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You've just seen three of the major digital publishing applications. Now I'd like to take a moment to introduce you to just a few more applications that I think will help you in your journey to digital publishing. Sigil is an open-source editor with a number of features specific to the EPUB format. For example, with Sigil you can open the EPUB directly. There is no need to decompress it, just edit it. You can edit all of the HTML, CSS, and XML files within your EPUB document. There is a preview mode and a code view mode, and if you'd like, a split view to show both the preview and code view simultaneously.
Oxygen Author can edit an EPUB directly without a need to decompress the files first. You can edit the HTML, CSS, and XML files as well. An added feature is Oxygen Authors built-in EPUB validator, with this you can validate your EPUB to make sure that it will be accepted by most major marketplaces. Calibre is a little bit more than just an EPUB editor; it's actually more than eBook manager. While you can convert HTML and text files to EPUB, you can also convert those documents to MOBI or many other eBook formats.
It has a built-in preview function so that you can preview your eBooks before you distribute them. You can also use this program to sync with your mobile devices. Adobe Acrobat Pro is probably the Premier PDF document creator and/or editor. With Acrobat Pro, you can convert most any document to a PDF. You can also open and preview any PDF document that you already have in your library. The document review cycle allows me to send my PDFs out for a review by my clients or colleagues.
Once my PDF is ready to be published Adobe Acrobat Pro gives me the tools I need to add security to my document. Some other tools that I think would be handy for you would be HTML and CSS code editors. These tools allow me to edit my EPUB documents and make sure they look exactly the way I want them to. Some of the features you should look for in your code editor would be a preview mode, so you can actually see the results of your code edits. Code coloring helps you distinguish between the HTML and CSS elements and your actual content.
Line numbering is indispensable when it comes to debugging your code. Code hinting will help you when you're trying to write your code by hand. Adobe Dreamweaver, Aptana Studio, and Komodo Edit all offer these features. The most important thing is to select a code editor that works for you. So if you think that you want to handle converting your documents to EPUB or PDF on your own, then perhaps one or all of these applications should be within reach. I find them indispensable in my digital publishing workflow and I think you will too.
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