Posts Tagged ‘kindle’

Now that I’ve covered all six output methods, let’s do a quick review.

Epub to Adobe Digital Editions had an issue with the cover appearing off-center and cut off. It did well on text formatting, with everything working correctly except the two more obscure fonts. It had an issue with unordered-within-ordered nested lists. As long as the window was sized large enough, all the image requests came out as planned. Links worked fine, except the link within the text caused the anchor ID to appear as a hyperlink.

Epub to Calibre

Calibre passed with flying colors. It even had three out of the four fonts (no output device had the fourth font). No complaints.

Epub to iBooks

iBooks did well with the text formatting, but only had two out of the four fonts. The text-image alignments only worked when they both fit on the screen, and since there was no way to resize the screen, that wasn’t often. The iPhone app had a pretty serious problem with floating images, which the iPad app did not.

Mobi to Kindle for computer

The “Intro” link on Table of Contents took you to the cover, not the intro heading. Text did well, and it had three out of the four fonts (none had all four). Everything else ran smoothly. Excellent work.

Mobi to Kindle app (iPad and iPhone)

Table of contents is absent. All lines are indented (not planned). No typeface changes worked at all, and font size changes were not to scale. Weird problem with the ordered-within-unordered list. None of the image alignment worked–as with iBooks, this is probably because of the inability to resize the screen. There was also no border on the bordered image. What a mess! At least the link did not highlight the anchor as in some of the other outputs.

Mobi to Kindle device

Again, the table of contents is absent. The text mostly mirrored that on the iPad/iPhone app: all indented, no typeface changes, font size changes but not to the sizes requested. The “colored” text appeared in greyscale, which is fair since this is not a colored screen. There was a problem with ordered-within-unordered lists, but not as drastic as the problem with the app. No formatting with the images worked. Background colors did not appear at all. Like the app, the link within the text did not cause the anchor to hyperlink, which was a plus. Otherwise, though, lots of problems here.

So to sum up, by my findings, in terms of best to worst handling of formatting:

1. Calibre

2. Kindle for computer

3. Adobe Digital Editions

4. iBooks

5. Kindle app

6. Kindle device

Of course, this wasn’t meant to be a contest, but rather a resource for ebook authors and publishers. I wanted you to be able to see what works where, and what doesn’t. If you’re only composing for Calibre, great, do what you want! But if you intend to sell your book to the public, you don’t know what kind of device it could end up on. Have a look though these pages to see what can go wrong, so you’ll know what formatting to avoid as you submit your epub or mobi.

 

 

 

I’ve been taking an ebooks class this semester, and for my final project I decided to do a little formatting experiment. We learned all kinds of formatting and CSS in class, but a lot of what we learned didn’t work on every form of output. The same epub file might come out differently in Adobe Digital Editions versus iBooks. So I created a mini-ebook in both epub and mobi, with all kinds of formatting “issues” I could think of–colors, lists, images–and took screenshots of how they came out in different programs and devices.

So far, I covered epub to Adobe Digital Editions, epub to Calibre, epub to iBooks, mobi to Kindle (computer), and mobi to Kindle app (iPad and iPhone). In this post, I’m covering mobi to the Kindle device itself.

For starters, you can download the mobi here. But it is possible to get the gist of the experiment without downloading it.

Let’s see how the mobi displayed on the Kindle device (Kindle Keyboard 3G).

Cover

The cover came out fine, but the table of contents was once again unavailable.

Text

The colored text comes out greyscaled, which is really the best that can be hoped for with a black-and-white screen. The centering and right-aligning works. As with the Kindle app, the text is always indented but justified. None of the fonts worked, and as with the app, the altered font sizes were bigger and smaller in turn, but not to scale.

Lists

As you can see above, the regular lists come out fine.

Again we have a problem with the first item in the ordered-within-unordered nested list. But here we just have an extra bullet, where in the app we had a five-digit number inexplicably replacing the 1. So this is an improvement.

Images

I’m just going to include one shot of the images, to spare you the repetition.

Each time the image appeared, it took up the whole screen. So alignment and floating were moot. I will point out that the image that was supposed to have the border did not.

Links and Backgrounds

Both links worked, and without causing the anchor to hyperlink. Neither background had any effect.

That’s the last output method I’ll be testing for this project, so all that’s left is to summarize.

I’ve been taking an ebooks class this semester, and for my final project I decided to do a little formatting experiment. We learned all kinds of formatting and CSS in class, but a lot of what we learned didn’t work on every form of output. The same epub file might come out differently in Adobe Digital Editions versus iBooks. So I created a mini-ebook in both epub and mobi, with all kinds of formatting “issues” I could think of–colors, lists, images–and took screenshots of how they came out in different programs and devices.

So far, I covered epub to Adobe Digital Editions, epub to Calibre, epub to iBooks, and mobi to Kindle (computer). In this post, I’m covering mobi to the Kindle app for iPad and iPhone.

