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Google Docs Can Now Export EPUB (thestack.com) 39

An anonymous reader writes: The EPUB format is now available as an export option from Google Docs. Tests show that the feature can very accurately translate Word-style hyperlinked indexes into EPUB sidebar indices, offering the possibility of updating legacy documents to a more portable and open format. However, despite the completely open XML-based nature of the format, and how much better it handles text-reflow than PDF can, the paucity of easy-to-use editors — particularly in the mobile space — may mean that EPUB continues to be seen as a 'baked' format.
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Google Docs Can Now Export EPUB

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I certainly want to give all the documents I create to Google now! Before this, I wanted to keep them under my control on my own disk in my own computer, rather than transfer them to an advertising and mass surveillance company. But now, with EPUB supported, wow! I can't wait to give Google all the documents I create, along with all my email and records of all my search transactions!

    • Your data is boring and average, just like almost everybody else's. Sorry, no 'special snowflake' award for you.

      If you plan to compete with Google or overthrow your local regime, then start to worry. If you're planning a bake sale for your local community organization, be a chum and let others edit.

      • Your data is boring, but I'm a space alien terrorist who smuggles vast quantities of drugs in from outer space while maintaining my part time job as secretary at all of the Illuminati meetings in between outing Hillary Clinton's love notes to Donald Trump from high school (the ones where she says "I love your ... fingers!"). Up to now, I've had to keep all of my written records of my activities (illegal on seventeen worlds) using things like LaTeX and ordinary text editors, and whenever I wanted to convert

        • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

          Hillary Clinton's love notes to Donald Trump from high school (the ones where she says "I love your ... fingers!").

          I just threw up a little in my mouth.

        • Keith Alexander absolutely is not Illuminati. He's a green lizard-like extrasolar alien wrapped in a human costume. Like the Visitors.
  • Not format, product. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rob Lister ( 4174831 ) on Tuesday March 08, 2016 @10:19AM (#51658631)

    ... may mean that EPUB continues to be seen as a 'baked' format.

    The original quote was ...

    Because of this, the general perception of the EPUB-formatted e-book is that of a ‘baked and finished’ product, to be consumed rather than amended.

    Which is a good perception in that it generally is. A better fit for novels and leisurely reading on a dedicated device. A lesser fit for anything technical or presentational. Every format has its niche.

    • by Jahta ( 1141213 ) on Tuesday March 08, 2016 @10:52AM (#51658789)

      ... may mean that EPUB continues to be seen as a 'baked' format.

      The original quote was ...

      Because of this, the general perception of the EPUB-formatted e-book is that of a ‘baked and finished’ product, to be consumed rather than amended.

      Which is a good perception in that it generally is. A better fit for novels and leisurely reading on a dedicated device. A lesser fit for anything technical or presentational. Every format has its niche.

      EPUB is generally speaking my preferred e-book format. PDFs don't play well on smaller tablets, e-readers and smart phones. Being able to change the font size (and on some readers the typeface) and reflow the text is a big win. Though it's true that those devices are not ideal for technical texts with lots of diagrams.

      Plus it is a open format. EPUBs are just zip files containing markup, css and image files.

  • You edit in Word
    Your reader gets PDF
    As it always was
    • PDF is not well suited to devices with small screens. EPUB, like classic HTML, can reflow, making it much better fit anything with a smaller screen.

      • Minor quibble: PDF is fine for small devices if generated/formatted for small devices, the issue is that the same PDF isn't fine for both small and large devices. As you say though, EPUB's ability to reflow means it can be better for a distributed product if you really don't care about different device sizes.

    • Well, I can't put it in Haiku form, but always was and always will be is: You edit word, your reader gets pdf, reader requests word to edit, reader re-requests word in some ancient format (or recent format depending on your companies IT), you give up on pdf.

  • Apparently you can now create EPUB's but you cannot even check if it's valid by reading your output.

  • by evolutionary ( 933064 ) on Tuesday March 08, 2016 @10:54AM (#51658807)
    Perhaps this will spur the Libre/Open office (Apache foundation for openoffice) to add EPub export the way Firefox got tabs as a standard browser feature. It is useful for viewing on smaller devices and uses less memory than PDF (which is a memory hog for reading). Oh, and if anyone is interest, there is a local network installable open source Equivalent of Google Docs (for those who want to keep private information private called OnlyOffice. Of course they push the "enterprise" version but 1-5 users is free even for that and you can get the community version here:

    https://onlyoffice.org/sources [onlyoffice.org]

    No I don't work for them, Just think in this day and age where everyone collects info and everyone and/or charges subscription fees instead of flat fees, that sane and safe options be know to all who want a choice besides A( Office 360) or B( Google docs). "When you see a fork in the road, pick a 3rd path" - Neelix, Star Trek Voyager (I forget which episode)
    • Perhaps this will spur the Libre/Open office (Apache foundation for openoffice) to add EPub export the way Firefox got tabs as a standard browser feature. ...

      No need, there's a great tool for EPub generation called Calibre. It will take a variety of inputs and produce an EPub doc. If you want to edit, Calibre can help there too, but I prefer Sigil. The point is there are other and better tools to work with EPub than LibreOffice. No need added a lot of extra stuff to that behemoth, instead use a tool made for the job.

    • by codeDr ( 620213 )

      Looks like there are extensions already ...
      OpenOffice
      http://extensions.openoffice.o... [openoffice.org]

      LibreOffice
      http://extensions.libreoffice.... [libreoffice.org]

  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt AT nerdflat DOT com> on Tuesday March 08, 2016 @11:55AM (#51659201) Journal

    "... how much better [EPUB] handles text-reflow than PDF can..."

    Since when can PDF reflow text?

    While I suppose that being able to do it at all is "better" than "not at all", the use of a comparative such as "better" typically implies that there was something meaningful to compare in the first place.

    </pedantry>

!07/11 PDP a ni deppart m'I !pleH

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