Join Anne-Marie Concepción for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the Articles panel to manage content flow, part of InDesign CS5.5: EPUB Kindle and iPad.
In a previous video I showed how the default export option for EPUB, which is Based on Page Layout, can really make life difficult for you, especially if you have a number of different objects on the same page or pages in your document, because InDesign by default goes from left to right, and top to bottom, when it exports. Well, there's a great new feature in InDesign CS5.5 called the Articles panel that will help you gain a much more control over the order of items that are exported to EPUB, and HTML for that matter.
You will find the Article panel under the Window menu. Choose Articles. And what's really cool about this is that between the Tooltips and the , content in here it will remind you how to use it, even without you having to go to the Help file. Essentially, you can create one or more articles from the same InDesign file. You do not have to move any objects around on the page in order to change the order of their export. When you go to export this to EPUB you are going to be using the Articles panel rather than Based on Page Layout.
Right now, it's dimmed because we don't have anything in the Articles panel. But it will become enabled and we can choose it once we add something to Articles. So how do you do this? I think the simplest way is to simply start dragging and dropping stuff over. So, for example, we want to create a story called My Dog, Zoey so we want the title to appear first. As soon as you drag something over, if there are no existing articles, you get a pop-up saying hey, do you want to make a New Article? Well, yes I do. We will call it Zoey-main story. Now this is not going to be part of the EPUB, so you can name it whatever you'd like.
So there is the name of the article, and then it shows the object in here. And the text frame shows with the T along with the characters in the text frame. If you edited this text this would change as well. Now we want to add the byline, so I am just going to drag by Joe Schmoe and add it right below My Dog, Zoey. And then we want the main story and we will put that right there. All right, so you don't have to worry about it exporting this, or even the image and the caption, because if we went right now to Export to EPUB and said based on Articles panel these would be the only things that it would export.
It would export My Dog, Zoey, the byline, and the story. In fact, let's go ahead and do that. All right! So we are going to do Same as Articles panel. Everything else will be at the default settings. And there you go; My Dog, Zoey, the byline, and the story. Nothing else was included in this document. Now let's go ahead and make another article. You can make another article by clicking the New Article button at the bottom. So I will click that, and we'll call this Pictures.
Now because I had something selected when I created a new article, it automatically assumed that it should be part of it. And also notice that it is now part of two different articles, and that is a feature/bug of the Articles panel is that you can include the same object in two or more articles if you wanted to. It does not mean that you are duplicating anything in the publication, but in this case -- sometimes it happens by accident, you don't want that to happen. To remove something from the Articles panel, click the Trashcan icon.
That only removes it from the Articles panel; it doesn't remove it from the layout. However, if you get confused, or you're in a hurry, if you select something in the Articles panel and press the Delete key, as I just did, it actually deletes the thing in the layout. So don't do that. I'm going to undo. If you want to delete something from the Articles panel because you don't want to include it, select it in the Articles panel, and then click the Trashcan icon. Anyway, so let's add some more things to Pictures. You can add a group if you want; there is no problem. And a group will appear as like this is a group, and then you can twirl it down, and you can then rearrange the items within the group.
So say, for example, I want the caption to appear below the picture of Zoey. I could drag that down, which is pretty cool. Let's go ahead and export this to EPUB and see what we have. We will Replace the existing. Same as Articles panel. So there's a story on top and there's the picture with the caption underneath it. Let's clear this out. I'm going to just Shift+Click both of these articles and press the Trashcan button, right, not the Delete key.
You can add everything in the entire document to the Articles panel simply by holding down the Command or Control key and then clicking on the Plus symbol. The Plus symbol usually just adds the selected object, or objects, to whichever article is currently highlighted. So this whole document is going to be one article. We will just leave it at the default name of Article. And we will export this to EPUB, with the default settings Same as Articles panel as remembered. What the heck? What's that? We have got these green boxes on the top. Everything else looks the same.
That's because this is another feature/gotcha of the Articles panel in that you can be add InDesign artwork and it will export it as a graphic. We will use this to our advantage in a future video when I talk about converting your InDesign artwork to graphics. This is one of the new methods that you can use. But you have to be careful of it if you ever choose to add everything to the Articles panel, because you can see that it actually added those rectangles. Now if I double-click one, it will select that item in the layout. So that's really useful.
You can't really rename these. You can't call this like dark green rectangle top of page 1. All you can do is double-click it. So I am going to select both of these, and again click the little Trashcan because I don't want those to be part of the export. But look at this, this is nice and useful: I can just select that jump line, which we don't want, and I can delete it that way, right, rather than having to drag it off into the pasteboard. So the Articles panel is a really cool way for you to be able to modify and manipulate how objects are exported without having to move things around in the layout.
So now that you've gotten a hang of it, let's move on to like an actual document. I have here the document called History of San Francisco, that I actually showed you in one of the very first videos in this chapter, designed by Nigel French. And the text is being pulled from Wikipedia. Now the first time that I exported this using the layout order we came into a big mess, but now that we have the Articles panel it can make it a lot easier. So, for example, I might start out with the Introduction.
