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Thread: Formatting an ebook properly in Word or in WordPerfect, OpenOffice or HTML


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jsf1000

Posts: 14
Registered: 02/27/11
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 6, 2011 5:52 PM   in response to: notjohn in response to: notjohn
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Two reasons:

1) From what I'm reading here, you get a better cover image if your convert through KindleGen, which is appealing to me.

2) The fact that what seems to be a straight forward process...html to prc to mobi through MPC and KG isn't working, which implies to me I'm not as clever as I thought I was in my html. I don't quite understand yet what KindleGen does to the prc file and why a prc that's working perfectly on my Kindle is getting screwed up when it goes through the Kindle sieve. Even when KG worked, the "start" command that came out the other end didn't work as advertised, and I'm trying to understand the variables.

This is the first day I've wrestled with the Kindle forums and I'm still very much feeling my way. I'm trying to figure out just how stupid I am. :D
jsf1000

Posts: 14
Registered: 02/27/11
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 6, 2011 11:16 PM   in response to: jsf1000 in response to: jsf1000
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Problem solved.

I actually looked at the TOC.html file mobi created and it had the complete tree of my directory for each link, with bunches of percent signs and number in there for slashes and such. I built my MPC file in a folder on the root directory, forcing MPC to create relative links and everything went like clockwork. I haven't checked MPC to see if relative links are an option I should have ticked. It's never been a problem in the prc, but building the file on the root directory is easy enough.

For the go-to-beginning button to work in kindle for pc, I had to put the "start" code into the guide function of MPC, the same way I put my hand-created TOC there. Once I did, it worked great.
man2010

Posts: 1,897
Registered: 01/01/10
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 7, 2011 7:52 AM   in response to: jsf1000 in response to: jsf1000
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[i]I actually looked at the TOC.html file mobi created and it had the complete tree of my directory for each link, with bunches of percent signs and number in there for slashes and such. I built my MPC file in a folder on the root directory, forcing MPC to create relative links and everything went like clockwork.[/i]

glad you solved the problem. Just my two cents: Probably you had some weird symbols in the path to your file that KG does not understand. Or you moved your mbp_toc.html file to a different location for the KG to work on.

Clean HTML code does matter for KG and MPC and if worst comes to worst you can use the HTML template provided in this thread and just copy and paste your text to replace my text (it's going to be a bit tedious because you need to replace each paragraph and heading individually). I built two more ebooks successfully using this template and the process outlined in the main post. Interestingly, if I delete a single piece of code in that template: <div class="WordSection1"> along with its closing tag, then the whole book-building process goes haywire and I get numerous and arcane errors in MPC and KG.

Why your start anchor is acting up is a somewhat strange. Maybe there is something wrong with your HTML, maybe something else. Just keep in mind that MPC and MobiPocket Reader cannot understand this anchor and need a separate guide item, whereas KG and Kindle apps and devices should work OK. Neither "beginning" nor "TOC" link works correctly in the free sample of your ebook on Amazon.com, so don't let this confuse you.
jsf1000

Posts: 14
Registered: 02/27/11
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 7, 2011 3:07 PM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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Thanks for getting back to me!

I thought right away about the moving thing, (which I had done...because I was lazy and didn't want to do all the dos string of directories) but when I went to the directory of origin to use kindlegen, I had the same problem. Maybe it doesn't like spaces...but seeing as how the directories I use are all created by windows and MPC, I don't quite understand how that would affect the outcome.

Bottom line, if I just create on the root directory, all goes swimmingly and I'm a happy camper! :D Even the MPC TOC.

However, I like my TOC better, so now that I've got it to behave, I'm not using it! :D :D :D I'm just directing the TOC button to my own, much more compact TOC.

I didn't realize the the "start" anchor wouldn't work in MPReader! That's probably in your explanation and I just overlooked it. I was really confused over what should and shouldn't work where by the time I was done yesterday. :D

However, once I could create the Mobi files in Kindlegen, they're working fine in K4PC. (YAY)

Thanks again for the great article. It helped me a lot.
waxingpoetic75

Posts: 1
Registered: 01/06/11
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 11, 2011 5:46 PM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! man2010, your posts have helped me immensely and I know they have taken you a lot of time to not only write, but the trial and error you've gone through as well. You have saved many writers LOADS of time. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
man2010

Posts: 1,897
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Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 12, 2011 12:17 AM   in response to: waxingpoetic75 in response to: waxingpoetic75
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you're welcome :)
ramiserhan

Posts: 6
Registered: 03/18/11
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 18, 2011 9:49 AM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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folks, I am formatting headings 1, 2, 3 in the original .doc before converting to html. then when I get to MPC add table of content I am adding h1, h2, h3 in the relevant tag name level but when I update I get an error:
"Line: 94
Character: 3
Code: 0
Message: Object doesn't support this action
Url: file:///C:/Program%20Files%20(x86)/Mobipocket.com/Mobipocket%20Creator/rsrc/html/table_of_contents.html

I am not sure where to go from here. I am using version 4.2 of mpc on vista 64. is it defective software, or am I doing something wrong. help please.
man2010

Posts: 1,897
Registered: 01/01/10
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 18, 2011 4:57 PM   in response to: ramiserhan in response to: ramiserhan
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if you are using MS Word and saving your .doc file as a "webpage, filtered" (extension .html) or if you are importing a Word .doc file into MPC directly, this approach should work fine.

you could try searching your HTML code for the tags h1 h2 and h3, to make sure that you have them. Open your html file in Notepad and use the menu "Edit" -> "Find"

if you have the proper tags, then there is something wrong with your HTML code. I see two options here: go to line 94 of your html file and try to find what the error codes mean. Or you can build your html file from scratch by editing the HTML template provided in this thread (copy and paste each paragraph, heading, etc of your book into the template). This is going to be a slow and tedious process but you will get a properly formatted and bug-free book right away.

