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Thread: How accurate is the preview feature?


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Permlink Replies: 10 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Jun 13, 2009 7:34 AM Last Post By: cub06h
techzero

Posts: 10
Registered: 05/18/09
How accurate is the preview feature?
Posted: May 23, 2009 3:14 PM
 
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Hi,

When uploading a new file, how accurate is the preview feature?

I know it's probably not identical to how things might actually look on the Kindle itself, but how close would you say it is?

Thanks!
jstallent

Posts: 126
Registered: 12/13/07
Re: How accurate is the preview feature?
Posted: May 25, 2009 7:59 PM   in response to: techzero in response to: techzero
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Below is what I have written about the DTP Preview in my book, [i]Kindle Formatting: The Complete Guide[/i].

Joshua Tallent
http://kindleformatting.com/book

Once the file has been uploaded and converted, you can click on the Preview button to take a look at it. The DTP Preview window is not a perfect emulator of the Kindle device, so there are some pretty important issues you need to keep in mind as you are looking at your book.

1. The Preview is currently still displaying text using the version 1.1.1 engine. This means that the updates that were released for the Kindle 1 with version 1.2 as well as the new functions (like tables) that are available in the Kindle 2 will not be formatted properly on the Preview Screen. http://This also includes the extended Unicode support.

2. The font sizes are not the same as the Kindle font sizes; however, they are close, and there is enough distinction between them to get a good approximation of actual formatting.

3. The images in the Preview are not shown exactly as they would look on the Kindle screen, mostly because you are not viewing the book with an e-Ink screen. The images actually look more like they would look in a screen shot created by the Kindle, and that may very well be what the Preview tool does to show you the book.

4. The Preview shows the bookmark links in your book in blue so that you can see what is linking and what is not linking. They will not be blue on the device.

5. The Preview does not include the header and the author’s name, nor does it include the status/menu bar at the bottom of the screen.

Overall, the current Preview screen is much better than the one Amazon originally made available, and it is possible to get a good idea what the book will look like on the Kindle.

techzero

Posts: 10
Registered: 05/18/09
Re: How accurate is the preview feature?
Posted: May 27, 2009 5:34 PM   in response to: techzero in response to: techzero
 
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Thanks for the detailed response! Very helpful! :)
ceolcruit

Posts: 6
Registered: 05/25/09
Re: How accurate is the preview feature?
Posted: May 29, 2009 10:37 AM   in response to: techzero in response to: techzero
 
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What font is the original work supposed to be in and what point size? I uploaded mine and the preview looked HUGE! Also, I uploaded everything to appear in sequence and on their own pages and it doesn't look like that happened. I know NOTHING about tags or HTML.
cub06h

Posts: 2,990
Registered: 11/23/07
Re: How accurate is the preview feature?
Posted: May 30, 2009 3:45 AM   in response to: ceolcruit in response to: ceolcruit
 
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You must have a heading tag in there that isn't closed, so the whole book appears as a headline. The easiest solution is to learn something about html. Get a 'Dummies' book, and read some of the old threads on this forum. You can always come back here and ask.

If you are writing and saving in Microsoft Word, you have to understand that this is one of the worst possible tools for creating html (and the DTP software creates html from whatever you send its way).

You can download the html from the DTP and open it in a text editor such as NotePad so as to see what you've got.

Creating pages meant to be viewed as pages doesn't work on the Kindle and Kindle 2. It may work on the DX, but nobody seems to know how to tailor stuff for that reader. Good luck!
cebpubs

Posts: 654
Registered: 03/08/09
Re: How accurate is the preview feature?
Posted: Jun 1, 2009 4:15 PM   in response to: cub06h in response to: cub06h
 
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Having noticed something similar with some software at my day job, I keep wondering if the preview would be more accurate if the correct font was loaded on your PC. I'll probably just remain curious, though, because I don't feel like giving Adobe $195 to find out. (The font isn't available free, unless you want to commit a crime.) But we did find at work that some applications are font sensitive and the preview screen may just be one of them.)
techzero

Posts: 10
Registered: 05/18/09
Re: How accurate is the preview feature?
Posted: Jun 3, 2009 12:40 PM   in response to: cebpubs in response to: cebpubs
 
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That's a good thought, but it appears that the preview feature is rendered as an image, so I'm guessing it doesn't matter which fonts are installed.
bstool

Posts: 7
Registered: 06/12/09
Re: How accurate is the preview feature?
Posted: Jun 12, 2009 3:10 PM   in response to: techzero in response to: techzero
 
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The small preview box shows a few lines in my document that are off a bit. One line is separated into 2, another shows the first word in a sentence moved one character. Yet when I download the html it doesn't show any of these glitches. When the zipped document downloads it has all that coding in there which I haven't a clue how to translate it. If opening the HTML without the coding shows everything fine, will it show up OK on the Kindle? My only option is to "publish" it and fine a friend with a Kindle who can buy it and take a look at it.
cebpubs

Posts: 654
Registered: 03/08/09
Re: How accurate is the preview feature?
Posted: Jun 12, 2009 7:50 PM   in response to: bstool in response to: bstool
 
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Take a look at the html file at the location where the error is occurring. There are some little quirks in the converter that can cause display oddities. For instance, if the text between the opening and closing "p" tags has any hard line breaks, the converter will remove the break and insert a space, automatically presuming that anything between paragraph tags is really a single line. If you begin a paragraph with a large capital, but the rest of the word starts on the next line in your html file, you get a space after the first letter.

If you use a paragraph open tag but don't close it, the converter assumes each hard line break (enter) between that opening tag and the next is a new paragraph. I've seen this way too often in books from the "major" publishers, who still tend to think of ebooks as orphan step-children they've adopted because they might earn a penny or two, but aren't willing to spend any money supporting.
bstool

Posts: 7
Registered: 06/12/09
Re: How accurate is the preview feature?
Posted: Jun 13, 2009 6:32 AM   in response to: cebpubs in response to: cebpubs
 
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All that is fine but now I'm wondering which version I'm seeing is correct. When I click on "preview" that small box opens up. It's about 2-1/2 wide by 3-1/2 long but you can't scroll through it. You have to type a number at the bottom and hit enter to advance the page. That is where a couple lines are either spaced funny or break funny. but if I click to download HTML and click open, everything looks fine. If I click to save it and then unzip it and look at it, all the coding is in there but everything isn't shifted the way it looks in that 2 by 3 box. If the document I see when I just open it (not unzip it) is that how it will look in the reader, because that document is perfect.
cub06h

Posts: 2,990
Registered: 11/23/07
Re: How accurate is the preview feature?
Posted: Jun 13, 2009 7:34 AM   in response to: bstool in response to: bstool
 
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The preview is almost certainly correct. I've never had an instance where the text began to look screwy and the html wasn't defective.
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