Post here your questions (at the top of the page) and we shall invent answers! :)
Thank you for all your outstanding questions so far, and please keep posting them here.
Q: I have a question about the text boxes in What the Eagle Sees by Eldon Yellowhorn and Kathy Lowinger. I've never done them this way before. All the textbox headings have been given Heading level 4 even if that's not the next level (eg. in the first Chapter, Eagle's Tale, which is H1, a textbox is given H4. I would have made it H2). They also haven't been marked with Textbox Starts and Textbox Ends. Should I leave them as is?
A: Change the headings so they are all in hierarchical order, this is an essential key to accessibility. We are currently changing the way we do textboxes, so you no longer have to enter the Textbox Starts and Textbox Ends.
Use the text box feature in Word (Insert > Text Box). This text box will translate to an <aside> tag in EPUB3. A text box may contain formatting (italics, bold, lists, headings, etc.)
I will be updating the wiki in the next few days to highlight this change.
NOTE: There may be books where I will ask you to not use the text box feature, and instead to the older way. This will only be for DAISY requests, and I will make it clear if this is the case.
Q: Edit: I've tried with Adobe Digital Editions and Calibre. I just tried with Thorium, but I get an Import Failed message when I try to open the book…
The Notes that are not linked for me are:
Chapter 7, note 3, 18, 19
Chapter 10, note 6
Q: How should I handle endnotes that are not properly linked in the original text (Quarantine, What is Old is New by Ian Arthur Cameron)?
Notes 18 and 19 don't link to anything.
A: What ereader are you using? It could be the reading software. When I opened up the ebook in iBooks, all the notes work. I also opened it in Thorium and it worked. If you don't have Thorium you can download it here.
Q: I have a follow up question about the poetry book, How to Dress a Fish. In your answer below regarding the sections of text that are censored with a black box, you said, "Keep the black boxes and add the alt-text "thick black line that blocks out word" ". I'm just looking for some clarification around this.
I expected that the black boxes would be images of black boxes since you said to add alt-text for them. I've actually found that all the black boxes I've encountered so far (I'm about 30% through) are regular text in the docx file - so, I can see the word that was originally blacked out in the text and there are no images of black boxes to add alt-text to.
So, to format it to be like the original, I was deleting the word meant to be blacked out and then inserting the Unicode that you gave me for another poetry book, U+25AC. But I just realized that I can instead highlight the word that needs to be blacked out and use the highlight tool to make it black. Then it looks just like the original. Is it okay to proceed that way? There are also some words that are highlighted grey but still legible and I thought I could apply this technique to these as well. Does highlighting words work when you do the XML markup? If this approach won't work, should I stick with the Unicode symbol of a black bar?
A: Sorry for the confusion. Highlighting is not accessible, most direct formatting is not which is why we rely so heavy on styles. Your original approach to deleting and inserting the black bar is the best way to go. Keep it as close to the original as possible. Great work!
Q: I have a formatting question from Zagreb One Four. Could you look at the attached page where there are transcripts of the conversations between the pilots and the air traffic control? I'm not sure about how to format these. They appear as columns but they are time-stamped two way conversations so I'm not sure if columns would be the most accessible way to present the text? I see on the wiki that columns are rarely used and usually better as a table or list. I tried formatting each line of dialogue as a list but I wasn't sure if that was right.
A: Great question! In this case columns are definitely not a good choice, so good call on that one. I would approach this the same way you approach dialogue in a play.
09.5522" Zagred: Adria 548, level check?
JP548: Out of 190 (climbing from Flight Level 190).
09.5525" Zagreb: Thank you …
Time to call 550:
0.55 50" Zagred: Adria 550, recleared 360, call passing 220.
Q: Hi, I have a new question about Magnetic Equator. I'm not sure what to make of the first stanza of the poem "alterity". Whether I view the epub file in Calibre or Adobe Reader, the lines run over top of each other. But they do so differently in the two readers so I don't think it's intentional. And then when I compare the words to my docx file, the lines are in a different order. I noticed something similar on the first page of the poem "mantra falls" but in that case the words running over top of each other only happened in Reader and not in Calibre and the lines weren't out of order so I just switched to viewing the text in Calibre.
