View Full Version : creating E pub page thumbnails

04-05-2012, 04:17 PM
OK I have to do an epub project which is an 8 page book, I can use .jpgs for the pags do there is no text. My question is how can I get the pages to display thumbnails across the bottom. I did the original as an .iba file in Books Author and they have generic large thumbs but I do not mean those. I'm referring to something like this image below. Anyone?


04-05-2012, 11:29 PM
The thumbnails on the bottom are a matter of the software reading the ebook, not the ebook format itself. There is no way to embed images in an epub so they automatically display across the bottom of whatever program or reader that's used to open it. While the majority of people reading epubs are using a variant of Adobe's Digital Editions for it (which afaik doesn't support thumbnail image display, because most epubs aren't designed as individual pages but as reflowable textx), programs like Calibre, ePubreader and Sigil use different methods to display the files.

What are you doing the epub project for, that it wants thumbnail images? Does it have to be epub, or can you make it as a PDF? That's better for thumbnails and for most books where the author needs complete control of the final layout.

04-06-2012, 12:04 AM
The image you are looking at is iBooks on an iPad. It's quite non-standard and to do what's in that photo, the eBook would only work on an iPad with iBooks.

04-06-2012, 06:02 AM
Great, now I'm getting somewhere with this. I need to create the Book for the IBooks format so I would use IBooks Autho,r so how do I get this on my .iba file?


04-06-2012, 11:00 AM
Actually, what you're looking at was not created in iBooks Author. That's a fixed layout epub. The file type is epub but there's special code you have to put in to tell iBooks that it's fixed layout and to display those thumbnails. It is discussed in this wiki (

04-06-2012, 11:33 AM
Ah OK a little closer, almost there. I see that to create an epub fixed layout you need to addsome css and xml, no worries as I know a bit of both but this may sound dumb but where the heck is the epub folder with those files?

For instance, if I create an IBooks Author file I'm NOT able to publish to epub ONLY IBooks and I understand that.

If I create in Pages, I'm able to export to epub BUT the export only generates 1 file ( not a folder)
Sorry if I'm a bit anal here.


04-06-2012, 12:28 PM
Epub is a zip file renamed, with some bits in it that says "this is an epub" and other bits that explain what order & metadata are attached to the contents, which are html or xhtml files.

Take any non-DRM'd epub. Change the file extension to .zip. Unzip. Examine contents.

There's a detailed epub tutorial ( that breaks down all the steps, if you're interested in the technical side of things. Otherwise, you can get Sigil ( and just work on setting up the CSS and let the program handle most of the rest of the arrangements.