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Permlink Replies: 19 - Pages: 2 [ 1 2 | Next ] - Last Post: Dec 21, 2013 2:56 AM Last Post By: Notjohn
Dr Stephen Berard

Posts: 11
Registered: 02/28/13
Using background color for bilingual/dual language text
Posted: Oct 8, 2013 2:46 PM
 
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My eBook is a dual language book in Latin and English. I am trying to add a light grey background behind the paragraphs that are in English. I am using DIV to set the background color in STYLES.
div
{
background-color:lightgrey;
}

The background shows up in my web page but not in the Kindle format.

Other Kindle books have used this approach. How did they do it?

http://www.amazon.com/Alices-Adventures-Wonderland-Zweisprachige-ebook/dp/B00EA9SCZC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1381268104&sr=1-1&keywords=alice%27s+adventures+in+wonderland+bilingual

http://www.amazon.com/Great-German-Short-Stories-ebook/dp/B00ED6LL5U/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381268433&sr=1-1&keywords=five+great+german+short+stories+in
jtbigtoad

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Registered: 08/01/10
Re: Using background color for bilingual/dual language text
Posted: Oct 8, 2013 3:11 PM   in response to: Dr Stephen Berard in response to: Dr Stephen Berard
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Many, if not all Kindles and Kindle Apps do not do backgrounds.

Your best bet would be a font shift for the two languages.

Courier new is very effective and stable, even on the older e-Inks.

You could shift between regular and italic but sometimes that is not enough contrast.

JT

;)
Dr Stephen Berard

Posts: 11
Registered: 02/28/13
Re: Using background color for bilingual/dual language text
Posted: Oct 8, 2013 3:50 PM   in response to: jtbigtoad in response to: jtbigtoad
 
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How do I stipulate a font? If I make Courier New the font for the English, is the reader able to change the font for the Latin? In other words, does Courier New always stays Courier New? Just curious how this works. Or is Courier New the "Publisher Font"?

Yes, I don't believe that italics would be the best choice.

Back to my previous question: Your answer implies that the two bilingual books I referenced won't work on all Kindle platforms? I'm using them with my Kindle app on my iPad ("the NEW new iPad") and they look fine in this case.

Thanks for your help.

Edited by: Dr Stephen Berard on Oct 8, 2013 3:51 PM
Notjohn

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Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Using background color for bilingual/dual language text
Posted: Oct 8, 2013 4:51 PM   in response to: Dr Stephen Berard in response to: Dr Stephen Berard
 
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If you don't know how to call for fonts, why don't you just use italics?

(If you are using an html file, you can see my style sheet on my blog. You needn't call for anything if you want to use the default font, which is Caecilia or something very like it. If you want Courier / monospace, then you specify that. Perhaps JT can tell you how to get a similar effect in Word.

Good luck! -- NJ

The book: Notjohn's Guide to Kindle Publishing: Ten Steps to Selling Your E-book on Amazon (Or Anywhere Else) (Third Edition)

The blog: Notjohn's KDP Guide
Dr Stephen Berard

Posts: 11
Registered: 02/28/13
Re: Using background color for bilingual/dual language text
Posted: Oct 8, 2013 6:58 PM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
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Thanks, I understand that my question about fonts is probably more involved than this support system is designed to handle.

Using dual language is a bit complicated font-wise, because there are accented vowels in the Latin (and I use some Greek). These definitely would not look well in an italic font. Another problem is that not all fonts support the accented vowels. Times New Roman works and most, but not all, of the other default fonts on the Reader.

The English in the book is Medieval English which is already a bit challenging to read without making the letters italic.

So using a different font may be the best solution.

The other thing I should mention is that most of the book is in Latin; only one chapter is dual language.

I was really hoping that the gray background would work.

I just downloaded Paul Salvette's book and I'll check your blog. I know enough HTML to be dangerous and even less about CSS...but I guess it's time to learn more!
Notjohn

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Re: Using background color for bilingual/dual language text
Posted: Oct 9, 2013 2:50 AM   in response to: Dr Stephen Berard in response to: Dr Stephen Berard
 
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So using a different font may be the best solution

Be aware that none of the early Kindles (and there are millions of them out there; they seem to go on forever, like a Honda) will show any font but Caecilia and Courier. With a good formatter, you can embed fonts in a book for the newer devices, but they will fall back to the default for the older devices.

Accented letters and Greek characters can be handled in html and (I'm told) also by choosing a different charset (character set). I restrict myself to html. There used to be, and probably still, a list of supported characters in the Kindle Publishing Guidelines http://kindlegen.s3.amazonaws.com/AmazonKindlePublishingGuidelines.pdf

There is indeed a way to get a text block with a gray background that works, I believe, in most or all e-book devices. The css (style sheet entry) was shown a couple months ago in a discussion on MobileRead.com in either the Sigil or the epub forums.

