iBooks text rendering - eeeeeew

Discussion in 'iPad' started by eskalation.dk, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. eskalation.dk macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2006

    i don't know if this has been brought up before, but i was browsing though the iBooks app screenshots, and as a graphic designer it cuts my eyes to see the book app be as ****** as it is when it comes to text.

    Heres a couple of gripes i have:

    1. HUGE floods!
    The iBooks apparently can't do hyphenation, this leads to huge floods, especially since apple has chosen to justify the text. Why isn't the text aligned to the left?! Either do that or expand the dictionary software to support hyphenation! YUCK!

    2. Fonts
    The iBooks app doesn't support custom fonts (as far as i know?), which also sucks. I Would love to be able (as a designer) to specify which font the book is to be read with or as a reader have this specified for me, since the font also helps convey and tell the story and feel of a book.

    3. Orphans and Widows
    It doesn't appear to support getting rid of these either, although i am basing this on absolutely nothing, but since there is an orphan in the iBooks screenshot, i guess it doesn't.


    These reasons are enough for me to feel that the iBooks medium defo needs some improvement ,before it's a good replacement for printed books.

    Well.. Whats your thought on this?
  2. Tom G. macrumors 68000

    Tom G.

    Jun 16, 2009
    Champaign/Urbana Illinois
    You say you are a graphics designer you find these things distasteful, I believe that is because you are a professional and notice them. I don't think that most people will notice them or if they do will ignore them. Future updates to the iBooks will most likely take care of them.
  3. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    As long as we are being anal: 3 isn't a couple.

    Seriously, your gripes a bit nitpicky.
  4. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    LOL 90 percent of forum posts are what I would consider nitpicky
  5. Maximillian macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2008
    It's a damn book. It's not a type-set ad. You sound like a 70 year old art director who doesn't understand why you can't kern everthing on a webpage. It's not like someone goes through each book, page-by-page, and typesets it. It's all magic and no readers CARE about widows. They don't care about hyphenation.

    Typeography is an artform to you that most people don't think about.
  6. msduncan macrumors 6502

    Jan 27, 2010

    I'm upset because the periods aren't 100% round.
  7. gloss macrumors 601


    May 9, 2006
    Try the Kindle app?
  8. PCClone macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2010
    He is a graphic designer, not a mathematician. :)

    Not sure where you live, but I can confirm big floods are bad. Just look at what is happening in Rhode Island.
  9. skestes macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2007
    Since you can change the size and typeface these things will happen.

    I imagine if you read the book in the the type-setters original configuration it will be fine but once you begin to customize it these things start to happen. It happened on my Kindle and Reader. It's no biggie.
  10. PCClone macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2010
    Shame on you! I can't believe you want to get rid of the orphans and widows! What about the elderly? You want HUGE Floods to wipe them out to?
  11. paulyras macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2006
    At least it's not helvetica.


    Sent from my iPad
  12. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    They are in Futura.

    OP The text is handled like that so you can increase the point size. without having to pan around on the page. I agree that there should be some kind of logic to remove things like widows and orphans but there you go.
  13. eskalation.dk thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2006
    Im not seventy, im 23... I would like to point out that apps like indesign does this WAAAY better, WORD does it better!. And its automatic, and no, im not nitpicking, its basically what typesetting a book is about. Im just saying, add hyphenation, its quite pathetic that it is this bad. Maybe widows are hard to remove automatically, but come on! Why cant iBooks do this?!

    I care.

    Again, it can be done, word, indesign, pages - they do it.. Hell, theres even a JavaScript file that does this on your website! http://code.google.com/p/hyphenator/

    Of cause results may vary depending on textsize, especially if set to grannys eyes, but it is a ****** and bad solution to remove them altogether!
  14. shrimpdesign macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2005
    I agree with the OP. They could have done a better job with the text layout. Left-justified, for one. Automatic justified text is never very good.

    But it's not a dealbreaker.
  15. Pentad macrumors 6502a


    Nov 26, 2003

    Bloody Hell! I cancelled my iPad order after I found this out!

    No hyphenation, same font, AND the period isn't 100% round...what a piece of rubbish!
  16. paulisme macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2008
    Charleston, SC
    Who knew the iPad would have trouble with periods?

    Ba dum ching!
  17. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    I have a Kindle and it occurred to me that I can't recall seeing hyphenation. So, I did a Google image search for large Kindle images and I didn't find any occurrence of hyphenation on any image I found.

    You have to think about what you're saying here. The font size can be increased and decreased. It's not a set type size. Changing type size will reflow the text very differently. The publishers do not produce a book specifically for the Kindle or the iPad. It's just a generic EPUB copy that gets distributed by Apple, Fictionwise, etc.

