Go with the Flowable

“The word prestidigitation is hyphenated so that prest- is at the bottom of one page and idigitation is all by itself at the top of  the next page. It looks awful. Can you make it not hyphenate?”

Your Friendly Formatter replies that she can’t see the problem in the file previewer on her computer and assures you that everything is fine, and yet… it bugs you.

Is there a reason for differing views of the same book in the same app?

Yes. It’s all about ebooks being flowable documents, meaning they’re responsive to settings that manage the reader’s experience.

There are millions of computers, devices, and phones around the world that readers are using to view ebooks. Every single one of them has operating system settings, app settings, and user settings that can alter the layout of a given ebook. The ebook itself has another collection of settings.

Just think of all those combinations and permutations!

For any formatter or publisher to attempt to manage all the combinations of all the settings is an exercise in futility and a complete waste of your worry. Let it go and write your next book.

That’s the magic, joy and the frustration of flowable documents like ebooks.

Previewing FAQs

photo of the Wachau Valley aboard the SS Maria Theresa © Joan Frantschuk

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