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Old 07-08-2024, 08:48 AM   #1
Rosales
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The mystery of the disappearing italics

When I send epubs from Calibre or Adobe Digital Editions to my Kobo ereaders, some of the italics do not show up on the device.

This is replicable on the Forma, Sage, and Elipsa 2e. The italics are present in the Calibre reader and when I open the book in Adobe DE, so it's definitely something going wrong during the syncing process.

This seems to be true for some epubs and not others, and, bafflingly, sometimes the book will be correctly italicized in some places and not others.

It isn't a font issue as I only use the publisher default or preinstalled fonts.

The only solution I have discovered is to sync the books from the Kobo Desktop software, as they retain their italics.

Is this a known issue with a known solution, or am I stuck syncing with Kobo Desktop rather than Calibre? (I really hope not.)
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Old 07-08-2024, 10:39 AM   #2
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Been using Calibre and Kobo for 8 years and six models. No issue with italics. Now mostly using the Sage.

Note that "Publisher Default" only fully works if all the correct fonts are actually embedded. Calibre viewer might work with none embedded if they are on your computer, buut I'm not sure.

I only use USB and I've never ever used the Kobo Desktop.

Sources are PD (thousands), Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, Google Playstore Books (Over 500) and our own content (multiple versions of about 50 books).

Last edited by Quoth; 07-08-2024 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 07-08-2024, 10:50 AM   #3
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Thank you for replying - it's helpful to know that the problem must be somewhere in my setup.

I have just realised that all the affected ebooks seem to be ones I bought from Kobo and downloaded via Adobe Digital Editions, which probably means something, though not all of those seem to have the issue.

I have tested the ebooks with several of the preinstalled fonts, but none of them solved the issue.
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Old 07-08-2024, 11:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosales View Post
When I send epubs from Calibre or Adobe Digital Editions to my Kobo ereaders, some of the italics do not show up on the device.



This is replicable on the Forma, Sage, and Elipsa 2e. The italics are present in the Calibre reader and when I open the book in Adobe DE, so it's definitely something going wrong during the syncing process.



This seems to be true for some epubs and not others, and, bafflingly, sometimes the book will be correctly italicized in some places and not others.



It isn't a font issue as I only use the publisher default or preinstalled fonts.



The only solution I have discovered is to sync the books from the Kobo Desktop software, as they retain their italics.



Is this a known issue with a known solution, or am I stuck syncing with Kobo Desktop rather than Calibre? (I really hope not.)
Maybe share the names of some of these books so folks could look at the preview versions from the Kobo store.

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Old 07-08-2024, 12:03 PM   #5
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A few books that have the issue, all bought from Kobo:

The Gilda Stories, Jewelle Gomez
A Study in Drowning, Ava Reid
Shanghai Immortal, A. Y. Chao

Many other Kobo-bought epubs don't have the issue so I'm more puzzled the more I look into it.
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Old 07-08-2024, 12:16 PM   #6
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I have to say I've never seen this issue either, with epubs or kepubs. I use a sideloaded font and sideload all my books from Calibre.
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Old 07-08-2024, 01:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosales View Post
When I send epubs from Calibre or Adobe Digital Editions to my Kobo ereaders, some of the italics do not show up on the device.

This is replicable on the Forma, Sage, and Elipsa 2e. The italics are present in the Calibre reader and when I open the book in Adobe DE, so it's definitely something going wrong during the syncing process.

This seems to be true for some epubs and not others, and, bafflingly, sometimes the book will be correctly italicized in some places and not others.

It isn't a font issue as I only use the publisher default or preinstalled fonts.

The only solution I have discovered is to sync the books from the Kobo Desktop software, as they retain their italics.

Is this a known issue with a known solution, or am I stuck syncing with Kobo Desktop rather than Calibre? (I really hope not.)
The problem could be that whatever font is being used with Publisher Default and/or your side loaded fonts don't have an italics version or something is wrong with the font family.

Next time you have this italic problem, change the font to Georgia. That's one of the fonts that come with the Kobo firmware and should work to show you italics.
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Old 07-08-2024, 01:24 PM   #8
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I realised it might be easier to discuss with some visual examples, so I took a few screenshots/photos, using 'The Gilda Stories' by Jewelle Gomez as an example.

In order: Calibre reader with the book open; Calibre ebook editor; Kobo Elipsa with the book open (Georgia font).
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Calibre Reader.png
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ID:	209465   Click image for larger version

Name:	Calibre edit window.jpg
Views:	60
Size:	416.3 KB
ID:	209466   Click image for larger version

Name:	Kobo Elipsa.png
Views:	54
Size:	556.2 KB
ID:	209467  
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Old 07-08-2024, 01:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosales View Post
A few books that have the issue, all bought from Kobo:

The Gilda Stories, Jewelle Gomez
A Study in Drowning, Ava Reid
Shanghai Immortal, A. Y. Chao

Many other Kobo-bought epubs don't have the issue so I'm more puzzled the more I look into it.
Kobo don't make the epubs. Likely there is something stupid the publisher did.
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Old 07-08-2024, 02:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quoth View Post
Kobo don't make the epubs. Likely there is something stupid the publisher did.
We won't know this until the OP tries Georgia as it's a known working font. I'm thinking it could be a font issue.
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Old 07-08-2024, 02:38 PM   #11
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I have tried Georgia, along with all the other preloaded fonts just to make sure. There's a photo of what the book looks like on my Kobo in Georgia font attached to post 8.

Other failed attempts to solve the problem:

Importing the ebooks to Calibre using Obok DeDRM rather than importing them from Adobe DE;
Converting the books to kepub (as the books loaded directly from the Kobo software are correctly italicized);
Sending the books from Calibre with Calibre set to ignore third party plugins.
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Old 07-08-2024, 03:54 PM   #12
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You need to trace through the CSS to find out what's giving the italic attribute. It's probably class epigraph for the blockquote, but perhaps on some devices the default paragraph is overriding the italic. That's my guess, anyway.
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Old 07-08-2024, 04:00 PM   #13
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All the books listed here are epub3 according to Kobo. Perhaps that's the problem - all my sideloaded books are epub2. Try to convert one of them to epub2 and let's see whether the issue persists.
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Old 07-08-2024, 04:00 PM   #14
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That's a mad span. It shouldn't have the xmlns tag.
Quote:
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<title>Title of the document</title>
</head>
from https://www.w3schools.com/tags/att_html_xmlns.asp

A span should set a style or language for a part of a paragraph (or heading). I can't think what use that xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" tag would be doing there instead of before <head>

However that looks like kepub, which I never bother with as it's proprietary to Kobo and adds a load of spans.

Try replacing all of <span xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" (in a copy) with <span
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Old 07-08-2024, 04:03 PM   #15
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/me whispers "I also convert epub3 to epub2, if I spot it"
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