I've also noticed that for this file, I can't enlarge the print to see if that fixes the problem. So, my question is, how do I decide what order the lines are supposed to be in for this stanza if I can't view a readable original version? Can I just trust that the docx file has it right?
Edited to add: I was having very similar issues with the next book of poetry I took, "Heft", so I tried one more thing: I tried opening the epub on a different computer than the one I usually use because it has a much bigger monitor. Lines were still overlapping in Adobe Reader but in Calibre, I can finally see the pages without any overlapping. So I think I'm good now.
A: I am glad you sorted it out. There is nothing wrong with the file, it is just an issue with the reader. If it happens again you might want to try a different reader such as Thorium that is free to all operating systems. I used it on my Windows PC laptop and the issue of overlapping lines did not occur.
Q: There is a thank you for buying this e-book published by Hachette Digital blurb at the end of The Shack Revisited. Should I set it at header 1 or should I do something else with it?
A: You can simply remove this entire section.
Q: Another question about "What the Bible is All About". This is about the glossary. It gives a pronunciation guide for many of the terms (eg. "eunuch (YOO-nuhk)" ) which includes uppercase letters to show which syllable receives the emphasis. Is it okay to leave all the uppercase letters alone and add a Prod Note explaining that screen readers may not pronounce the pronunciation guide portions correctly?
A: Yes, we can just leave as is written, since that’s the way to indicate pronunciation. An optional producer’s note at the beginning of the section is a good idea!
Q: In the book "What the Bible is All About", there is a sort of mnemonic that I'm unsure how to format. It's in chapter 45 on page 508 when I view it in Adobe Digital Editions. It displays as follows:
So, it looks like a list but isn't really a list. And it has the first letter of each word bolded to show that they spell "Faith". For now, I have left it with each word on a separate line but not as a list and I applied Strong style to the first letter of each word to mimic how it appears in the book. Do you think there's a better way to handle it?
A: The way you handled this is correct. You don't have to format this as a list, and keep the first letter in strong style. Good work!
Q: Unsure if the tables were formatted correctly in Appendix A at the end of the book 101 ways to meeting angels by Karen Paolino.
From the Tables section of the wiki: "A caption or description should always be included to give context to a table"
I am interpreting the 'or' in 'caption or description' to mean to include one of the two (either caption or description). But given our past conversation on inclusion of alt text, perhaps i should be including both? Caption and Description? But when I followed the wiki's instructions to add a description, it was greyed out and I was unable to edit it, so only captions are present for the tables.
A: I will fix the wording in the wiki, but every table should have Alt-Text. When it comes to not being able to access the Alt-Text in the table priorities, it looks like this is an issue with they way the document was saved. Just resave and replace the document using the 'Save As' option and double check to ensure it is saving as a .docx file. It will prompt you to replace the file, just accept and replace the file. It should now work!
I creates a short video to illustrate what I mean: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/cYn6q2wTtP
Word is a finicky beast!
Q: I'm just about finished this book but am having difficulty with one section: the Photo Credits at the end. They provide credit for some of the photos but I'm having a hard time telling which credit goes with which photos. They appear to be referring to roman numeral page numbers within the photo inserts but when I view the epub file in Calibre or in Adobe Digital Editions, I don't see the page numbers in the photo section so I have no idea which photos are on which page. So I can't tell which credit goes with which photo. I'm also not sure how to format this section. It seems a bit like an index where it's pointing the reader to specific pages so I was going to treat it like an index and format it as a list with a Prod Note about the page numbers being included but not valid. And then I was going to copy each photo credit and add it to the caption for the photo it belongs to (but then ran into the problem of not knowing which credit belongs to which photo).
