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Permlink Replies: 8 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Apr 29, 2012 1:04 PM Last Post By: vanvanhorn
vanvanhorn

Posts: 8
Registered: 04/22/12
Want blank lines
Posted: Apr 25, 2012 6:36 PM
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Okay, I'm comfortable with the idea that I can't have invisible text in my document. I still want the space. Specifically, I want a blank line before every paragraph of my text and before every quote.

<end of introductory text>
<blank line>
<1-3 lines for the quote itself>
<author, dates>
<blank line>
<start of next quote>
etc.

I have real carriage returns in the places indicated as blank lines, in fact I even went in and put a space character in there. I do an "Export to Kindle" from InDesign and Kindle Previewer is showing no extra space in any device.

If I export to epub and look at the XHTML source, those lines simply aren't there. (Kind of explains why they don't show up on screen, I guess.)

Is there a way to force this? Or do I have to put them in the XHTML and publish the book from that instead of going directly to MOBI?

Van
jtbigtoad

Posts: 9,227
Registered: 08/01/10
Re: Want blank lines
Posted: Apr 25, 2012 7:04 PM   in response to: vanvanhorn in response to: vanvanhorn
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Sorry I can't help you!

I work in Word

In Word there is the ability to Style the paragraphs to have Space before (And/or After) it is termed in points (12 per line)

this is the proper way to format vertical space in kindle instead of Blank (empty) lines

I don't know if Indesign has the same capability, but I suspect it does.

Many Kindle for aps do not respect the empty line feed Most notablly the Kindle for PC

Hope this is going to help

JT

;)
notjohn

Posts: 15,241
Registered: 01/06/10
Re: Want blank lines
Posted: Apr 26, 2012 3:02 AM   in response to: peterspenser in response to: peterspenser
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Mr Spenser, your regular spams are getting a bit tiresome. Emulate Divorce Doctor and try to contribute more and spam less.
mrlasers

Posts: 1,633
Registered: 07/06/11
Re: Want blank lines
Posted: Apr 26, 2012 3:04 AM   in response to: vanvanhorn in response to: vanvanhorn
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As I mentioned in your previous thread, I really think you'll be better off doing this directly in HTML. InDesign is simultaneously overkill and insufficient for creating high quality Kindle books.

While you'd obviously want to offload the styles into the stylesheet, and probably tighten up the margins for more consistency with KF8, something like this should really get the job done:

<h1 style='text-align:center;margin-bottom:1em'>Introduction</h1>
<p style='text-indent:0;margin-bottom:1em'>Intro paragraph one</p>
<p style='text-indent:0;margin-bottom:1em'>Intro paragraph two</p>
<p style='text-indent:0;margin-bottom:1em'>Etc…</p>

<p style='text-indent:0;font-style:italic;'>Quote 1, line 1
<br/>line 2
<br/>line 3</p>
<p style='text-align:right;margin-bottom:1em;>Author, date</p>

<p style='text-indent:0;font-style:italic;'>Quote 2, line 1
<br/>line 2
<br/>line 3</p>
<p style='text-align:right;margin-bottom:1em;>Author, date</p>

--
http://www.mrlasers.com
punchygonzales

Posts: 2,853
Registered: 11/26/11
Re: Want blank lines
Posted: Apr 26, 2012 1:28 PM   in response to: vanvanhorn in response to: vanvanhorn
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If you want to work in a word processor type of interface and not have to learn html/css then you might find Jutoh better for your needs than InDesign, and it's only $40. Also, The guy who made the program will answer emails quickly too if you have any problems. I tested it out about a month ago (actually I bought it but probably won't use it for much of anything), and it's really not a bad little program at all. It's no substitute for working in HTML, but it'll get the job done most of the time.
vanvanhorn

Posts: 8
Registered: 04/22/12
Re: Want blank lines
Posted: Apr 26, 2012 2:00 PM   in response to: mrlasers in response to: mrlasers
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I may end up with different tools, but from what Amazon says, the choices are Word (or similar word processors) and InDesign, which doesn't sound like much of a choice to me. But I guess I could end up doing the whole thing manually.

