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Old 01-03-2010, 02:42 AM   #1
hidari
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.TXT a last resort for anyone else?

I am an avid user of Caibre for both my 505 and my Cybookgen3 (FW 2.0). I usually read most of my books in epub and a minority in PDF. Yet, I find one in every 30 or so that will not pass mustard with calibre or any other converter that I have. Thus, I ocassionally read a novel in .txt and find it to be adequate enough at least for novels.

Does anyone else read in .txt , sometimes?

N.B. I am not a Bookdesigner user nor do I spend hours trying to convert one book.
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Old 01-03-2010, 04:51 AM   #2
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Only when absolutely necessary. TXT lacks basics such As bold and italic which can really make Reading a lot harder!
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:23 AM   #3
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I have nothing againts txt, as long as the chapter headers are clearly identifiable (a few blank lines and capital letters are enough for me) and there are no carriage returns, or whatever they are called, at the end of lines (but I can remove them if I have to). It's not the most comfortable format but the important thing for me is the content.

I prefer txt to pdf. Of course you can't have images in a txt, but pdfs with images are rarely easily readable on e-ink devices anyway.
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:09 AM   #4
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Well said. I would have to say I agree with you, txt is a decent read with your tips. Have read maybe 20 books in txt on my readers with no probs.... sans photos of course.


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I have nothing againts txt, as long as the chapter headers are clearly identifiable (a few blank lines and capital letters are enough for me) and there are no carriage returns, or whatever they are called, at the end of lines (but I can remove them if I have to). It's not the most comfortable format but the important thing for me is the content.

I prefer txt to pdf. Of course you can't have images in a txt, but pdfs with images are rarely easily readable on e-ink devices anyway.
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:54 PM   #5
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I have found that a quick "find and replace" of all paragraph marks (carriage returns) with spaces, followed by a "find and replace" of all periods (.) with period-paragraph-paragraph pretty much cleans up a txt file.

Although it doesn't retain the intended original paragraphing, it certainly makes it more readable, especially on a 5" reader. Naturally, I then have to go thru and restructure the Chapter headers, since they seldom end with (.).

But its not like I am doing this for every book I read.
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Old 01-03-2010, 04:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eGeezer View Post
I have found that a quick "find and replace" of all paragraph marks (carriage returns) with spaces, followed by a "find and replace" of all periods (.) with period-paragraph-paragraph pretty much cleans up a txt file.

Although it doesn't retain the intended original paragraphing, it certainly makes it more readable, especially on a 5" reader. Naturally, I then have to go thru and restructure the Chapter headers, since they seldom end with (.).

But its not like I am doing this for every book I read.
Do you mean that you make each sentence into a paragraph? How strange. I would find it very disturbing.

I once tried to read a book whose author had decided he was the one who got to decide where the line breaks should be, instead of just letting the text flow naturally (which he didn't feel was natural at all of course, and I guess he's entitled to his opinion but I found out I rather strongly disagree). The whole text was centered, with line breaks every 5 to 10 words, including in the middle of sentences. A bit like a poem, except that it wasn't poetic, merely infuriating. That book ended up in the (virtual) waste bin rather fast
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Old 01-03-2010, 04:18 PM   #7
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Text can be made to indicate all the necessary structure and display elements. Check out formats like Markdown.

I think Calibre can export Markdown, but I'm not sure.

m a r

Last edited by rogue_ronin; 01-03-2010 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogue_ronin View Post
Text can be made to indicate all the necessary structure and display elements. Check out formats like Markdown.

I think Calibre can export Markdown, but I'm not sure.

m a r

Thank you for the link. Should help me as I am no Guru on book editing..
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Old 01-04-2010, 04:18 AM   #9
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The way I fix horrible TXT files is this

1) replace double-line-breaks with XXXXXXXXXXXX
2) replace single line breaks with a space
3) replace XXXXXXXXXXXX with double line breaks

This works quite well, keeps the paragraphs but makes it reflowable.
Causes problems, sometimes, with dialogs.
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Old 01-04-2010, 04:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mores View Post
1) replace double-line-breaks with XXXXXXXXXXXX
2) replace single line breaks with a space
3) replace XXXXXXXXXXXX with double line breaks
Wouldn't the same be attained with:

1) replace character-linebreak-character with character-space-character?

(In vim: %s/\(.\)\n\(.\)/\1 \2/ )
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Old 01-04-2010, 11:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Do you mean that you make each sentence into a paragraph? How strange. I would find it very disturbing.
I have no argument that, and I gave that some thot. But figured on a little 5" screen, would it really make that big of a difference? It would certainly be more readable than line breaks every line and a half. On top of that, one of the books (don't remember which) there were original paragraphs that were almost a full page long. I'd certainly find that more tedious to read than a paragraph for each sentence.

Like you already said, its the content that counts. And its not like anyone else is going to see it. I wouldn't do it to a (copywrite-free) book I was going to post somewhere.

