One of the key steps in producing an EPUB ebook is to preview how it looks and and behaves when you interact with it. And the process is a little different with reflowable EPUBs and fixed-layout EPUBs. In this movie, Mike shows how to preview interactivity in EPUB, by using the EPUB Interactivity Preview panel, and by choosing viewing apps like iBooks, TextWrangler, and Adobe Digital Editions in the EPUB export dialog box.
- [Narrator] One of the key steps in producing an EPUB eBook, is to preview how it looks and behaves when you interact with it. And the process is a little different with reflowable EPUBs and fixed layout EPUBs. So, let's take a look at how to preview interactivity in an EPUB. We'll start with fixed layout EPUB. Our exercise file here has a lot of interactivity built into it. There are many buttons for navigating to different destinations in the document, buttons for playing sound and video and buttons for use with slideshows. And it would be great if I could test these buttons here in end design to be sure they're working the way I intended.
And that's the purpose of the EPUB Interactivity Preview Panel, which is part of our workspace here, down at the bottom. And you can also open it from the Window menu by choosing Interactive, EPUB Interactivity Preview. Now I know we've seen this panel in some earlier movies, but I wanted to show it again to point out some specific things about using it. First, the way it works is by actually generating a fixed layout EPUB and displaying it here in the panel. The EPUB doesn't exist anywhere else on your computer. You can only see it here.
Second, the settings end design uses to create the fixed layout EPUB for the preview are the last used settings from the Export Dialogue box. So if I press Command or Control E, and I'll Export to the desktop a fixed layout EPUB, the settings I choose here will be used next time I preview with the EPUB Interactivity Preview Panel. So we're talking about things like Conversion settings, where I can choose the format, resolution and quality of images, and so on.
Note that ya actually have to click OK to have the settings you enter here be used by the Preview Panel. In this case, it was already set up the way that I wanted to. So I'll just click cancel. Next, in the EPUB Interactivity Preview Panel, there are two methods of previewing. You can preview just the current spread or the entire document by clicking these buttons at the bottom right. Of course, if you have a long or complex document like this one, with a lot of images, it can take a while to render a full document preview.
Then, to actually create the preview, you click the play button at the lower left. You can see the html being exported and there's our preview. To clear the last preview out of the panel, click the stop button. And there are a couple of keyboard shortcuts you can use. Press Option Shift Return on the Mac or Alt Shift Enter on the PC to toggle the panel open or closed. To create a full document preview, add the Command key on the Mac or the Control key on Windows. So that's Command Shift Option Return on the Mac or Control Shift Alt Enter on the PC.
There's our preview and note that when you create a full document preview it doesn't matter what page you are on in the main window, the panel will start out displaying the first page. You can use the navigation arrows in the panel to view other pages. Now let's resize this panel a little bit bigger and preview some interactivity. I'll click on Must-See Destinations to jump to that article. And I can click on the image of London to jump to the article on London. I can use the Next button to keep looking at different cities.
And in the section on San Francisco, there's a video to play. Note that the full screen option doesn't work here in the panel. On the next page, there's a slow animation that makes this landscape of Joshua trees come alive. And on the following page, we can check out our slideshow that was created with a multi-state object. And the great thing is, since we're actually looking at a fixed layout EPUB in this panel, we know this preview is accurate.
The only downside is that it really should just be called the fixed layout EPUB Interactivity Preview Panel, because it can't show you what a reflowable EPUB will look or act like. For that, you actually do have to export your layout and use whatever reader you expect your audience might use. That may mean loading it onto a mobile device, like an iPad or an iPhone, or viewing it on a computer using software like Adobe Digital Editions or iBooks. I'll go ahead and close the panel. And our other exercise file for this movie is a much simpler file.
It's just some text and a video down here. And I'd like to see how this video is gonna look in reflowable EPUB. When I export to EPUB, the last set of options at the bottom is Viewing Apps. And here, the system default will be selected automatically. In my case, I'm on a Mac, so that's iBooks. But you can add other apps to preview your eBook too by clicking Add Application. And when you export to EPUB, you'll see copies of the document open in every app you specify here.
So, I might wanna add Adobe Digital Editions, which is the free reader software that Adobe provides for viewing eBooks. And you can download that from this webpage. To add Digital Editions to my list of preview apps, I'll click Add Application and navigate to Digital Editions inside my Applications folder. And choose it. Another interesting option is to add a code reading app here so you automatically open the EPUB and see the code that's being created. On my machine, I use the free application Text Wrangler, which you can download from this page.
And I'll add that too. Okay, so let's export and see our file in these three apps: iBooks, Digital Editions and Text Wrangler. Here it is in iBooks. I can play the video, make it full screen. I can pause it, bring it back to normal size and it looks great. And I can do the same thing in Digital Editions.
And, lastly, in Text Wrangler, I can see the files that make up the EPUB package, including the html file with the content and the video file. So here we saw some ways to preview your eBook before you deliver it. For fixed layout EPUB, you can use the EPUB Interactivity Preview Panel in end design and for reflowable EPUB, you can export to one or more apps to view your EPUB.
- 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