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The EPUB format is quickly becoming the file format for eBooks around the world. You can view EPUB files on iPads, NOOKs, and most other tablets, as well as on Desktop computers. Now, InDesign can export your document as an EPUB, although it might take a little bit of work to get it looking the way you want. Let's take a quick look at how this document has been constructed. On page one, we have an image, and the title. When I look at the next spread, I see the title page, and it's made up of several different text frames, and an image.
The chapter opener is made up of two text frames; one that has the chapter number, and one that has the actual story. And then from there, we can see, we have the rest of the story. I do notice, however, that when I select one of these images, I get a little anchor icon in the upper right corner. That means that this object is an inline object. It's fixed in place, so that if the text reflows, the image will flow too. Let's go make the EPUB. I'll go to the File menu, and choose Export. InDesign asks me to save it with a name, and a location, and the key is that I need to choose EPUB from the Format pop-up menu here.
When I click Save, InDesign opens the EPUB Export Options dialog box, and there are a lot of features in here. I'm not going to go into all of them, and in fact right now, for my first EPUB, I'm simply going to click OK, and see what we get. InDesign exports the EPUB, and opens it in Adobe Digital Editions. Now, if you don't have Adobe Digital Editions, or some other EPUB reader on your system, you may have to go to labs.adobe.com, and download the newest version of Digital Editions onto your system. I can see here that I have the image. I don't have the name of the book; I'm not sure what happened there, and when I go to the next page, I can see, here's where the problems begin.
The name of the book completely disappeared, except for the letter A, and all of this other text is out of order. There's the rest of the name of the book, and this image, which is also out of order, and what happened to the words Chapter I? Where did those go? Well, I happen to know that if I scroll all the way to the end of this book, there they are: Chapter I. That's definitely a mistake. So let's go back to InDesign, and fix it up. The thing you have to understand about EPUB is that it's a lot like a Word document: it's very linear; starting at the beginning, ending at the end, and you have to control what is going to go in what order.
InDesign by itself has no idea what order you want. So let's go back to the title page by pressing Option+Page Up, or Alt+Page Up a couple of times, and I'm going to open up, from the Window menu, the Articles panel. The Articles panel is the way you that you can control the order in your document. The first thing I'll do is add a new article. I'll click on the New Article button, and give this a name: frontmatter. Click OK, and now I need to start adding objects to my frontmatter section.
I'll select all three of these text frames, and simply drag them in, until I see that little black bar, and when I let go, all those objects show up here. It's not necessarily in order yet; I need to move AHISTORYofART up. That looks pretty good. Now let's go to the next spread. Option +Page Down or Alt+Page Down, move this out of the way; let's create a new article. I'll call this chapter 1. Now I'm going to add Chapter One -- that actual text that says Chapter I -- and then the rest my story.
Because the story threads from one frame to the next for the rest of the document, I don't have to go and add the rest of those frames to my article; just the first one. I've decided that I don't want that cover image in my EPUB. I want to open the EPUB directly to the title page, so I'm not going to include that in my Articles panel. It's really helpful, when you make an EPUB file, to give the reader some navigation tools, like a table of contents. The way you do that is to go to the Layout menu, choose Table of Contents Styles, and then create a new table of contents style that looks for the paragraph styles that you want to put in the navigation.
I've already done that in this document. I've created one called Contents. Let's edit it. You can see that it's looking for two different paragraph styles: subtitle, and Chapter title, and it's going to put any paragraphs that are tagged with those paragraph styles into the Navigation panel in Adobe Digital Editions. We'll see that in just a moment. Click Cancel to come out of that, and let's go make our EPUB. File > Export, save this out again; it'll ask if I want to replace it.
Sure, I don't need that old one. Now, I want to change the Content Order from Based on Page Layout, which is like saying, InDesign, you pick the order, to Same as Articles panel, which is like I pick the order. I also want to choose the table of contents style that I just looked at from the TOC Style pop-up menu. And finally, I'm going to go to the Advanced pane of the Export Options dialog box, and I'm going to tell InDesign to split the document every time you see a chapter number. By splitting the chapter, it ensures that the chapter number always begins on a new page.
Now I'll click OK, and let's see the EPUB. Our EPUB is now in exactly the right order, based on the Article panel. Starting with the title in the right order, now we see Chapter I starting on a new page, and it goes right into our story. The great thing about EPUBs is that they always reflow based on the device, the font, and even the size. So, for example, I can change the size here to a larger font, and it'll automatically reflow. If I want to jump to a specific section in the EPUB, I'll open the Navigation panel from the Reading menu.
In this case, I only exported one chapter of my document. Here, I'll open this little twirly triangle, and we can see the various sections that are inside this chapter. Jump to ANCIENT GREECE AND ITALY; you can see it takes me right there. While this brief introduction to EPUB will get you started, there's obviously much more to creating high-quality EPUB files. It's an art as much as a science. If you want to get into making great quality EPUBs, and Kindle Books, I highly recommend that you watch Anne-Marie Concepcion's titles on EPUB, here at the lynda.com Online Training Library.
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