Tag Archives: workaround

How to fudge an Index with Kindle Create

There used to be a number of individual Kindle applications you could download and install, now there’s just one: Kindle Create.

When you open Kindle Create on your computer, you’ll be presented with two options – text heavy novels or graphics heavy non-fiction:

The one I use is ‘Textbooks, Travel Guides, Cookbooks, Music books’. It requires a PDF file and allows me to control exactly where and how text and graphics appear on the page [of the ebook].

Termed ‘fixed format’, these ebooks behave almost exactly like print books in that the size of the e-reader screen is the size of the ‘page’, and the text and graphics have to be sized to suit that page.

The screenshot below was taken from within Kindle Create and shows how the fixed format ebook will appear on a Kindle Fire:

The three things you should notice are:

  1. The page is in colour,
  2. The page contains a graphic image that fits exactly within the margins,
  3. The page contains a hyperlink.

All three elements, and their placement, were set in the original Word file, before it was converted into a PDF. Kindle Create then imported the PDF and converted it to a proprietary format called .kcb. [When the file is ready to be published to the Kindle, it will be converted to its final format which is called .kpf]. The important thing to note is that all three elements are retained in the .kcb file, including the hyperlink.

You won’t be able to do much in the way of editing, but you will be able to create a Table of Contents. The TOC is bog simple, manual and only allows for one TOC entry per page. It also allows for only one level of TOC.  Effectively, this means that you will be able to create a table of chapter headings and not much else. And, of course, there is no option for creating an Index.

The lack of a deep TOC and no Index means that non-fiction ebooks are kind of hard to dip into and ‘browse’. Yet that is precisely what most non-fiction readers need. How was I going to make my e-textbook more user friendly?

The answer was kind of obvious, once I thought of it. -sigh-

As mentioned before, Kindle Create gives you the option of preserving any hyperlinks present in your PDF. This means you can tap a link inside the ebook and be taken directly to that location…both inside the ebook and out.

-cue light bulb moment-

What if I added a list of hyperlinks to my Word document before I converted it to the PDF?

If Kindle Create preserved all those hyperlinks, I’d end up with a list of links in alphabetical order! I’d end up with an Index of Links!

As with all great ideas, mine turned out to be a wee bit harder than expected.

I started by creating a simple two column table in Word.

Then I printed off the Index pages of the paperback and marked the most important Index entries. I then typed those into the left hand column of the table with one Index entry per cell.

Next, I trawled through the print Index a second time, marking the most important ‘Subentries’. They went into the right hand column with one subentry per line.

Finally, I selected a subentry, opened the Insert tab and clicked Link:

The screenshot above shows the ‘Insert Hyperlink’ dialog box in Word 2016. If you have text selected before you open the dialog box, Word will automatically make that text the ‘Text to display’ [see two linked orange circles]. In other words, you will see that text rather than the hyperlink itself.

The orange circle labelled as ‘A‘ shows that ‘Place in This Document’ has been selected as the general location of the hyperlink.

The orange circle labelled as ‘B‘ shows the TOC sub-heading selected to be the actual location of the hyperlink.

Wait…’TOC sub heading’?

Yes. When you create a link within a document, Word looks for the same heading styles that are used to generate a Table of Contents. As my document contains five levels of heading styles – i.e. from Heading 1 through to Heading 5 – those headings are the locations I can use for my hyperlinks. Effectively, I’m using all the TOC levels Kindle Create won’t let me put into its Table of Contents to create an Index of sorts. It’s not perfect, and this work around does entail a lot of work, but…a fudged index is better than no index at all.

In case you’re wondering, this is what the Index of Links looks like in Kindle Create:

Apologies for yet another how-to post, but I was kind of pleased with my little solution. 🙂

cheers

Meeks

 


How to transfer photos from Samsung Galaxy SII to the PC – update Nov. 10, 2013

Since posting my little how-to back in March, 2013, I’ve had a number of people commenting that the instructions did not work for them. With help from other commenters, and a lot of time on the technical forums, I’ve seen a pattern emerge. Basically, most of the problems are not to do with the Samsung phone itself, but with the Android operating system the phone uses.

In simple terms, Android is to the Samsung what Windows is to the PC, except that there seem to be far more versions of the Android – even within the same model of Samsung phone.

The original how-to I wrote works for Android version 4.0.3. ONLY.

To find out what version of the Android software your phone uses, go to Applications, then Settings, then About Phone [down the bottom of the menu list].

Now, if your version of Android is earlier than 4.0.3 – say 2.0 or 3.0 – then there is a good chance the reason you cannot transfer photos to the PC is because your phone came with only 1 cable. In these earlier versions, this one cable was supposed to work for both charging the phone and transferring data.

Over time, this cable can become slightly damaged. It may still charge the phone, but it can no longer transfer data.

The solution we [other commenters and I] have found was to try a dedicated data transfer cable. They are relatively inexpensive so worth a try. If the new cable works then you know the problem was with the cable rather than the phone.

Another problem we discovered was that for some versions, the process works BUT apparently you have to try it THREE times in a row before it ‘clicks’. I have no idea why that should be, but more than one commenter has said it works.

Finally, we have the issue of people whose version is more recent than 4.0.3. In particular, those running Android version 4.0.4.

Apparently, this version of Android does not have the USB option at all.

“Samsung removed the USB mass storage option in the ICS update, instead moving entirely to MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) for file transfers.”

http://forums.androidcentral.com/sprint-galaxy-s-ii-epic-4g-touch/191147-ics-4-0-4-morning-lost-usb-mass-storage.html

The ICS update mentioned in the quote above is the update to 4.0.4.

In searching for info on this Media Transfer Protocol [MTP] I stumbled across a workaround. Before people get too excited, however, this workaround is for the Samsung Galaxy S3 running the 4.0.4 software, not the S2. Moreover, the workaround is for transferring photos from the S3 to Linux, not Windows.

The core of the workaround seems to be to use the ‘Camera [PTP]’ option instead of MTP.

If you follow the link below, it will take you to a step-by-step guide [with screenshots] on using this workaround. The person who posted the guide is called Rocksockdoc, and the post is ‘permalink #12’, so you will have to scroll down a bit until you find it.

http://androidforums.com/android-lounge/713775-possible-move-files-t-mobile-samsung-galaxy-s3-linux-laptops-via-usb-cable.html#post5868475

Unfortunately I can’t experiment with the workaround because my version doesn’t support it, so I cannot recommend that anyone tries it. However if someone does try it, could you please let us know whether it worked or not? If the workaround works it could save a lot of frustrated users.

And last but not least, I’d like to thank everyone who commented on the original post. The success stories all made my day, and the not so successful stories motivated me to learn more about smart phones than I otherwise might have done. Thank you so much for your support.

cheers

Meeks


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