Monday, June 17, 2013

XMLtoPDFBook now supports chapter numbers and names

By Vasudev Ram

I've added support for chapter numbers and names to XMLtoPDFBook, which I blogged about recently. XMLtoPDFBook enables you to create simple PDF ebooks from chapters stored as text in an XML file.

The chapter numbers and names are printed in the header of the PDF file created. Chapter numbers are added automatically, starting from 1, and incremented by 1 for each chapter. For chapter names, you have to change the chapter elements in the XML file from the earlier format, which had no attributes for the chapter element, to add an attribute called 'name', with its value being the chapter name.

Earlier format for the chapter element:


New format for the chapter element:

<chapter name="chapter_name">

where you replace "chapter_name" with the name of each chapter, as desired.

That is the only change needed. The (updated) XMLtoPDFBook program takes care of the rest.

Chapter names, though supported, are optional. If a chapter element has no name attribute, it is not an error. No chapter name will be printed in the header for that chapter.

You can run XMLtoPDFBook the same way as I said in my first post about it:

python vi_quickstart.xml vi_quickstart.pdf

For viewing the PDF file, you may want to try using either Foxit PDF Reader or NitroReader. I've used Foxit Reader a lot, and it is fairly good. Just started trying NitroReader (*).

Here is a screenshot of page 1 of the generated PDF file, vi_quickstart.pdf, in NitroReader (right-click to open in a new tab and view larger size):

And here is a screenshot of page 5 of the same PDF file, vi_quickstart.pdf, in Foxit PDF Reader (right-click to open in a new tab and view larger size):

I also added some more error handling to the program.

I've uploaded XMLtoPDF to my Bitbucket repository for xtopdf, since it is now a part of my xtopdf toolkit. You can download it from here.

Incidentally, I saw on the NitroReader site that it was PDF's birthday this month; the PDF format is now 20 years old.

(*) And finally, it was a bit interesting to me to remember that NitroPDF (from the same company as NitroReader) was one of the topics of my very second blog post on my earlier blog, jugad's Journal :-). I ran that blog for about 3 years before moving to this one (which you are reading now), on Blogger, due to the takeover of LiveJournal by some other company.

- Vasudev Ram - Dancing Bison Enterprises

Contact me

No comments: