I am a big fan of eBooks. I have many eBooks in formats other than .epub so I wanted to convert them into the proper eBook format – ePub. How difficult can it be? It turns out that its easy to make your own eBooks as long as you know the basic rules and tools.
Tools I use:
Notes on the tools:
- iBooks is an eBook reader. It’s not a perfect software but it enables me to read everywhere and from any of my iOS devices. The main feature that I enjoy the most is that I can read a book on one device and continue reading on another device in anther room, at exactly the page I was on last.
- TextWrangler to me is equivalent to Notepad++, a text tool that recognise a lot of syntax from programming languages. I even use it to write instead of Word.
iBooks Author vs Pages:
iBooks Author and Pages can be both used to make eBooks. I tired both and found out that there is a Golden Rule – Books made with iBooks do not let users changing the font size. To me, that’s just stupid. 🙂 Because that I read a lot, I have my books all set to certain font size for easy reading. To me, this is the biggest fail for iBooks Author.
In short, if you want to make an eBook with loads of interactive features and multi-touch gestures (e.g. pop-up videos that expand, galleries of images on the same page) use iBooks Author; use one of the preloaded beautiful templates. I think that Apple pushed it out only for professional e-publishing purposes so the teaches can make their own textbooks etc. Click here to see beautiful examples of eBooks published by iBooks Author.
If you want to make an eBook with loads of texts, Pages can do the job for you simply. I had to use this option. You can still include video and audio files in your eBook with Pages but they won’t function as smooth as the ones in iBooks Author.
Apple‘s recommendation is to use the ePub_Best_Practices_EN.pages as a template for producing eBooks. I tried different Pages template and I had to admit that the template is well optimised for eBooks. I used another template, the eBook it produced was much slower to open and the font was not great to read with either.
I have always been using text files to manage my todo lists but only recently been enlightened of the Todo.txt concept. This post will teach you how to write and deploy a markup definition file for TextWrangler on Mac so it will automatically highlight your Todo.txt like this:
Tools I use:
Notes on the tools:
The concept of the Todo.txt is very simple. There are only 3 rules to follow:
- Priority e.g. (A), (B), (C) and I added (U) for undecided
- Project e.g. +Health
- Context e.g. @home
I won’t elaborate too much here because you can learn more by visiting this page from the Todo.txt website or click here to download a sample file.
To make sure that TextWrangler highlights my Todo list as I wish, I wrote a .plist (property list file) for my installation of TextWrangler on my Mac. What is TextWrangler? It’s a text editor that offers much more functionality than Notepad. It’s a Mac equivalent to Notepad++ – my favourite text editor on Windows OS. I would suggest any programmer to use TextWrangler.
My .plist reference to the TextWrangler Codeless Language Modules. The following is the contents of my ToDoCodelessLanguageModule.plist
Identifier and Keyword Character Class
The code above is open source so feel free to use it at your own risk. If you are going to repost it else where, I hope that you would give credit to me.
The ToDoCodelessLanguageModule.plist should be saved to folder: ~/Library/Application Support/TextWrangler/Language Modules
- Priorities will be highlighted as blue
- Projects and contexts will be highlighted as red
- 2 types of comments: line comments starts with a # symbol; block comments are enclosed in /* … */
- A completed task will be highlighted the same colour as a comment
- To mark a task completed and ensure the highlighting was applied, you must follow the format: X YYYY-MM-DD (see screenshot at the beginning of this post for more details)
To test it, start a new file in TextWrangler and save it as a .todo file. For example:
Close the file then open it again, try to type “(A) Call Mom @Phone +Family”, the automatic highlighting should start as you type.
You can also verify it by checking that “To Do” appears on the language bar as a user defined language. For example:
Welcome! 👏 🎉
I hope that you will visit my blog often and leave a comment or two. Don’t be shy, the internet was originally created for collaboration not those social network.
What will I do with this space? I will write mainly about my travels, my love of photography, my work as a geek and maybe other little stories that worth remembering.
This Hello world post is the default post that comes with the WordPress installation. I’m keeping the this default post! 👻 Most programmers would have started their training with a little piece of code called “Hello world“! My first ever “Hello world” code was in Pascal! What’s yours? 😎
Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes … the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. … You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. … They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do. – Steve Jobs
I close my first blog post with this quotes by my favourite human, Steve Jobs. Chinese has a saying – 天时地利人和. I believe that Steve Jobs’s success was not because of luck or any other external environmental factors but because of his vision, hard work, and being himself. I feel that these quotes reflect that.
Be yourself and work hard!
So Long and Thanks for all the Fish! ✌️