Cool new resource for Personal Books

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Posts 2401
mab | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, May 15 2015 7:11 PM

Calibre is now able to convert eBooks into DOCX files. This should be helpful for anyone wanting to add a personal book to their Logos library.

http://calibre-ebook.com/whats-new 

The mind of man is the mill of God, not to grind chaff, but wheat. Thomas Manton | Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow. Richard Baxter

Posts 453
Dave Moser | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 15 2015 7:22 PM

Thanks for pointing that out! It's a huge help.

Posts 2836
Michael Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 15 2015 8:04 PM

Just tried it, and it is excellent!  This will greatly benefit the Logos community!

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

Posts 2401
mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 15 2015 8:13 PM

Michael Childs:

Just tried it, and it is excellent!  This will greatly benefit the Logos community!

Thanks for the feedback. I tend to worry about bugs in new features.For those who don't know, Calibre is free, and useful for making a library of different files like PDFs and eBooks. It also works on Windows Macs and Linux.

The mind of man is the mill of God, not to grind chaff, but wheat. Thomas Manton | Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow. Richard Baxter

Posts 1282
Mike Tourangeau | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 15 2015 10:47 PM

I just tried this out on a pdf to docx and the pb didn't look right. I intend to try a few others but is this the idea? Use it to make pdf's into docx files for personal books?

Would be great if it works....

Posts 257
John C Connell Jr. | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 16 2015 5:53 AM

Same thing.  My problem is with the PDF line feeds.  It limits the DOCX file to a predetermined page width and limits the overall utility of reading in Logos.  May as well read in a PDF reader and take advantage of built in links.  Don't see much utility here unless I am missing something.

Be strong and courageous. . . for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

Posts 3116
David Taylor Jr | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 16 2015 6:19 AM

Ok, Now I gotta go redo some books!

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Posts 1463
Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 16 2015 6:23 AM

mab:

Calibre is now able to convert eBooks into DOCX files. This should be helpful for anyone wanting to add a personal book to their Logos library.

http://calibre-ebook.com/whats-new 

Can Calibre now convert Kindle books to DOCX?  I haven't delved into this area before but it's been my understanding that "eBooks" and Kindle books are two different animals.

Posts 353
Virgil Buttram | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 16 2015 6:59 AM

Rick Ausdahl:

mab:

Calibre is now able to convert eBooks into DOCX files. This should be helpful for anyone wanting to add a personal book to their Logos library.

http://calibre-ebook.com/whats-new 

Can Calibre now convert Kindle books to DOCX?  I haven't delved into this area before but it's been my understanding that "eBooks" and Kindle books are two different animals.

Yes, that is exactly what it means. If you know how to get your Kindle books into Calibre, Calibre can now directly convert them into DOCX. I haven't tested this yet, but I'm excited about it.

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 16 2015 7:35 AM

Rick Ausdahl:

Can Calibre now convert Kindle books to DOCX?  I haven't delved into this area before but it's been my understanding that "eBooks" and Kindle books are two different animals.

for clarification: the term "eBook" is generic for any electronic book. Faithlife uses the term to distinguish between Logos and Vyrso editions, although that is a bit arbitrary since Logos books are also "eBooks". I think you are confusing eBook with ePub... The later being an actual file type. Calibre can convert many file types to other types, and often do a great job. The issue with Kindle books isn't calibre's ability to convert, but its ability to break copy protection. There is dispure about the legality of breaking such copy protection. It certainly will vary by jurisdiction. 

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Posts 453
Dave Moser | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 16 2015 8:01 AM

Mike Tourangeau:

I just tried this out on a pdf to docx and the pb didn't look right. I intend to try a few others but is this the idea? Use it to make pdf's into docx files for personal books?

Would be great if it works....

PDF is always going to be a problem. It's one of the least accessible formats behind the scenes. This tool is excellent for people who have books in more useful formats like epub and mobi.

Posts 1747
Robert M. Warren | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 16 2015 8:22 AM

Thanks, mab!

I haven't checked Calibre for updates in quite a while.

