InDesign CS6 New Features
Illustration by John Hersey

Using advanced EPUB 2 export controls


InDesign CS6 New Features

with Anne-Marie Concepción

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Video: Using advanced EPUB 2 export controls

Well, the good news is that Adobe has paid a fair amount of attention to the needs of EPUB publishers, e-Book designers, that is, exporting your InDesign document to the EPUB format so that it can be read on EPUB readers like iPad iBooks or the Barnes & Noble NOOK or the Kobo and lots of other e-readers out there. A couple of new features that we can look at right here while the book is open in front of us--let's see. Down here in is here we have an inline frame that I added and I've applied an object style to it called quote.
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  1. 1m 59s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 2s
  2. 14m 23s
    1. Exploring interface tweaks
      6m 56s
    2. Examining the new tools and dialog boxes
      7m 27s
  3. 32m 41s
    1. Working with the Conveyer tool
      10m 7s
    2. Linking objects
      12m 11s
    3. Mapping styles
      10m 23s
  4. 50m 6s
    1. Understanding flexible layouts
      8m 16s
    2. Working with Alternate Layout
      12m 52s
    3. Understanding Liquid Layout rules
      7m 30s
    4. Using the basic Liquid Page Rule options: Scale, Re-center, and Based on Master
      6m 52s
    5. Applying guide-based Liquid Layout rules
      8m 10s
    6. Applying object-based Liquid Layout rules
      6m 26s
  5. 14m 51s
    1. Working with flexible columns
      3m 27s
    2. Auto-sizing text frames
      5m 28s
    3. Exploring the primary text frame
      5m 56s
  6. 8m 15s
    1. Accessing recently used fonts
      2m 9s
    2. Applying Keep settings to spans and tables
      2m 45s
    3. Fitting frames to different types of text content
      3m 21s
  7. 28m 27s
    1. Using advanced EPUB 2 export controls
      9m 12s
    2. Exporting an EPUB 3
      9m 16s
    3. Inserting HTML and Edge content
      9m 59s
  8. 28m 4s
    1. Reviewing the new Form tools
      7m 21s
    2. Creating and previewing a basic form
      14m 40s
    3. Testing the form in Acrobat
      6m 3s
  9. 21m 26s
    1. Aligning selections to a key object
      2m 18s
    2. Using Save As to create a file for earlier versions of InDesign
      1m 41s
    3. Retaining table headers and footers
      2m 58s
    4. Importing RTFD and exporting to PNG
      4m 38s
    5. Using smart math in fields
      2m 13s
    6. Exporting interactive PDFs as pages
      1m 9s
    7. Previewing and exporting grayscale PDFs
      2m 22s
    8. Using the new world language support
      4m 7s
  10. 1m 6s
    1. Next steps
      1m 6s

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Watch the Online Video Course InDesign CS6 New Features
3h 21m Appropriate for all Apr 23, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

InDesign CS6 is dedicated to improving workflow, document distribution, and flexibility. This course provides in-depth exploration of the new features in InDesign CS6, showing not just where they are and how to use them, but also tips, workarounds, and practical applications of the features. Author Anne-Marie Concepción introduces the Liquid Layout tools and Alternate Layouts for creating flexible layouts for both print and digital publishing; the enhanced tools for creating and updating linked objects within and between documents; the Content Collector and Content Placer tools; and the introduction of EPUB 3. The course also covers creating interactive PDF forms, using the new primary text frame, previewing and exporting color layouts to grayscale, and utilizing the new production aids such as aligning selections to a key object and using smart math in panel fields.

Topics include:
  • Working with the Conveyor tool to link objects and map styles
  • Applying Liquid Layout rules
  • Using flexible columns
  • Creating auto-sized text frames
  • Accessing recently used fonts
  • Fitting frames to more types of text content
  • Exporting to EPUB 2 and 3 using new controls
  • Inserting HTML and Edge content into a layout
  • Creating a PDF form with interactive text, radio, and checkbox fields
  • Mapping text styles in linked objects
InDesign EPUB
Anne-Marie Concepción

Using advanced EPUB 2 export controls

Well, the good news is that Adobe has paid a fair amount of attention to the needs of EPUB publishers, e-Book designers, that is, exporting your InDesign document to the EPUB format so that it can be read on EPUB readers like iPad iBooks or the Barnes & Noble NOOK or the Kobo and lots of other e-readers out there. A couple of new features that we can look at right here while the book is open in front of us--let's see. Down here in is here we have an inline frame that I added and I've applied an object style to it called quote.

What is new is that this background color and the width of the frame and the fact that it's an object style called quote, this will all make it through into the EPUB. In previous versions, we would have to have re-created this in the CSS, which I showed in my InDesign to EPUB titles, that you have to edit the CSS to add a background, to set a border, to set an inset, and now all of that is included. So inline and anchored text frames carry their attributes for fill color, margin, padding, border style, and width all the way through to CSS, which is excellent! Another new feature is--let's see, I have the graphing in out there-- is that if I have a graphic that I've anchored into the text flow and I go to Object > Object Export Options, we have new options here under Custom Layout.

So before it was just Alignment and Spacing. Now we have the ability to float it. Float me baby. Float Left or Float Right, meaning that it can act like as though they were a text wrap. It's going to push the text away; it's not going to be inline, which is pretty cool. So we don't even have any text wrap on here, and we'll see what it looks like once we export to EPUB. Let's go right to the Export to EPUB dialog box. It's still under File > Export. And we will call it art history, save it on the desktop. The first thing that's new you will see is that there was a Version dropdown menu.

