Learn about the differences between the two file formats.
- [Narrator] If you decide that you want to make a reflowable EPUB e-book, one of the first decisions you have to make as you're ready to export it is do you want it to be in EPUB 2 or EPUB 3 format? I'm saying this only because there are still some programs that offer that choice. EPUB 3 has been the standard since 2011, but you know how the long tail effect is in technology. There are some people out there who still have E-Readers that only work with EPUB 2 files.
So, that's what I want to talk about in this video and I'll show you one of these programs that offer you the choice in design, for example. If I have some sort of publication open in InDesign and then I go to file, export, and choose reflowable EPUB, we'll just leave it as untitled, you see here in the general panel it defaults to EPUB 2.0.1. This was the set of specifications for EPUBs from 2007. Instead you should always choose 3.0, okay.
It supports world languages, so if you're setting an e-book in Japanese or Hebrew. Right-to-left or top-to-bottom, it supports that. And one other requirement is that all EPUB 3 file formats have to have the EPUB 2 specific table of contents document. That's the main structural difference between these two file formats, as far as what are the components inside the EPUB, is that there's a different way to structure the navigational table of contents. But if you're doing EPUB 3, part of the requirements is that it has an EPUB 2 friendly version of that.
In other words, all EPUB 3 e-books can be opened on a device or software program that only deals with EPUB 2, there you go. You might not be able to see all the cool videos and audio and play with any of the interactivity features, but you can access the text content at least. They give you a little bit more information about this, if you want to study more on your own. The EPUB spec was devised by a group of volunteers called the International Digital Publishing Forum and they decided on the EPUB spec, called 2.0, way back when, as I said in 2007, and then they decided to improve it to make more rich e-books available and wrote the EPUB 3 spec.
And then, what Kindle and what Apple are supposed to do, is they're supposed to make sure that their software that reads e-books can read EPUB 3 versions. And they have, since 2007, you can read EPUB 3 on both of those devices and Kobos and Nooks and most software that reads EPUBs. In late 2016, early 2017, the IDPF decided to merge with the World Wide Web Consortium. If you've done any kind of web work over the past 20 years, that should sound familiar to you because this is the group of volunteers from around the world who decide on how HTML should be written, and that makes sense, right, because an EPUB is actually a miniature website zipped up in a package called .epub.
So, now, if you want to participate and learn more about how EPUBs should be specified and you want to push for more features in future versions of EPUB, go ahead and join 'em. I'll include this link to the publishing group, and you see there's community group and digital publishing group and then the actual specifications for the current version of EPUB, which is 3.1, which came out in January of 2017, are here and you can get all of the nitty-gritty about how HTML should be written out and CSS should be written out, right here.
So, now you know if you're offered the choice between EPUB 2 and EPUB 3, always choose EPUB 3 and most programs, if there's no choice, that means it is EPUB 3 There you go.
- Finding, downloading, and reading free ebooks
- Choosing the right format for your ebook
- Building reflowable EPUBs and fixed-layout EPUBs
- Using tools like Word, Sigil, calibre, Jutoh, Pages, PubCoder, and InDesign
- Adding animation and interactivity such as clickable buttons
- Creating ebooks for the Kindle
- Learning the pros and cons of PDF ebooks
- Creating reflowable and multitouch ebooks with iBooks Author