A File-naming System

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A File-naming System.

A detailed explanation of how I name the extra files, (illustrations, reference images and covers for example.)

The idea is to meet these needs in DP.

  • All illustrations will have the physical page number in the file-name to help the PPers place the images.
  • Unnumbered pages, such as facing pages, will be named so that they can also be identified and placed in that way.
  • Any reference images, full-page images of split proofing pngs for example, will follow the same numbering as the illustrations.
  • Covers and unnumbered pages will be kept out of the numbered sequence.
  • The squirrels will have an easier job where they need to insert or replace an image.
  • To make it easier to spot any missing or duplicate pages in a project.

Proofing pngs and text files.

These will be simply numbered in sequence right through the book.

Other files.

The assumption is that you have an illustrated or decorated book. The end result will be a set of illo images which all have an i_ prefix and the numeric part of the file-name will match the physical page number in the book. Because pages can start in Roman numbers for the front-matter and Arabic numbers for the body-text we use i_a_ for all front numbering and i_b_ for the body-text numbering. There may also be i_c_ and i_d_ prefixes if you're very unlucky!

In this document folder names shown by a leading /. I have capitalised and emboldened the MOVE and COPY actions as getting that wrong can lead to a disaster!

To start:

Make a folder called /scans.

Extract or scan everything to /scans.

Make a folder called /covers. MOVE cover, spine, back-cover, end-papers etc to /covers, naming them appropriately.

Delete all images up to the first printed page image in /scans. If there are any pages after the last printed page in /scans then delete them too. Check for any duplicate scan images, TIA and Google tend to repeat a page if they have a problem during scanning so delete the bad pair of pages. This /scans folder becomes your fall-back set if anything goes wrong.

Now examine the page numbering.

Most books will start with Roman numbered front-matter but some can start straight in with Arabic numbers. The rest of this document assumes the worst and that you have an unnumbered half-title and/or frontispiece followed by a preface in Roman numbers and then the book proper in Arabic page numbering. But books vary!

Extracting the files.

Create a folder called /all_pages.

Now COPY the entire contents of /scans to /all_pages.

Renumber the contents of /all_pages starting at 001. This folder will be the base for your proofer's pngs and txt files.

Run through to check all pages are present!

Create temporary holding folders.

Create new folders called /a_block, /b_block, /c_block etc. (Most books will need just two, be guided by the page numbering; Roman, Arabic, extra unnumbered ot tipped-in plates, etc. I needed three when I was writing this.

Populate the temporary folders.

Using /all-pages start with the first printed page, such as half-title or frontispiece then select to end of that preface matter and COPY to /a_block. Start at page 1 select to end of body-text, COPY to /b_block.

Start at first page after body-text, select to end of book if there's no further blocks and COPY to /c_block.

Rename the files.

Rename contents of /a_block to a_nnn.

Rename contents of /b_block to b_nnn.

Rename contents of /c_block to c_nnn.

Unnumbered pages.

Create a /loose_illos folder to hold all the unnumbered pages. They need to be removed from the /a, /b and /c blocks for the renumbering to work correctly.

Note, (yes, pencil and paper!), the file-number that the tipped-in illo currently has and the facing page number from the adjacent physical page image and MOVE the pasted-in illos and blank reverse side from /a, /b and /c_blocks to /loose_illos. Pay particular attention to any frontispiece. In most books that is also an unnumbered tipped-in page.

Final automatic renumbering.

Rename and renumber contents of /a_block to a_nnn starting at a_001.

Rename and renumber contents of /b_block to b_nnn starting at b_001.

Rename and renumber contents of /c_block to c_nnn starting at c_001.

Check that the NUMBERING of the files matches the physical page numbers. If they don't, investigate!

The reference images and loose illos.

Reference pages.

If there are any full-page reference pages then create a folder called /ref_pages and COPY the pages you need from the /a, /b and /c_blocks. Rename these to add a r_ prefix. (A typical page will now be called something like r_b_nnn).

Loose illos.

Now the manual re-naming of the pasted-in illos which are waiting in /loose_illos. This is only time that you will need to manually change any file-names.

From your noted list of file numbers and facing physical page numbers you can name the illo (blockletter)_nnnfp to match. If the reverse side is blank then delete it. Otherwise rename it to refer to the page it faces.

Illustrations on numbered pages.

If there are any illos or pages with drop-caps or decorations then create a folder called /illos.

I always include a high-res image of the title page so there's always an /illos folder for my projects.

Gathering the illos together.

If you have extracted any images to /covers then MOVE them to /illos.

Add the illos from the numbered pages.

There are two ways of approaching this next step.

1. If there are lots of illustrations then delete all non-illustration pages from /a, /b and /c_blocks and MOVE the remaining files to /illos.

2. Where there are only a few illustrations it's easier to MOVE the illustrations to the /illos folder.

Add the /loose_illos to /illos.

If you have a /loose_illos folder now is the time to MOVE the contents to /illos.

Clean up and add prefix to the illos.

All the illustrations are now in the /illos folder so time to clean-up and add the i_prefix.

You can delete all the working folders. Delete /covers, /a, /b, /c_blocks and /loose_illos folders.

Add the i_ prefix to all images in the illos folder. (A typical page will be named i_b_nnn.)

Final output.

You'll be left with the following:

  • /all_pages will be the set of proofing pngs. These are named nnn ready for OCR.
  • /ref_pages will contain any full-page reference images. Named r_x_nnn. Convert these to 300 dpi B/W pngs (unless there's a pressing reason to keep them coloured in which case use jpgs), I crop these but don't resize to 1000 pixels. If these are pngs they should be run through PngCrush or OptiPng to squeeze them down as far as possible.
  • /illos will contain all the illos. Named i_x_nnn at 400 or 600 dpi 24-bit RGB jpgs. I crop these to leave plenty of margin. These should NOT be resized.