Join Anne-Marie Concepción for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting up an EPUB workspace, part of InDesign CS6 to EPUB, Kindle, and iPad.
One last thing that we want to do before we dive into working with our layouts and prep for Export to EPUB is to customize InDesign's interface so that the tools that we use most frequently when exporting to EPUB are close at hand. And if you're an InDesign user of any experience, you know that I'm specifically talking about workspaces, the saved collection of panels that appear here on the right. Now the workspace switcher is available in two places in InDesign, from this dropdown menu in the application bar and also from the Window > Workspace menu.
If you are on a Macintosh, the first thing I recommend is that you go to the Window menu, and you turn on Application Frame, if it's not already there. It doesn't default to this view, it actually defaults with the Application Frame disabled. Because whenever you're doing this kind of exporting over and over again to EPUB and using many different programs and eReaders to check out the EPUB, it can get quite confusing on the Desktop. So I really recommend you go up to the Window menu, choose Application Frame, and if necessary maximize the window so that whatever else is on your desktop is temporarily obscured.
This is the default way it works in Windows. And then you want to actually set up the workspace here on the right. So the Workspace Switcher here is going to remember the selection that you have chosen, the problem with the Workspace Switcher is that there's none for EPUB. Look at this. I mean Adobe made one for when you are working on Books, but that is not quite what we need, it has a lot of things like Conditional Text and so on, but nothing really specifically for exporting to EPUB.
The Advanced one is the one that I usually use by default. They have one for Digital Publishing, and you might think, oh, that's the one I used for EPUB, but no, that's the one that you used for creating tablets publications, apps. They have taken the name Digital Publishing and confined it to just tablet publishing, which I don't think is right. What I suggest is that you switch to Advanced or if you already have a custom workspace that you like, switch to that one, and then we are going to modify it and then save it as one specifically for EPUB. Here is what I would do with the Advanced workspace.
I hardly ever use Gradients, so I am going to close that one and everything else is fine. I guess I don't use stroke that often, but often enough to apply different kinds of strokes around frames that I will keep it here. A panel that we will be using for many kinds of publication when we export to EPUB is the Articles panel which is the very first one here under the Window menu, and I have a video I am talking about the Articles panel later on in this chapter. We don't need liquid layout, so just separate it out from there, and I usually add it right underneath Links or maybe on top of Pages.
I also frequently use Text Wrap, because when you are converting from Print to EPUB, sometimes the Text Wraps that have been applied to objects can bite you once you export to EPUB, because they are supported in the CSS and often you don't want them supported. So I use the Text Wrap controls often enough that I want to keep it out here. I am going to add it to Effects and Object Styles and all these I use often enough, of course, I use Paragraph and Character Styles. I might actually bring this up, because I use them so much more often than the other ones, so I am just doing them like that.
Another one that you definitely want to add is the Scripts panel, because as you will see in the upcoming videos, I use script a lot to help automate some of the tedious work that needs to be done to InDesign files to prep them. So Scripts are under the Window menu, go to Utilities and choose Scripts and they're together with a bunch of other ones that you don't need, so just pull it out of there, close that, and then add Script where ever you might think it's most convenient. I am going to put it right here at the bottom, because that way it's easy to find quickly. That's basically how I like to save it.
You might also want to add something like Mini Bridge, if you are working with a lot of images, that's the way they quickly locate and organize the assets that are linked to the InDesign file. If your document uses a lot of Hyperlinks, or Cross References, you will definitely want to use this one. I will probably add this right below Character Styles. And finally, if you are using a lot of tables, you want to add the Table Styles and the Table Panels. So Table Styles are here, and if you choose Table Styles, it will come with self styles, and I would keep them both together.
In the video where I talk about tables, you will see that CS6 does a much better job of supporting your table formatting, when you export to EPUB, that I did in previous versions, but it all depends on your use of Tables Styles and the Table Panel itself is right here. But mine is getting pretty long already, and because of the resolution for this video I don't have a lot of room but if I had a better resolution or larger monitor then I would probably add those. So when you're done, go to the Workspace Switcher or to the Window Workspace menu and choose New Workspace and call this something, like EPUB.
That's fine, you can leave these both checked, and now we have all the tools that we need close at hand.
- Understanding the differences between ebook formats
- Best practices for InDesign file preparation
- Managing the content flow with Layout order and the Articles panel
- Using free InDesign scripts to automate EPUB productions
- Optimizing images, charts, and tables
- Opening and examining EPUB files
- Editing important CSS and HTML tags
- Including drop caps, pull quotes, and text wraps
- Enriching your EPUBs with video and embedded fonts
- Acquiring an ISBN for ebooks
- Converting EPUBs to Kindle format (MOBI and KF8)
- Distributing ebooks with resellers and aggregators