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Keeping The Size of Your eBook Small

Keeping The Size of Your eBook Small

If you're going to distribute your eBooks over the Internet, it's a good idea to keep the size of your eBook output files (I am of course referring the .EXE file whose name is shown in the Output tab of the compiler) as small as possible.

The main advantage of keeping the eBooks small is that it's easier on users - they are quicker for people to download. Additionally, it can make things easier on you - as the easier your eBooks are to download, generally, the less support queries you'll get from users.

What Determines The File Size

The file size of your eBooks is determined by four things:
  1. The program code required in each eBook. For version 3.0x of Activ eBook Compiler, this is fixed at just under 400K

  2. Your source files (the HTML and graphics in your eBook). This is compressed, usually to roughly 25% to 50% of the original size (graphics tend to compress less well than HTML).

  3. The splash screen bitmap (if you have one). This is compressed, usually roughly 25% to 50% of the original.

  4. The text/settings of your eBook. Usually this is negligible unless you a huge number of passwords, really long password information text etc.

For example:
  • 200K of source files will compile to approximately 400K + 50K to 100K of data = 450K to 500K total (roughly).

  • 500K of source files will compile to approximately 400K + 125K to 250K of data = 525K to 625K total (roughly).

  • 1000K of source files will compile to approximately 400K + 250K to 500K of data = 650 to 900K total (roughly).

How To Reduce The File Size

Follow these steps to keep your eBooks as small as possible - or to reduce the file size of an existing project.
  1. Remove unnecessary files.

    For most people this is the main cause of the file size inflation

    Open the compiler. Go to the Files tab. See what's there. If there are files that aren't one of the HTML files or graphics that make up the eBook this would artificially inflate the size of the project.

    Use the Exclude option (under This File on the Edit top level menu - or by right clicking on the file) to exclude any files that are not part of the content you are trying to distribute.

    For future projects, the easiest way to avoid problems is to simply put the content (source files) of the eBook (HTML and graphics) in a folder directory, and scan them.

  2. Optimize source files.

    Especially if you have large graphics as part of your eBook, you should look into this.

    Keep graphics (and HTML) files as small as possible. It is almost always possible to reduce their file sizes without changing their appearance or content.

    It is possible that your HTML and graphics editing tools may not have options to help you keep their output files small - but most professional programs do. Look for options in your editing software called something like "maximum compression" or "optimize graphics".

  3. Splash Screens.

    If you have added a splash screen bitmap. Try to use a monochrome or 16 color bitmap, as this will also reduce your file size (or you can enter a blank file name if you don't need a splash screen, and save even more space).

    This option is on the Start Up dialog, invoked from the Edit menu of the compiler.
Follow this procedure - recompile - and your eBook should be substantially smaller.


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