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4. Preparing your InDesign document for EPUB

ePublishing: Preparing your document for EPUB

This article is part of a series about creating and publishing reflowable electronic publication (EPUB) documents from InDesign files. Reflowable EPUBs are the most popular e-reader format for digital books and magazines, allowing the reader to optimize the content depending on the display device.


As you create a reflowable EPUB from your finished InDesign file, the most important thing is to make it navigable and to make sure that pictures and other elements travel along with their accompanying text instead of getting orphaned somewhere that makes no sense.

There are a few ways you need to prepare your InDesign document for EPUB export:

  • First, always use InDesign’s Paragraph, Character, and Object styles. These are the signposts that EPUB export uses to make your document unified, consistent, and navigable.
  • Second, decide on the order of your elements. Keep stories connected, flowing from frame to frame and from page to page.
  • Third, anchor every image to its related text so it moves correspondingly as it reflows. No text wrap can be applied in EPUB, so use not Text Wrap specs in the document you are preparing to export.

If you are going to publish a book with multiple chapters, consider making each chapter a separate file and then merging all of the files into a single InDesign book file. A book file is a collection of documents that can share styles, swatches, master pages, and other items. When exported, each book becomes a separate chapter, with an easy-to-configure table of contents. InDesign books will be discussed later in this blog series.

In our next article, Creating a Table of Contents Using InDesign Paragraph Styles, we will discuss how to create a table of contents in InDesign using Paragraph Styles. Upon export, the EPUB will use the Table of contents you created.

To learn more about InDesign Styles, see InDesign Styles in Depth with Michael Murphy, at lynda.com (subscribers only).

To learn more about InDesign books, see  Working with InDesign book files in lynda.com’s  InDesign CC 2015: EPUB Fundamentals with Anne-Marie Concepción  (lynda.com subscribers only).

3. About eBooks

ePublishing: About eBooks

This article is part of a series about creating and publishing reflowable electronic publication (EPUB) documents from InDesign files. Reflowable EPUBs are the most popular e-reader format for digital books and magazines, allowing the reader to optimize the content depending on the display device.


An eBook is a digital version of a book. This can be as simple as a PDF format, which can be read on a computer or any of the various ereaders. A big difference between the two is that a PDF-format eBook is not reflowable, as are some other formats such as .EPUB, .AZW, and .MOBI. Of these, the .EPUB format is the most widely accepted eBook standard. Interestingly, the generic definition of “eBook” has evolved to its current definition of any electronic book, whether it is in the PDF format or EPUB format.

What are these eBook formats?

  • .EPUB is readable on most devices, including Kindle Fire. This eBook format is actually a .ZIP archive that contains what is in effect an entire website including HTML files, images, CSS style sheets and other assets. It uses HTML5 so publications can contain video, audio, and interactivity, just like websites in modern browsers. The EPUB format is quickly becoming the publishing industry standard for eBooks because its ability to make the content of a book “reflowable” to whatever device is used.

Read the rest of “3. About eBooks” »

2. About Electronic Publications

ePublishing: About Electronic Publications

This article is part of a series about creating and publishing reflowable electronic publication (EPUB) documents from InDesign files. Reflowable EPUBs are the most popular e-reader format for digital books and magazines, allowing the reader to optimize the content depending on the display device.


Now that we have your interest, let’s break down electronic publications in relationship to InDesign.

When you eport your InDesign document to EPUB, you choose whether to make your final output fixed or reflowable. In this article, we’ll discuss the differences and help you to make this design choice.

fixed-layout EPUB has a stationary design which cannot be changed by the reader. It has selectable text that looks much like a PDF and can be uploaded into an iBook store.

Fixed electronic publication layouts can be useful where sophisticated design is important, and where you want to maintain strict layout and font choices.  With this type of publication, there is no reader customization and no zooming in and out at all. You can, however, add interactivity like animations, slide shows, and audio to fixed-layout documents.  Some examples for which you might choose fixed layout might be brochures, children’s books, and photo essays.  At this writing, the fixed format is best for iOS; it is still troublesome for Android, and Kindle (MOBI format) also has some problems with it. In many ways this layout structure is easier to export, but keep in mind that readers who expect to customize their document may find reading it frustrating. Read the rest of “2. About Electronic Publications” »

1. EPublications: Who, What, Where, How?

ePublishing, Who, What, Where, How?