You can also try e-mailing MPC customer support, although I am not sure it works anymore:
http://www.mobipocket.com/forum/index.php
ramiserhan

Posts: 6
Registered: 03/18/11
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 18, 2011 8:19 PM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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hi,
thanks for your response. opened html with notepad. i have h1, 2, 3, 4 all over the document. went to line 94 here is what i found:
@font-face
{font-family:Tunga;
panose-1:0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0;}
it dos not look suspicious to me but I am no expert.
booknookbiz

Posts: 2,043
Registered: 03/04/10
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 18, 2011 10:23 PM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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if you are using MS Word and saving your .doc file as
a "webpage, filtered" (extension .html) or if you are
importing a Word .doc file into MPC directly, this
approach should work fine.

you could try searching your HTML code for the tags
h1 h2 and h3, to make sure that you have them. Open
your html file in Notepad and use the menu "Edit" ->
"Find"

if you have the proper tags, then there is something
wrong with your HTML code. I see two options here: go
to line 94 of your html file and try to find what the
error codes mean. Or you can build your html file
from scratch by editing the HTML template provided in
this thread (copy and paste each paragraph, heading,
etc of your book into the template). This is going to
be a slow and tedious process but you will get a
properly formatted and bug-free book right away.

You can also try e-mailing MPC customer support,
although I am not sure it works anymore:
http://www.mobipocket.com/forum/index.php


Folks:

Firstly, the "percent signs and numbers" bit is what command-line programs (linux/unix, etc.) put in when people put SPACES in their file names and directory names--%20 is a space.

Secondly, the problem with "line 94" isn't in his manuscript file--please note the error message, it's in the TOC html file that MBP is trying to build. NOT the manuscript.

Lastly, FWIW, although it has nothing to do with the error, there's no reason to leave that 1800 lines of font face crap in your html--Kindle won't recognize it, anyway.

HTH
Hitch
I produce eBooks
***************************
***************************

Minor edit for clarification.


Message was edited by: bkhitch

Edited by: KDP Community Moderator

agardenpath

Posts: 4
Registered: 03/10/11
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 19, 2011 4:35 AM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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So, I read "Formatting of Kindle Books," and I found it to be INCREDIBLY helpful. Couldn't have gotten this far without it. And I'm so...close...

KindleGen is having trouble with the NCX file. I'm getting an error in the dos which reads:

Error(prcgen): Hyperlink not resolved in toc:C:.......desktop\gth.html#bookintro
Error(prcgen): The table of contents could not be built.

Here's what I have in the toc.ncx:
<navMap>
<navPoint id="intro" playOrder="1">
<navLabel><text>Introduction</text></navLabel>
<content src="gth.html#bookintro" />
</navPoint>

here's what I have in gth.html:
<mbp:pagebreak>

Introduction



What am I missing.

(I triple-checked the manifest and spine in the opf.)
agardenpath

Posts: 4
Registered: 03/10/11
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 19, 2011 4:36 AM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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gth:html

"<mbp:pagebreak>"
man2010

Posts: 1,897
Registered: 01/01/10
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 19, 2011 5:09 AM   in response to: ramiserhan in response to: ramiserhan
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bkhitch is right, the problem is not in the code of your book. I did not read your post carefully the first time. The file path shows that that the problem is in one of the MPC installation files. MPC has not been updated since 2008, and it does not even list Vista among the supported operating systems. It appears that MPC has problems with 64-bit Vista or there is a very small chance that there was an error during MPC's installation. Incidentally, MPC works fine in my 32-bit Vista. You could try reinstalling MPC or installing it on a PC with a 32-bit version of Windows. Since MPC works OK in 32-bit Vista, I am guessing it should work fine in 32-bit Windows 7 as well (and Win2000 and XP as stated on the download web page).
man2010

Posts: 1,897
Registered: 01/01/10
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 19, 2011 5:21 AM   in response to: agardenpath in response to: agardenpath
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Did you move your book files from your MPC folder to the desktop? If this is the case, then KindleGen will not be able to build the book unless you update your mbp_toc.html file because this file contains folder-specific code. You can update this file in MPC (don't worry, it will not screw up your custom changes in the .opf file), or you can try building your book in the original MPC folder (I am guessing you know how to use the cd command in the Command Prompt).
agardenpath

Posts: 4
Registered: 03/10/11
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Mar 19, 2011 7:33 AM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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I DID move them to the desktop. I'll fix that - thanks!
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