I tested one Kindle book that I had converted previously using the Kindle-->Caliibre-->HTML.Z-->web browser-->copy-->paste into Word method (which preserves headings and images; see the blog posts linked in my signature, which have not yet been updated with this good news). I will make these observations. (This is just one test of one book, so the "your mileage may vary" caveat applies.)

  1. The text looks good in the PB.
  2. Images are preserved. This is a big deal, since the reason the RTF path in Calibre is unacceptable is that the images in the resulting Word docx will not compile in the PB. (Has to do with the PB compiler needing a specific external source for the image.)
  3. Since the Kindle endnotes appear to have been converted to bookmarks in the resulting docx, I was hoping that the PB would compile the references such that a mouse-over would display the endnote or some part of it. Alas, it did not. This book has end-of-chapter endnotes, which, of course, starts the number over for each chapter. I think if a book has end-of-book endnotes that do not restart numbering at each chapter, but has non-duplicative numbers, the resulting bookmarks/references would have compiled in the PB. I'll know more after more experiments.
  4. Heading/TOC entries came over beautifully. Under the previous method (see above), this was true sometimes, sometimes not. I'll have to test some more to see if some of the stubborn ones I previously had to manually set headings on will function better with this new method. I'll report back on that after more experimentation.

I'll provide an additional tip here:  If you have 64-bit Windows (not sure about Macs), you;ll wan the 64-bit version of Calibre, because I have seen the 32-bit version choke out on very large books. After installing the 64-bit version, these books converted (in the fullness of time).

Regarding PDFs:  I have never been satisfied, from a PB creating perspective, with how Calibre converts PDFs. I'll offer this advice for converting PDFs:

  1. If the PDF has a lot of "live" footnotes, use Word 2013, if possible. It will generally preserve the footnote function and the resulting PB will have functioning footnotes.
  2. If the PDF has a lot of images that are integral to the meaning of the book, i.e., they're not just chapter glyphs, use the bizarre sequence I describe in the blog posts linked in my signature.
  3. The big trade-off is between images and footnotes.

All things considered, this is indeed very good news.

Posts 1463
Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 16 2015 8:40 AM

alabama24:

Rick Ausdahl:

Can Calibre now convert Kindle books to DOCX?  I haven't delved into this area before but it's been my understanding that "eBooks" and Kindle books are two different animals.

for clarification: the term "eBook" is generic for any electronic book. Faithlife uses the term to distinguish between Logos and Vyrso editions, although that is a bit arbitrary since Logos books are also "eBooks". I think you are confusing eBook with ePub... The later being an actual file type. Calibre can convert many file types to other types, and often do a great job. The issue with Kindle books isn't calibre's ability to convert, but its ability to break copy protection. There is dispure about the legality of breaking such copy protection. It certainly will vary by jurisdiction. 

Thanks, alabama24.

I may indeed have been confusing/mixing the terms eBook and ePub--I sensed that, hence my question.  E.g. I was thinking of the digital copy of a book that can be checked out from the public library as being an eBook.  I'm now understanding that was a mistake in the sense that while it's true it may be an eBook in the general sense, it's more accurate/specific to say it's an eBook in the ePub format.  Am I on the right track?

Also, if I'm tracking with what you and others who have posted, while it's true that Calibre is now able to convert eBooks in the Kindle format to the Word DOCX format, doing so may be breaking copy protection laws.  Correct?

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 16 2015 8:56 AM

Calibre is unable, by itself, to convert Kindle books. Others have created add on tools to remove the DRM. 

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 16 2015 9:12 AM

alabama24:

Calibre is unable, by itself, to convert Kindle books. Others have created add on tools to remove the DRM. 

You are right - but (as is the case with ePub books), File Format and DRM are not linked 1:1. There are books in Kindle file format with no DRM attached, so Calibre doesn't need to remove it - notably the older .mobi format is seen quite often outside the Amazon store. Calibre can read and convert these files. Same with ePub. So, without loadung an add-on, one would not break the copyright restriction on removing technical barriers (=DRM) that is laid down in some jurisdictions.