 

EPublications: Who, What, Where, How?

If you would like to learn how to create documents using InDesign and make them into ePublications, you have come to the right place. Carol and I will be submitting articles outlining the methods of using InDesign in the creation of reflowable ePublications, aka eBooks.

What is a reflowable publication? A reflowable publication allows the reader to adjust what is on their screen by choosing type size and style, line spacing, margins, background color, and other effects.

In this series, we will show you how to make several formats of eBooks and attempt to define each process with any of the “gotchas,” and list the things that can and cannot be done. During this process, we would appreciate your feedback in the Comments space below, letting us know that you are interested and what you are experiencing with epublishing.

To begin, we would highly recommend that you become comfortable with InDesign and consider yourself an advanced beginner to power-user. If you find that you are not quite there, consider taking IT Training’s sessions entitled, InDesign CC 2015: The Basics and InDesign CC 2015: Using Page Masters for Efficient Design. These sessions are offered online. See our website for more information and for our current schedule: http://ittraining.iu.edu

 

Going Paperless at IU: an Overview

Go Paperless! IT Training can help!

This is part of a series of articles that will appear over the next few months as part of the Go Paperless initiative at Indiana University.

Reducing paper consumption

Everyone at IU needs to know about how to reduce paper consumption.Paperless systems take up minimal space, they save energy and landfill space. Using digital documents allows easy collaboration with others and on-the-go access wherever you have Internet. In comparison to file cabinet systems, good paperless document organization can help you find the information you need at lighting speed. And there’s no need to worry about fires or floods; using digital documents, it is very easy to create back-ups of all your important data. Moreover, with the security available in backup and storage programs, your digitally stored information has stronger protection from theft. Finally, no need to shred when you are done; virtual documents can be easily  purged.

In keeping with that spirit, IT Training has developed a series of articles under the heading, “Go Paperless.” Read on for the  many reasons to leap into the modern method of document storage. Here are the articles in our “Go Paperless” Series:

About paperless, digital storage:

Using Box at IU for Storage and Sharing:

Collaborating with Others:

Going Paperless in the Classroom:

Easily Collaborate on Any File Type Using Box Apps

Go Paperless! IT Training can help!

This is part of a series of articles that will appear over the next few months as part of the Go Paperless initiative at Indiana University.

Two Box apps that can make your life easier

Using Box at IU along with two Box add-ins, you and your project group can work on a single file — without having to keep a local copy on your device and then sending your document around via hard copy or email.

In his article about Box, Tom Mason has extolled the merits of using Box Edit. Let’s talk about this Box App a little more. With Box Edit, you can simply open a file directly from the preview page on Box, make edits instantly, and save the new version back to Box automatically. Then, when you share your document with others, your collaborators can use Box Edit to work on the same document in the same way—without ever having to download and re-upload it! As long as you have the application on your computer, you don’t have to worry about the file type.  PSD files, presentations, images, CAD drawings, Illustrator files – any file you can edit on your computer’s desktop you can now edit without leaving Box. Install Box Edit once and it will work on all your browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer (Windows) and Safari (Mac).

Another app,  Box for Office, allows you to start up an Office Document such as Word, PowerPoint, or Excel on your own computer–and when you choose Save As, you can save directly to your Box account without having to upload it. Once there, share it with others and they can use Box Edit to edit it.

Read the rest of “Easily Collaborate on Any File Type Using Box Apps” »

Plan Meetings and Events with Doodle

Go Paperless! IT Training can help!

 

This is part of a series of articles that will appear over the next few months as part of the Go Paperless initiative at Indiana University.

Before you send those paper invitations, consider an electronic method.

Doodle logo

We all know that planning meetings and get-togethers with more than two people can be a nightmare. With Doodle, you can make it a snap.

What is Doodle?

