Filed under eBooks
Image for InDesign CC for print and ePub from the Same File?

Master Page items are ignored in ePub. TOC is on the pasteboard. Rule is used with an offset to create the background grey on the heading (ACT I). This needs to be put back with the background-color rule in the CSS of the ePub.

InDesign CC for print and ePub from the Same File?

Is it possible to use InDesign creatively so that the same file will produce good quality print (PDF) output, and then, with no modifications export for ePub3?

Often times, book publishers will have their design studios working with InDesign to produce PDFs for print output. At the end of that workflow, comes the decision to create an eBook version.

It is sometimes the case that the book designer has used InDesign in such a way that creating the eBook by exporting from InDesign is impractical unless the file is re-worked, with changes to the styling rules; the removal of style overides, the choice of a different font, the anchoring of pictures etc etc.

Through work conducted with my students on a Masters programme in Digital Publishing (OICPS), I have been exploring this challenge, since their stepping through the sequence of assignments goes from PDF for print > to ePub3 re-flowable (and beyond to a fixed-layout version). Phew!

What are the pitfalls and can book designers change their habits so publishers will not need to outsource this work?

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Posted on 06 Mar 2014 around 11am • Tagged with: eBooks | Education | Publishing | Permanent link to this article

Image for Skeuomorphic eBooks - do you miss them?

Skeuomorphic eBooks - do you miss them?

With the latest version of iBooks for Apple's iOS7 comes the total disappearance of the 'look of the book'. No more pseudo leather look cover or page edges; no more shaded spine, nor even the wooden bookcase for your library.

Apple's decision to do this falls in to line with the re-design of iOS - making for a much simpler (minimalist - you might say) look and feel. Much of the shine and shadows on any icons and objects has gone.

When it comes to the iBooks app, there are some issues that need addressing and I am disappointed that publishers have lost some element of control. Strange things happen when you compare re-flowable with fixed layout though!

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Posted on 03 Jan 2014 around 12pm • Tagged with: Design | eBooks | Permanent link to this article

Image for Non-Linear Content in Fixed-Layout ePub

Here is a scrollable page linked from within the fixed-layout ePub.

Non-Linear Content in Fixed-Layout ePub

Update: As of IOS 9 and iBooks 4, I don't recommend that you try to get non-linear content to work. You will be able to use the popup as described below here, but the display on iBooks for MAC is not good; you will find that the height of the popup will fill the screen. Even if you have an html document set (in the spine) to be 'non-linear' iBooks 4 will show the page when the reader reaches that point in the book.

Being able to link to content within an eBook package but not have that content navigable by any other means is a very useful feature supported in re-flowable eBooks within the iBooks app on Apple iOS devices.

In my book on eBook Typography for Flowable eBooks, I demonstrate this feature for tables, scrolling text and even PDFs. Unfortunately, it was not possible to use this feature in fixed-layout ePub eBooks destined for the iBooks app.

Or so I thought! I have recently discovered that the latest version of the iBooks app on iOS7 does support it even though, Apple's own documentation says that it does not!

Edit: See below - it does work on earlier versions of iBooks /iOS

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Posted on 01 Jan 2014 around 3pm • Tagged with: eBooks | Permanent link to this article

Image for Balancing Long Lines in Headings

Here we see a page from a new edition of 'eBook Typography' - yet to be released.

Balancing Long Lines in Headings

InDesign has a feature for paragraph styles; Balance Ragged Lines.

This is a very useful style attribute, because text in headings can look very uncomfortable if left to break naturally.

Unfortunatately there is nothing currently in CSS that gives us the power to balance our lines of text. I was always dissapointed to find that my eBooks did not mirror the settings in InDesign, and I was always resigned to the fact that text would break in a heading and then leave, possibly just one word on the following line.

But then I came across a post on the Adobe Web Platform blog.