For starters, you can download the mobi here. But it is possible to get the gist of the experiment without downloading it.

Let’s see how the mobi displayed in Kindle’s app for iPad.

Cover

No problem with cover display, on page or in thumbnail (not shown). BUT, for some reason, the table of contents doesn’t work on this app, even though it worked on the desktop app. When I select the Table of Contents icon, I get a greyed out “Table of Contents (Not available for this title).”

Text

Lots of fail here. The color, centering, and right-aligning worked. As for justifying, it looks to me like all the text is justified. But Kindle puts a hefty indent at the beginning of each line, whether you want it or not. None of the typeface changes worked. The font sizes are bigger and smaller respectively, but not to the extreme that they should be.

Lists

Everything is fine ’til we get to the ordered-within-unordered list at the bottom. 65535 instead of 1? That’s an odd mistake, at a spot where none of the other apps have had a problem. On the plus side, we avoid the anchor-as-hyperlink that some of the other apps created.

Images

So basically, besides the existence of an image, none of this worked. We have the same issue as in the other apps with the middle- and top-alignment not working if the window is too small, and as in iBooks, we can’t resize the window to fix it. I took a picture of what happens when you turn the screen on its side:

As with iBooks, you get two columns instead of one big one, and some really extreme justification. Though I should point out that, while you can’t resize the window, you can zoom in on the images themselves.

No border and no floating image. Tisk tisk, Kindle for iPad!

Links and Backgrounds

Both links work, though the link to the website actually opens in Kindle, and you have to press another button if you want to open it in Safari.

This is the first app we’ve seen where the background colors touch, instead of a blank line in between. Looks cool.

Generally though, a lot of problems here, which is weird since the Kindle for Mac had almost no problems. So be aware as you are creating your mobi: just because it displays properly on your desktop does not mean it will translate correctly onto another device!

Now, here’s the real surprise: When I checked the mobi against the Kindle app for iPhone, it behaved EXACTLY as it did on Kindle for iPad! Not even iBooks pulled off that kind of consistency. Just a little odd, considering how much of a gap there was between Kindle for computer and Kindle for iPad/iPhone.

Next, let’s check out mobi to the Kindle device itself.

I’ve been taking an ebooks class this semester, and for my final project I decided to do a little formatting experiment. We learned all kinds of formatting and CSS in class, but a lot of what we learned didn’t work on every form of output. The same epub file might come out differently in Adobe Digital Editions versus iBooks. So I created a mini-ebook in both epub and mobi, with all kinds of formatting “issues” I could think of–colors, lists, images–and took screenshots of how they came out in different programs and devices.

So far, I covered epub to Adobe Digital Editions, epub to Calibre, and epub to iBooks (iPad). In this post, I’m covering mobi to the desktop Kindle app (for Mac).

For starters, you can download the mobi here.But it is possible to get the gist of the experiment without downloading it.

Let’s see how the mobi displayed in Kindle’s app for Mac.

Cover

No problems on page or thumbnail (not shown). The only weird thing is that clicking “Intro” on the Table of Contents takes you to the cover, not the heading ‘Intro” like it’s supposed to.

Text

Everything worked except the most obscure font, Thornburi.

Lists

As you can see above, we avoided that awkward problem of the ID anchor (which is on the line “Here is an ordered list”) appear as a hyperlink that doesn’t go anywhere.

All the lists check out just fine!

Images

Everything worked fine. As with the other desktop apps, the top- and middle-aligned images only displayed as such when the window was sized widely enough; otherwise they appeared below the text.

Links

Links both work.

Backgrounds

Looks good!

Good job, Kindle for Mac! Let’s see what happens on Kindle for iPad and iPhone

One of my classes this semester is ebook creation, and our latest assignment was to make a manual (because this is a technical writing program). The finished product had to include a cover, images, and lists. I didn’t really have anything to write a manual for, so I asked on Twitter if anyone had anything they needed me to write a manual for. (We didn’t actually have to write one from scratch; I think most people just reformatted existing documents.) One of my friends said, “Life.” So I said, “OK!”

I pondered how to accomplish this without sounding like one of those “Everything I learned in life I learned in Kindergarten” posters from the 80’s. After a little reflection, I came up with the following.

You can download the epub of the ebook here. (“Ebook” is a generous term; it’s only a couple of pages, more like an “epamphlet.”) It’s free. An epub i is viewable with Adobe Digital Editions or Calibre, both of which are free downloads.

You can download the mobi of the ebook here. This one is for Kindle. The assignment was to create an ebup, not a mobi. But I think more people tend to read stuff on Kindle (also a free download), so I also made a mobi for you. I had to do the formatting manually, because I can’t figure out any way to get Jutoh to read any of my style sheets.

Hope you enjoy my little book!