create epub with footnotes

Posted on 2013-01-26
Last Modified: 2013-02-05
The authors like to use Word and have hundreds of footnotes. I remove known issues in word (like justified text, curly quotes, etc) I export to filtered html, then use dreamweaver to clean up word tags, then bring into  calibre or sigil, but still have to spend a couple of hours cleaning up tags from Word to get ebooks to validate, is there an easier way. Thanks!
Question by:peonylady
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Expert Comment

by:Sigurdur Armannsson
ID: 38822981
Personally I rather like to use InDesign to make ebooks. Import the word file into InDesign and work from there.

The main reason for me at least is that quite a few java scripts have been written for this workflow are most of them are free.

InDesign has also great tools to clean up texts from Word and with those and the scripts, making all the text clean and ready to be exported to epub is very nice.

Because the ebooks text is flowing there is no bottom of the page. So, where to put the footnotes? InDesign has one very good option, to put it at the end of the same paragraph.

What do you use for validation? There are several tools but some are only for macs and others only for pc's.

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Expert Comment

by:Sigurdur Armannsson
ID: 38822984
Could you explain "cleaning up tags from Word" a little. I am not sure what that involves.

Author Comment

ID: 38823029
Word generates a very messy markup with a lot of span tags and inline styling. InDesign does not handle endnotes, and this book very specifically utilizes over 1000 endnotes, but thank you for your suggestions.

Expert Comment

ID: 38823705
Footnotes/endnotes they are the same thing to indesign you just place them differently.
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Author Comment

ID: 38824146
thats not what I am reading about indesign, but thanks
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Expert Comment

ID: 38827689
It is possible to use a procedure or create a macro to run through and convert footnotes/endnotes to "regular" text while retaining the numbering. I have had to do this to provide the content without Word's internal links, but not specifically for preparing an ebook.

Where do you want the footnotes (or endnotes) to appear in the ebook? Even better, if there is a defined ebook structure to fit them into, could you post a sample of it?

Author Comment

ID: 38836103
Hi Eric, Thanks for your response, I can pay for this macro if you can do  it. The html conversion leaves markers in the Word text which could probably be used to identify the parts to link back together as endnotes when the html file is reconverted to Word. The whole problem is that I need the endnotes to be dynamic and update when they are deleted or added to, so the edits cannot be made in html. Here is what the html looks like that references the endnote content notation and the actual endnote. This is how it is exported from Word to html.
This part is in the content:
<a href="#_edn9" id="_ednref9" title=""><span class="MsoEndnoteReference">[9]</span></a>

This part is in the endnote section:
 <div id="edn9">
    <p class="Bibliographyhangingindent"><a href="#_ednref9" id="_edn9" title=""><span class="MsoEndnoteReference">[9]</span></a> <span>Amanda Terkel, &quot;Sheldon Adelson Stands To Get $2 Billion Tax Cut If Mitt Romney Is Elected: Report,&quot; Huffington Post, September 11, 2012,</span> </p>

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Accepted Solution

EricFletcher earned 500 total points
ID: 38845200
I see from your other question that your preference is to be able to move back and forth between Word and the ePub format. As you have already discovered, this isn't as straightforward as one might expect. The task can be simpler if the author uses very strict Word style tagging -- but getting that to happen is like herding cats!

I see two different options:

1) Find some SW that manages the task. Some suggestions were made in your other question but my experience with them is to limited to comment. The risk is that such a process will successfully convert back to Word but not exactly as the author created it, so it may introduce new problems when the author goes back in to edit the content.

2. Only do the conversion from Word to the ePub format. This way your author(s) will always be working with their own document(s) so you won't be stuck in the middle if (when) things get messed up in a two-way conversion. On the other hand, it does mean you will need to have an easily repeatable strategy for the conversion.

Word's macro capabilities can ease this task, and you add some VBA to cover more complicated options. I have done some conversions like this, and have found that the biggest complication is usually inconsistencies in how Word is used, so more of my time is spent tidying up the Word side of things than in cleaning up the html. In either case though, macros (and VBA) will help a lot.

How proficient are you at recording macros? That is certainly the best place to start if you already know what you need to do for the cleanup you already have done. Beyond that, to be of any help, I (or anyone else for that matter) would need to have a clear idea of what the final approved ePub format should look like. Usually a mocked-up sample of the various elements in both their original Word and final ePub formats would be sufficient.

I'm unclear about EE's policy for off-EE contact, but I can be reached by email using the clue in my profile.

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