Images and MOBI Files

I’m working on an image-heavy document that I need to export to PDF and MOBI. I’m pretty sure at this point I’m not using the right tool [Scrivener], but I really wanted to try it for this project and it’s almost doing what I need… I like the ability to “compile” out to different formats source and executable. BTW - I use Allman style indent!]

Problem: I want large images for the PDF, but KindleGen limits image size, so instead of leaving the conversion up to KindleGen–which often looks horrible–I’d like to provide alternatives that I know are the correct size and are tweaked by hand.

Possible solution [easiest for dev(s)]: Access to the intermediate HTML/etc. files that are being fed into KindleGen. An option “Preserve Intermediate Files” would output the files to a directory where I could edit them by hand and run KindleGen myself [or you could get fancy and also generate a .command file so I can just double-click to run it on the files].

Possible Solution [easiest for users]: Add a way to manage images better within Scrivener. Maybe an image section with the ability to specify a group of different sizes [small, medium, large] of the same image. Link them to the document. Then in the compile stage I can say “use the medium images” or “use the large images”. [I admit this is a half-thought out idea… The usability concerns are legion.]

Or maybe there are ways to handle this I haven’t discovered yet?

  • Andy

Always good to know I’m not the only Allman indenter out there!

Here’s a possible solution:

Keep your images in a separate document, one for the large version and one for the small version. Then you can filter which ones are included for different compiles. This does mean breaking up your documents where the images appear, though, which may make it impractical.

All the best,

Thanks for the response Keith.

When I was a dev manager I was an Allman Enforcer!

I think that is likely impractical due to the number of images and the odd breaking up of the document that would be required, but I’ll give it a go to see how it might work.

In the short term I wanted to use Scrivener for three things: a journal article, a user manual, and a reference ebook. All of these are image-heavy and the user manual and reference book would be both PDF and ebook.

One thing that confuses me and would be key to trying out your suggestion: content selection for compilation.

A simple example is that for the reference book I have a cover image that I want to embed in the MOBI, which I do using the Cover compilation option, but if I’m doing the PDF I want it included as the first page. So I create a text item called “Cover” and insert the image. When I go to compile, I select the item in the Contents when I’m doing the PDF and deselect when I’m doing the MOBI.

I was initially confused that my saved custom Format As: didn’t save the contents I’d selected until I realized they are global prefs. I expected that I could save the contents I’ve selected somewhere so I could just switch between them, but I can’t see how. The drop-down at the top doesn’t let me save specific groups.

If I want to try your suggestion I’d have a hundred larger images and a hundred smaller images which would require a lot of clicking every time I wanted to switch between compiling PDF and compiling MOBI.

What I would like from a user standpoint is to simply set things up so that I can select “Compile this project to PDF” or “Compile to MOBI” and not have to remember to change anything in the compilation settings or to keep the Contents and the Compile For: options in sync. [Again maybe there’s a way to do this, but from reading the manual and playing with the options I can’t figure it out… I guess I find the combination of project and global preferences in the same dialog confusing.]

As with my software development, I’m very iterative with my documents - change, compile, test - so it’s not a one-off do-it-at-the-end thing for me!

What am I missing?

Thanks again!

You will always need to change something in the Contents pane for this, I’m afraid. It makes no sense to save anything in the Contents pane - that is project-specific - into the Compile settings, because:

  1. Compile settings can be saved for use with other projects.

  2. The documents available can change between compiles - you can delete documents, add new documents, move them out of the Draft, and so on.

However, there are two very useful tools that make this much easier, both available in the Contents pane:

  1. Filtering. This allows you to filter the contents by label or status, or to only include documents that are part of a particular collection. So, you would have no need to tick and un-tick all the time. For large images you would add a label or status “Large Image” and for small images a label or status “Small Image”. Then you for one compile you would choose to exclude all documents with the “Large Image” status or label, and for another compile to exclude those with the “Small Image” status or label. That’s one quick change - one tick box and one selection from a pop-up.

  2. Front Matter. You can set up folders outside of the Draft folder that contain the first pages - e.g. the cover page - of your text. You can have different folders for different formats. Then you just choose which one you want to use from the “Front Matter” setting at the bottom of the Contents pane.

Yes, you still have to change these when you change to compiling for a different format, but there is no way around that which would still keep things flexible.

Hope that helps!
All the best,

Awesome! I’ll give that a try.

Maybe one of these days the Scrivener mindset will kick in…

Thanks for the quick response Keith!