I want to publish my book as an epub to Google Play Books. It contains multiple choice questions in the first half of the book, followed by the same questions with the answers highlighted and explanations in the other half.

I have used Calibre to make an ePub version with some success, however there's a problem that the questions may overlap over two pages. The setting in Microsoft Word, "keep lines together", allows me to do this on Word and this remains working when I convert it to an ePub using Calibre and read it with Adobe Digital Editions however it does not work with Google Play. I have explored the settings in Calibre (thinking it is likely to be there) with no luck.

Is there an ePub converting software that allows me to force keeping lines together when I publish it on Google Play Books?

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  • What you are looking to do is create a fixed-layout epub (sort of contradictory since epubs are meant to be reflowable, but there is a need for fixed-layout in certain circumstances, such as yours). What source are you starting from to generate the epub (a pdf, a word-doc etc.)? – Jason Down Apr 21 '14 at 16:52
  • Microsoft Word document. I agree that it's contradictory :p – AndroidPenguin Apr 21 '14 at 16:53
  • As an aside, there is a good field guide on fixed layout epubs here: bisg.org/docs/… It may be useful for you (depends on how much you want to get your hands dirty with the actual xhtml etc.). – Jason Down Apr 21 '14 at 17:16
  • I'd say that fixed layout is a fairly drastic solution; that degree of control is not really called for here. With fixed layout, you place every single bit of content and all reflowability is lost. It also locks you out of a number of markets, as not all devices support fixed layout. It would certainly work, but seems akin to swatting flies with a Cadillac. – Tom Apr 22 '14 at 16:54

You can use page-break-inside: avoid; in your CSS to keep information from breaking across pages where possible in a reflowable epub file, though not all reading systems will honor it. Another option would be using page-break-before: always; to force a page break before the content that you want to keep together. This is somewhat more widely supported, but still not universal. In the end, pagination is a relic of print and not something native to digital, so trying to force it might not be the most efficient way to go. Are there other ways you can accomplish the same end, perhaps with hyperlinks?

  • I define a div which does page-break-inside:avoid. Any text I want to keep together I put inside the div. Ereaders do there best to honor it. You can also do as Tom mentions and put a page-break-before: always; to start with a fresh page. Key point I think - identify what you think needs to stay together; let the display engine figure out how to do it. – Jeffrey DeLeo Apr 25 '14 at 22:57

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