A print designer called me over to her desk this week during an ebook review in Adobe Digital Editions to show me something I had never seen before.
That’s always a good start to the workday, right?
PRINT DESIGNER: “There are some crazy long words that drag on across 2 pages in some places.”
ME: “… . Let me think on that a bit!”
The first thing I do in these situations is to take it to Twitter:
Then I thought of the first thing I should have asked her.
ME: “What version of ADE are you using?”
PRINT DESIGNER: “Looks like v1.7.”
ME: “Oh! Okay, update to v2.0. I’ll send you the link. Adobe doesn’t push updates for ADE.”
(I go get another cup of coffee while she installs v2.0.)
PRINT DESIGNER: “Problem solved!”
Of course, it’s not as simple as that. (For the small amount of our readers who may be using ADE v1.7 … well, I draw the line at optimizing our ebooks for out-of-date ereaders.) Knowing how ereaders
mess with my head render content inconsistently, the day ahead included some testing. I’ve compiled these screenshots for your viewing pleasure and for the advancement of humankind.
Here’s the paragraph in question:
Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorffvoralternwarengewissenhaftschaferswessenschafewarenwohlgepflegeundsorgfaltigkeitbeschutzenvonangreifendurchihrraubgierigfeindewelchevoralternzwolftausendjahresvorandieerscheinenwanderersteerdemenschderraumschiffgebrauchlichtalsseinursprungvonkraftgestartseinlangefahrthinzwischensternartigraumaufdersuchenachdiesternwelchegehabtbewohnbarplanetenkreisedrehensichundwohinderneurassevonverstandigmenschlichkeitkonntefortplanzenundsicherfreuenanlebenslanglichfreudeundruhemitnichteinfurchtvorangreifenvonandererintelligentgeschopfsvonhinzwischensternartigraum, Senior.
Here’s the paragraph in Dreamweaver:
(updated to include the css)
Adobe RMSDK-based ereaders = passable
Adobe Digital Editions v2.0
Kindles = passable
Kindle iPad App
Kindle Mac Desktop App
Kindle Fire HD
Kindle mobi (Kindle Previewer)
There’s some ereaders I’ve skipped (sorry Kobo!). Laura Brady kindly testing this paragraph for Kobo:
Kobos = passable
Kobo Eink: Aura
Kobo App for Android
Kobo App for the iPad
I deem all these passable because I didn’t have to do anything special to the long word to make it wrap and, in some cases, hyphens were even included (small victories!). Clearly, Kindle App for the iPad and Kobo App for the iPad are the winners. The word breaks with appropriately-placed hyphens. Who woulda thunk it?
Web-based Ereaders =
I expected more from you!
EPUBReader in Firefox
Readium in Chrome
Web-based ereaders are simply allowing the word to wander off the page into oblivion.
The thing about this testing is that it’s interesting and valuable, but loading ebooks onto ereaders and compiling screen shots takes a long problem and makes it even longer. Anybody have tips to alleviate that process?
Several Twitter friends recommended hyphenation solutions. I’ll be tackling that next.