Good luck! -- NJ

The book: Notjohn's Guide to Kindle Publishing: Ten Steps to Selling Your E-book on Amazon (Or Anywhere Else) (Third Edition)

The blog: Notjohn's KDP Guide
Dr Stephen Berard

Posts: 11
Registered: 02/28/13
Re: Using background color for bilingual/dual language text
Posted: Oct 9, 2013 7:49 AM   in response to: Dr Stephen Berard in response to: Dr Stephen Berard
 
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In order to make the eBook readable across a range of devices (including older models) it is better to use a contrasting font or italics or some other means to distinguish between two languages.
jtbigtoad

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Registered: 08/01/10
Re: Using background color for bilingual/dual language text
Posted: Oct 9, 2013 8:33 AM   in response to: Dr Stephen Berard in response to: Dr Stephen Berard
 
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As far as fonts go, I am a simpleton.

I use Word 2003, and I have a style that calls for Courrier New.

It is based on Normak and specifies Courier New as the font it is also Block indented 0.5 inches and has no indent but 12 points of space between each paragraph.

This is in order to simulate a typed letter.

I call Currier New the cockroach of fonts -- (Nothing Kills it!)

This will survive font changes in the Kindle fire and remain immutable (haven't tried it on I -Stuff, but the Downloaded preview showed the simulation true to font!

I have also done font changes ad-hoc by simply clicking the font button to do a small section.

This is how I do Italics -- I just click the "I" button and type away.

Later editions of Word make establishing Styles more tricky (Check your help section)

All Styles should be based on NORMAL = Times new Roman Font size 12, No first-line indent, left aligned, and no space before/after

Just Plain Old Typing

JT

;)

And as far as font change vs Italics on some devices it is difficult to distinguish Italics from normal text, but do-able. If you are alternating Paragraphs, it gets more obvious and easy to spot the changes.

I was using bold Italics and that got to be too much (this was for my character's internal thoughts.)

JT

;)

Edited by: jtbigtoad on Oct 9, 2013 8:37 AM
jtbigtoad

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Registered: 08/01/10
Re: Using background color for bilingual/dual language text
Posted: Oct 9, 2013 8:43 AM   in response to: Dr Stephen Berard in response to: Dr Stephen Berard
 
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M
O
D
E
R
A
T
E
D
:(

I WILL NOT SAY IT, BUT I CERTAINLY AM THINKING IT!
Notjohn

Posts: 5,553
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Using background color for bilingual/dual language text
Posted: Oct 9, 2013 10:09 AM   in response to: jtbigtoad in response to: jtbigtoad
 
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Yeah, I got modded too. It seems that the more helpful we try to be, the more often we get modded. -- NJ
jtbigtoad

Posts: 9,229
Registered: 08/01/10
Re: Using background color for bilingual/dual language text
Posted: Oct 9, 2013 10:20 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
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Notjohn wrote:
Yeah, I got modded too. It seems that the more helpful we try to be, the more often we get modded. -- NJ

I think time spent answering has something todo with it!

JT

:(
555aaa

Posts: 278
Registered: 04/03/12
Re: Using background color for bilingual/dual language text
Posted: Oct 9, 2013 12:01 PM   in response to: Dr Stephen Berard in response to: Dr Stephen Berard
 
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you might need to add one of these three attributes within the div tag in your css

display="inline"

display="inline-block"

or
display="block"

because otherwise we don't know if the div tag context is a block object or inline object. I always end up experimenting with these.

Although this post is about centering, it talks about the difference between block objects and inline objects in css and how that applies to ebooks:

http://www.pigsgourdsandwikis.com/2012/03/centering-in-ebooks-across-ereaders.html
linsherman

Posts: 187
Registered: 05/12/12
Re: Using background color for bilingual/dual language text
Posted: Oct 9, 2013 7:17 PM   in response to: Dr Stephen Berard in response to: Dr Stephen Berard
 
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Dr Berard,

Your code will work on Kindles that support the newer KF8 format (Fire, Paperwhite, Kindle for PC/Mac., etc), but not on the older Kindles.

If your code isn't woking on any Kindles, double-check to make sure your CSS is included in your .zip or .epub file and is in the right internal path.

The problem on the older Kindles is that the old Mobi format doesn't support the background property. This may be a case where your best solution is to simply write off users of older Kindles and advise them to read the book with Kindle for PC or Kindle for Mac.

However, if you want to go the italics route on the older Kindles, you can do this

div {
background: lightgrey;
}
@media amzn-mobi {
div {
font-style: italic;
}
}

Possibly better than italics would be to use a different font size, either larger or smaller than the default, e.g.

div {
background: lightgrey;
}
@media amzn-mobi {
div {
font-size: 80%;
}
}

Might I also recommend that if you set the background color, you also set the text color. Otherwise your text may be very hard to read if the user selects the white-on-black or sepia color scheme:

div {
background: lightgrey;
color: black;
}

Cheers :)
Lin
Simplified HTML & CSS for E-Books

Edited by: linsherman on Oct 9, 2013 7:17 PM
Notjohn

Posts: 5,553
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Using background color for bilingual/dual language text
Posted: Oct 10, 2013 2:39 AM   in response to: linsherman in response to: linsherman
 
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Does lightgrey actually work? I thought html followed American spelling, as in *gray*? -- NJ
linsherman

Posts: 187
Registered: 05/12/12
Re: Using background color for bilingual/dual language text
Posted: Oct 10, 2013 7:23 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
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Yes, British spelling works. This is documented somewhere in the CSS standard.

Cheers :)
Lin
Simplified HTML & CSS for E-Books

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