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In this series, David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción, co-hosts of the web's top resource for InDesign tips and tricks, InDesignSecrets.com, share some hidden and sometimes surprising workflow tips that will make working in InDesign more efficient and more fun. The course covers built-in timesaving features such as Quick Apply and auto-expanding text, but also little-known tricks, such as using the eyedropper to copy and paste character and paragraph text attributes and making accurate selections by selecting through or even into objects.
New techniques will be added to the collection every other week, so check back early and often. Find more tips and tricks at indesignsecrets.com.
- When you export a publication to reflowable EPUB, the file names of any linked images and other files make a difference. If you open up the Links panel, you'll see the file names of all the links you've placed in here. And what's going to give the EPUB problems are any file names that use spaces or punctuation marks, that kind of thing. Very easy to get by with if you're used to doing a printer PDF workflow, but because these files are going to be converted into HTML and CSS, they have very strict rules about what kind of characters can be used in file names.
And where this is going to catch you up is when you try to validate the EPUB. Let's just see what happens, we're going to export this to EPUB and validate it I'm gonna go up to the File menu, and choose Export. Make sure that you're choosing Reflowable EPUB. History-of-art.epub, save it on the desktop. It really does not make that much of a difference for our purposes about the choices that you make in this dialog box. I am choosing EPUB 3.0 in case you're curious, but other than that I'm not even going to bother looking at the settings.
And then I'll click OK. This document is about 20 pages long, mostly text with some images. And InDesign gives us a little error, but it has really nothing to do with validation. It's just telling us about somethings that I had to do with the content to make it work. I'm not even going to look at it in an EPUB reader. I'm mainly concerned with "will it validate?" I'm going to validate it by dragging and dropping my EPUB onto a little app here I have called EpubCheck. I do talk about validating EPUBs quite a bit in my other courses here on lynda.com, such as InDesign CC: EPUB Fundamentals.
But just to review very quickly if you don't have a validation app you can get one online. Just search for EPUB validation. They're all using this GitHub source called EpubCheck. And the one that I like is on a bulletin board on the mobileread.com forums, where you can download them and use them for free. I have already installed epubcheck 3.0.1 app, it's an AppleScript app but there's ones for Windows as well, and stuck it into my little sidebar here in the finder, because I use it so often.
I'll drag and drop my EPUB right on top. And normally you wanna see no errors, and just a big fat OK button, but here we get some errors. We get one error and one warning, and they both have to do with file names. If you look at it closely, you see that the error is this file name that starts with VanDyck_"st-martin-dividing-his-cloak". It says that it contains characters disallowed in OCF, which is some sort of internal EPUB file. It does not like the double quotes.
There's also a warning because one of these images uses spaces in its file name. So there's a space right here. We can fix that quite easily. You don't really have to get rid of warnings, but I personally prefer to have a clean bill of health. I think I'll leave this up here for now so I can double-check my file names. Now, you may think that the best way to rename this would be to go right to the Links folder. And if I clicked on the Links folder to see all the images that were placed into my History of Art book, I can see them right here, and I can easily change them and get rid of the double quotes here.
But if I did that, and then I jumped back to InDesign and looked through my Links panel, it would say the link is missing. So we don't wanna do that and have to go through all the rigmarole of having to re-link. Let me come back and put that back to how it was, and when we go back to InDesign it finds it. Instead, I'm gonna use this wonderful script called Link Renamer. And I've already installed it in my scripts panel, tomaxxiLINKrename, and you can get it yourself, if you want to from tomaxxi's site.
His name is Marijan Tompa, he's actually a great developer who has a whole bunch of free scripts for MACs and PCs. If you go to the downloads page, way toward the bottom you'll see tomaxxiLINKrename. So, download that and install it, which I've already done. Now I can find one of the bad-boy names like this one, and go right to the image. The way that his script works is you select the image with the Selection Tool, double-click the script, and then rename it right there. And I'll just call this VanDyck. And it automatically renames it in the finder and re-links it for you. It's fantastic.
And the other error was here, EpubCheck. The same image caused the single error, the double quotes and the spaces. So I think that we've solved that. I'll click OK to dismiss it. And let's come back to InDesign. I fixed it. Let's export this to EPUB again. We'll replace the existing one. Use the same settings. We get the same warning from InDesign in a second. And then here let's go ahead and check it, by dragging and dropping it on top of our validation checker. Yay! That's what we wanna see! No problems found.
Now that it's a valid file, I know that I can upload it and sell it without a problem on any of the major e-book resellers sites. And though I may not have had the control over the file names of these images when they were first added to this file for the print version, now I know how to quickly rename them so that I can get a workable EPUB version.
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