A: First off–wow this is terribly formatted. Now to your questions:
I opened the book up in Calibre, and looked at the photo credit section. The text at the top of the section states that all photos are copyright Stevie Cameron expect where otherwise noted. Then the hyperlinked list goes directly to the images that are NOT credited to Stevie Cameron, and the clue to which image that is in in the hyperlink text. For instance, the first on is the top image on the page ( ii (top) Toronto Star/GetStock.) I am still not sure what the roman numerals are, but they are confusing. Following that logic you can identify each image as it hyperlinks to the respective pages. Since we don't use page numbers the best way to deal with this section is just take each copyright statement and add it into the end of the captions for each image (or as a caption itself if the image has no caption.) Then erase the hyperlinked list, but retain the section with the opening sentences and add an inline producers note explaining what you changed (i.e. in the original book the additional copyright information was presented as a hyperlinked list. Due to the conversion process we have reformatted that information to be included in the captions of the images respectively…or something along those lines.) Let me know if you have more questions. I am also gonna copy this to the Q&A section of the wiki.
As for locating page numbers in Calibre, there is a text bar in the top left corner of the E-Book viewer that shows the page numbers (e.g. 486.0/1435 is page 486 out of 1435)
Q: In Murach's Python Programming, there are many pages that are captioned and referred to elsewhere as "Figures". (For example, page 25 in the PDF file is labeled as "Figure 1-1" and page 27 is "Figure 1-2". I looked ahead a few chapters and it actually looks like almost every other page is a "Figure"). These Figures contain a mixture of tables, images and text. I'm wondering what the best way is to handle these. Would it make sense to treat them as textboxes so they are marked off from the regular text and move the figure caption to the top of the page and make it a heading within the textbox? My concern is that if I treat them as an image with a caption - which seems to be the current format - the user won't be able to navigate to them when they're referenced in the main text. What's your advice?
A: You do not have to treat them as a textbox, you can just move the header up to the beginning and assign it the correct hierarchy (i.e. make it lower that the headers above it.) When it comes to the images themselves, they seem to have been converted in different ways, and should be treated case-by-case. For example, in Figure 1-1 converted all as text. The four general purposes should be a list (you can treat the header of this list as normal text. My reasoning here is that not all the headings in these figures work as headings for accessibility–for instance the table would become a caption. Since this is the case we should try and be consistent and avoid confusion by treating these particular headings as either captions or normal text depending on the context. This can help make the document more uniform in conversion. Does that make sense?) For the next part, which is the table, the header would be the caption of the table, and then for the next section the header can be treated as normal text. In Figure 1-2, you can cut the image up into three images with the headers as captions. Remember, if you do have an image that is text (in these cases HTML examples) you can transcribe them into inline producers notes. This is a complicated book, so if you have any other questions do not hesitate to ask.
Q: In the book A Girl Named Lovely, there is the following sentence: "Of that, C$128 million was matched by the government, adding up to C$282 million." I know text-to-speech software can handle the $ just fine but when I run it through Word's built in TTS, it doesn't interpret it as "Canadian Dollars" as intended. Is it okay if I change the sentence to "Of that, 128 million Canadian Dollars was matched…"?
A: In this case leave it as it is, most advanced screen readers will be able to read it.
Q: I'm working on the book The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament. It has a mistake in its end notes. There is one note listed at the back of the book that has no corresponding superscript number in the text. If I leave the note out of the text to reflect the book, the reader will have no way to see the citation since we don't retain the book's version of the list of endnotes. I'm fairly certain I know where the superscript number is supposed to go - is it okay to add it in? Or should I let the mistake stand since that's how the published book is?
A: In this case, you should enter the superscript number in the section if you are confident you know where it goes. This is clearly a typo, and the type of typo that would make accessibility tricky. Good eye.
Q: There is also a mistake in the numbering of the chapters: no chapter 25 and two chapter 28s. Should I fix that to help with navigation or leave it as is?
A: You are correct, in this case we would want to fix this since it would hinder navigation.
