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Old 05-21-2022, 06:42 PM   #16
Tex2002ans
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunivortus View Post
My steps were (all under Windows 10):

1. Write my non-fiction text in LibreOffice, non-formatted, I use LO as it came on my desktop.
2. Put the text in my InDesign 5, formatted it, but without page numbering and added my images at the places they should.
3. Exported it to PDF. (Unfortunately, all png files were converted to jpg).
4. Used Calibre to convert the PDF to ePub. (I do not understand the many setting options Calibre offers for the conversion, so I used standards).
No. No. No.

Never use PDF as an input format.

PDF is designed as a final output/Print format.

Either go:
  • LibreOffice -> DOCX -> EPUB
    • DOCX -> EPUB using Calibre (or other tools).
      • Note: Keep original source as ODT, but save a copy as DOCX. Most tools do DOCX->EPUB cleaner than ODT->EPUB conversions.
  • LibreOffice -> InDesign -> EPUB

The #1 most important thing is learn to use Styles.

This allows you to:
  • Cleanly carry over all text/formatting from Word/LibreOffice/InDesign.
  • Create very clean HTML+CSS.

I wrote a lot about this in:

and the past few months, in many posts on Reddit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunivortus View Post
If there's a better way to go through, I'm open for suggestions and then I do not have problems to pay some for needed software.
There's no need to pay, just take some time and learn to properly use what you already have.

Styles, Styles, Styles.

These 2 videos show you the advantages of Styles:

In less than 20 minutes, you'll be miles ahead of 99% of people.

And don't be fooled by those titles...

Once you understand the idea behind Styles, you can find similar functionality within LibreOffice/Pages/InDesign/other programs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtle91 View Post
the image solution I use works very well but there are some devices that don't like it...usually older devices. [...]

SVG wrappers can make your image fill the entire screen and still keep it's proper aspect ratio - it doesn't get stretched or squished. This is awesome if you want a full 'page' graphic rather than something embedded in the text.
Yes, SVG wrappers are awesome, but the biggest caveat is it only works within EPUB.

So you always have to note:

This WILL NOT WORK if trying to sell the ebook on Amazon.

Side Note: If you want more discussion on what aspect ratios + SVG wrappers are, see:

Last edited by Tex2002ans; 05-21-2022 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 05-21-2022, 09:09 PM   #17
Turtle91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex2002ans View Post

...snip...

Yes, SVG wrappers are awesome, but the biggest caveat is it only works within EPUB.

So you always have to note:

This WILL NOT WORK if trying to sell the ebook on Amazon.

...snip...
I know Amazon - especially the older styles - didn't do well with SVG, but I thought that had been fixed for the most part now. At least, according to their 'KDP publishing guidelines'
Quote:
- Computer-generated visuals are best represented as Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), so provide SVGs where possible. For line art, we recommend providing SVGs.
and for inline images:
Quote:
c. Inline images: An inline element does not start on a new line and renders in the same line as the text. Set the height of inline images in “EM” units so that it displays and scales proportional to surrounding text content. Provide inline images in lossless format such as SVGs where possible.

I personally don't publish there (lol I don't publish anywhere except my own reader!) so I would certainly defer to those professionals that do!
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Old 05-22-2022, 04:05 AM   #18
Gunivortus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex2002ans View Post
Never use PDF as an input format.
PDF is designed as a final output/Print format.
Either go:
----cut---
Thanks a lot!
Reading your advices and those of the others, I do know now, that creating a proper ePub is not just a simple case of conversion. I've gone through many conversion tools and they all were disappointing. That was why I installed Sigil and since yesterday also the suggested plugins and PageEdit.

But first in the next time I'll dive in formatting with LibreOffice, which, admittedly, I always used as a kind of Notepad with some more functions. Thank you for the links to information about learning Styles.

Unfortunately, the DOCXImport plugin in Sigil ignores my test docx files, the only suggestion I found is that a "bundled Python Interpreter" is needed. I found a python.exe at my pc (running W11), but don't know whether that is the right one. So I looked at https://www.python.org/downloads/windows/ but which package is that bundled one?

