Tips and Pitfalls

This page explains some common mistakes, some bugs in DropBook and/or the eReader, and some techniques that will allow you to create quality electronic books for the eReader.

  • Check out the Converting to Palm eBooks page for some pointers on converting text from various formats into the Palm Markup Language.
  • Use a return at the end of each paragraph, not each line.
  • Using an extra return between paragraphs reads easier than paragraph indentation.
  • The eReader doesn't display empty lines at the top of a page. If you need to have some "empty" lines at the top of a page, put a space on each line.
  • Don't use tables if you can possibly avoid it.

    None of the fonts that the eReader supports are monospaced, so tables can be difficult to represent. Break out the information in another way, or use the \T tag, but beware of tables that look great on a Palm OS handheld but not on a Pocket PC or vice versa.

  • The Reader breaks lines on spaces, dashes or underscores. This has several implications.
    1. Don't fill more than a line with spaces, dashes or underscores. There's a bug (which will be fixed in a future release) which causes MakeBook to hang on such a line. Note that in the large font, the number of spaces, dashes or underscores will be much smaller than in the small font.
    2. A string such as He shouted "Wait!--" may place the last quote on the beginning of a line, since the line would break after the second dash. Prevent this by using the PML string: He shouted "Wait!\a150\a150". The non-breaking dash, code 150, will not break a line. Use \a160 for a non-breaking space. Even better: use \a151, a long dash, instead of two short dashes.

  • The justification codes \c and \r (center and right justification) must have closing codes on the beginning of the line following the justified text.
  • The indentation tag \t must have a closing tag at the end of a line of the indented text.
  • Use \s (small font) in the title page(s) of books to force the page(s) to format nicely. Other than that, \n, \s and \l should rarely be necessary; the font size used for most text display should be chosen by the user.