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Old 03-28-2019, 06:18 PM   #1
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Unhappy Does using Calibre Collections to install new fonts on legacy kindles?

I just got a Kindle 4 NT (used to have one and traded it in, regretted it, so got a cheap one on Woot).

I'm really enjoying reading on it, but was trying to add the Bookerly font to it, and, when that didn't work, the Bitter font.

I followed the procedures as found here on MobileRead and have had a frustrating time.

The margins have been altered successfully using Calibre Collections, as has the line spacing. But, each time, when I go to the alt typeface on the kindle, it is just the same!

I've tried many times - always ensuring I am on the HOME SCREEN before I add the fonts and select the correct font name from the dropdown menu in Calibre Collections.

I've also tried resetting my kindle to factory settings, same problem though.

Is it just the case that this no longer works for 4.1.3 and I need to do the full hack to get my fonts on? (I don't really want to do this, as when I hacked my DX the battery life went from around a month to a maximum of two days, and one of the reasons I backtracked to this K4 was the awe-inspiring battery life).

Thanks anyone for any suggestions.

I should say I am on a Mac - often when I add a new font to the fonts folder I created, it creates what look like 'shadow files' which have the same name but with _ in front, and they are much smaller than the original files.

Or is it just that the book I'm reading doesn't support alt fonts? Book purchased through amazon, so I don't think it's that.

Last edited by Pjama; 03-28-2019 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 03-28-2019, 06:33 PM   #2
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I honestly don't rightly recall which FW version stopped supporting the ALT fonts trick, but it's quite possible that this doesn't work on FW 4.x, and I just wasn't aware of it (the current check to disable that in the plugin is FW >= 5.0, because that I was sure of ;p).

Someone actively using alt fonts on a similar device may be of more help . If it turns out it really isn't supported, ping me, and I'll update the plugin.
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Old 03-28-2019, 07:09 PM   #3
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Thanks very much. That’s amazing.

I’ve tried searching here on MR and going through umpteen pages of threads, including the Calibre Collections one, and I couldn’t find anything that mentioned this issue at all.

Hopefully someone will come along who has had the same problem.
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Old 03-28-2019, 07:31 PM   #4
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@Pjama: Oh, wait, re-reading your initial message carefully: you *do* actually see an "Alt" font being usable in the Kindle's reader? And you just can't seem to be able to change which font it points, to?

Because that'd be something entirely different .
Check the contents of the fonts directory at the root of your Kindle, checking which font is actually physically there...

That might just be a case of the plugin failing to update it (for... whatever reason. I don't think I've ever used this feature once, so I can't really vouch for its behavior ).
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Old 03-28-2019, 07:34 PM   #5
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Doing the swap manually should be relatively easy, you basically have to rename your font following the alt-Style.ttf pattern, so alt-Regular.ttf, alt-Bold.ttf, alt-Italic.ttf & alt-BoldItalic.ttf

Don't worry about the ._ hidden files, that's macOS trying to do legacy macOS things on a Windows filesystem that doesn't support those macOS things in an invisible manner .
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Old 03-28-2019, 07:36 PM   #6
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And while I don't recall if that worked for both M7 and KF8 files, if you can see the option in the Aa menu in that specific book, it should be supported .
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Old 03-28-2019, 09:15 PM   #7
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One thing I observed when using the plug in was that I would add my fonts to the fonts folder on my kindle, then go to the Calibre collections settings and select the font name from the drop down menu.

After doing this, when I looked in my fonts folder there were the original files with the name Bookerly-italic.ttf etc. PLUS new alt files which had been added. (alt-italic.ttf etc.). I noticed that the corresponding alt files were exactly the same size in kB as the respective Boorkerly file, in each case.

So it looks as if the functionality of the Calibre Collections is to make a duplicate of the font files matching the name on the drop down menu and then rename them as alt files so they are selectable from the kindle fonts menu.

I tried running the restart and font selection both with these files present and after deleting them, leaving the Bookerly ones alone. Neither way worked.

Sometimes other files are also created, named _Bookerly-italic.ttf etc. which are grayed out and much much smaller than the proper font files. These are, oddly, selectable from the drop down menu too.

It’s all quite strange really.
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Old 03-28-2019, 09:18 PM   #8
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I tried the manual renaming way as well, after adding a file named ALT_FONTS I can’t remember the rest right now.

Didn’t work either.

And after I tried this way and learned about not being able to delete things properly from the kindle via Mac, that was when I did the factory reset.
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Old 03-28-2019, 09:19 PM   #9
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I’ll post some screenshots of my fonts folder contents at various stages in this process tomorrow I think.
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:06 AM   #10
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Tried again, still didn't work - there's no point in uploading screen shots really, so I'm going to run the full hack now, as the somewhat dropped capital Ws and Ts in the standard font are really starting to bother me now.
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Old 03-29-2019, 12:11 PM   #11
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So, I finally have my Bookerly font!

I did the full hack - and then had to use the "handle the browser fonts" part as well, as it didn't work initially. Turns out my book was KF8/azw3 so that was why it wasn't happy.

So I wonder if this is why the Calibre Collections way didn't work? Probably....

If I ever decide to try the CC way again, after a factory reset for example, I will try using a mobi file.

Bookerly is a bit elongated on the K4 compared to on the Oasis, but it still looks reaaally nice. K4 left, Oasis 2 right (obviously).

Now to read!
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Last edited by Pjama; 03-29-2019 at 12:18 PM.
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