Q: The book I'm doing has nested sidebars. How do I handle these? Can I just start a new sidebar inside another one? I'm referring to My Parents Have Cancer. Here's an example (from section 13.8):
A: In the case of this book only put the sections within strong lines, or the 'Notes' and 'Tips', in sidebars. Everything else should be addd into a hierarchical heading structure. It is easier for people with screen readers to navigate through heading structures, and the nested sidebars would break accessibility standards. This would mean that all the story examples that are within a dotted line would have a heading. Remember to follow the rules of hierarchy with your headings (Always go up or down one level only, never more.) Also note, the dotted lines in this book work more as decorative breaks than as text boxes (notice how there are empty double lines through out the book.) You can replace the dotted lines with the three asterisks to retain some of the original design of the book. Let me know if you need more clarification or have other questions about this book.
Q: I'm working on Pelleteur de Nuages and there is some kind of weird code in the word doc that's making it very difficult to work with. Here's a screenshot to help explain:
There's a curly bracket at the beginning that if I try to delete it, deletes the entire text. It's somehow connected to everything that follows. If I click it, the entire text is highlighted. I think it's the source of my problems but I don't know how to get rid of it.
The whole file is very slow and tends to crash. I also can't figure out how to get the text to be black on white instead of highlighted grey. I've gone ahead and started editing it, but it's very slow going and I thought you might know how to get rid of the hidden code that's slowing things down?
A: All the links are still active within the document. I downloaded the document to see if I could find the issue. I followed the steps of starting a document (Delete all styles, upload NNELS template.) The next steps should always be
Select All and
Clear all Formatting followed by
Select All and
Remove All Links. There is a section on the wiki that shows you how to do this in Windows and Mac: Links. Start from the original converted file, and go through all the above steps. When I did this on my computer everything worked out, and the file was not slow at all. We all know Word can be wonky, so it is always good to start from the beginning in these cases. After you do this, and you still have an issue, let me know.
Q: Just checking whether the inline citation procedure for internal links applies to an index? The book I'm working on (City of Omens) has an extensive index with links instead of page numbers. For example, the entry for a person named Alaniz, Victor has 8 internal links after his name that each just say "here" instead of page numbers. Should I go through each link and replace it with the name of the chapter where the link takes me to? (this book is not subdivided any further than chapters, there are no section headings so I'm just not sure how useful this would be to the reader since the chapters are fairly long).
A: Since DAISY does not support such links, we will have to treat them like other inline citations and replace them with the Chapter Headings. Another idea is to do
See 'Insert Phrase' in Chapter #, I am not sure if this would work for each, but it may be a workaround for the limitations of the reader.
Q: I'm trying to add alt-text to the tables in His Needs, Her Needs but the area where I type the alt-text is greyed out:
I'm using the newest version of Word and I tried closing it and reopening it but it's still greyed out. Any suggestions?
A: Try saving the document as .docx and it should work. If you have done this and still have problems please let me know.
Which is then referenced at the end of Chapter 11 with relevant bible quotes and some author commentary:
How should I proceed?
A: The first set of quotes are actually titles of Subsections. If you click on them they take you to the TOC of the EPUB, and vice versa. The Number and Quotes are listed as Subsection in the TOC in the EPUB. So you will need to style they as Sub Headings (e.g. 1:“God is not a whole lot different from me.” [Heading 3 Style-which seems to be the next heading down if I am going by the EPUBS TOC.])
As for the Second Set, this is a bit trickier since they are not in the EPUB TOC, they are not Hyperlinked, but they have the same styling as the other numbered quotes. Since the publisher has used the same font style as the other numbered quotes, you should stick to consistency and style them also as subheadings.
Q: This book has an "Author's note" section listed 3 times throughout which asks readers to rate and review the book on Amazon.com or "wherever you purchased it from." The note is the same in all instances. Should I leave all 3 instances of this text in the book? Or remove some of them?
A: You can simply remove these sections.
Q: The book I'm working on has the following section near the beginning:
Ebook Instructions In this ebook edition, please use your device's note-taking function to record your thoughts wherever you see the bracketed instructions [Your notes] or [Your response]. Use your device's highlighting function to record your response whenever you are asked to checkmark, circle, underline, or otherwise indicate your answer(s).
I'm unsure how to handle this since the end user won't be able to record their notes or responses in our version. Should I leave it in or delete it?
A: You can remove this section.
