Formatting Your Source Content

Formatting Your Source Content


Overview and Required Tools


Why am I talking about source documents? Because the end result--your book-- is only going to look as good as the code that goes into it. When I first created the ePub tutorial, I skimmed over creating the source document and just talked about the ePub format. After making and editing several ePubs for my own use, I have seen more and more that the HTML you start with determine how nice the final book looks.


     Tools Needed:


     A text or HTML editor. Anything that can edit text files, HTML, and XML. (Example: Notepad, Komposer)


     Tools for cleaning up source documents:


Below are some tools for cleaning up the HTML/XHTML files often used for sources for ePub books. Cleaner source code will produce a better looking book. Most of the ePub readers right now only support basic tags and do strange and wonderful things when they see a tag they don't recognize. Whether you make an eBook by hand, or use a program to convert a text or HTML document to an ePub file, the cleaner the HTML looks, the nicer the final book will look. The fewer the tags in the source document, the better.


     Tag Soup - cleans up HTML tags

     Convert Files - converts various files from one format to another. Can be used to get your source document into HTML. (Can also convert straight to ePub, but the formatting of most automated tools is.... "interesting".)

     Atlantis Word Processor - Atlantis is a word processor much like MS Word. Like Word, it can export to HTML. Unlike Word, it outputs clean HTML, and can also export straight to ePub, but can't edit existing ePub books.


I had a nice Windows program specifically to clean MS Word crap out of HTML pages... but I can't seem to find what I did with it. I'll keep looking and post a link here if I can find it again...


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