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Posted on 30 Dec 2013 around 11am • Tagged with: eBooks | Typography | Permanent link to this article

Image for Embedding Fonts in eBooks

Original font selected

Embedding Fonts in eBooks

Edit: This article has been updated to take account of Indesign CC.

Note: The information provided here applies to eBooks created with the ePub3 standard. The font embedding techniques herein will only work properly if the ePub validates to the ePub3 standard.

Different devices offer different fonts, which may not be under the control of the book designer.

The iPad is the most sophisticated tablet that has a lot of built-in fonts, and these are available to the ebook designer.

When exporting to ePub from InDesign you can specify that the fonts are embedded.

InDesign CS6 CreativeCloud will encrypt the fonts using a method acceptable for the ePUB3 standard recognised by the International Digital Publishers Forum(IDPF). Unfortunately, the font files are also obvuscated and this is not acceptable to some eReaders.

Naturally enough, fonts embedded from the InDesign export to ePub3, will display correctly in Adobe Digital Editions. But what about getting these fonts to display on the Apple iOS devices, such as the iPad?

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Posted on 23 Mar 2013 around 6pm • Tagged with: eBooks | Typography | Permanent link to this article

Image for High Five for Hyphens

iPad users can turn on hyphenation and full justification

High Five for Hyphens

When it comes to the display of text in your re-flowable eBook, you have a some choices about hyphens.

Some general points

Hyphens can be useful to break up long words across the line break. This is particularly appropriate if you want to justify your text, since the renderer will need to space words out, and this can lead to uncomfortable spacing! But you need to adhere to the following rules:

  1. Don't justify headings. This is because they may not span the line, and so you are going to get horrid space between the words.
  2. Don't hyphenate the headings
  3. Don't justify your verse
  4. Only hyphenate if you are justifying the text and the line width (measure) is relatively short.

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Posted on 21 Mar 2013 around 12pm • Tagged with: eBooks | Permanent link to this article

Image for Character names in a re-fowable Shakespeare Play

A Midsummer Night's Dream first folio

Character names in a re-fowable Shakespeare Play

When building a Shakespeare play as a re-flowable ePUB3, one important design choice will be the display of the character names in relation to the words they speak.

In published works of the play this varies a lot and you can see here how the play was presented in the first folio.

The real issue for us is to try to achieve the arrangment of elements using InDesign, so that a print version may be possible as well as an eBook version from the same file. So what are the options?

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Posted on 14 Mar 2013 around 9am • Tagged with: eBooks | Software | Permanent link to this article

Image for Find / Change in InDesign

Searching with TEXT

Find / Change in InDesign

The find/change feature of InDesign is your best friend! Here are a few tips about using it...

There are 2 basic modes that are going to help you to make global changes throughout the text.

Wth the TEXT mode we can find text and change to something else or possibly change to a different style... 

With the GREP mode we can find a pattern in the text and modify this text in various ways.

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Posted on 09 Mar 2013 around 5pm • Tagged with: eBooks | Software | Permanent link to this article

Image for Page Breaking in the eBook

For InDesign start on next page

Page Breaking in the eBook

One of the most significant issues in a re-flowable eBook is to determine how the pages break.

Do you want the chapters to start on a new page? And sub-headings? And would it be a good idea to devote a whole page to a chapter heading?

When using InDesign, getting your pages to break at the right place in the reflowable eBook is a little bit confusing, so maybe this will help. 

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Posted on 08 Mar 2013 around 10am • Tagged with: eBooks | How to | Permanent link to this article

Image for Please don’t Justify me!

The configuration setting for iBooks has Full-Justification switched on

Please don’t Justify me!

In the iBooks app on the iPad the user has control over the justification. Well, that is, by default justification is turned on. Users can turn that off - but they probably don't! ‘cos they don‘t know where to find it.

How can eBook designers get the kind of alignment they prefer, and make the eBook stay like that?

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Posted on 22 Nov 2012 around 6pm • Tagged with: eBooks | Ideas | Typography | Permanent link to this article

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