Q: The book I'm working on isn't EPUB or PDF - it's .azw3 (Kindle format, I believe). I have an e-book viewer on my laptop so I used that to open it but now I don't know how to extract images. I tried the EPUB method of changing the file extension to .zip but that didn't work. In my e-book viewer, there's an option to print the book as a PDF. So I can convert it to PDF but I'm wondering whether this will preserve the image quality? Do you think converting it to PDF and then extracting the images from there is my best option for dealing with images in the book?
A: Great Question. To answer this I created a page on the wiki on how to extract images from Kindle (.azw3) files.
Q: My current book has a lot of instances of a symbol with "L SEP" in a dotted lined box. So far, they all look like they could be replaced with a space. Is there a known way to use Find and Replace to easily replace these?
A: So that box means there was an issue with the font when it was converted. First, make sure what the box is representing. In the case of your file it is representing a blank space. As far as I have been able to research, this is the main thing it tends represent, but it is best to be safe and just double check. The quickest way to do this is using your Find & Replace window.
It will show you every location it is in the file, then you can just scan through and ensure that it is only representing a blank space. If this is the case then you can use the Find & Replace window to replace them all. To do this simply
and you are done! Here is a link to a video that shows you what I did: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/cqjODGtbvf
I will also update the Find & Replace section of the wiki to show these instructions.
Q: What about emoticons? The book I'm working on quotes an email that uses ; - ) to represent a winky face emoticon. Should I leave it as is? I'm tempted to replace it with [winky face] so that it makes more sense when read by a screen reader.
A: Great question. You should replace it with a proper emoticon symbol, since we don't want to change the original too much and people who have partial sight do read our books. TTS can read emoticons, and you should treat them like other symbols and enter them in using Unicode. The directions on how to set up Unicode are on the Symbols & Abbreviations/Acronyms page (I put in a new heading 'Using Unicode for Symbols'.) You can use the search feature on the page that lists all the Unicode. For example, I searched winky face and it gave me the Unicode here.
Q: Further to the question below, the book I'm working on has hundreds of instances where a space between two words was missing. It seemed like some kind of conversion glitch rather than a typo or mis-spelling. Is it okay to re-insert the spaces so that TTS software can read it better?
A: Good eye. You are correct in your assumption. So these are not spelling mistakes, but an error that can occur in conversion with some types of books. You can get this A LOT with PDF's, or books that used hard hyphenation in the ebook. In these cases you will want to go through and re insert those lost spaces. Unfortunately, currently we do not have a way to do this other than manually. If you figure out a faster way to do it let us all know. Good luck and thanks for taking this on!
Q: I feel this was addressed somewhere else, but I cannot find where. If we come across a spelling error made in the original work, do we leave them as is?
A: You leave any spelling errors as is. Our jobs are to reformat the books to be DAISY compatible, so we avoid edits of the content as much as possible. Let me know if you need more clarification on this.
Q: How should I handle mentions of World War II? Do I leave the "II" as is, change it to 2, or something else?
A: You can leave it as is. Most TTS software is able to read it properly.
Q: I am working on a book that uses internet language. For instance there are hastags (#) and there are @ symbols to indicate atSarah, i.e. @Sarah. How should we format these?
A: For hashtag and @ text strings, or any text that is strung together it is important to put them in Camel Case. In this way, most screen readers will read it properly and it’s also easier for sighted readers to read the text when it’s like that. For example: #accessiblereadingforthewin can be edited to #AccessibleReadingForTheWin
As for the hashtag symbol itself, nothing special needs to be done—you can simply use the # (number sign) key on your keyboard. Any symbols that exist on your keyboard or in MS Word itself can be inserted as usual.
Q: My book contains several references and citations that have been numerically referenced and hyperlinked to a list of endnotes at the end of the book. After removing the hyperlinks, how should I deal with these numerical endnotes throughout the text?
Inline text: All systems are perfectly organized to achieve the results they get, and the Canadian healthcare system is no different.1
In Endnote: 1 This idea has been attributable to various authors including David Hanna, Paul Plsek, and even Albert Einstein. Within the healthcare setting the idea has been attributed to Dr. Paul Batalden.
