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InDesign FX is a collection of self-contained effects projects designed to be completed in ten minutes or less. Taught by expert Mike Rankin, the series explores every aspect of InDesign's graphic effects capabilities through real-world examples, all without relying on Photoshop or Illustrator. The intent is to reveal the quick, practical, and sometimes surprising application of InDesign effects to creative projects.
To get your InDesign effects into EPUBS, you need to do to deal with three things: what gets included in the EPUB, where it goes in the sequence of content, and how it's represented. InDesign CS5.5 represents a great leap forward for ebook production. Among the enhancements are tools to make sure all your InDesign effects, make it into EPUBS looking great. Now here I have a little layout and I am using InDesign CS5.5 and it's added some great controls to make it feasible for including effects like this button in exported EPUBs. Prior to 5.5, you had to select content with effects in export as an image, bring it back into the layout, so it could be included in the EPUB, and just as bad, it was necessary to place that picture as an anchored object to make it come out in the correct order of content, and that's a lot of work.
By default you'll get the same results with CS5.5, but there are a couple of new tools that really make improvements. One is called the Articles panel and the other is called Object Export Options. So let's see how they work. First of all, even though this is CS5.5 and I have those new tools at my disposal, I am going to just explore with the default options and see what I get. So I will just press Command+E or Ctrl+E, and export to the format EPUB, and I will replace any old editions I have here. I will leave all the default settings in the dialog box and click OK, and I will decrease the type size here in Adobe Digital Edition, so I can see everything, and I can see right away that I have some serious problems.
There's problems with the content ordering. I don't have all the paragraphs where I want, and this stuff, Call now and Order, were supposed to be under the graphic, and the whole background of the graphic itself is gone. So let's see how to fix these things. First of all I should explain what's going on with the graphic. It looks like a little button, and it's a text frame. It's a circle with a Bevel and Drop Shadow applied and it also uses the Hard Light blending mode to create this really nice blown out highlight, and since it uses a blending mode, it has to have something to blend with, so there's an object behind it.
So there are actually three elements here, two circles and this text frame. I will undo to put them back where they belong and the first thing I want to do is group them so they act all as a unit. The next thing I want to do is I am going to bring up the Articles panel, so I'll choose Window > Articles. And this is going to allow me to put the content in the right order. Now once I have that object grouped, it will act as a single unit and then I can add it to the Articles. I am going to add everything all at the same time by Command- or Ctrl-clicking this little plus button at the bottom of the Articles panel, and I will just call my article FX.
And here I can see my content, I have my different text frames, and I have my group that contains my effects, and if I want to re-order anything I can just drag it up or down. So for example, I want to put this paragraph Call now underneath my effects, so I can click and drag it to put it underneath there. So that's pretty good. Now this is only going to fix the content ordering, the other thing I need to do is to make sure that that background, the whole button effect gets exported. If you remember, when we look at this in Digital Editions, all we saw was this text frame that says I love FX.
The effect itself actually didn't even make it into the EPUB. Now for that we need to go to Object and choose Object Export Options, and now in the EPUB and HTML tab, I can click on Custom Rasterization, and I can choose a size, a file format, and a resolution. So I can completely control the quality of my effects in EPUBS. This is fantastic. I am going to leave all those settings, so I'll have a high-res picture of my graphic. Now I'll press Command+E or Ctrl+E to export an EPUB again. I'll overwrite that old bad one and in the General options I am going to choose Ordering, Same as Articles panel.
So now I'll get the correct content ordering and because I chose those object export options, I will get a nice high-res graphic. I will click OK and now it opens in by default in Adobe Digital Editions and it looks absolutely horrible. Look at that, and my nice effect is all jagged and looks rasterized and low-res. I thought we chose 300ppi. Well, we did. This isn't a problem with the EPUB itself or with InDesign. This is a limitation with Adobe Digital Editions. It's just not representing my graphic the way it should. Fortunately, there are other ways to view an EPUB.
I am going switch over to Firefox and use the EPUB reader in there. I'll just choose Open File and open my EPUB. And wow, look at that. I'm zoomed way in and I have a huge view of my beautiful effect. The Bevel looks great, the Drop Shadow looks great, the type looks great, and I do love effects. I love effects in EPUBS too, thanks to inDesign CS5.5's options of the Articles panel and Object Export Options.
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