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"Forcing the font color"?

1299 Views 17 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Amanda Brice
I just got a notice from KDP Support that some of the text in my bundle is unreadable for readers using color devices and reading on a black background. They said it may have occurred due to forcing the font color to black in my source file.

I'm not sure what they mean, because I didn't force any color to black, and this bundle is merely a compilation of two books that have each over 5,000 copies on Kindle with no complaints previously. The bundle itself has sold close to 2000 copies and I've never had a complaint before, so I'm not quite certain what happened and how to fix it.

I uploaded a Mobi, if that helps.
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While I've never had a complaint, I did have to force my text to black.
I didn't realize it, but my source text was originally gray and while it looked fine on some Kindles, on the paperwhite it looked far too light.

From Scrivener, I selected all the text then chose black from the color palette. Saved and uploaded the mobi. I haven't had any complaints yet. I bought a paperwhite to test and also tested on my original Kindle as well as a few Kindle Apps.

I'm not sure if there is a way to not specify a color other than to open the HTML/CSS and edit the styles to remove all color reference. If you do edit the raw styles, I think it should be HTML Color Code #000000.
Using the downloadable previewer that Amazon provides on the upload-your-book page you can look through your file (which you can download from there as well) and see what they are talking about. One of the simulated Kindles has a night or dark mode that does the black background thing.

Black font disappears on a black background. If that's happening with one of your books you are going to have to fix it.
Yes, but how do I fix it? As far as I know, I didn't set the font color to black. I specifically didn't set any colors because I know that not everyone reads on a white screen.
Amanda, what was your format process? If there is a CSS rule in your file that looks like this: color: #000000; or color:black; that will result on forced  lack text.

Do you edit the CSS, or upload a word file?
Write in Word, then turn it over to a formatter.

I've since switched to writing in Scrivener, then compiling to Mobi or ePub.

I've never uploaded a Word doc, and don't know how to open up and edit a CSS.

I've always uploaded either prcs or mobis to KDP.
If you have it in epub format, you can use a program called Sigil to edit the CSS.

Basically, open the epub with Sigil, (free to download) and look for a file with a CSS extension to its name in the file browser on the left.

Look for the rules I described in my previous post and if they exist, delete them. Save, and that should be that.

Sorry, am on my phone so can't post proper instructions :-\
Thanks, I'll try it!
Okay - on my desktop. Phew! Easier to write.

There might be a way to fix this out of Scrivener but I've not used that for formatting yet --

The download link for Sigil:

Only two things that might be tricky: finding the CSS file, and knowing exactly what to delete.
The CSS file will most likely be inside a folder called "Styles", in the "Book Browser" panel on the left. It will have the file extension ".css"

You will see something like this:

Look for any rule that starts with "color:" That sets the font color. Delete the entire line, including the semi colon at the end. So delete, for example, color:black; or color:#000000;
Be careful not to delete any curly brackets. It's really not that hard.
Then save, and you should have a clean ePub.

If you don't find those CSS rules then we have a problem because I don't know what else could cause that error!

I hope somebody else has a better fix?
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Oh - another thought.
If you dont find those CSS rules, there is a possibility that they could be set in the pages of the book itself, and not in the CSS file.

This is also easy to fix so don't panic  :)

With your book open in Sigil, press the little search icon at the top to open "Find and Replace" or hit CTRL and F.
Copy and paste the following into the "Find" field


And leave the "Replace" empty.

Set the "look" drop down menu to "All HTML Files" so it will search your entire book.

Press the find button.  If the errant CSS is anywhere in your book, that page should open.  Press the "replace" button to delete the rule (replace it with nothing, because you left the replace field empty) or if you like, press "replace all" to do all of them at once.

Also try searching for


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The book bundle on a Kindle Fire when looking at nightmode is just a black page with no words on it.  Nightmode being white letters on black backround.
I hope you can figure out how to fix that.  :)

eta: and just to pile on I checked the sample on my Paperwhite and you also have the dreaded fixed at sans serif font formatting booboo. Bold sans serif *shudders*.
To fix the problem Atunah spotted with the font, you have to remove some more errant CSS code, and you can do this with Sigil as well, if you want. Essentially:

There are three patterns to look for.

A "font face" declaration:


A "font size" attribute that is set to a value of points:


A "font family" attribute set to any value at all:


you can check out Katie Elle's post

Or mine:
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Another thing you can do, Amanda, is to copy the entire text from your Word document, paste it into a text editor (which should come with your computer), and that will strip it of the color forcing.  Then cut and paste that into a NEW Word document.  I have to do this each time I upload a book.  It's a pain, but what can you do?  Hope it works for you.
I got this note from Amazon too. But its weird that I only got the notice from one reader out of 20k downloads
Masha du Toit said:
Okay - on my desktop. Phew! Easier to write.

There might be a way to fix this out of Sigil but I've not used that for formatting yet --

The download link for Sigil:
Second sigil and also like TextWrangler to open and edit ePub files. Just wish they had similar for mobi files.
trublue said:
I got this note from Amazon too. But its weird that I only got the notice from one reader out of 20k downloads
Exactly. I'm not sure if the problem is just with my bundle or if it's with both the books in the bundle as well. If the latter, then there have been ~12K downloads, and this is the first I'm hearing about it. :(

Jillian Dodd told me on another loop that she got the same complaint email last week on a book that had been out for well over a year. I find it difficult to believe that only one person ever has looked at it on a black blackground reader but maybe that's the case? Either way, if there really is a problem with it (and from Atunah's post I'm guessing there is), then I need to get this straightened out.

Thanks for the help!
Well some people might not bother complaining. Many just move on and do something else. Then others don't mind a fixed sans serif font in books. I do and I couldn't read it like that. Its too bold and just not easy on my eyes. The other issue with the fire color is another thing where someone might just switch to beige to read it.
But what about those that get the sample, see the formatting and then never get your books.

You can't really go by how many sales you had and nobody complained. You have to go with, is there an issue and how do I fix it. Many of these issues popped up after the KF8 format was introduced with the Paperwhite and shortly before that with an update to the K3. I assume the Touch got a similar update at the same time.

I said in other threads, I am happy to check on my Paperwhite for that font issue if needed. Doesn't take me long to check a sample.
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Oh, I know. Now that I'm aware of the problem, I'm going to fix it. I won't have a chance to download the needed software and try to figure it out until after the kids go to bed tonight, but I'm going to try and figure it out.

Thanks again!
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