How to Delete the Table of Contents?

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Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:50 pm Post

Ok. So I like Scrivener.

But just lately I am getting very frustrated with it.

I am trying to create a childrens picture book for kindle.

I am trying to keep the front matter down to an absolute bare minimum. A table of contents makes absolutely no sense for a 30 page picture book, but I cannot find any way to get rid of it.

I have read the forum and the suggestion seems to be compile to epub and then open up in Sigil, delete the table of contents, resave and open up in Kindle Previewer to convert to .mobi.

But having tried this I am stuck on how you delete the table of contents in Sigil?

Anyone know?

I have opened it up. Clicked on text and tried deleting contents.xhtml. But then when you save the epub and try to open it up in Kindle Previewer, it won't validate, so you can't do it.

Anyone know how you delete the table of contents that scrivener produces in Sigil?

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AmberV
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Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:08 pm Post

Did you also remove references to the contents.xhtml file from the NCX and OPF files, which are responsible for explaining what all of these files are, to an e-book reader? If you just delete a file that these two architecture files are requesting, then that will indeed cause validation errors.
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Ioa Petra'ka
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Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:23 am Post

It all seems rather complicated.

Is there a step-by-step guide anywhere that you are aware of?

I ended up downloading Kindle Comic Creator and creating each page in Photoshop rather than Scrivener and having each page as a static, fixed page.

It strikes me as a shame that scrivener is lacking in the compile options when it comes to Kindle.

That is now one of the main outlets for authors, and yet basic things like not being able to remove a table of contents easily do marr its usefulness.

I also notice that the final .mobi files that Scrivener produces are horribly bloated. This matters because Amazon charges for delivery of the files. The same files that Scrivener produces when recompiled through Calibre come in at half the file size. And contrary to what you may hear, Amazon seems to have no problem with accepting them. But quite why Scrivener produces such bloated files in comparison to Calibre is a little beyond me?

On the fixed format front, I would actually have thought that Scrivener is missing a trick here.

The way Scrivener organises workflow is tailor made to have a "Compile each page as a fixed format page" option, because you typically split up the content already in the binder section. This would have the distinct advantage over other programs that you could write normal, flowing text in Scrivener, and then in the compile area have Scrivener turn it into images. This would greatly reduce the time that it takes to write certain types of books where you need an image on each page. But would retain the means of easily editing the text, a real win-win.

I totally understand why people would buy a Mac simply to be able to use the Mac version of Scrivener. The whole workflow is SOOOO much better with the Mac version. The compile options are far better and more refined, and you can produce a kindle book and also a createspace version, which you can't really do on the Windows version without tweaking the files in external programs.

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Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:11 pm Post

It all seems rather complicated.


Well, I would argue that editing and publishing e-books at this point in time is by nature a complicated and technical task. I would argue that is true of any publishing, for that matter, but at least with print publishing we have decades of invention behind us and helping us. Authors are stepping into multiple careers when they choose to self-publish. It's an admirable and tough thing to do, and we can try our best to make that as easy as possible, but if you are going to hit areas a general tool like Scrivener does not address, a technical knowledge of the field you are working in will be invaluable.

It wasn't even a few years ago that authors were having to build e-books by hand using text editors. Things are getting better.

As an aside, I think that the Kindle comic format is better for picturebooks anyway. The standard e-book format just isn't really made for that kind of thing, and even the best attempts will be approximations that could end up breaking on some devices and not showing things how you intend. The comic format is meant for fixed layout oriented publishing. But yeah, just in general, I think Scrivener is better for writing the text and narrative structure of such things, rather than putting together the final product, when the final product is so specific in its design.

I also notice that the final .mobi files that Scrivener produces are horribly bloated.


We don't create the .mobi files, Amazon does. When you installed KindleGen on your computer, that was the component that is responsible for turning what amounts to a small framework of XHTML and XML files into a Mobi/KF8 book.