However, I think the problem is that when HTML is rendered all white space is collapsed. If I put a non-breaking space in that line, the line shows as a blank. If there is nothing or a standard space, it collapses.

So all i have to do is search on double returns (^p^p) and insert the space (^p^s^p) and the next export looks fine.

Van
mrlasers

Posts: 1,633
Registered: 07/06/11
Re: Want blank lines
Posted: Apr 27, 2012 9:14 AM   in response to: vanvanhorn in response to: vanvanhorn
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Any tool that can save as HTML, or a format that will convert well to HTML, is theoretically appropriate. I don't believe Amazon states that these are the only options anywhere in their documentation, though if they do they are definitely wrong. It wouldn't be the first time.

You can certainly get the same sort of result from Word using the paragraph formatting options "space before" and "space after." The primary advantages of HTML over Word are that you can easily ensure consistency, which is not always the case in Word (especially for less savvy users), and it will be a lot easier to write straight from your database to HTML.

I can only assume Amazon is trying to target InDesign to appeal to users who are familiar with that program for their print layouts. However, unless they're willing to make a huge number of assumptions about the user is choosing to format their content they're never going be able to ensure great, or even good, results for every book. InDesign really is too much and too little at the same time.

As far as including blank lines in HTML goes, you will not want to use either of the methods that you have described. A line break (<br>) should [i]only[/i] be used for forcing text to the next line within a paragraph. Blank paragraphs should never be included. As demonstrated in my previous example, you will want to use the CSS properties "margin-top" and "margin-bottom" for adding blank lines above and below, respectively. A length of "1em" will translate to one blank line in the current font size.

--
http://www.mrlasers.com
candescentpress

Posts: 733
Registered: 09/17/11
Re: Want blank lines
Posted: Apr 27, 2012 9:31 AM   in response to: mrlasers in response to: mrlasers
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I can only assume Amazon is trying to target InDesign to appeal to users who are familiar with that program for their print layouts. However, unless they're willing to make a huge number of assumptions about the user is choosing to format their content they're never going be able to ensure great, or even good, results for every book. InDesign really is too much and too little at the same time.

@mrlasers - Given that Adobe make Dreamweaver, and that they tend to share a lot of code between their programs behind the scenes, it's possible InDesign will develop into a package that can create eBooks properly.

At the moment, though I think you're spot on - the output I've had from InDesign books is as bad as PDFs, and using the plugin on a print book has resulted in some really badly formatted books. I'm sure that Amazon must only be doing it because they want print publishers, who often have their files in InDesign, to be able to digitise 'easily'.

@vanvanhorn - Your project would be perfect for drawing the data straight into html files. I've done a lot of similar books and, once set up, you can create new ones so quickly :)

Matt
US http://www.candescentpress.com
UK http://www.candescentpress.co.uk
We format eBooks so you can relax and write. Guaranteed EBook Formatting and Wonderful Cover Design

vanvanhorn

Posts: 8
Registered: 04/22/12
Re: Want blank lines
Posted: Apr 29, 2012 1:04 PM   in response to: candescentpress in response to: candescentpress
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To make this happen, my final choice was to insert a non-breaking space in those lines I wanted to preserve. In InDesign this was a matter of replacing
^P^P
with
^P^S^P

I never really got where I wanted using Amazon's Kindle plugin, my final solution was to export the book to EPub format, then open that in Calibre and export as .mobi. That was the only way to preserve the TOC.

On the TOC, I haven't experimented but something tells me that part of my problem came from doing the project as book - one document for each chapter. If I do the POD version I'll try it as a single file and try exporting for Kindle to see if that makes any difference.

The book was available at Amazon this morning, although I don't think I've sold any yet. I'm reasonably proud of the result, although I'm sure I'll get better at it with more practice. In the meantime I have to decide whether or not to create a print version.

The underwhelming title (I was too tired from the rest of the effort to come up with anything better) is "Mother: The Quotes", the Amazon product detail page is here: http://qotd.be/2z

There wasn't an simple answer to my original question but the answers did help me wind through the process and may be even more important in the next round. Father's Day is coming, after all.

Van
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