Fixed layout EPUB is an ebook file format that will retain the entire look of your document, including all the colors, fonts, and images, similar to a PDF. Good uses for fixed-layout EPUB (FXL) include children’s books, cookbooks, textbooks, and graphic novels, In this video, Mike shows an example of a fixed-layout EPUB and lists the advantages and disadvantages of the format.
- [Narrator] In addition to reflowable EPUBs, you can also use, InDesign CC, to create a fixed-layout EPUB that will retain the entire look of your document, including all the colors, fonts, and images similar to a PDF. Fixed-layout EPUBs are often used for publications where it's really important to maintain control over the layout. Things like Children's books, Cookbooks, Textbooks, Graphic novels, and so on. Here's an example of a fixed-layout EPUB that was created with InDesign. It's called Window Seat, The Art of Digital Photography and Creative Thinking by Julieanne Kost.
And it includes lots of beautiful photos that the author took through the windows of airplanes during flight. It has a navigational table of contents to jump to the various parts of the book. And there are a few different page layouts, including single-column with running headers and full-bleed photos like you see here on the left. There are also grids of photos, full-page images, three-column pages, pages with sidebars like this one, and so on.
So it's obvious that some work went into the design of these pages, and it was important to preserve their appearance in the eBook. And that leads to the biggest advantage of a fixed-layout EPUB. The fact that the final appearance of the eBook remains consistent, so the reader is unable to change the fonts, type size, or color, like they can with the reflowable EPUB. And like a reflowable EPUB, the text in a fixed-layout EPUB remains live text. So the reader can select it, copy it, search it, and so on.
Also with fixed-layout EPUBs, you can use many design elements that you might be used to having in print layouts. Things like images that bleed off the page, text on top of images, and other design features which are not possible to do in a re-flowable EPUB. You can also add interactivity in the form of hyper links, animations, and things like slide shows, all with the tools available inside InDesign. Also, the process of making fixed-layout EPUBs with InDesign CC is just about as easy as exporting a PDF.
In terms of the disadvantages of fixed-layout EPUB. The main one is the lack of full support from Amazon and mobile devices outside of the iPad. Amazon has their own specification for fixed-layout eBooks which differ significantly from what you can output directly from InDesign. In fact, the best approach may be to export all the text and images from your InDesign document, and then finish the job with other tools if you're going to Amazon. Which, of course, means that you have to know how to use those other tools.
So, while creating a fixed-layout EPUB from InDesign is straight forward, creating a fixed-layout eBook ready to sell at Amazon is a more involved process.
- 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