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Old 12-30-2014, 10:49 AM   #1
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Foreign Language Issue

I'm working on a book that is primarily in English with some parts in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Polish. Epub conversion with Calibre (to derive expanded CSS for good display on Nook) works fine for my Nook device and for Nook reader (as well as Kobo and Google Play) on the tablet. Everything looks perfect.

My client (who did the print version of the book and contracted me to do the e-version), does not have a device to review the files so she downloaded Nook reading software for her computer. She is getting errors that do not show up on my device or in any of my software based epub readers. Specifically, certain Polish letters (those with language-specific diacritical marks) are replaced with a question mark.

I'm thinking it is a computer-specific problem or that she should uninstall the Nook reader and re-install. I need her to be confident that I have provided her with a good epub file. Any other thoughts?
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:51 AM   #2
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That is a font issue. Apparently the font used by the reading software uses a font that does not contain those characters. Besides using a different font, another solution might be including a free font that does contain those characters. You could try Charis... Be aware that books can grow considerably in size due to fonts if you do not subset the fonts.
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Old 12-30-2014, 12:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxaris View Post
That is a font issue. Apparently the font used by the reading software uses a font that does not contain those characters. Besides using a different font, another solution might be including a free font that does contain those characters. You could try Charis... Be aware that books can grow considerably in size due to fonts if you do not subset the fonts.
Thanks. I checked the device and reading software and found that some fonts recognize them and others don't. So it will depend on what font the reader/software is using as a default. Learned this on the Adobe Typography forum:

Among Adobe's fonts you should be looking at the ones with a "Pro" designation. According to Adobe:
"All Adobe OpenType fonts include the standard range of Latin characters used in the Western world, and several international characters, including the "estimated," litre, and euro currency symbols. Adobe's OpenType Pro fonts add a full range of accented characters to support central and eastern European languages, such as Turkish and Polish. Many of the Pro fonts also contain Cyrillic and Greek character extensions in the same font."

Good to know.
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Old 12-30-2014, 03:33 PM   #4
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The only way to ensure that your book will render correctly on all devices is to embed an appropriate font into the book. You can't assume that all reading devices will have fonts that contain the less common glyphs.
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Old 12-30-2014, 06:01 PM   #5
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Be careful though, most fonts require a license to be embedded. The Adobe ones do. That is why I suggested Charis, that one can be embedded according to the license and has the required characters for sure.
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Old 01-01-2015, 10:20 PM   #6
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There is also a large list of Open Source Unicode fonts here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-s...code_typefaces

My preference lately has been leaning towards the fonts used in Android. Droid Sans and Roboto are released under the Apache license, and the .ttf files can be downloaded directly here:

https://github.com/android/platform_...ter/data/fonts
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Old 01-02-2015, 03:14 PM   #7
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Thanks, everyone for your ideas. I will check out the open source unicodes along with charis.
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Old 01-02-2015, 09:54 PM   #8
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But you will need to put in a note that the reader will need to turn publisher settings on when using a Kindle or Kobo eInk Reader.
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Old 01-03-2015, 02:53 PM   #9
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Especially older devices lack fonts containing Ą, ą Ę, ę and Ł, ł. (Ż, ż) While the accented ones like ń, ó, ś, ć and ź (and their capital equivalents) have a higher probability of being available the ogonek-letters are not. I wouldn't make a Polish ebook without embedded fonts.
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Old 01-09-2015, 10:14 AM   #10
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Thanks, all. I had embedded the fonts and I did put in a note to the reader that if the foreign characters did not display properly to change the font in the e-reader settings. I researched the fonts in a number of readers and they all do a fine job. I guess the problem is largely with the Nook reader for PC.

Problem solved. Thanks for all of your advice.
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