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Epub documents are taking the publishing world by storm these days. With deices like Amazon's kindle and Apple's Ipad, more and more people are starting to consume the written word via these digital documents. One of my favorite things about Epub documents is that they are at their core, just html and CSS. As someone with some web experience in my background, this makes me extremely happy, because I know that I can go in and I can work with that code and make these ePubs truly unique and really fulfill my creative vision. One of the new features of In Design that makes this even easier, is the fact that I can now export an ePub without CSS, which gives me full control over the CSS and allows me to use either my own style sheet that I've styled myself, or I can contract it out to a web designer to make it look just exactly like I want to. Let's take a look at how to do this.
I'm going to go to the File menu here, and I'm going to choose Export, and once I go into the export dialog box, I want to make sure that my format is set to EPub and I'm just going to stick this on my desktop. Then I'm going to hit save. Once I hit Save, it's going to take me into the EPub Export options and inside the EPub Export options, you want to go over here to the left hand side and chose the Advanced tab. And inside of the Advanced tab, you're going to look about mid-way down for something called CSS Options. And so in order to export out an EPub without CSS, you're going to un check this box labelled Generate CSS.
And so, if you decide not to generate CSS, only the classes associated within design styles in the document, are marked in the HTML tags, and no overriding classes are created in the EPub at all. Basically this makes your file much cleaner, upon export, and it lends itself very well, to external style sheets, meaning you could add your own style sheet or contract out, as I said, to have a style sheet attached to it, after the fact. Now, you can, also, of course, add a style sheet from this box here, and you can also delete and manage CSS style sheets from within this panel, as well.
Once you do this, hit OK, InDesign is then going to export out your Epub, and then, you could launch something like Adobe Digital Additions, to actually view the Epub, and see exactly what it is that you've exported. Now like I said, this is just a feature that helps you create a nice, clean document that lends itself well to external style sheets and once you know a little CSS you can really start to take full control of your Epub documents and take them to the next level.
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