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Old 04-05-2010, 11:18 PM   #1
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Why would epub software not let me zoom?

I am testing some epubs on a loaner ebook reader from Kobo. There are several fonts and font sizes to choose from. I am finding that some of the books are not letting me change it though---it opens with a tiny font and trying to select a bigger one has no effect. I have tested non-liberated library books, purchased and liberated epubs from Fictionwise and Kobo, and DRM-free books from here. It seems hit and miss. Some books from each source will zoom, other books from these same sources won't. Any ideas, or should I be reporting this to the rep I have been dealing with at Kobo?
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:29 PM   #2
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Do the non-zoomable ones look like they might be image based scans of paper books?
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:31 PM   #3
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Yes, it could be a bug. But it's possible that they did something stupid when creating the ePub like specifying a fixed point size and the reader is obeying it. It's worth reporting, I think - in the former case, they can fix it, and the latter might get Kobo to add in some override options for fonts.

(That, and margin justification. There's no excuse for an ePub to not have the margins justified, but that hasn't stopped Simon & Schuster...)
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:43 PM   #4
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Thanks. I did notice that the freebie public domain ones it came pre-loaded with were not justified, but books I loaded myself were. I thought there might be some sort of font nazi metadata, but it seems that random books from ALL sources are afflicted. Why would someone make a book DRM-free and post it here, then force the font to be itty bitty?
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:04 AM   #5
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Why would someone make a book DRM-free and post it here, then force the font to be itty bitty?
Might not be on purpose. Do you have a link to where I could look at one of these?
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Old 04-06-2010, 01:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ATimson View Post
Yes, it could be a bug. But it's possible that they did something stupid when creating the ePub like specifying a fixed point size and the reader is obeying it. It's worth reporting, I think - in the former case, they can fix it, and the latter might get Kobo to add in some override options for fonts.
CSS allows for fonts to be fixed in size. Typically if a file is built from word it will end up this way, which is a pain. If an ePUB file won't zoom it is almost always because the CSS has pinned it to a fixed size. The only other case is that it is images instead of text. Note that CSS style statements can be down inside the paragraph code making them hard to find all instances.

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Old 04-06-2010, 06:51 PM   #7
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Any ideas, or should I be reporting this to the rep I have been dealing with at Kobo?
I suggest trying Sony eBook Library on a Windows PC or a Mac. This is an implementation of mobile ADE for the desktop and essentially emulates a generic Sony Reader-like device with a 600x800 pixel screen.

Kobo must be using ADE, so it should display ePubs more or less like Sony eBL.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:09 PM   #8
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Might not be on purpose. Do you have a link to where I could look at one of these?
One of them is the Christmas Books compilation for Charles Dickens, from here. Another is 'Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom' by Cory Doctorow also from here.
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:01 PM   #9
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One of them is the Christmas Books compilation for Charles Dickens, from here. Another is 'Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom' by Cory Doctorow also from here.
Looked at the Christmas Books, and I am stumped as to why it's misbehaving on the device - especially since it works fine in my ADE device. So I would definitely report it.
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:02 AM   #10
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There's absolutely nothing in the Dickens "Christmas Books" that would force a fixed font size - it resizes just fine on all my reading devices. Definitely sounds like a problem with whatever software you're using to display it.

Last edited by HarryT; 04-07-2010 at 03:32 AM.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:26 AM   #11
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Thanks for checking. I reported it to my contact at Kobo and am waiting for a reply. Some of the books which had trouble were their own bookstore books, so this is definitely a concern. We'll see what he says when he gets back to me This is definitely a beta tester of the device so the finished product may well be different.
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