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Thread: Why not just use a WYSIWYG editor?


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Permlink Replies: 4 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Jun 4, 2010 6:28 PM Last Post By: some1ne
wonderingtoo

Posts: 4
Registered: 06/02/10
Why not just use a WYSIWYG editor?
Posted: Jun 3, 2010 11:05 AM
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I'm a typical newbie, tearing my hair out over formatting when it suddenly hit me: if Kindle needs html files, can I just reformat my book in a web WYSIWYG editor to get it to look right? My book has images, diagrams, bullets and text boxes. I don't know squat about html but I've built websites in the past with nothing but WYSIWYGs. Dumb question?
cjeasyaspie

Posts: 2,360
Registered: 05/28/09
Re: Why not just use a WYSIWYG editor?
Posted: Jun 3, 2010 1:41 PM   in response to: wonderingtoo in response to: wonderingtoo
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I'm a typical newbie, tearing my hair out over
formatting when it suddenly hit me: if Kindle needs
html files, can I just reformat my book in a web
WYSIWYG editor to get it to look right? My book has
images, diagrams, bullets and text boxes. I don't
know squat about html but I've built websites in the
past with nothing but WYSIWYGs. Dumb question?

No... not a dumb question, especially considering the numbers of people on this forum that will tell you, "don't use MS Word and just write your whole book in HTML".

All I can figure is that they are gluttons for punishment.

The Kindle can't handle anything but very basic HTML, so some of the features you mention may not work, but there's no reason you shouldn't take advantage of those that do work.

I can't speak for anything but MS Word... is that what you are using? If so, which version?

Take a look at my CJ's EASY AS PIE website for my easy as pie method, using MS Word 2003.

CJ
some1ne

Posts: 7
Registered: 05/01/10
Re: Why not just use a WYSIWYG editor?
Posted: Jun 3, 2010 2:08 PM   in response to: wonderingtoo in response to: wonderingtoo
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Although using a WYSIWYG editor for formatting HTML for the Kindle seems like a forgone conclusion, there are a number of subtle issues that may crop up. For instance:

1. A WYSIWYG editor renders HTML like a browser, and not like a Kindle, so there's no guarantee that what you see in the editor will ultimately match what you see on the Kindle.

2. The Kindle only supports a small subset of HTML tags, and only a limited number of element attributes. A typical WYSIWYG editor will not be aware of this, and may emit unsupported tags.

3. The Kindle also only supports a very limited subset of CSS styles, and some of the ones that are supported are not supported fully to spec. So if your WYSIWYG editor is complex enough to use CSS for formatting and layout and text styling, it may again do things that the Kindle does not support.

That said, there's no harm in trying it to see if you are happy with the results. In general, I would think that the simpler your layout is, the better this approach will work.

Also, I would bet that sooner or later somebody is going to create a WYSIWYG editor that only uses the tags and CSS styles supported by the Kindle. Until that day, however, it's still a bit safer to do it by hand.
cjeasyaspie

Posts: 2,360
Registered: 05/28/09
Re: Why not just use a WYSIWYG editor?
Posted: Jun 4, 2010 4:46 AM   in response to: some1ne in response to: some1ne
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I would not disagree with anything you said... but you used an awful lot of words to say what I just said in one sentence:

"The Kindle can't handle anything but very basic HTML, so some of the features you mention may not work, but there's no reason you shouldn't take advantage of those that do work."

If you use programming terms and talk like a programmer to non-programmers, it's no wonder they get confused!

CJ
some1ne

Posts: 7
Registered: 05/01/10
Re: Why not just use a WYSIWYG editor?
Posted: Jun 4, 2010 6:28 PM   in response to: cjeasyaspie in response to: cjeasyaspie
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True enough, just trying to provide some specific examples of what can go wrong.
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