I would strongly advise that you not use Calibre to make your conversion. It uses an antiquated format that Amazon will one day drop support for. The reason the files KindleGen creates are larger is because they actually have two copies of the book within them. They have the old deprecated format for legacy devices that cannot read the new KF8 format, and the KF8 format for devices going forward. If you use Calibre to create your book, you will only be creating an e-book that legacy Kindle devices can read.

That said I do wish Amazon had handle the whole thing better. Bundling "fat" books with two formats in them is exceptionally awkward. They should have had people uploading two different e-books, and then their server would vend the proper format to the device requesting it, depending on its make. But we don't have any say over how they handle distribution. They chose a fat format, so that is what we're providing for authors to use.

It strikes me as a shame that scrivener is lacking in the compile options when it comes to Kindle.


Sure, we could have done that, then it would have been a super minimal writing platform with an elaborate e-book generator tacked onto the end of it. You wouldn't be able to do 75% of the things you can do with Scrivener, but you could disable HTML contents and myriad other things. We chose to balance out development and put special emphasis on the writing tools, since that is the focus of the software. Nicer output is indeed, nicer, but it's not the main purpose of the software. We'll do what is reasonable to advance that, in time, but not at the expense of the core product.

The way Scrivener organises workflow is tailor made to have a "Compile each page as a fixed format page" option, because you typically split up the content already in the binder section....


I'm not sure if I follow what you are getting at here. If anything, I would argue that Scrivener is rather unsuitable for this task, since it doesn't have much of a concept of a "page" (setting aside for the moment, that a page is a rather abstract concept in an e-book). A program that is built from the ground up to have a concept of metric publishing constraints (like paper sizes, or Kindle comic page delivery) would be better, no?
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Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:10 pm Post

I know this is an old thread, but it was the only one that showed up on a "Sigil Delete Contents" search today. I was trying to find help because I had the same problem as the original poster. I deleted the contents page in Sigil, but then Kindle Previewer could not open the edited epub file.

I tried different things and finally figured out a way to do this. I want to share what I did in case this method might help others as well.

I compiled my ebook to epub format, opened it in Sigil and, under Book Browser, right-clicked on the contents.xhtml file and deleted it. I then clicked on Tools > Table of Contents > Generate Table of Contents and clicked on OK. I then saved the file and opened it in Kindle Previewer. The book opens fine in Kindle Previewer with no errors, and the ToC is no longer there.

Still in Kindle Previewer, I clicked File > Export and saved the book as a mobi file. I opened the saved mobi file with Kindle for Windows, and it appears to be okay. No ToC and no errors showing.

EDIT: If anyone is aware of any issues this method may cause once the mobi file is uploaded to KDP, by all means please share. I would hate for myself or anyone else run into roadblocks with Amazon by doing this. Thanks!

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Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:58 pm Post

sjbeller wrote:I compiled my ebook to epub format, opened it in Sigil and, under Book Browser, right-clicked on the contents.xhtml file and deleted it. I then clicked on Tools > Table of Contents > Generate Table of Contents and clicked on OK. I then saved the file and opened it in Kindle Previewer. The book opens fine in Kindle Previewer with no errors, and the ToC is no longer there.

Still in Kindle Previewer, I clicked File > Export and saved the book as a mobi file. I opened the saved mobi file with Kindle for Windows, and it appears to be okay. No ToC and no errors showing.


This information seems to be what I needed -- thanks! I compiled in Scrivener to epub, then grabbed the file in Sigil and got rid of the TOC.

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Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:58 pm Post

It’s worth noting that at this point in time, pretty much all of the future vision for ebook output, that was spoke of years ago, is now intact in the v3 release candidate. Ebook output control is at this point extremely flexible, and I would hope the only people having to go to Sigil or similar are those that have very specific requirements—like for example the fixed layout stuff, or audio/visual, etc. Stuff that Scrivener just doesn’t do at any level.
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Ioa Petra'ka
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