Doodle is a free and very simple online tool that allows you to suggest dates and times for events or meetings in a simple table. When you have filled in all possible dates and times, you then share the web address of your suggestions with your invitees. No need for them to register. They simply visit the page, type in a name of their choice, and click check-boxes to select the times they can attend. Doodle saves all responses right there for everyone to see, and keeps track of the best date.

With Doodle Premium, you can connect calendars and send automatic reminders. Doodle is a free app for mobile devices, too!

To get started, visit Doodle.com.

Use Box Notes to Collaborate and Stay on Task

Go Paperless! IT Training can help!

This is part of a series of articles that will appear over the next few months as part of the Go Paperless initiative at Indiana University.

You may have already read Tom Mason’s article, Sharing & Group-Editing Documents in Box. If you are interested in using Box, I highly recommend that you read it! An additional feature of Box that deserves to be named in this conversation is Box Notes.

Box Notes is a simple document-creation tool available in all Box accounts. Using Box Notes, you can make notes for yourself or share ideas and allow people of your choosing to easily edit your document in real-time. Box Notes are entirely web-based and don’t require any apps to use.

In Box Notes you can work with simple text tools including inserting images and tables, using the simple editing panel:

Box Notes text editor

Plus, when you highlight text, you can add links and annotate. See the how-to tricks on Box.com.

To create a Box note, click the little pencil icon next to the New button:

New Box Notes icon

There are so many ways to use Box Notes. Examples might be: create too-do lists that you can access with any device; use the tables feature to create sign-up sheets or define group feedback spaces for groups; share a set of links; plus many more. And don’t worry; if group input goes astray, you can restore to a previous version.

Read more about Box Notes.

Adobe Connect for Online Presentations

Baby using a computerWhen it comes to Adobe Connect at IU, whether you’re starting at a beginner level (like the subject in the photo on the left) or you’re an advanced user, our recent webinar “Adobe Connect for Online Presentations” likely has some takeaways you can use.

View webinar recording. View the webinar recording for “Adobe Connect for Online Presentations.”

In this webinar, we covered:

  • Planning for a successful event
  • Creating an Adobe Connect meeting
  • Getting familiar with the Adobe Connect interface
  • Using pods and layouts effectively to strengthen your presentation
  • Managing events and content on connect.iu.edu

These links were shared during the webinar for additional information:

If you liked this webinar, you might also be interested in:

PowerPoint 2013: The Basics 
FEBRUARY 19
5:30 – 9:00
IUPUI ICTC IT121
PowerPoint 2013: Setting Up a Slide Show with Audio & Video (Webinar)
MARCH 5
5:30 – 7:30
Online

Find and register for these events.

Drop us a line in the comments! What additional questions do you have after watching the recording? What do you wish was covered that we didn’t discuss?

 

Take a break with Big Stretch Reminder for PC or Dejal Time Out for Mac

image of aerobic-dancer

Do you sit at a computer screen all day? Does this cause repetitive stress syndrome, eye strain, or mobility problems? You can combat these problems by using several free or inexpensive software applications that urge you to take breaks. You can configure them to do many things, including darkening your screen and halting your work until you tell it to postpone or skip the break.

I work on both PC and Mac, and my favorites for each platform are both free: Big Stretch Reminder for PC, and Dejal Time Out for Mac. Both of them can gently remind you to take a break on a regular basis, and are quite customizable.

 

 

Big Stretch Reminder (PC):

With Big Stretch Reminder, you can configure the time between breaks, the length of the breaks, or the time of the break. You can create your own custom reminder and choose how to be reminded, from a gentle reminder to an intrusive work stoppage. It will allow you to postpone or skip the break. There are reminders in the form of dialog boxes and audio alerts, all customizable. See http://www.monkeymatt.com/bigstretch/.

Dejal Time Out (Mac)

Time Out lets you configure two kinds of breaks: a longer break to move, stretch and relax, plus a “Micro” break which is a very brief pause of a few seconds every few minutes. You can set how long each kind of break lasts and how long between. Time outs are announced by slowly dimming the screen. You can even run an Automator workflow, AppleScript, Python script, or application at the start and/or end of each break. This would allow you to listen to music or play a video, for example, during the break. When the break is finished, the screen resumes. You can pause or skip each break. See http://www.dejal.com/timeout/.

 

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