View Full Version : columns for dummys? I need help

02-19-2013, 09:06 PM

I need your help with an epub file and columns. I know, columns only work with ADE, but even though there are some websites about columns, I still don't get it to work.

Here is what I have got so far:

at first, I got the page-template.xpgt from another epub file. I added it to the manifest of my content file

<item id="page-template" href="page-template.xpgt" media-type="application/vnd.adobe-page-template+xml" />

This is how my main text file looks:


<meta name="Author" content="NASCARaddicted"/>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Style-Type" content="text/css" />

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"/>
<link href="default.css" type="text/css" rel="stylesheet"/>
<link rel="stylesheet" type="application/vnd.adobe-page-template+xml" href="page-template.xpgt"/>

The default.css is my normal css file. In this css-file, there is one line:

.column {oeb-column-number: 2;}

And then, in my main file, I have this section:

<div class="column"><p>lots of text</p>
<p>more text</p>

After that, I packed everything and tried it with different readers. At first I tried it with my Pocketbook Touch and my old Bebook One (both use ADE). But none of them shows 2 columns, they both use one. Then I tried it with the ebook viewer from Calibre and an epub-Reader add-on for Firefox. It always showed up with just 1 column.

So what am I doing wrong?

Thanks in advance for your help

02-20-2013, 05:22 AM
Uses float.


<p class="column1">Haec disserens qua de re agatur et in quo causa consistat non videt...</p>

<p class="column2">causas naturales et antecedentes, idciro etiam nostrarum voluntatum...</p>

<p class="column3">nam nihil esset in nostra potestate si res ita se haberet...</p>


.column1 {float: left; width: 33%;}
.column2 {float: left; width: 33%;}
.column3 {float: left; width: 33%;}

And played with width and margin.

02-20-2013, 06:20 AM
thanks so far, but that is not what I had in mind.

In your example, there are 3 different columns. There is no reflow. If one of the columns is longer then the screen, it would continue on the next page, right? (Correct me if I am wrong)

What I need is a reflowable solution. The breakup should go automatically.

Maybe I should tell you more about my ebook:

I have this long list with short words. It is like:

aaaaaaaa - bbbbb
ccccc - ddddd
eee - ffff
ggggg - hhhhhhh

and so on. Usually, there are only 2 words per line and so about 50% or more of a page would be blank. In the paper version of this book, they use 3 columns (that might be too much, so I would love to go with just 2). But since I can't say where to start a 2nd column, the ebook should do it autoamtically with reflow.

I think it can be done with Adobe Columns, but I can't get it to work.

thanks again for all your help

02-20-2013, 12:40 PM
You're right, with float no breakup automatically.
AFAIK, in epub cannot do what you want. :(

02-20-2013, 01:25 PM
I have never tried columns with ADE, but aren't you mixing standard ePub columns (oeb-column-number, which probably doesn't work anywhere) with custom Adobe extensions (page templates, which only work in Adobe-based readers)?

This might help:
or this:

The page templates do not let you choose the layout mode through CSS, but rather select the layout mode based on, in this case, the screen/window width. Take the template in the latter thread and make it read:

<fo:conditional-page-master-reference master-reference="three_column_head" page-position="first" ade:min-page-width="80em"/>
<fo:conditional-page-master-reference master-reference="three_column" ade:min-page-width="80em"/>
<fo:conditional-page-master-reference master-reference="two_column_head" page-position="first" ade:min-page-width="50em"/>
<fo:conditional-page-master-reference master-reference="two_column"/>

(i.e., remove the single-column option, make two-column the default), and it might work as you want.

02-20-2013, 02:52 PM
Indeed, I was totally wrong.
In ADE works well:

<body style="oeb-column-number: 2;"> :D