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Over the last decade, many people have been eagerly awaiting the maturing of the digital book. While there have been many different types of book readers, it hasn't been until last year or so that digital books have become mainstream. Credit can be given to the wide popularity of the iPad and Kindle devices. The most popular format for digital books is ePub, which stands for electronic Publishing. InDesign has been able to export to ePub for the last few versions. Its main purpose is for novels or very long text-heavy publications. Let's take a look at ePub in action on the iPad. I have the iBooks application open on my iPad, and I'm going to tap on the "Winnie the Pooh" book to open it up.
To navigate, I can use my finger to turn the page. I can also tap on either side to go forward and backward quickly. One of the main advantages of ePub is the ability to re-size and re-flow your text, sort of like a web page. If I tap on the Font icon, I can increase and decrease the size of my font, and the text will re-flow. If I want to change my font, I can tap on a different font, and the entire layout will update. I can also change the brightness of the page. I can dim it or increase it. If I'd like to remember where I'm at, I can add a bookmark, and then if I navigate away from the page, I can go to my Table of Contents and choose my bookmarks and go back to right where I was.
One of my favorite features of e-books is the ability to search. I'm going to search for "honey". It's going to search the entire book. I can also search Google or Wikipedia. Let's check out this link. ePub is a developing standard. Currently it supports mainly images and text, but in the future, movies and more interactivity will probably be included. The other popular format for e-books is the Kindle. Instead of using ePub, it uses the .mobi format, which is similar ePub. InDesign can also export to this. Let's take a look at the Kindle on the iPad.
Using the Kindle on the iPad is very similar to using iBooks on the iPad. I can just use my finger to go between the pages, and if I want to change my font size, I can tap and increase and decrease my font size. I can also change the background color, and increasing and decrease the brightness. The ability to carry your entire personal library in a device smaller than a hardcover is a dream come true for book lovers. While digital books are still in their infancy, you can use InDesign today to create content for these devices.
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