    Apparently you've never followed Kindle discussions very closely. Many books are riddled with typos and excess spaces or punctuation. Most people say that it appears that the publisher really didn't make an electronic copy of a lot of these books but rather it looks like the book was haphazardly scanned, OCRed and then dumped into a format for distribution. There certainly wasn't much care involved.
  18. Fireproof! macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2008
    Frisco, TX
    This thread is full of LULZ.

    Please continue...
  19. gt1948 macrumors regular


    Jun 23, 2007
    23? Bet you just took the course Graphic design which talks about floods widows and orphans... I've been doing this for 14 years and I do look for those things when i do a layout on a print job.
    I also agree that most folks, (90%) don't eveen know what you are talking about.

    You sound like someone who has many years ahead of you, hopefully you will learn.
  20. pcp_ip macrumors regular


    Nov 12, 2002
    I think it has something to do with oval-ulation
  21. bostonte macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2007
    I *hate* hyphenation in my books, so sounds good to me.

    Why would you want hyphenation, so the margins look prettier? From a design point of view I think artificially cracking words in half is a lazy approach and looks worse than imperfect margins.
  22. str1f3 macrumors 68000

    Aug 24, 2008
    It's like Fanboys Gone Wild in this thread. The OP made some really astute observations. The same observations were made on DaringFireball:

    The iPad’s version of iPhone OS contains more fonts than iPhone OS 3.1, including my beloved Gill Sans. The iBooks app lets you switch the text face, but only from a choice of five fonts.

    iBooks uses full-justified layout for books, with no apparent option to switch to ragged right. It doesn’t do hyphenation, so you wind up with very unsightly word-spacing gaps. No e-reader I’m aware of does justice to proper book typography, but I was hoping for better from Apple. It’s decent web-caliber typography, not print-caliber typography.

    I wonder if anyone actually reads books who posted in this thread or have any measure of objectivity. I'm glad there are people who nitpick. It's been that same attitude at Apple which allows them to push out great products. And, yes, it is a bit surprising that iBooks is lackluster in this regard considering Jobs is such a typography nut.
  23. eskalation.dk thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2006
    Yes i am a student, but no, i didn't "just take a course", if you have been doing this for 14 years, then why aren't you concerned? In what way isn't this an issue? And why can't it be adressed - to me the solution appears managable for a company of Apples size? Of cause the books doesn't need to be set by hand, thats impossible when the sizes can change, but the software behind it sure as hell can be better, it's "just" programming, and they already have the dictionaries!

    And no, 90% probably doesn't, but then again, they don't have to know what it is, it still effects their reading experience! They're not supposed to know what is wrong, just like when a car is broken, if you aren't a mechanic.

    To me it sounds like you aren't all that professional or have "too many years of experience" for you to care?! How is justified, non-hyphenated text an acceptable solution?!

    Oh, and for those that don't want hyphenation, they could add it as a feature that could be toggled on or off... Either way, as far as i go, i really feel strongly against the current text-layout.

    I know that the font-size can change, and therefore, yes, sadly orphans are probably hard to get rid of :/

    I didn't know anything about the EPUBs being OCRed, i don't read the forums that often, this just hit me when i saw the screenshots and i hadn't read anything about it anywhere, so i thought that i'd post it. But that is reeeal shoddy work by the publishers hehe! One can only hope that they take the digital format more seriously in the future :)

    Huuuuurrrrrrr derp derp... :D
  24. bostonte macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2007
    So because my dislike of hyphenation in almost all instances is opposite of the OP's, I'm being a fanboy and not objective?

    It ticks me off to no end that Pages insists on having Hyphenation on by default and I need to turn it off for every document. That's an Apple designed product.

    All of the posts above seemed fine to me -- people were being objective. Objectively applying their own point of view which may or may not agree with yours.
  25. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    That's the problem. Publishers have the traditional so ingrained that it seems to be an effort for them to put out decent electronic versions. It seems so odd that may be the case since all of their typesetting was done electronically. You would think it would be a natural progression when publishing the printed copy by porting an electronic version.

    I've had some books for the Kindle where the attempts to insert graphics were awful. In some cases I couldn't actually figure out what the image was supposed to be had it not been referenced in the text.

    If you're going to have issues I'd go with how do you cite an electronic source such as this when there is no real page numbering. Pagination is affected by type size. Kindle has the nebulous number reference displayed as a large multi-digit range. Then you run into the same book displaying differently on any particular device. How is citation supposed to work?

    Orwell, George. "1984" Macmillan: Kindle Edition 11205-11984, 2005

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