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Exploring the Content Export options

From: InDesign CS5.5 New Features

Video: Exploring the Content Export options

In the previous two videos we covered the general and image EPUB export options but we still have one section to look at: Contents. The Contents area has a few more important options that we need to take a look at. So, inside this layout right now, we are going to go to File > Export and we're going to choose EPUB and we're going to call it epub-content. We'll click Save on our Desktop. Everything is fine in the General, we are going to leave this alone from our previous video, same thing with Image and I'm going to go down to Contents. Inside Contents, the first option is Format for EPUB Content and the first option is XHTML, which is the standard for EPUB.

Exploring the Content Export options

In the previous two videos we covered the general and image EPUB export options but we still have one section to look at: Contents. The Contents area has a few more important options that we need to take a look at. So, inside this layout right now, we are going to go to File > Export and we're going to choose EPUB and we're going to call it epub-content. We'll click Save on our Desktop. Everything is fine in the General, we are going to leave this alone from our previous video, same thing with Image and I'm going to go down to Contents. Inside Contents, the first option is Format for EPUB Content and the first option is XHTML, which is the standard for EPUB.

XHTML is basically just a combination of HTML and CSS. In fact, if you were to take a normal EPUB file and take it apart, you would see it was just made up of normal HTML and CSS files. This is really the one you're going to probably want to leave it at. The other option is DTBook, which stands for Daisy Digital Talking Book. It's an XML based file format. It's generally used for making content accessible for people with disabilities. You should only really be using this if you are creating EPUB specifically for this market. For right now we will leave it at XHTML.

Underneath Contents, we can choose if you want to use the InDesign Table of Content style to build a table of contents for our exported PDF. In this case, I already have one called EC for Explore California table of contents. Now, if you are wondering where his came from, it actually came from a regular table of contents that you build inside InDesign. So, I'm just going to cancel out of this for a second, and if you look inside of our layout, I've got a paragraph right here called THE EUROPEANS. Now if I go to my Paragraph Style under Window > Syles > Paragraph Styles, you'll see, it's called subhead.

I am going to close that. Under my Layout menu, if I choose table of contents, I can say, hey I want to build a list of every single subhead inside my layout to build my table of contents and I've already that set up and I've saved this as a style called EC TOC. So, you can use this if you're going to be building a document that was going to be used for print. But in this case, I'm going to use the same style to export my EPUB so I have a table of contents inside my EPUB. Because it was set up already, I'm going to hit Cancel and now I'm going to go back to Export and finish looking at our options.

So, right now we're going to use that table of contents style that we've built. The next option is to break the document at a specific paragraph style. Now, that doesn't mean you're going to get a bunch of EPUB documents when you export, and they're all broken up into little pieces or something. What this does is internally inside a EPUB, there is a file size limit of 300K for each particular section. Now in the past, you didn't really have control over this. InDesign would just guess and say I think this is a good spot to break it, and this is a good spot. Well, here we can choose ourselves if we want to break it at a specific style, that way it can result in logical breaks inside the content which will make editing easier later on.

We can also choose to put the footnote after the paragraph that the footnote is in. In earlier versions, the footnote would be put at the end of the document. In that case, it really wasn't a footnote; it was more of an end note. It makes more sense to have it after the paragraph, so I'm going to be sure to have that checked. The last option under Contents is Remove Forced Line Breaks. The reason you would use this is a normal print layout you occasionally put in forced line breaks or soft returns to make a headline be more readable, but when you're repurposing your content for EPUB or HTML, you don't really want to have all those forced line breaks, because the content could reflow and get larger and smaller, and the line breaks really just wouldn't look very good.

So rather than having to use a fine change or manually remove all those line breaks, we can just check this little check box and it will do it for us automatically. Down at our CSS Options, we can choose to have InDesign generate CSS for us. If we choose to include style definitions, InDesign is going to try to write CSS files to match the formatting of the text in our layout to result in EPUB as close as possible. If we choose Preserve Local Overrides, if there is any manual overrides like bolds, or italic inside our layout, those would be included inside the resulting EPUB.

Another way to have your InDesign document mirror the EPUB document as close as possible is to include embeddable files. The reason that you would do this is if you're using a specialty font that can be included inside the exported EPUB. Unfortunately, not all EPUB readers will support this. Currently Adobe Digital editions does but another reader like the Nook may not. So, you're going to have to test your documents to make sure it works for the reader that you're targeting. We could also choose to include style name only or essentially blank CSS. This means you have a blank slate to write all the CSS yourself.

If you've already hand tweaked your CSS, you could choose Use Existing CSS File and link to that directly, that way you don't have to manually redo your CSS again and again. But in this case, I'm going to generate it automatically. With that set, I'll click OK and we'll take a look at the layout. I'm going to expand this full-screen and over here on the left- hand side I have a table of contents that was built automatically. So if I click over here, we'll jump to that particular section. With all these new and updated options it's crucial to thoroughly test your documents on all the devices that your EPUB may encounter.

This way, you can tweak the controls to get your book just the way you want it. Overall, these much needed improvements make creating professional EPUBS from InDesign significantly easier.

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InDesign CS5.5 New Features

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