A: That is a great question. You will have to reinsert all the endnotes. We have to do this for all types of notes, be it footnotes or endnotes. We have a really great section on Footnotes/Endnotes that also as some great tutorials that will help you out. Let us know if you need more clarification.
Q: When a book has a title and subtitle, should the subtitle be the same heading 1 as the title? Or should it be heading 2 or normal text? Thank you!
A: You can head the title page section with the words "Title Page" and give this text the Heading 1 style. The text that follows (Title, Author, Publisher, etc., should be "Normal".
Q: Just a quick clarification on the remove all page breaks request…does this mean that every page should just continue on to the next? Even between different chapters?
A: Yes, all page breaks should be removed, unless the user has requested that pagination be retained. To remove all page breaks, you can do a Find and Replace:
^m stands for manual page break.
Q: I am working on The Boat People, and in the Discussion Questions section, the ePub navigates to the section of the book it is referring to in the question (i.e. saying "On this page…"). I wasn't sure how to incorporate this navigation in the etext version, so I added this producer's note and added the chapter names beside where the "this page" reference was:
Start Producer’s Note
Page numbers have not been retained in this digital version of The Boat People. In the original digital book, some of the questions refer to “this page”, linking the reader to the page. We have added chapter references in brackets for easier navigation, since page numbers have not been retained in this digital copy.
End Producer’s Note
Example from the text with chapter names added:
6. On this page (Family Business), Grace’s mother, Kumi, describes how her parents “kept quiet” about what the family endured during the internment of Japanese Canadians, because they “thought they were protecting us.” Later, on this page (Don’t Rock the Boat), Grace recalls her grandmother telling her to “Focus on tomorrow.
Was this the correct way to approach this problem? What could I have done differently?
A: Interesting question. I think that's a good approach, although maybe not ideal as, like you say, it doesn't link to the exact location in the book (refers people to the general Chapter as opposed to the specific page).
Q: Another TTS question: will things like "I had a 16' dinghy" and "there were 5.5" medium guns" be said as feet and inches?
A: It would depend on the text-to-speech software being used. VoiceOver (Mac's built-in TTS) recognizes these as measurements and reads them as such, i.e. "five feet five inches" and "16 foot dinghy". If you're using Mac and are curious how text is read, you can enable TTS (same if you're using Windows, which uses Narrator).
Q: I'm almost positive that I know the answer to this one (TTS is smart!) but just wanted to double check: Should ordinal numbers (1st, 2nd, etc.) be written out all in normal text? Or should the abbreviated letters be superscript, as Word prompts them to be when typed out?
A: How things are read aloud depends on the TTS software being used, but yes - generally TTS is smart :) I tested it on my Mac (which uses VoiceOver) and it reads "1st" and 1st with the
st as superscript the same way – as "first". I've yet to come across a case where numbers are misread.
Q: The opening sections of Theomatics are all signed off by the author of that section including their a sign off, full name, and either the date or an address. How should I format this?
A: This can be formatted as normal paragraph text.
Q What should I do with the following section:
A: We can remove this section.
Q: What do we do if we notice an obvious formatting error in the ePub version (and Word version) of the book? In Sex Made Easy, there are numbered subheadings and the author has written #70 twice and has skipped #72. Is this something I should correct?
A: The DTB should reflect the original text, errors and all (unfortunately we're not editing for writing). We can tell the reader about this issue in the Producer's Note section of the book.
Q: How does DAISY read ellipses? I have been editing ellipses with spaces between or more than three points (ex: . . . . ) to three points with a space at the end (ex: … ) but I’m not sure if this matters or if it’s correct; it was more just based on assumption and/or personal preference. Thoughts?
A: How the TTS reads depends on 2 main things: a) the software and b) user's customized settings. As for editing, if it's unclear how to transcribe something based on the original text, we should look up the proper way to do it; for example, we can refer to a style guide, such as Chicago or APA. Here's what Chicago has to say about ellipsis: Style Guide: Punctuation