seems not to allow me to drag MOBI files into it any more....
Kindle Previewer is the best preview software, but is surely isn't perfect. The final test should be on a device. I've seen differences in how tables render in addition to differences in text metrics (character size, character spacing, line spacing, ...).

I use the Open With plugin in calibre. Once properly configured, I can use it to open the selected book in any of several applications. My system default is set to Kindle Previewer and I use Open With to test the file in Kindle for PC. I also have calibre's ebook-viewer setup in Open With because it allows me to copy text in the book for pasting elsewhere (description field in edit metadata, ...)

Last edited by dwig; 03-21-2012 at 07:55 PM.
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