How to preview epub files: proposal to use Sumatrapdf and Oracle's Viewer Technology

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Raindrops
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2023 10:04 am

How to preview epub files: proposal to use Sumatrapdf and Oracle's Viewer Technology

Post by Raindrops » Mon Jan 23, 2023 10:52 am

The preview panel does not show preview of epub files.
I searched the forum, and found an old thread (2015), but it didn't have a solution.
The link provided there does not work.

In the past, I used two different previewing solutions with FreeCommander:

1. Use Sumatrapdf

2. Use the Viewer Technology bundle, available from Oracle. It is capable of generating preview for 600+ file types.

IINW both of them cannot be used directly, and they need a wrapper.
Such wrappers are listed at TotalCommander website.

The TC website lists two different wrappers:
sLister to work with Sumatrapdf
uLister to work with Oracle's Viewer Technology

The sLister+Sumatrapdf combo offers better features for pdf and epub files, as compared to the uLister+VT combo.
Therefore the trick is to use the former for only two file types and use the latter for all other file types.

I have used these combos with FreeCommander for a very long time.
I can vouch that they work fine, and they are worth the effort.
But I am not a programmer. I cannot write scripts either.
Long ago I had struggled to put these combos together, and I cannot remember the step-by-step procedure now.

Can anyone help to put together these resources and make them work?
I do have some more pointers if anyone volunteers.

That will benefit a lot of users!

NotNull
Posts: 4041
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 9:22 pm

Re: How to preview epub files: proposal to use Sumatrapdf and Oracle's Viewer Technology

Post by NotNull » Mon Jan 23, 2023 4:27 pm

You should have posted a link to the thread you found on the forum...

The link is indeed dead, but CBXShell can now be found on Github.

There is also DarkThumbs, which is basically an .msi wrapper for CBXShell. Use that instead.

Dont forget to run the CBXManager first to configure which file extensions should be previewed.

(Preview = cover; no textual contents)


For integration in FreeCommander, ask on their forums.

Raindrops
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2023 10:04 am

Re: How to preview epub files: proposal to use Sumatrapdf and Oracle's Viewer Technology

Post by Raindrops » Mon Jan 23, 2023 7:10 pm

IINW CBXShell can handle only a few file types, and it can generate thumbnails.
That's why I didn't pursue that thread.

I know from personal experience that both Sumatrapdf and Oracle VT are full-fledged viewers.
You can read the entire document in the preview pane itself, and even play audio/video files with full controls.
They also offer many other features, such as search, zoom, copy text, etc.
That's why I mentioned them in this thread.

I also mentioned integration with FreeCommander just to confirm that the combos work beautifully in FC.
So I hope that an expert devotes some time to integrate those apps, so that Everything can display practically all file types in the preview panel!

FWIW here are the step-by-step installation procedures:
1. Steps for installing sLister+Sumatrapdf
2. Steps for installing uLister+Oracle VT

NotNull
Posts: 4041
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 9:22 pm

Re: How to preview epub files: proposal to use Sumatrapdf and Oracle's Viewer Technology

Post by NotNull » Mon Jan 23, 2023 7:31 pm

Everything uses the same mechanism as Windows Explorer to preview files. To my best of knowledge, there is no preview handler for .epub files, other than the ones showing an image (thumbnail/cover).

A viewer (FreeCommander/Total Commander/..) is different from a preview handler.

If you can find a preview handler that shows the content of .epub files in Explorer, the previews will be shown in Everything too.


Sidenote: you can take a look at Quicklook. Pressing the spacebar when a a file is selected in Everything will open a viewer for that file format. Can't remember exactly, but I think epub is supported through a plug-in/add-on.

Raindrops
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2023 10:04 am

Re: How to preview epub files: proposal to use Sumatrapdf and Oracle's Viewer Technology

Post by Raindrops » Tue Jan 24, 2023 3:53 am

I now realize that I have mentioned "epub" in the title of this thread, whereas I always had all possible file types in mind. Mea culpa!

IINW the forum does not allow me to edit the title now, but please take the title as "preview of all common file types".

From your response, I realized that people use three different terms for such panels: "Viewer", "Quick viewer", and "Previewer".
Non-programmers like me can't tell the difference: All of them display the file under focus.

Therefore, the non-programmers may be pardoned for believing that if some plugin combo works in FC and TC, it should work here too.
But we mortals cannot work out the actual magic! :)

Hence I request a programmer to come to our rescue.

BTW if we use a totally independent software for quick viewing files, we have to operate Everything and that other app side by side.
That is a complex scenario. It is best to somehow enhance the existing Previewer panel of Everything.

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