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.

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kb.iu.edu: The best kept secret at IU

Screenshot of the kb.iu.edu website header, with the caption "Answers to questions about IT at IU."Need help with computing or technology at IU? You can (and should) have the Support Center on speed dial. They’re available 24/7 to answer questions. That means if you’re having trouble submitting an assignment in Canvas at 4am, you should call the Support Center (and not, for example, your instructor!).

Perhaps, though, you (like me) sometimes like to try to solve things on your own. It just so happens that Indiana University has an amazing help repository, and you may not be aware that you can search it directly. It’s name? The Knowledge Base, aka the KB. Read the rest of “kb.iu.edu: The best kept secret at IU” »

Which version of Office are you using?

While it may seem like a very basic question, knowing which version of an Office application you are using is becoming much more important. The core Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook) are available on multiple platforms now, and an application’s feature set may vary now not just by version, but also by platform.

And the many ways you may be able to get to a particular application may make it seem like finding out would be even more complicated now. Luckily, that isn’t quite true.

Read the rest of “Which version of Office are you using?” »

Where did that {Office app} feature go?

As Microsoft Office applications are made available on more and more devices and platforms, some of the things you may actually do with them can vary. Sometimes wildly. It’s a good thing that Microsoft shows what we may be able to use (or not).

For their flagship Office applications, these Microsoft Support site articles provide an overview of feature comparison by application version:

As a bonus, for those of us who may use different operating systems to get our work done, they provide a much more detailed comparison of differences between Excel 2013 and Excel 2016 for Mac.

Web Accessibility Resources

Computer screen and wheelchair symbol illustration.









Web content accessibility is crucial for reaching the widest audience possible and is part of Indiana University’s commitment to equity and diversity. IT Training can show you what it means to be accessible, the laws and standards that govern web accessibility, and how to easily address some of the common concerns that prevent individuals with disabilities from using the web effectively. We offer workshops on evaluating and updating your existing content. We can also show you how to create new accessible content for your web presence using a variety of software tools.

Here’s a list of resources you might find helpful after you’ve attended our training sessions.

Read the rest of “Web Accessibility Resources” »

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” »

Adobe CC 2015: Exploring New Features

Adobe CC 2015: Exploring New Features

Curious about what new features were added in the newest release of Adobe Creative Cloud?  Take a look at this webinar that I did along with IT Training staff members Denise Brown and Jen Oakes that focuses on features included in the newest versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver.  We touch on dynamic symbols in Illustrator, artboards in Photoshop, publishing online with InDesign, and using Extract in Dreamweaver – and much more!

View/Listen to Webinar/Podcast recording. View the webinar recording for “Adobe CC 2015: Exploring New Features”. 

Covered in this session:

  • New interface features in Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, and Dreamweaver
  • Introduction to the CC Libraries panel in Illustrator, Photoshop, and Dreamweaver
  • New features of Illustrator, including the Shaper tool, Dynamic Shapes, and Dynamic Symbols
  • New features of Photoshop, including artboards and the ability to customize toolbars
  • New features of InDesign, including the Color Theme tool, Paragraph Shading, and Publish Online
  • New features of Dreamweaver, including Extract, media queries, and Device Preview

Working with Symbols in Illustrator

Working with Symbols in Illustrator

If you’ve ever created art in Illustrator, you might find yourself using a specific collection of shapes or a small piece of art numerous times.  Whether copying and pasting your artwork, or recreating it from scratch whenever you need it, reusing art can sometimes be time consuming.  Symbols can help you save some time as you make artwork in Illustrator!

What are symbols?

Symbols, in Illustrator, are pieces of art that you can save and easily reuse as many times as needed.  Some examples of symbols that you might encounter include logos, button shapes, and small graphics that may be repeated a number of times in an Illustrator file.  Each time you add a symbol to your Illustrator document, that’s referred to as an instance of that symbol.

In Illustrator CC 2015, Adobe introduced Dynamic Symbols, which allow you to have one master shape saved as a symbol, but you can make changes to the specific instances of the symbol without changing every instance.  Plus, if you need to make changes to every instance of your symbol, you can edit the master symbol and all the changes will be made to each instance of the symbol.  You’ll still retain all the changes you made to any individual instances, which can be incredibly useful as you work.

How can they help me in Illustrator?

Symbols can help you save time, especially if you’re using a graphic a number of times in a specific document – eliminating the need to copy and paste numerous times.  Dynamic Symbols can also come in handy if you have similar graphics that need to be created, but one or two things might be different – for example, one shape may need to be different colors in different locations in your document, and this can be achieved with dynamic symbols.

Read the rest of “Working with Symbols in Illustrator” »

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


Using SIS more efficiently

I was talking to a few people the other day and the subject of opening a new window in SIS was mentioned. Several people in the group had not known about the New Window feature, so I thought I’d write a quick post about it.

SIS Navigation Header with Add to Favorites and New Window highlighted.

Basically the New Window link opens a new browser window, or child window. This feature allows you to perform a task and look up information (in the new window) without leaving the original page on which you are working. It’s a good idea to save any changes in your current window before you open a new window, and its best not to have more than two windows open at once.

Another great feature in SIS is the Add to Favorites link which allows you to add your most frequently used SIS pages to the Favorites menu. This works similar to standard browser favorites or bookmarks. You can add a favorite in SIS from a search page or a data page. Once the pages are added, you no longer have to navigate through the complete menu, but instead can access and edit these pages from the Favorites menu. Note that when you use the Favorites menu to access a Favorited page, it will always take you to the search page for that particular SIS component, not the data page.