All in all, I think, I've enough to work through for the whole coming summer. :-)

My wife already told me, I should use my time to write new articles and books and leave the rest to the publisher. Yet, they take my writings to sell, but do not accept the free eBooks I made and make now and then.
So, first I'll try to learn all those new stuff I am pointed to here, and only if I fail I may go again to smashwords.com and let them do al the conversion stuff.

Kind regards,
Gunivortus
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Old 05-22-2022, 06:53 AM   #19
Doitsu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunivortus View Post
Unfortunately, the DOCXImport plugin in Sigil ignores my test docx files, the only suggestion I found is that a "bundled Python Interpreter" is needed.
The DOCXImport plugin should work out of the box, if you're using the Windows version of Sigil, unless you've unchecked the Use Bundled Python option and didn't select an external Python interpreter.
If you're using the Linux version, you'll need to click the Auto button in the Plugin preferences dialog box to automatically detect the Python interpreter path or click the Set button and manually select the path.
If it still doesn't work, please post more information in the DOCXImport thread.
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Old 05-22-2022, 07:47 AM   #20
Gunivortus
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Originally Posted by Doitsu View Post
If it still doesn't work, please post more information in the DOCXImport thread.
Thanks, done that.
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Old 05-22-2022, 07:01 PM   #21
Tex2002ans
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunivortus View Post
[...] that creating a proper ePub is not just a simple case of conversion. I've gone through many conversion tools and they all were disappointing.
Yeah, EPUB conversion is a bit more complicated than just a single button push.

BUT, if you learn to use Styles consistently in your original document, you can generate relatively clean HTML.

This will make all future conversion/cleanup steps INFINITELY easier.

Most of the problem is:
  • People destroying their documents by using Direct Formatting.
    • Pushing the disastrous buttons/dropdowns for BOLD + ITALICS + FONT SIZE + ALIGNMENT.
  • Introducing hidden junk by copying/pasting from all sorts of places.
    • Always "Paste as Unformatted Text".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunivortus View Post
But first in the next time I'll dive in formatting with LibreOffice, which, admittedly, I always used as a kind of Notepad with some more functions. Thank you for the links to information about learning Styles.


LibreOffice's Styles are found under:
  • View > Styles (F11).

If you understand the basics of HTML+CSS, you'll definitely understand Styles... because Styles are pretty much "CSS classes".

In LibreOffice/Word, a:
  • Paragraph Style = <p class="">
  • Character Style = <span class="">

so these Paragraph Styles map to equivalent HTML:
  • Title = <p class="title">
  • Subtitle = <p class="subtitle">
  • caption = <p class="caption">
  • [...]

And you also have a few special ones:
  • Heading 1 -> <h1>
  • Heading 2 -> <h2>
  • [...]

- - - - -

Side Note: If you want more info on LibreOffice Styles, I've been writing lots of mini-tutorials on Reddit.

Here's a few:

(I even included a few screenshots in some of them.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunivortus View Post
So, first I'll try to learn all those new stuff I am pointed to here, and only if I fail I may go again to smashwords.com and let them do al the conversion stuff.
Nah, Smashwords is ass.

Once you learn how to create clean documents, the clean EPUBs will be a piece of cake.

- - - - -

Side Note: I thought Smashwords's "Meatgrinder" had gotten better over the years, but it's still horrible.

Just last month I came across a topic where someone was complaining about footnotes + TOCs not working:

... Smashwords wants you to manually insert BOOKMARKS back/forth. WTF!!!

Instead of wasting time mangling your documents to conform to their conversion tools... you're better off following the proper standards + creating your own clean EPUB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtle91 View Post
I know Amazon - especially the older styles - didn't do well with SVG, but I thought that had been fixed for the most part now.
Nope. It's lies.

When you use SVG in Kindle formats, a "new page" gets started. (Page break before AND after.)

A lot of the technical details were discussed by Hitch + jhowell + me in:

- - - - -

Side Note: Similar to Kindles "supporting MathML" (or <audio> + <video>).

It says so in their Publishing Guidelines!!!

But the reality is no.

Side Note #2: For even more technical information where we discuss the reality:

Last edited by Tex2002ans; 05-22-2022 at 07:20 PM.
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