View Full Version : issue with blank pages

iain robinson
06-17-2011, 07:51 AM
Everyone has been very helpful on this forum! Hopefully you can help with another issue...

My ePub (exported from an Indesign CS5.5 book) has a cover file - the first document in the book. In ADE the first page of the ePub displays the cover image, and the next page is the first page of the next 'chapter' (which in this case is a contents page). Which is good. When I test the file in iBooks after the cover page is a blank page. Can't see where it is coming from. The code for the page;

<?xml version="1.0"?>

<html xmlns="">
<link href="../Styles/template.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />

<body style="">
<div id="x00_CnL21_6-cover_epub.html">
<div class="image">
<p class="para-style-override-1"><img alt="c%26l21_6-cover.indd" src="../Images/c%26l21_6-cover_fmt.jpeg" width="100%" /></p>

What am I missing?:blink:

06-17-2011, 08:50 AM
What am I missing?:blink:

The fact that iBooks is not a compliant ePUB reader?

iain robinson
06-17-2011, 08:57 AM
Okay, fair enough - no surprise there. I asked the wrong question.

I can't be the only one with this problem - what can I fix to make it not happen in iBooks?

06-19-2011, 12:19 AM
I can't be the only one with this problem - what can I fix to make it not happen in iBooks?

Unfortunately this is not like those forensic crime shows where they find the one blonde hair in a 2,500 square foot house that they then throw into the centrifuge and bingo-bango they know the name of the killer's first pet when he was 5 years old and his favourite Tele-tubby. We might need some more information.

This previous paragraph could be applied to 80% of the requests for help here.


what are the dimensions of the jpeg file?
what is the CSS coding for the DIVs and P?
how about a copy of the epub file for forensic analysis?

iain robinson
06-19-2011, 05:23 AM
I was sort of assuming that this was maybe common problem with iBooks and there was a wham-bam-thank-you-mam sort of answer! I'll post the ePub file when I get back to work tomorrow. Thanks.

06-20-2011, 03:51 AM
assuming that this was maybe common problem with iBooks

I thought about the blank page thing and all I could come up with was perhaps the iBook people thought it would be "kewl" to emulate a paper book by having the page following the title blank so that your first chapter starts on an odd-numbered page.

If so they are guilty of slavishly following the metaphor. This denies the benefits that software has over the represented item. People who write calculator programs are particularly guilty of this.

iain robinson
06-20-2011, 04:16 AM
Okay, here's a copy of the ePub. Sorry about the size (~3MB).

shall1028 - that would not be good if they had decided to do that! I hope that's not the case.

06-20-2011, 04:58 AM
1240 w by 1754 h with exceeds the size of the iPad screen this might be a problem depending on how iBooks displays the ePub file.

Three test files attached

Original file stripped of all but the cover and 1st chapter saved with Sigil
Original cover replaced with an image smaller than the screen of the iPad
Same 2nd file but with width="100%" remove from the IMG tag

Let's see if any of these work better than the original.

iain robinson
06-20-2011, 05:12 AM
Thank you shall1028 - I won't have access to the iPad until tomorrow I'm afraid so I'll test them then. Hopefully we should be able to narrow down the problem then.

06-20-2011, 06:43 AM
Make your image 600x860 pixels.
This is the magic number for iPad, anything larger and it will put a black page in whether you have it set to 100% height or not.

iain robinson
06-20-2011, 07:47 AM
Thanks - I'll try that. I knew about the 'magic number' but was hoping not to have to play around with the images too much. Seems like it is just one of the many "extra" things you have to do to get what you want (from Indesign)!


06-20-2011, 09:35 PM
(from Indesign)!


As much as I love InDesign to bits...

They (Adobe) will NEVER fix it enough to output a validated ePub. You will always be required to edit it.

I like to think of InDesign as only providing an output file...providing the the necessary file and structure, to help you along...the first stage, if you will.

A bit like if you're baking a cake from a packet recipe. The packet contains all the ingredients you need...(content.opf, TOC.ncx etc etc) you still have to mix it all together (edit files, fix CSS, Fix Content.opf files )and put it in the oven to bake (run the ePub through validation)

iain robinson
06-21-2011, 03:59 AM
Oh yeah - I'm under no illusions about having to edit the file! Exporting the ePub is barely half way through the process! CS5.5 is obviously a step-up from CS5 (which was underwhelming, on the ePub side of things) but there's still some way to go, but like you say it will always need editing I reckon.

Should be getting the iPad in the next hour or so so I'll test out the suggestions from yesterday. I've got two things left to sort out (the blank pages being one) from a very long list of problems - so I'm nearly there!

iain robinson
06-21-2011, 08:27 AM
shall1028 - I've tested the files in iBooks now. File 1 (original file but shorter) still had the blank page after the cover image. File 2 (large cover image replaced with an image smaller than the screen of the iPad) had no blank page after it. File 3 (smaller image again but with width="100%" remove from the IMG tag) was also good.

Adjust - tried the magic number. I unzipped the file, got the cover image, changed it in Photoshop to the magic image size, opened the original ePub file in Sigil, deleted the cover original large cover image then added the new size cover (with exactly the same name) into the file and saved. Something weird happened - I ended up with a blank before the cover image and after!

I changed the image to 599x859px and tried again but had the same problem. Tried 550x789px and it was the same. Obviously I could find out what the maximum image size I can use without having a blank by trial and error but I think I'll just settle for a blank for the moment. The image shall1028 got it to work with was ~350px square! I also tested changing width="100%" to height="100%" in the ePub but I still end up with a blank.

Interestingly though, when I replaced an image in Sigil and resaved it the errors that I had been having in iBooks about entities had gone. I had been fixing that in Sigil by adding a space in the doctype, as described in this post on ( Why substituting the cover image for a smaller one affects this I have no idea:blink:!

06-21-2011, 08:59 PM
Sorry Iain.

I have never use Sigil, So I can't help you.

Have you tried something like this:

<div id="title">
<div class="image">
<img src="images/Title.png" alt="Title.png" width="600" height="860" />

07-07-2011, 02:44 AM
I am having the same problem. My epub export is straight from ID CS5.5, I edited bits and pieces in TextWrangler (not image related). When I discovered the blank after the cover image, I also edited the size to be under the iPad max screen size, now I have the blank pages before and after!

Looks fine in ADE, validates on threepress. No good on iPad.

Can anyone help?

07-07-2011, 03:49 AM
Let me guess... You use iBooks on the iPad? If you insist on using iPad, use a reader which at least respects the ePUB format more.

iain robinson
07-07-2011, 03:51 AM
Those of us that are making files for others want to try and make sure our file looks right in as many ereaders as possible and iBooks is too big to ignore unfortunately, which is why we're all trying to find workarounds.

07-07-2011, 02:46 PM
@iain, i may have found the reason for our troubles.

after powering off my ipad for a few hours, and then rebooting, my epub cover showed up differently. I had been experimenting with smaller cover image sizes earleir (and also lowered res from 150 to 72dpi) but initially could not see any change.

until i rebooted.

now the image is too small (i'll go back an fix that) but at least it is showing up on page-one, and there is no blank page before and/or after it. odd, as i was also editing other elements of the epub and those changes showed up immediately. perhaps there is an image cache, and the blank pages were just a result of the image dimensions exceeding ipads max screen size.

if that is the case, i wonder how other readers handle the oversized image. and i wonder if there is a way to empty the cache without a full shutdown.

let me know how you go.