epub images not appearing, a fix, and error sending to support

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Amontillado
Knows everything, can also explain
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 4:00 am

epub images not appearing, a fix, and error sending to support

Post by Amontillado » Fri Apr 23, 2021 3:46 pm

This may be at my end - I get an error, "Couldn't send data (Failed to connect (701))" when I use Help->Support to send a question.

Here's what I sent. Angle braces around xhtml tags were omitted in this message, thinking that might be why the error message appeared:
An image used as a chapter heading decorator didn't appear when a Mellel epub export was read with Apple iBooks.

The image was in file OEBPS/content-unit-4.xhmtl as:
img src='images/image_1.jpeg' style='width:165px;height:21px'

If I opened the file with the Safari web browser, the image was there. In iBooks, the image appears as a rectangle with a blue square containing a question mark.

If I double clicked on the question mark, the image appeared.

The cure was to add this to OEBPS/package.opf in the manifest tag:
item id='image_1' href='images/image_1.jpeg' media-type='image/jpeg'

After that was added to the manifest, the image displays as expected in iBooks.

The cover image displayed correctly and was already in the manifest in nearly the same form:
item id='cover-image' properties='cover-image' href='cover-image.jpeg' media-type='image/jpeg'

Is there something I need to add in the Mellel source document to get images added to the manifest in an epub export?

Mellel is fantastic, by the way. Thank you for a wonderful product. I hope your enthusiasm is high. Your work helps many writers.

Amontillado
Knows everything, can also explain
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 4:00 am

Re: epub images not appearing, a fix, and error sending to support

Post by Amontillado » Sun Apr 25, 2021 12:01 pm

Followup observations, with more fixes, and the realization I'm completely out of step with the world. My wife was right, again.

Kindle Previewer doesn't like Mellel files and logs two classes of errors that are really just one problem.

KP will barf, whining about unknown tags (autotitle), and it will complain about unresolved hyperlinks.

These aren't problems for Apple Books. It reads a Mellel epub export fine.

KP's issue is that Mellel writes link targets (anchors) as "<autotitle id=blahblah>Chapter 1, A Dark and Stormy Night</autotitle>".

Kindle Previewer doesn't recognize the autotitle tag and therefore also loses the anchor target.

All KP errors I can find are resolved with two fixes.

First, find every in-line image reference and add it to the manifest in package.opf.

Second, change every instance of:
<autotitle id=blahblah>Chapter 1, A Dark and Stormy Night</autotitle>

to:
<a name=blahblah>Chapter 1, A Dark and Stormy Night</a>

Apple Books will like the file, and Kindle Previewer's quality check will report no issues.

With all that said, Kindle Previewer, or at least its export to mobi format, is probably antiquated. Kindle Create seems to be the tool of choice, and Amazon pushes KPF format for publishing (but doesn't require it).

Giansauna
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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:00 pm

Re: epub images not appearing, a fix, and error sending to support

Post by Giansauna » Mon Apr 26, 2021 12:17 pm

I have stumbled upon the export problem of ePub files, too. If I open an ePub file from Mellel 5 with the Sigil ePub editor, I get the message that none of the images is listed in the manifest of the ePub package. Apple books app is not showing the images, then. Looks like Mellel is missing something during the export process.

Amontillado
Knows everything, can also explain
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 4:00 am

Re: epub images not appearing, a fix, and error sending to support

Post by Amontillado » Mon Apr 26, 2021 4:34 pm

I think Mellel is pretty close.

Docx output from Mellel seems to work fine with Kindle Create.

New nerd tools are all kinds of fun. I would grab a copy of Vellum, but it's expensive. I can fix Mellel epub files and I suspect a fix will be implemented soon enough, anyway. It's not like I'm very close to producing an ebook. Darn it.

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