A few feature requests for Kindle formatting

Ma
Manni
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:18 am
Platform: Mac + Windows

Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:18 pm Post

First of all, I wanted to thank you (again!) for such a great software.

I've been using Scrivener for years for my screenplays and it's changed my life.

I've just finished formatting a new non-fiction book for print and ebook publishing. My designer has handled the print formatting, and I decided to do the ebook formatting myself. It's incredibly easy and powerful to be able to generate the ebook file directly from Scrivener, so I'm very happy with this feature.

Apart from some issues with illustrations (now solved), I have a couple of requests as these are the only outstanding points that prevent me from getting the result I'd like:

1) Please find a way to support basic formatting in titles. I mention movie titles in my titles in my non-fiction book and they have to be in Italics (just the title, not the whole line), both in the table of contents and in the manuscript itself. For print formatting, I can go through the MS Word exported file and add the italics by hand, it's not great but it's doable. However, I can't do this with the kindle version. I totally understand why this isn't supported, because with styles you can get any formatting for the whole title, but it would be great to have the flexibility to format parts of the title as well.

2) Please find a way to support "keep with next" in the kindle export. I'm assuming here that Kindle supports this, but if it does it would be great if the "keep with next" attributes in Scrivener were applied to the Kindle file (and other ebook formats if possible). At the moment, they are not taken into account, so you end up with orphans/widows in places you don't want to.

Finally, I found a way to get rid of the page numbers in the contents by using replacements (my Kindle format preset replaces <$p> with nothing in the preset replacements) but as they can't be used in the Kindle, it would be great if they were stripped automatically (that one isn't for myself as I have found the solution).

That's about it, once again, thanks for a fantastic tool and keep up the good work!

All the best,

Manni

Ma
Manni
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:18 am
Platform: Mac + Windows

Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:50 pm Post

Just realised I posted this in the wrong forum, I guess it should be in the Wish List forum. Sorry about that.

Any chance a mod could move it? Thanks!

User avatar
AmberV
Posts: 20612
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 4:30 am
Platform: Mac + Linux
Location: Santiago de Compostela, Galiza
Contact:

Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:43 am Post

Thanks for the feedback! Glad to hear Scrivener has been of help to you over the years.

On these two points:

  1. There may be a suitable solution available to you in the future. I can’t make any promises on that, but we have discussed some options in the past. By the way, e-books are editable documents, you just need an editor for them as most software cannot even read the format let alone edit it. Sigil and Calibre are good choices. You’ll need to start with ePub out of Scrivener, edit the ePub, then convert it to Mobi using Kindle Previewer (or the kindlegen command-line utility itself if you’re comfortable with that). Finally, for Mobi itself there is a checkbox in the KindleGen compile option pane for exporting the source files (mostly simple HTML and CSS with a few other files you can ignore unless you want to mess with the structure of the book) used to create the e-book. That puts you in direct control of the output. When you’re done, open the OPF file in Kindle Previewer to turn the folder into a .mobi.
  2. As far as I know there is no method that works for Kindle.
P.S. I have moved your topic to the wish list as requested; no worries!
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

Ma
Manni
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:18 am
Platform: Mac + Windows

Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:11 am Post

Hi Amber,

Thanks for the reply, very helpful as always. It would be GREAT if there was an internal solution for #1, and I'll explore your external suggestions as soon as I find the time.

It's a shame for Kindle that there is no solution for #2, but at least that can't be blamed on me if everyone suffers from it, so that makes me feel slightly better. It's such a basic feature, it's incredible they don't support this.

Thanks again and keep up the good work!

Ma
Manni
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:18 am
Platform: Mac + Windows

Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:42 am Post

Just to say that I did generate the source file using the Kindlegen option and was able to add the italics to all my titles. It's time consuming as I have to find the right file for each title (I have more than twenty to edit in about 60 source files), but it works, so thanks a lot for the tip, it's a good workaround until you implement internal support (if it happens, I'm aware you made no promise).

User avatar
AmberV
Posts: 20612
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 4:30 am
Platform: Mac + Linux
Location: Santiago de Compostela, Galiza
Contact:

Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:36 pm Post

Glad that’s working out for you then. By the way that NCX file is plain old XML, and can serve as a “cheat sheet” for finding the files you need to edit. You’ll find the title of the section (as it will appear in the ToC, as this file is the ToC) followed by a <content> element containing the name of the HTML file associated with that section.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

Ma
Manni
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:18 am
Platform: Mac + Windows

Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:35 pm Post

Thanks, I had seen that, but finding the file isn't too difficult, it's adding all the HTML flags everywhere in the many subtitles in each file that takes time.

Nothing too bad as long as there are not too many revisions that require a recompile.

I used to work as a software developer in another life, so it's not too hard to adapt, just inconvenient :).

Thanks again for all your help!

Ma
Manni
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:18 am
Platform: Mac + Windows

Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:36 pm Post

Hello Scrivener Team,

I just wanted to know if there had been any progress on the title formatting? Editing the sources files works but it's very time consuming to make corrections in the source files as well so you don't have to re-compile and have to re-do all the titles formatting.

Thanks for an update!

Manni

User avatar
AmberV
Posts: 20612
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 4:30 am
Platform: Mac + Linux
Location: Santiago de Compostela, Galiza
Contact:

Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:58 pm Post

Yes, at this point I can confirm that there will be a way to use simple markings in your titles to indicate italic or bold spans within them (in fact I just tested it with an internal build). This will be included as part of a major upgrade, as yet to be officially announced.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

Ma
Manni
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:18 am
Platform: Mac + Windows

Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:09 pm Post

Hi Amber,

This is fantastic news, thanks a lot for the update :)

Ma
Manni
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:18 am
Platform: Mac + Windows

Tue Oct 11, 2016 2:05 pm Post

Hi Amber,

Just wondering if you had a rough ETA for when the upgrade including this Kindle titles formatting feature will be available?

Just to know if we're talking days, weeks or months...

Thanks!

Manni

User avatar
AmberV
Posts: 20612
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 4:30 am
Platform: Mac + Linux
Location: Santiago de Compostela, Galiza
Contact:

Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:34 pm Post

We're not talking anything yet, it's not even official. :) We'll have more news once we're closer to the final stages.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

Ma
Manni
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:18 am
Platform: Mac + Windows

Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:24 pm Post

Thanks Amber, sounds like I can safely rule out days or weeks :)

User avatar
AmberV
Posts: 20612
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 4:30 am
Platform: Mac + Linux
Location: Santiago de Compostela, Galiza
Contact:

Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:39 pm Post

This is a very safe assumption. 8)
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

Ma
Manni
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:18 am
Platform: Mac + Windows

Sun Nov 20, 2016 11:04 am Post

Hi Amber,

I was wondering if were getting any nearer to a release of this magical build...

Just about to have to reformat the titles, so hoping help might be in sight... :)

Best,

Manni