Originally, these files from the now copyright-free texts were built as a fun exercise in order to learn about TeX, Typesetting and Typography in general. Initially, the stories were transformed into XML files containing all requried content and markup information – whether, for example, a dot finishes a sentence or is used as abbreviation punctuation. Using various tools, these files are then converted into PDF, HTML, ePUB or plain-text files. This allows many layout variations without the need to work on all files individually. For example, the A4-sized canon contains 989 pages, the letter variant 995 pages due to it's smaller pages size.

Submitting modified files

Sometimes people send problem reports or improvement suggestions along with a large set of already modified story files. While it's great to get feedback, since it allows this collection to improve continually, please note that modified files cannot be used directly for this collection.

All the files which are available for download on this site are generated by a fully automated process and are not encoded manually. This is necessary since every single story is available in many variants – “A Scandal in Bohemia”, for example, appears by itself, in the “Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”, and both of the canon variants. All these four texts are again available in six PDF variants (A4 and letter-sized, both again formatted 1-sided, 2-sided and 2-sided-reversed), ePub, HTML and ASCII – resulting in a total of 36 variants for SCAN on this site. In case these files would all have to be processed manually, a single typo in a story would mean that all these 36 texts would have to be fixed by hand.

The automated process instead uses a single story source file to create all the files, so that in case of a typo it's enough to fix the source file and let the system take care of the rest. This however means that the source files – or the process itself – will have to be changed in case of a problem, and that any submitted ePUBs, HTMLs and so on cannot be used.

In general, if you have found any kind of problem, it's perfect to simply send a description by mail, but there's no need to modify any files yourself.

These pages are maintained by Christoph Ender.

Change Log

Date Version Description
March 15th, 2014 3.1
  • Fixed 124 typos and formatting issues. Many thanks and praise to Shreevatsa R. for putting up with all the correction work and providing no less than 112 typo and 7 formatting corrections. Also thanks to Pablo Rodriguez, C L, 陈楠祺 and Franz-Josef Sachse.
  • Renamed “The Reigate Puzzle” into “The Reigate Squires” – see also Chris Redmond's comments headed “A note on title” at
  • Auto-generated, individual UUID for every single ePUB and mobi.
  • Fixed build.xml to make zipping work with ant 1.9.
  • Better compression for .zip files – ePUBs and mobs are now a lot smaller.
  • Fixed erroneously placed picture on the titlepage of “The Naval Treaty”.
  • Improved placement for map in NAVA for A4 paper.
  • Replaced RESI's repetition of Watson's Beecher thoughts from CARD, thanks to Shreevatsa R. See also “The textual problem of ‘The Resident Patient’ ”.
August 17th, 2013 3.0
  • Implemented .mobi output using Amazon's "kindlegen" version 2.9.
  • Fixed missing closing quotes in storyfile.
  • Reformatted epub HTML output for better legibility.
  • Resized HTML “danc” pictures for fixed height to avoid problems with non-scalable kindlegen y-size.
  • Re-built epub item numeration.
July 13th, 2013 2.6
  • Added “‘What was the month?’ – ‘The sixth from the first.’” to “The Musgrave Ritual”.
  • TeX PDF processing is now done using the microtype package.
  • ePub files now validate against – thanks to @lucabelluccini for pointing out the problem.
  • ePub footnotes have been reformatted and back-to-text link added.
August 3rd, 2012 2.5
  • Fixed typo in “A Study in Scarlet” thanks to Ravi Shankar aka @mirasravi.
  • Corrected one typo in “The Crooked Man” and one more in the preface to “His Last Bow”, both thanks to Mohamed El Mahrsi aka @MohamedMahrsi.
  • Fixed spelling in “The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez”.
March 28th, 2012 2.4
  • Fixed typos in “The Yellow Face”, “The Sign of Four” and the “Stockbroker's Clerk”, thanks to Joe Carey.
  • Fixed one misspelling in the “Reigate Puzzle” and two in the “Naval Treaty”, thanks to Shreevatsa R.
  • Fixed typo in “A Study in Scarlet”, thanks to @mirasravi.
  • Replaced static ePUB identifier with UUID.
January 17th, 2012 2.3
  • Fixed missing charachter in opening of “A Study in Scarlet”, thanks to Aaryoosha.
January 14th, 2012 2.2
  • Re-added missing postscript and subject lines in “The Sussex Vampire”, thanks to Nektaria.
January 2nd, 2012 2.1
  • Fixed an overfull page in “The Sign of Four” at the end of Chapter III.
January 1st, 2012 2.0
  • Re-implemtented the entire build system. Instead of the Makefiles originating from 2003, Apache Ant is used for general processing.
  • Added ePUB output.
  • Recoded source XML files.
  • Reformatted letters, newspapers and telegrams.
  • Added missing pictures.
August 31, 2010 1.20
  • Fixed a typo in “The Sign of the Four”, thanks to Duncan McDougall.
December 1, 2009 1.19
  • Added “reverse-side-margin” two-page layout. In this layout, the inner margin is larger than the outer for easier binding of the pages.
August 27, 2009 1.18
  • Fixed two more typos in “Silver Blaze”, thanks again to Josh Martens.
August 10, 2009 1.17
  • Fixed typo in “Silver Blaze”, thanks to Josh Martens.
July 1, 2009 1.16
  • Fixed typo in “The Final Problem”.
  • Re-added lost images to “The Dancing Men”, thanks to Josh Martens.
June 4, 2009 1.15
  • Fixed typo in “A Study in Scarlet”.
May 21, 2009 1.14
  • Added prefaces to “His Last Bow” and to the “Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes”.
  • Fixed links in table of contents.
March 30, 2009 1.13
  • Fixed typo in "The Crooked Man”.
January 28, 2008 1.12
  • Fixed PDF-specific table of contents.
  • Used Yannis Haralambous' baroque initials from the yfonts package for the story openings.
September 29, 2007 1.11
  • Corrected an error in CROO.
  • Added the version number to the small print after the title page.
September 20, 2007 1.10
  • Added spacing between subsequent quotes in the PDFs.
  • Fixed typos in GLOR and REIG and a quote in MUSG.
  • Fixed superfluous empty paragraphs.
September 10, 2007 1.9
  • Corrected typos in “The Yellow Face” and “The Stockbroker's Clerk”.
September 9, 2007 1.8
August 30, 2007 1.7
  • Fixed quoting in “The Abbey Grange”.
August 18, 2007 1.6
  • Fixed list in the HTML issue of “The Five Orange Pips”.
  • Fixed a superfluous dot in “The Man with the Twisted Lip”.
August 12, 2007 1.5
  • Added forgotten left-quote in “The Red-Headed League”.
July 23, 2007 1.4
  • Fixed letter-layout in a number of places.
  • Re-built the index webpage, which now allows much easier access to the 2-sided variants.
June 11, 2007 1.3
  • Corrected a typo in “The Devil's Foot”.
June 10, 2007 1.2
  • Re-built the print-space in the letter-sized PDFs to better suit the paper format.
  • Added two-sided PDF output in the respective A4- and Letter-specific directories, not on the print story index yet.
June 7, 2007 1.1
  • Added plain text output.
  • Re-built the index web page.
  • Archived all changes pre-dating this year.
June 3, 2007 1.0
  • Finally finished converting the last texts, did the proofreading, got rid of the last formatting issues and set up the new table of contents.
  • This marks the end of the text conversion and the release of the the first plain collection.
April 14, 2007
  • Thoroughly proof-read all the current 48 out of 60 stories, eliminating approximately a hundred spelling or formatting errors in the process.
  • Now, only two things remain: Adapting “The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes” and creating a corrected table of contents.