Ebook Indents Mac vs. PC

I use both the Mac and PC versions. I usually compile on the Mac, but I was sitting at the PC and my latest book was done so I just did it on the PC. I noticed right off that the indents that are set at .3" (I format in the editor and do not reformat with compile) looked very small. I changed them to .5", compiled again and they were fine.

Now flash forward to today and I compile the same mobi from the Mac and the indents are huge. I change them to .3 and wow, that looks just fine. That’s frustrating. So I unpack each file and the PC version is doing something strange with the .3 indent. It’s setting the style of a .3" indent to 21.8px, but if you set it to .5" the style is 2.25em.

On the Mac version the exact same file compiles the .3" indent to 1.82em and the .5 indent to 3.0em.

So if you swap between the PC and Mac versions, first the PC version is setting an indent (sometimes) to a measurement in px which is a no-no for ebooks and I would consider a bug. Secondly, the conversion of inches to ems is significantly different between the two versions, enough that if you take a file between versions it will really look different for the customer when they buy you’re ebook.

This may be tough for us to fix on either platform, for in both cases we rely heavily upon the text engine toolkits to produce the HTML and CSS formatting (writing our own RTF to HTML converters would be a huge undertaking). For now I’d recommend choosing one platform to do your production output with (probably the Mac, considering the compiler has more features there) and stick with it. I mean that strictly for compile, you can of course use either platform to edit and work.