OT: Windows-Mac sharing bookmarks etc ?

Hi - I know this is off topic - please feel free to move it. I couldn’t find a place to post it.

Someone is checking my book ePub for typos/errors. They are on windows. I am on iMac.

Is there a free program they can use to open the ePub and highlight/note the lines that need to be corrected ? and can send that ePub or those highlights back to me ?

Yes I know there are prob many better ways but he is limited in his software abilities …


Sigil? Calibre? But they are more for cleaning up the ePub file itself than for annotations. Might be better to compile to PDF rather than ePub and then have them use Acrobat annotations as it’s your content not the markup you want critique on.

Thanks. Will Adobe Reader allow and save highlights for him to send it back to me ? Will Scrivener output a PDF with a working TOC ?

Yes, your copy editor’s comments will be saved into his local copy of your PDFed content. Once he emails/copies it back you click on the “Comment” button in Acrobat and you will be presented with a list of comments, annotations, and marked text. (I’d recommend that you rename the PDF file to include reviewer’s ID and your revision/draft number. This is especially important if a) you have multiple reviewers and b) there are multiple versions being reviewed.) How you merge the comments, amendments, corrections, suggestions, or whatever into your Scrivener documents is up to you. Each should be evaluated; you might not agree with them.

Are they on a recent Mac (10.9+)? If so they could use Apple’s new-ish iBooks for Mac software. With that you can highlight and annotate the e-book you are reading. There is no obvious way to export your notes, but it is actually possible to do so easily once you know the trick:

  1. Use View/Show Notes Panel command.
  2. Click in the panel and use Edit/Select All.
  3. Copy and then paste into an e-mail.

The result will be unfortunately lacking in any kind of contextual cues (ePubs aren’t really good for that since they have no page numbering or internal metrics like Kindle’s Mobi files do). But, if you instruct them to always highlight at least a sentence-worth of text, that should give you enough to search in Scrivener and find the location easily.

There must be something for PC that operates similarly, but I’m not familiar enough with the system. I did try Adobe Digital Editions, which does allow annotation and highlighting, but like most ePub readers and devices, there is export (which always struck me as making annotation at all supremely useless, but that must be a content producer’s dilemma).

Devices: Kindles (the real deal, not Fire or any applets) will store all annotations and highlights as a plain-text file on the device. This can be easily copied off by plugging the device into a computer and saving the MyClippings.txt file off of it.

Kobos also store notes in a file, the drawback there is that the format is in XML. However it’s fairly easy to read around, so if they have one of those, they may be able to make use of their device to proof.

As noted, Sigil and Calibre could certainly do this—but in the same sense that they can also edit everything about the book. Annotating would be more like typing into a word processor without a dedicated notes feature (so, using some kind of text colour or something to set notes apart). Frankly, that all seems too messy of a solution to describe to someone else and hope they do a clean and tidy job of, never mind requesting them to learn a production tool that is highly biased toward technical manipulation of the ePub format.

As noted, the PDF route is also available, and will all around be a better approach than ePub, given that e-readers tend not to care about making notes easily accessible to other readers.

Skim is pretty good, light-weight, free (but Mac-only). They can mark it up, save the PDF, send it back to you, and then you open the PDF in Skim and use File/Export… to generate a .txt file with their notes. Reader probably has similar capabilities, but I’m less familiar with it.

That’s actually the scheme I use. Proof read compiled documents on an iPad and then the reviewer emails back the notes. But the OP was asking for a method that works between WIndows and Mac so iBooks isn’t really a viable option for them and their reviewers.

Since we are talking epub, and epubs have other problems than just typos – formatting issues, mainly – what I recommend is to have your reader read the epub but make notes in another format, even plain text. The reader should be able to select a phrase from the epub in whatever epub reading software used, paste it into a text file, and add a note.

But if you are only interested in typos and grammar checking of your text, and are sure that your formatting is the way you like it, you can compile the draft in any one of a number of formats, even html, that your reader can use for proofing.

  • asotir

Thanks for that inforeepicheep

They are on Windows :unamused:

I agree that pdf seems to be the best of a bad lot.

Unfortunately i am not dealing with professional, or even amateur, editors. only friends and they are not that computer savvy … so it is quite a challenge. I am familiar with the other apps you have mentioned and they all have quite steep learning curves.

I am self publishing so I am reliant on self editing and a few friends for help with the typos and grammar.
No It’s not ideal, or half ideal … but it is way it is for financial reasons … if it sells then I will be more professional next time :wink:

Thanks, I missed the PC bit even though it is in the very subject line. :slight_smile: It is Friday.

Windows 8+ now includes their own e-reader as well, it’s the default for .epub files I believe. I know you can highlight and annotate with it—not sure if you can export those notes however.

I do agree overall, I can’t think of any special reason to use ePub unless your proofer wishes to use a handheld device. PDF has been providing this precise capability many years now, and Reader is pretty easy to learn to use.

Thank you all for your replies.

To widen the question though … if I am moderately successful and can afford a real editor next time … what does that do for this topic ?

What is indeed the best way for a writer and editor to communicate errors and suggested fixes ? electronically ? Is someone going to mention Word ? :unamused:

For professional editors… yup. :cry:

Some are amenable to learning Scrivener, or are already users of it, however. That would be an ideal case, of course. You could then just share a project with them and use the built-in comments, revisions and snapshot features.

Thanks. Word is a step too far for me :slight_smile: I agree with about the Scrivener idea.