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Footnotes/Endnotes to ePub

Explorer ,
Feb 21, 2024 Feb 21, 2024

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I'm trying to convert a print book to ePub and Kindle. While I now know I can't get things perfect, the conversion of footnotes or endnotes is crime crazy. Book has about 40 footnotes. I've tried converting to end of chapter and popup. End of chapter setting put each footnote in a chapter on its own page--using flexible flow epub. Then tried popup. Popup works but also puts a copy of footnote at the end of chapter, again with most each in their own page. To get around this split of footnotes I then tried converting them to end notes. This sort of worked but it underlined all my endnote text, even when it pops up from bottom of screen--previewed in Kindle previewer. Haven't yet looked in calibre, Sigil or digital editions but does anyone know why it underlined the notes? All copy in the book is setup with paragraph and character styles and nothing is underlined-- and it's not a hyperlink underline but as if I styled the text with underlines-- the endnotes have a style applied that does contain a nested style to bold the numbers in brackets [#]

 

any suggestions appreciated. 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 22, 2024 Feb 22, 2024

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The basic problem here is that EPUB is extremely dependent on the reader. There is no "fixed" way to render pages, much less details like footnotes and endnotes and their links; each reader applies its own (developer's) notions, with little standardization. The best you can do is use a vanilla, standards-compliant reader like Calibre and work around the more general constrictions of the format.

 

End notes are a perpetual headache, often broken or breaking EPUB export from ID. This problem is multiplied if the source, with endnotes, was originally imported from Word, as it often is. But let's leave endnotes out of it, as they are not really a good alternate solution to footnotes.

 

The way footnotes are handled is, again, more dependent on the reader capabilities and settings than anything else. Footnoter are just a bit of linked text; how the reader chooses to handle the link and presentation of that 'detached' text is up to its design and settings.

 

The problem is that without pages, you don't have page footers, and without page footers, you don't have any place to put footnotes. (Reflowable EPUB has no pages — that is, it has one page of book length — and the "pagination" you see is purely an arbitrary artifact of how the reader chooses to present the content. In theory, readers could render footnotes in a print-like manner, as separated text at the bottom of a virtual page, but for some reason that's considered too complicated and few if any readers offer that options. So the "solution" is to group footnotes somewhere, at the end of each section or at the end of the book, and use hyperllinks to either jump to them or back, or use the "popup" method, which is clumsy at best.

 

My solution, until better technology comes along, is to simply embed the footnotes in the running text flow. Nothing fancy, no links, no jumps, no pop-ups, no irritating link formatting that can't be overridden... just put the note after the source paragraph. If you format it correctly, it' s no more obtrusive than notes at the bottom of a printed page:

 

JamesGiffordNitroPress_0-1708620517797.png

 

It's imperfect, but then, even after twenty years, so are e-books as a whole. 😛

 


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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