This video offers a look at the steps involved in creating a fixed-layout EPUB with InDesign. This includes previewing with Adobe Digital Editions or iBooks, fixing issues with text and graphics, replacing old fonts, adjusting typographical elements to remove things unsupported in EPUB. Also, using Object Export Options to fix output problems, and creating a device TOC are mentioned.
- [Narrator] Let's take a look at the steps involved in creating a fixed-layout EPUB with InDesign. A good way to start is to simply export your document as is to fixed-layout EPUB and view it in an e-book reader like Adobe Digital Editions or iBooks. This will give you an idea of what works and looks okay and what doesn't. So you'll know just how much work you have ahead of you to fix things. You might spot problems with images or fonts that don't appear correctly in the fixed-layout EPUB. You might also see places where it would be good to add some interactivity, and you could make a running list of things to fix or add in InDesign.
Once you're back in InDesign, you can start the process of working with both text and graphics in your layout to get them ready for EPUB export. This means things like replacing old PostScript fonts with OpenType fonts since PostScript fonts can't be embedded in EPUB. Also with regard to fonts, you need to confirm your font licensing allows for embedding and distribution in EPUB, so you have to check your font licenses and purchase additional rights or replace any fonts that you don't have permission to use in EPUB.
Note that all Typekit desktop fonts that come with a Creative Cloud subscription can be embedded in EPUB. So using Typekit fonts is one way to remove the worry and extra expense of font licensing for interactive documents. You may also have to edit text or adjust some kinds of text formatting. InDesign has tons of features for creating very elegant typography, and not all of these features are supported in fixed-layout EPUB. Things like OpenType fractions and custom kerning between letters are not supported in EPUB and will definitely cause problems in your e-book.
Other OpenType formatting is partially supported in fixed-layout EPUB, and you may or may not decide to change it. These are things like small caps, old style figures, discretionary ligatures, superscripts, and subscripts. They won't be totally broken in the EPUB, but you will notice a difference from how they looked in your InDesign layout. You may also have to change some of the graphical elements of your layout, especially if those graphics use any transparency effects. So if you reduce the opacity of some elements or applied blending modes to objects, they might look very different in the EPUB.
One foolproof fix is to export those page elements from InDesign as an image file like a JPEG and then import that JPEG back into your layout to use instead of the original objects. You can also solve some problems with the appearance of page items by using the Object Export Options feature to rasterize them, again, basically turning those items into a picture in the EPUB and specifying a resolution and a file format. You also need to think about the cover for your EPUB. You can have InDesign use the first page of the document, or you can use a separate image file.
And you need to think about what you want for the device TOC, also called the navigation TOC. This is the table of contents that appears not in the e-book itself, but in the software used to read the e-book. And you can create bookmarks or a table of contents style to create this table of contents. Next comes the fun part. You can add interactivity to the document. And remember, there's good support for interactive features in fixed-layout EPUB, so hyperlinks and cross references work. You can animate items with InDesign's native animation tools.
You can use buttons and multi-state objects. And you can add rich media like audio and video. And then finally, you can add metadata required by e-book resellers. And the place to do this is in the metadata panel in the EPUB export dialog box. When you have everything in place, you can export again and test the EPUB to be sure it all looks and behaves as you want. To see all of these steps demonstrated in detail, check out Anne-Marie Concepcion's excellent course Creating Fixed-Layout EPUBs with InDesign CC.
- Overview of interactive document types, including PDF and EPUB
- Creating interactive objects
- Setting up hyperlinks, cross-references, and a table of contents
- Working with media
- Publishing documents with Publish Online
- Creating EPUBs
- Following workflows for interactivity: interactive PDF, reflowable EPUB, and fixed-layout EPUB