I actually ended up going to Gutenberg to find the .txt books in epub and downloaded them after 3 long and tedious efforts to convert .txt files. This ebook thing is all new and shiny for me, so I probably shouldn't have posted like I knew what I was talking about. But for future use when there is no other choice, I now have the methods of Mores and Jellby noted for future reference.

That's what I like about this forum. The folks are (almost) always nice and polite even when they are typing with one hand and scratching their head with the other.

Thanks.

Last edited by eGeezer; 01-04-2010 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jellby View Post
Wouldn't the same be attained with:

1) replace character-linebreak-character with character-space-character?

(In vim: %s/\(.\)\n\(.\)/\1 \2/ )
Yes it would. But I'm no good in this %/&x)87& stuff so I do it the dummy-way
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Old 01-07-2010, 01:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hidari View Post
I am an avid user of Caibre for both my 505 and my Cybookgen3 (FW 2.0). I usually read most of my books in epub and a minority in PDF. Yet, I find one in every 30 or so that will not pass mustard with calibre or any other converter that I have. Thus, I ocassionally read a novel in .txt and find it to be adequate enough at least for novels.

Does anyone else read in .txt , sometimes?

N.B. I am not a Bookdesigner user nor do I spend hours trying to convert one book.
I have no problem with TXT files, to me it's the content that matters. If at all available, a version with some formatting is nice (and Gutenberg has added some nice options) - my preferences are for RTF and HTML which allow basic formatting and are easily edited, say in Word. Love that Search-and-Replace! I remove the Acknowledgements, Table of Contents, any extra blurb like "other books by" and "reviews", extra blank lines and split long paragraphs like eGeezer, to make my reading experience better - after all, it's just for ME, not anyone else. I am usually reading on my jetBook Lite (5" screen) so these simple formats look great. For anything more complicated, say PDFs with lots of pictures, I read those on my big computer screen (21") to save my poor old eyes extra strain.

As they say -- "to each his own". I believe that these lovely gizmos and content that we buy (or obtain in the public domain) are for us to personalize FOR OUR OWN USE as we wish.
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:16 AM   #14
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I have no problem with TXT files, to me it's the content that matters. If at all available, a version with some formatting is nice (and Gutenberg has added some nice options) - my preferences are for RTF and HTML which allow basic formatting and are easily edited, say in Word. Love that Search-and-Replace! I remove the Acknowledgements, Table of Contents, any extra blurb like "other books by" and "reviews", extra blank lines and split long paragraphs like eGeezer, to make my reading experience better - after all, it's just for ME, not anyone else. I am usually reading on my jetBook Lite (5" screen) so these simple formats look great. For anything more complicated, say PDFs with lots of pictures, I read those on my big computer screen (21") to save my poor old eyes extra strain.

As they say -- "to each his own". I believe that these lovely gizmos and content that we buy (or obtain in the public domain) are for us to personalize FOR OUR OWN USE as we wish.
I strongly agree that one of the best things about ebooks is that they can be customized at little cost to suit the reader. Font size, typeface, line spacing, and so on can be easily adjusted to the way that you, the reader, want it.

I agree that plain text can be a viable format for ebook although it does have its limitations. Its greatest advantages are: (1) It's one of the few formats that is readable everywhere, and (2) it is a very compact format.

For me, the main disadvantage of plain text (and also RTF) is that I have no font control. I prefer to read my ebooks in a serif typeface and my reader displays plain text in a san-serif typeface (I can change my reader's default fonts, but that would require me to tinker with my reader's internals, something I'm not comfortable with). It's unfortunate that my reader doesn't offer an option to select a default display font.

Its for this reason that I format my ebooks as PDFs. It gives me a degree of control over the ebooks format not possible with plain text and RTF.
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
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...For me, the main disadvantage of plain text (and also RTF) is that I have no font control. I prefer to read my ebooks in a serif typeface and my reader displays plain text in a san-serif typeface (I can change my reader's default fonts, but that would require me to tinker with my reader's internals, something I'm not comfortable with). It's unfortunate that my reader doesn't offer an option to select a default display font.

Its for this reason that I format my ebooks as PDFs. It gives me a degree of control over the ebooks format not possible with plain text and RTF.
Ditto those thoughts, Solitaire1. My jetBook Lite only offers Verdana and Arial, no serif fonts. I have become used to that, and in fact use Verdana as my default font on JBL as well as my computer as it scales nicely from small to extra large. I anticipate that firmware upgrades will take care of that problem in the future. I could, having edited my RTF or HTML file in Word and chosen a nice serif font, save it as a PDF formatted for the small screen, but I am lazy!!

The convenience factor of the JBL reader is probably the most important aspect to me and I am willing to live with its shortcomings, and look forward to many improvements through firmware upgrades. The low cost doesn't hurt either!
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