Free ePub 3 Watermarking Tool

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Free ePub 3 Watermarking Tool

Unread postby Tim Green » Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:13 am

19 September, 2016: Now updated to correct an error in the check for the unique ID in the ePUB. It will now only issue a warning and not a fatal error if the unique ID has been left out in Help+Manual (the filename is then used automatically as the ID). A fatal error is now only issued if the ePUB doesn't contain a unique ID at all, which can't happen with ePUBs created by Help+Manual.

ePub 3 only: Note that this tool expects an ePub 3 structure inside the ePub file. It will gag on earlier versions of ePub. :?
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You can download the first version of our new command line ePub watermarking tool here:

http://download.ec-software.com/hmepubwatermark.zip

This works for any ePub file, not just those generated with Help+Manual. It takes an ePub file as input and creates personalized copies for your customers, with the customer's name or license number in the file name and "Licensed to Customer Name" in two fields in the meta data and optionally also in a paragraph that you define in one page in the book itself. You can create one output file or any number from a text file with a list of customer names, all in one process.

There is no installation. You just need to unpack the .exe file from the Zip and put it wherever is most convenient for you for running it. If you like you can put it in the Help+Manual program directory (we may include it with future installations). The instructions are included in the usage.txt file and the example.ini file shows an example of a config file with a selection of different options.

The watermarker applies simple individual watermarks to ePub files to deter casual piracy. It is not DRM and does not provide any physical protection. It creates a personalized copy of your source ePub for each individual customer, with "Licensed to Customer Name" in two places in the metadata and optionally in one page of the book itself. It also includes the customer's name or license number in the name of the ePub file and allows you to increment the license numbers automatically when you are generating multiple copies in batch mode.

The watermarker is a command line tool that can be used in two modes: Command line mode and config file mode. In command line mode you specify everything in the command line and just watermark ONE file. In config file mode you specify a number of user names in a configuration file and the utility creates a separate, individually watermarked file for each user.

Standard Watermark:
===================
The watermarker will always add your "Licensed to User Name" text to the Publisher and Description fields in the ePub metadata. For example, if the publisher of your ePub is "Widgets Corp." the text in this field will be changed to "Widgets Corp., Licensed to User Name". Similarly "-: Licensed to User Name :-" is added to the beginning of the Description field. Line breaks and formatting cannot be added because these fields are plain text only.

Additional Watermark in a Topic:
================================
If you set the /LT= switch in command line mode or the equivalent "topicid=" switch in config file mode, the license text will also be added to a specific paragraph in the page/topic with that Help+Manual topic ID in the ePub file. For this to be possible, this topic must contain ONE paragraph formatted with a style called "Watermark". Any text in this paragraph will be replaced with your license text. It is also possible to use a text-only style and format text within an existing paragraph with it. Then only the text formatted with that text style will be replaced.

Output Folder:
==============
In command line mode the output folder must be specified together with the output file with the /O= switch. In config file mode you specify the generic output folder in the config file in the first line (see below). All output files are then written to this folder unless you specify a different output file and folder for individual users. If you only specify a different output file for an individual folder that file will be written to the standard output folder.

Output File Names:
==================
In command line mode you specify the output file name specifically. In config file mode the user name is added to the source file name to create the output file name by default, unless you specify a different output file name for individual users. If the individual name includes a path and folder the file will be written there, otherwise it will be written to the standard output folder.


Consecutive Numbers in Output File Names:
=========================================
In config file mode you can specify the "modifier=xxxx" switch, where xxxx is a decimal number. Each output file name will then consist of the original name plus this number incremented by one instead of the user name. You can use this to set license numbers in the name, for example. The modifier number should be ONE LESS than the first number you want to use. If the numbers have less than 4 digits they will be filled out to 4 with leading zeroes.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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Re: Free ePub Watermarking Tool

Unread postby Tobias Escher » Thu Sep 01, 2016 5:02 pm

Sorry for OT, but is there any chance of getting this for PDF?
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Re: Free ePub Watermarking Tool

Unread postby Tim Green » Thu Sep 01, 2016 5:26 pm

Tobias Escher wrote:Sorry for OT, but is there any chance of getting this for PDF?

No. PDF is raw printer data. Editing the data in a PDF after it has been created is a completely different proposition.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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Re: Free ePub Watermarking Tool

Unread postby julio » Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:36 pm

I tried to use this tool, but it keeps logging an error about not having a Unique ID attribute. I think this is the Book ID option on Configuration - Publishing Options - eBooks (ePUB, Kindle, EWriter) - ePUB+Kindle: General Settings. I tried a random-generated UUID but it did not work. Is there any other option to change?

Thanks.
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Re: Free ePub Watermarking Tool

Unread postby Tim Green » Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:45 am

Hi Julio,

The Book ID is the unique ID so you should not get the error message for that if it is set. The screenshot below shows you the settings that are required for watermarking (outlined in red). If you continue to have problems please mail me a small demo project and the ePub you created at support AT ec-software.com (replace the AT with @) and I'll check them.

epub_required.png
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Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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Please do not email or PM me with private support requests -- post to the forum directly.
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Re: Free ePub Watermarking Tool

Unread postby Tim Green » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:19 am

19 September, 2016: Now updated to correct an error in the check for the unique ID in the ePUB. It will now only issue a warning and not a fatal error if the unique ID has been left out in Help+Manual (the filename is then used automatically as the ID). A fatal error is now only issued if the ePUB doesn't contain a unique ID at all, which can't happen with ePUBs created by Help+Manual.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

Private support:
Please do not email or PM me with private support requests -- post to the forum directly.
User avatar
Tim Green
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Posts: 20678
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 9:11 am
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