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Exporting to EPUB

From: InDesign CS5.5 New Features Overview

Video: Exporting to EPUB

The proliferation of the ePub format has caused a need for people to create EPUB files from their existing InDesign layout. In Design has grown in the last several versions to accommodate these needs, but in no other version have these changes been more apparent than in InDesign CS5.5. In this video, we'll take a look at the export options available in InDesign CS5.5 for EPUB. And I'll help you to tie in the new features that have been added to InDesign, to the options available in the EPUB export dialog box. Let's take a look.

Exporting to EPUB

The proliferation of the ePub format has caused a need for people to create EPUB files from their existing InDesign layout. In Design has grown in the last several versions to accommodate these needs, but in no other version have these changes been more apparent than in InDesign CS5.5. In this video, we'll take a look at the export options available in InDesign CS5.5 for EPUB. And I'll help you to tie in the new features that have been added to InDesign, to the options available in the EPUB export dialog box. Let's take a look.

I'm beginning this video with the Brochure_ EPUB file open on my computer. And to begin I just want to point out a few things that I've done to this file. So first and foremost in my Articles panel I've simply added content to the Articles panel, and I've structured my document accoridngly to the order that I want these objects to appear in the final document. And I've purposefully not included elements, so that they do not show up in my exported EPUB file. However all of the elements still appear here in my InDesign layout. So I'll go ahead and close my Articles panel, and the other thing I wanted to point out is several things that I've done.

For instance, if I select this grouped element, I'm going to go to the Object menu and choose Object Export options. And you'll notice in the EPUB and HTML button, I've set a custom rasterization for this group of elements, so that they appear the way that I'd like them to show up in the EPUB. So I'll go ahead and click on Done, and then I'm going to come up here to the File menu, and I'm going to choose Export. And for the format, I'm going to go ahead and make sure that the EPUB format is chosen.

I'll give it an appropriate name at the top. So I'll give this a name called brochure_EPUB, and the extension will also be EPUB which is fine. And then I'll go ahead and click the Save button. Now this is where a lot of the options can be entered and several of these are new in CS5.5. Some of them have been around in previous versions, but I want to show you the options available. So first of all, I can add a publisher entry, and these are going to vary depending on who you are, and who you're publishing this document for, as well as the unique identifier.

So for the publisher entry I'm just going to give this a name, I'll call this one video to brain. And were not going to put a unique identifier in there for now. For the EPUB cover, I can choose No Cover Image. I can choose to use an existing image file. So if I have a unique image that I want to use for the cover of the EPUB, I can choose it by clicking the Radio button and clicking the Choose button. I'm going to simply rastorize the first page of my document.

Then in the ordering, this is definitely new CS5.5. Traditionally, it would use the XML structure. If you had it. Or you could use the page layout, which is not a very reliable source for the structure of your EPUB. But now that we have the Articles panel, I'm going to choose the Radio button to set the ordering to the same as the Articles panel. I could specify a book margin, so currently my book margin is set to half of an m. And all of bulleted numbered list are going to map to essentially, XHTML unordered and ordered list.

In the Image category, I can set the Properties for my images, and you can see that right now the image is going to be preserved based on the layout. The resolution I'm going to drop to 72 pixels per inch in this example. And then for my image alignment and spacing, I can choose globally what my alignment should be. So I'll go ahead and choose align left in this example, and I will go ahead and put a little bit of spacing before and after the image to just break it apart. I can also insert a page break before, after or before and after the images. So I'm not going to do that in this example and I can also specify that these settings apply to anchored objects.

So, I do have one anchored object in this file, so I'll go ahead and turn that on. Your image conversion, you can choose a specific image format, or you can set the image conversion to automatic, which will analyze the images and try to make the best choice possible. And then based on your setting up here, you can specify your GIF and JPEG option. So one last thing: I'm going to go to the Contents area, and I can specify the format for the EPUB content.

And I'm going to leave mine set to XHTML. You can also use the DTBook specification, and this is really going to vary depending on the final output that you desire. Now, this middle section is for the table of contents in the EPUB. And this is actually a really great feature. Because this allows me, if I've specified an InDesign TOC style. Which is a table of contents style. I can turn this on.

And I can choose the table of content style that I've created and this is a really great feature. I can also break the document at the paragraph style, so I can choose which paragraph style I want the document broken. so I'm going to leave that turned off for now. I can also determine the placement of the footnotes and I can also remove forced line breaks. And this is a really nice option, because often times in a print based layout. Now this is a really great option because traditionally in a print based layout, people will often add a forced line break, to specify the visual appearance of the text in the printed layout.

However, for an EPUB, which is a flowable format, we want to strip all of those out, so that we don't get any odd line breaks in the flowable EPUB format. In my CSS options, I'm going to let it generate its own CSS. I'm going to include the style definitions in case I want to edit that content. I'm going to preserve the local overrides. That's if I've overridden some of my styles, it'll preserve the appearance. And you can also choose to include any embeddable fonts. And once again you want to pay attention to the format that you're ultimately going to be going to, because some EPUB formats do not honor embedded fonts. So I'm going to leave this set to generate CSS. One last thing, I'm going to go to the General category and make sure that View EPUB After Exporting is chosen and I'll go ahead and click the OK button. This is going to export my EPUB and then it's going to open my EPUB, inside of Adobe Digital Additions, at least on my computer.

And you can see already as I was changing the size of my E-Pub window, that the image is scaling based on the size of my window. And that's cause of the option that I had choose, inside of the export options dialog. I'm simply going to scroll down a little bit and you can just start to see the content that has been applied. But one thing that's really great if you look over here, we now have a table of contents. And that was based on the styles that we used inside of InDesign.

And I'll say it now, and I, I've said it before, that there are many technologies inside of InDesign. Not only CS5.5, that heavily rely on the fact that you've used paragraph and/or character styles in your document. If you create a document, and have simply formatted it manually, you're not going to be able to take advantage of some of the things and this table of contents is one of those items. So as I click on each one of these, it's going to take me to that location in my document.

This is a really great way to navigate your EPUB, and go to specific areas in the document. And we can see as we get to the bottom here's my table, which one gain, when you export to the EPUB format very rarely can you use it as is. You usually have to go in and make some modification to it. But as you can see, these seemingly small changes made to EPUB export in InDesign CS5.5, have a profound effect in the final EPUB file. And they also help the user to take advantage of existing layouts and re-purpose them to the EPUB format.

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InDesign CS5.5 New Features Overview

13 video lessons · 421 viewers

Chad Chelius
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