Appearance of text on Kindle

Not sure if this is a Scrivener issue, but let me start here. I am compiling from Scrivener 3 to ePub 2.

When I view my compiled ePub book in Kindle for Mac, all looks well in View > Color Mode > White. But in Black, Sepia and Green color modes, I notice some shading differences in the text. See attached example where the text in the first paragraph appears darker than in the second paragraph.

Within Scrivener, I’ve tried removing all Sytles and re-formatting everything (font style, font size, foreground color, background color [none], etc. But that hasn’t fixed the problem. FYI that when I look at the same ePub book in iBooks, the text looks fine in all color modes.

Any thoughts on what else I can try to fix this? Thx

Do other Kindle books look the same when using different colour modes?

A fix might be to compile to KF8 / Mobi rather than ePub. Worth a try?

A lot of the font rendering appears to be inconsistent. The L in “longer” looks different to the Ls in “laws” and “let’s”. The second M in “commonly” looks different to the first M. The H in “both” looks different to the H in “perhaps”. And so on. Or are those inconsistencies down to the screenshot alone?

You could check the underlying HTML to see if it is Kindle’s fault or Scrivener’s:

  1. When compiling, under the options area of Compile, tick “Save source files in a folder with exported Kindle file”.

  2. Export.

  3. In finder, drill into the exported folder and look at the HTML source files in Quick Look. Find the one that is affected.

  4. Open it in a plain text editor and look to see if there is anything different about the affected HTML. If you aren’t sure how to read HTML, feel free to post the file here.

All the best,

Keith’s guide mentions compiling to Kindle. If you want or need to persevere with ePub (even if only for the sake of running comparative compiles), the same option to save source files should also be available to you, allowing you to analyse the HTML created by ePub processing. I suspect the issue will be down to Kindle, rather than Scrivener, but it will be interesting to see how this pans out.

To see what Kindle has done to the formatting after it has converted from ePub to Kindle, you can open the resulting Kindle file in Calibre to check the HTML it has created.

Thank you all for your responses. Here is an interim update.

I unpacked the ePub file using a product named The Unarchiver. I then used TextWrangler to look at the HTML files. Below is what I see.

The class=s4 text appears ok in Kindle Previewer black mode, whereas the class=s5 text does not. In the CSS file, the only difference I see is that class=s5 includes a color: #000000 setting. I am not an HTML expert, but am wondering if this is a clue? My test file is attached. I will try compiling to KF8/ MOBI later today and report back.

NIV 01 (111 KB)

Update: I paged thru my 80,000-word manuscript and found 15 instances (individual worlds, entire sentences or entire paragraphs) where the text appears in the “wrong” color in Kindle Previewer black mode. My fix was this:

  1. I compiled the entire manuscript from Scrivener to a TXT file to remove all formatting.

  2. Still within Scrivener, I deleted the 15 instances, then copied-and-pasted the relevant text from the TXT file back into Scrivener and formatted it.

  3. I then recreated the ePub file and checked it again in Kindle Previewer black mode. All looked good.

I still don’t know what caused the original issue - maybe some combination of keystrokes created some odd formatting in Scrivener. But regardless, the problem is fixed.

On a related note, when I compiled my manuscript to KF8/MOBI (before fixing the 15 instances), the black mode problem went away. All the text looked good. So maybe something also is happening within the ePub-to-KF8/MOBI conversion in Kindle Previewer. So why don’t I just compile to KF8/MOBI and skip the ePub step? Good question, but a different topic. I think I’ll start another thread on that.

Thanks again for everyone’s kind help.

The problem was that some of your text was set to be black. The way the text system is that text doesn’t have any colour associated with it by default. Text with no colour will appear black in the editor, but that’s just the default colour. If you apply black to text, though, it has black actually associated with it, and that will carry through to the export. Text you type in Scrivener generally won’t have any colour associated with it unless you explicitly assign a colour, but text imported from a word processor such as Word might have black applied.

In this case, the easier solution most likely would have been to select the text, long-press on the colour swatch in the formatting bar, and choose the white square with the red line through it, which removes all colour from the selected text.

All the best,

Great! Thanks Keith.