View Full Version : EPUB 3 and Corporate Standard Requirements for Documentation

02-14-2012, 01:19 PM
We are looking to convert much of our current and future documentation into EPUB format. However, corporate standards require all documentation to contain the following items:

*Cover Graphic
*Copyright page
*Copyright footer
*Dynamic header
*Exact fonts
*Wide tables

My question is, which items can EPUB 3 support? I already know for sure EPUB 3 supports Graphics and Exact fonts, but what about the other items?

Any input is much appreciated! Thank you!

02-14-2012, 01:43 PM
What format are you using to meet all of those requirements currently?

02-14-2012, 01:52 PM
EPub support for headers and footers is very difficult, maybe impossible. Epubs don't have "pages" so there's no "head" to put text into. It's possible some ereaders would support headers-in-epubs (Sonys support headers and footers in LRF), but if the person is reading an epub in Sigil, or with EpubReader plugin in Firefox, there's nowhere to put the "header" or "footer" text.

Epub supports wide tables; not all ereaders will display them in a useful manner. This is a matter of both firmware support and basic hardware... displaying a 12-column table on a screen 4" wide is going to be troublesome.

Indexes that link to the actual content can be done, but it'd be a pain to set up. Someone would have to create the <a name=""> tags for each place that wanted an index link, because there are no pages to link to.

Cross references are easy to include if they're made right; not all epub readers will support them.

Glossary, like any other content, is easy enough to create and insert. Might even work better than most ebook formats, since many (most?) epub readers are searchable.

02-14-2012, 03:10 PM
What format are you using to meet all of those requirements currently?

We are currently using XMetal 6.0 (DITA) and we use Dita4Publishers to convert the DITA topics to EPUB. So far it looks just okay. In order for us to publish the documentation, all the requirments listed in this original topic must be met.

02-14-2012, 07:52 PM
It is possible to do all the stuff you need with ePub, even 2.01 except the dynamic header (defined but not supported with most readers) will do it and 3.0 will also. Dynamic headers will hopefully not be a problem in readers supporting 3.0, but no guarantees. What reading device are you planning to use? AZARDI might do the job for you.


02-15-2012, 11:36 AM
We are testing with an iPad 2. Our clients will be using iPads, Android devices, etc...

Are there any resources out there that could help us accomplish everything I listed above??

So is @Elfwreck correct in saying headers might be impossible with EPUB 3?

02-15-2012, 01:27 PM
For ePub 3.0 the head element is shown at

the oeb-page-head has been around since before ePub (OEB version 1) and was actually implemented by some systems. You can use the page as an example to build an ePub to be checked in the iPad. Note the iPad iBooks application does not claim to be ePub 3 compatible, only HTML5 which is only a portion of ePub 3. However oeb-page-head is also in ePub 2.1 so there is a chance. I have not tried it myself. The example I referenced shows how to make the header dynamic.

Saying your clients will be using an iPad or Android means nothing. You will need to determine the exact app that will be used to display your data. In order to test what your build you should also determine if there is an application on the build platform that will display this data.


02-15-2012, 02:55 PM
Headers are part of the ePub design spec, but not all programs read them. Most current programs don't.

Fonts are part of the design spec--but not all programs may recognize all fonts, either, and some devices/programs may let the end user override internal fonts.

"Outdents" are done by indenting everything else. (Just like in Word... there is no "outdent;" there's "here's the standard page margins, and this part has smaller margins or goes to the edge of the page.")

EPub as an archive format is probably fine; it'll support tags for all the features you need. In order to make it display the way you want it, you probably need to set specific program & device requirements for those archives.