Conversion results put into PB nevertheless may vary (footnotes, tables, graphics being the usual suspects of worry, as always) - a book that's Logos quality really needs work. But this has made it much easier to get to the start.  

Running Logos 8 latest beta version on Win 10

Posts 1747
Robert M. Warren | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 16 2015 10:08 AM

Robert M. Warren:
Heading/TOC entries came over beautifully. Under the previous method (see above), this was true sometimes, sometimes not. I'll have to test some more to see if some of the stubborn ones I previously had to manually set headings on will function better with this new method. I'll report back on that after more experimentation.

Apparently, the same books that are difficult in my previous method are also difficult with Calibre's new capability, with regard to headings/TOCs. I tested a "difficult" book (i.e., one that required manual setting of headings in Word to provide PB TOC entires) and it is also difficult from Calibre-->docx. I have also found that not all Kindle conversions make bookmarks in the docx. The first book I tested had an in-document TOC using bookmarks that worked in the compiled PB.

So, basically, we live in a fallen world and sometimes things work well and sometimes not quite as well.

Nevertheless, the new feature is a time-saver that sometimes produces very good results, and in other cases produces fairly good results.

Posts 623
JAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 16 2015 10:14 AM

Dave Moser:
PDF is always going to be a problem. It's one of the least accessible formats behind the scenes.

Personal Books - Do you know this wonderful piece of software?

"The Christian mind is the prerequisite of Christian thinking. And Christian thinking is the prerequisite of Christian action." - Harry Blamires, 1963

Posts 453
Dave Moser | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 16 2015 12:44 PM

JAL:

Dave Moser:
PDF is always going to be a problem. It's one of the least accessible formats behind the scenes.

Personal Books - Do you know this wonderful piece of software?

  1. $69 is not accessible to many.
  2. Even after paying that, how good is it at discerning PDF formatting and pagination?
Posts 623
JAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 16 2015 2:37 PM

Dave Moser:

JAL:

Dave Moser:
PDF is always going to be a problem. It's one of the least accessible formats behind the scenes.

Personal Books - Do you know this wonderful piece of software?

  1. $69 is not accessible to many.
  2. Even after paying that, how good is it at discerning PDF formatting and pagination?

I have no experience with Power PDF, though have used other products from Nuance. I simply ment to direct anyone interested to a recent exploration of using this tool for PB creation.

"The Christian mind is the prerequisite of Christian thinking. And Christian thinking is the prerequisite of Christian action." - Harry Blamires, 1963

Posts 1024
JohnB | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 18 2015 1:03 PM

Thanks for the information! I was still converting (using Calibre) into RTF format which could be accessed by Word and saved as a DOCX yesterday.

1) Calibre will not convert ALL kindle books. I have converted quite a few dozen but I have two that it can/will not currently convert.

2) There are two types of pdf that I am aware of.

One (the most common), which consists of both an image of the document and the text and the other which only consists of an image of the text.

The first type can easily be converted by suitable software that strips or the text. If you have a double column the text can be somewhat mixed up which limits its practical use to pamphlets in practice. Even in books it may not always join the end of one line to the beginning of the next so you really do need to check it over. I use the Nuance product for these. If you have footnotes be prepared to re-link these!

To convert the second type you need an OCR program to recognize the characters in the image. The quality of the final product depends very much on the quality of the image.

3) Of course if you really want to convert a real book then there is no option buy to scan using a suitable OCR program (Omnipage?) and a flatbed scanner. It is not as slow as it might seem IF the type is modern and not too small. Footnotes in an old document using a small typeface are usually gibberish in my experience. Modern books can often come through very well, but of course footnotes need re-linking. Practice and quite a bit of spare time really helps - it never will be a fast process if you are looking for accuracy! Greek & Hebrew characters in the text can be a real pain. 

4) I always have to check over the headings to format as Heading 1, 2 etc. to get an accurate contents for the PB.

5) I use Word 2010 which may may a difference.

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