So I am going to select that, and Shift+ Click that story, and then just drag and drop them into the Articles panel. And I will call it Introduction. So we've got those two items. If I wanted to include this piece of artwork, for some reason, I could put that right up here. So it's going to actually convert that to artwork. And I'm going to change on mine because I don't want that. I just wanted to show you. It did include this entire story. So when you just drag over one frame of the threaded story, it will always export the entire story.
If you didn't want it to do that then you would have to actually create two different stories from this long one. Let's go ahead and create another article. So I am just going to choose this and we'll call it the Peninsula. And I'm going to drag over this picture. Oh, I accidentally still had that selected so let's delete that. And then here is the sidebar text. So I want the sidebar text to follow the picture.
And then here is the photo credit, and we want the photo credit right after the picture, so it goes there. Here is another group of items. This is called the View of the Presidio. So I will create another article called Presidio. And we'll just drag the group over. I keep doing that. I have to remember to deselect every time I create a new article. So this brought over the entire group, and I don't have to ungroup it first If I want to reorganize how this text is going to appear. Like right now you can see that the photo credit will be first, and then the text with the caption, and then the picture.
I actually want the picture to be first, and then the caption, and then the photo credit. You can continue doing that throughout the entire document. Just be careful that if you, you know, drag over a whole bunch of stuff, that even if you drag over say a line, it's going to export that as a graphic, and it will look kind of dumb. So be careful about wholesale dragging and dropping into here, or using the add everything in this entire document method. And now let's export this to EPUB. We want to make sure and turn on Same as Articles panel.
You can, if you want, continue to use the TOC Style to make a navigational table of contents. You can chunk up the document into separate chapters, if you want, that are based on a paragraph style. So just because you're using the Articles panel it doesn't mean that you can't use some other features. But we are going to ignore those for now and just click Export. So there's our Introduction along with the other -- so that was a very long text file in the beginning -- and then there is the story about San Francisco Peninsula, and so on.
So you have complete control over what gets exported, and in what order. Now one more thing I want to mention: something that you can't do. Let's say, let's go back up here, I am going to select this story. Say that we wanted an image to appear within the story. So I am going to actually grab one. Let's take this guy. Now I am going to Copy and Paste it onto this page. If you wanted this story to go right here in between these two paragraphs in this article, there is no way that you can like open up the text story called Introduction and sort of like drag and drop this in between a couple paragraphs. You can't do that.
If you're using the XML method, which I will be talking about in another video, you can actually do that. It's a little more difficult, but it is possible to drag and drop objects in between paragraphs. If you are using the article method then you have to do the same thing as you would if you were using the default layout order, which is to anchor the object. So if I anchored this graphic, I am just going to hold down the -- I think I will do this with an inline graphic, so I am going to make an empty Return here, click there, and then I will select this, and hold down the Shift key so that it turns into an inline object.
So it looks kind of dumb there, but you know I could have set a correct paragraph setting with autoleading, and so on. I am not going to bother with that right now. But I just want to let you know that if you anchor stuff inside a story, and that story, which you can see highlighted right here, gets exported, then that anchored object will be in that story. And so the Articles panel really doesn't give us any help as far as anchoring objects within long text stories. You can put the graphic before or after the text story, but if you want it to be part of the text story you still have to anchor it.
The Articles panel menu has just a few options. You can select an item and then have it automatically find that item in the layout. You can choose that after you have created these things, when you export to PDF as a Tagged PDF, that it can use the arrangement of these items for that article reading order in a PDF, which is a way to make an accessible PDF, that is kind of beyond the scope of this video title. And then there are just like little shortcuts for Add Selection to the Selected Article that I kept doing by mistake before. But Article Options really doesn't give you anything new other than do you want to change the name of it, and should I include it when exporting.
And of course, you can always just uncheck it if you don't want to include it when exporting, but not delete it from the Articles panel entirely. So there you have it. The Articles panel makes it much easier to manage the order of elements in your InDesign document when you export to EPUB.
- Understanding ebooks and ebook publishing
- Examining the EPUB format
- Creating customized navigational TOCs
- Using layout order, the Articles panel, and XML tags to manage content flow
- Formatting with paragraph and character styles
- Creating a cover image
- Optimizing images
- Exporting InDesign content to an EPUB
- Including drop caps, pull quotes, and text wraps
- Acquiring an ISBN for ebooks
- Converting an EPUB to Kindle, iBookstore, and Nook formats
- Distributing ebooks with resellers and aggregators
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: There is a problem with preptext.jsx mentioned in this course in the Chapter 4 movie named "Applying paragraph and character styles". Is there a fix or does Anne-Marie address this somewhere?
A: Please refer to the post on Anne-Marie's web site regarding this issue, which can be found at http://indesignsecrets.com/perfectpreptext-a-smart-way-to-style-local-formatting.php.