The default is EPUB 2.0.1, which is probably the most widely supported format by all e-reader devices and software, but you could also export this to EPUB 3 format, which I will be showing in the next video, as well as an experimental format called EPUB3 with Layout. They've cleaned up the General panel a bit. There's really no new features here, other than the fact we can now set separate margin settings for the page. So top, bottom, left, and right, rather than one setting all the way around, which is what we had before. And Text Options are all together in this category, nothing new there. Same thing for Image, really nothing new.

In Advanced, we do have a couple new things. First of all, we have a Split Document dropdown, and we are choosing to split the document right now at the chapter number, which I don't think we are showing one, but there is a chapter number at the beginning of each of the three chapters in this book. You could also choose Do Not Split or you could choose Based on Paragraph Style Export Tags, and to me, this one the best new features of CS6 for EPUBs. Let me show you what that means. Let's cancel out of here for now ,and let's say that of course I do want to split the document, to have it create a new HTML file when it comes to chapters so that they all start at the top of the page, so you can link to them from the navigational table of contents, but I would also like other paragraph styles to cause a split, to force a split.

This is something we can never do before. For example, I like this title page to start on its own page and have a link on the left. If I click inside this paragraph-- I can see the paragraph style here is called titlepage--and now simply by double-clicking and going down to Export Tagging, you will see that they have a new checkbox called Split Document. So on a paragraph-style-by-style basis you can tell InDesign to force it to chunk up the document, to split it and start a new document whenever it encounters this paragraph style, and there's no limit to the number of paragraph styles you can do that with.

It is so much easier than working with earlier versions of CS. You don't have to do any of that yourself or any of the crazy workarounds that we were doing. So I wanted to split the document for title page and I also wanted to do it for chapter number. So let me find Chapter Number, and we will go down to Export Tagging and turn on Split Document. Now, when I go to Export to EPUB--we didn't make any changes here or here under Advanced-- under Split Document, I'm going to choose Based on Paragraph Style Export Tag. Woohoo! Under CSS there is a new feature that you can add additional style sheets, so you can see right here I added one called simplereset.css, because in addition to the style sheet that I want InDesign to create for me that is based on my paragraph and character styles, I often want to include another style sheet in every EPUB that I create that kind of resets all of the defaults that a device might have for its CSS.

It's a pretty common feature for web design and increasingly so for EPUBs. You also might have a style sheet that you use across every kind of book in a certain series that you want to add. There is no limit to the number of style sheets that you can include here, and InDesign will of course link every HTML file that it exports to those CSS files. You see that there's also the ability to link to one or more JavaScripts, but that's not available to us in EPUB2. That's not supported by EPUB2.

If we export to EPUB3, that would become available to us, and I'll show you that in the next video. So with all of our settings, let me make sure that we are going to view the EPUB. Yep, let's click. There's our lovely document, and now there is "A History of Art" starting on its own page, and then the other ones are the chapter numbers that started on their own page. Now this doesn't really look really nice, but remember, we are using Adobe Digital Editions. Not really the best previewer of effects, but you should test it out on your devices.

Here is the Float Left, so you see that it pushed the text over to the right. So the only issue might be that that there's no space here, and you could always edit that in the CSS file when you're done. In fact, let's take a look at these files. I am going to close this up and go to my Desktop. I've included a couple scripts. These are AppleScripts for Macintosh users that help you unzip EPUB files and validate them. I talk about these scripts in more detail in my EPUB video titles here at, but I am going to use the unzip one on the Mac, because otherwise it's very difficult to see the innards of an EPUB.

I am just going to drag and drop it there, and here are the insides. So this was an EPUB 2.0. So there's our toc.ncx, and our images are in here. Here are the two CSS files. One thing that's new is that Adobe now names the default CSS file that it creates according to the name of the EPUB file itself, rather than just template.css. Keep that in mind. Also, it has reverted back to exporting XHTML extensions on their files, rather than HTML, which it did with CS5.

This is for compatibility with all e-readers. Let's take a look, like here's the one with the inline frame. I am just going to double-click it and open this up in a text editor. I like to use TextWrangler on the Macintosh. So the tags look relatively clean. We still have a character override here, because I guess I have a drop cap for some reason. Here is the quote frame, and here is the pull quote. That's the style for the text inside here. And then div class for quote frame, if we look at the CSS file, is actually right here.

It was frame three. Here is our background color and the padding. So I had set this up as insets for that text frame and they came through as padding in the CSS, and the width of the frame came through as well, so did the height. I love that. Let's make sure that this EPUB validates. I'm going to the desktop. I'm going to drag and drop our EPUB right onto EPUB check 1.2, which is a little AppleScript that runs the validation checker. And that's always a happy thing to see. I love that, because InDesign wasn't always able to create those.

So there are also a number of bug fixes that Adobe added to InDesign for EPUB. You will see some fixes that has to do with the ordering of groups and objects style names, em values, the sizing of superscript, and subscript text. It does a much better job of maintaining table styles and cell styles. So you will see a lot of little things that have been added as well. We will be covering a lot of this in an upcoming title on using InDesign CS6 to export to EPUB, iPad, and the Kindle.

In general, I'm really happy to see the improvements they've made to exporting to EPUB2 from InDesign CS6.

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