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Old 01-04-2009, 02:13 PM   #16
brewt
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I work at a newspaper, and the Indesign licenses we have there allow for a home-based copy. Which is why I don't have Incopy - we don't use it at the office (Word, instead).

I'm no pro with Indesign. Rank amateur. The built-in "book" templates produce truely aweful ebooks - the styles all convert to the cover page styles, and come through in red ink. At least, I can't make it work.

New blank page, import Word document (import html doesn't seem to be an option, though one can drag the html document into a text box.) For an ebook, you don't really even need to add pages beyond the first one - the whole text converts from the original document. Probably wise to add pages and link text boxes, just to make sure you can see what you're doing.

Sometimes the styles from Word import and propagate ok, sometimes they don't. Can't tell why yet. If they don't, one needs to rebuild them into indesign - otherwise weirdnesses and disappointments ensue in the epub.

Hyperlinks in the original word document (even into itself) do not work in the indesign-generated epub. So hyperlinked footnotes made by word are out of the question. I don't know how to get them to work in indesign yet. Since my disappointment factor continues to rise with this, I may not care much longer.

An yes, a large-scale project (say, the Babylonian Talmud) is impractical at best. (Funny, it was bloody easy with Isilo. And it worked properly and looked ok, too.)

And I think that if you're using the index.zip tricks, you're actually using the browser's css implementation, not necessarily the epub subset. Which is why the emulators and dedicated readers look different - they aren't on the web, and they aren't full-fledged browsers. Maybe they should be.

I have been the actively-hating-DE list for some time. The Sony viewer is a reasonable facsimile of what sometimes happens on the 700, so there is some value to looking at things in it. The best software reader on a pc by far is Calibre, but it apparently won't port easily to pocket pc (boo frickety hoo). And as there is no scripting protocol in epub, it is even difficulter to have the document compensate for different reading softwares, as web developers get to do.

Another thing I was hoping would work out in epub that doesn't: css breadcrumbs are right out - needs javascript. So we can't use that to see where we are in the book....

-bjc
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:19 PM   #17
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Thanks for the instructions. But, my InDesign (CS3, Mac, German) won't let me import Word Docs ... darn!
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:39 PM   #18
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...
The best software reader on a pc by far is Calibre, but it apparently won't port easily to pocket pc (boo frickety hoo). And as there is no scripting protocol in epub, it is even difficulter to have the document compensate for different reading softwares, as web developers get to do.
It can't be done, so far as I can tell. Calibre needs PyQt (ithasn't been ported yet), as well as Qt (port doesn't work on most devices).
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:37 AM   #19
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I WOULD produce ePubs instead if only the workflow was as easy. I usually start with text or rtf files, and just breaking down the book in several files, one per chapter, is a real hassle. Not to mention about setting all the styles...
The hassle with styles is relatively easy to overcome. If you create your standard styles in InDesign as you want them to appear, then create a style in Word of the same name (doesn't matter how it looks in Word), when you import (Place) the file in InDesign you can choose to have the InDesign styles control.

For example, I create a style in InDesign called BL1 and define it as having 1-inch indents (left and right) and using Formata Medium font 16-point. In Word I create the style by the same name, BL1, and just leave it defined as the default settings. I apply the BL1 style where appropriate in Word and when I place the Word file in InDesign, I make sure that the InDesign specs are selected for the style. Now when placed, the file is correctly formatted in InDesign.

Because most books use the same styles (even if defined differently) I only need to create the InDesign styles once (except for making the minor modifications for a different book) and I can use the same Word template without modification. I apply the styles in Word as I edit the text. Relatively easy and painless.

As for breaking a single manuscript file into multiple chapter files, you don't need to do that. Doing so makes it easier to add additional material later and to move things around, but it isn't necessary.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:39 AM   #20
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Thanks for the instructions. But, my InDesign (CS3, Mac, German) won't let me import Word Docs ... darn!
InDesign has been able to place Word files since CS1 -- at least the U.S. version. I'm surprised to learn that the German version doesn't. Have you asked Adobe about this?
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:23 PM   #21
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For the hassle with styles: what I'm usually trying to do is to export PDFs into RTFs and then into inDesign, but without losing any special formatting, especially the italics which usually ar ethere for a good reason. When I do that, I tend to get a whole bunch of styles with different names although they correspond to the same formatting. If my output is a PDF, all I have to do is change these styles into the ones I have predefined, it's a breeze. If I want ePub, I have to go around checking every single bit of italic and redefine that as well, which is too much work.

As for breaking the books into several files, that's the only way to get chapters to work, at least according to Adobe themselves.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:24 PM   #22
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Yep, Mores, you can PLACE word docs, not import them. I think that's where the mistake comes from, I did the same the first time I used inDesign: went to the edit menu, looked for import, and was miffed when Word was not there.
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:51 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfy View Post
I WOULD produce ePubs instead if only the workflow was as easy. I usually start with text or rtf files, and just breaking down the book in several files, one per chapter, is a real hassle. Not to mention about setting all the styles...
This is the same thing that gives me a headache when I experiment with making an epub file. I work with novel length documents and something that has 30, 40, 50 chapters is a colossal pain to break into chapters. I don't do this when making any other format. It's just not necessary, and I make TOCs as well. So far making an epub is way more time consuming than producing a book or ebook in any other format. Of course, I don't know what I'm doing. There's probably an easier way. I'm enjoying this thread, trying to learn.
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Old 01-06-2009, 03:01 PM   #24
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This is the same thing that gives me a headache when I experiment with making an epub file. I work with novel length documents and something that has 30, 40, 50 chapters is a colossal pain to break into chapters. I don't do this when making any other format. It's just not necessary, and I make TOCs as well. So far making an epub is way more time consuming than producing a book or ebook in any other format. Of course, I don't know what I'm doing. There's probably an easier way. I'm enjoying this thread, trying to learn.
You don't need to manually split up the chapters if you use calibre. Calibre will split the input source for you as necessary.
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:09 PM   #25
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Err... Yes, but the point is using inDesign to produce ePubs, not Calibre, so you can enjoy all the formatting and workflow options inDesign has to offer... Otherwise, sure, a simple word document and Calibre and you get a working ePub!
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:54 PM   #26
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Err... Yes, but the point is using inDesign to produce ePubs, not Calibre, so you can enjoy all the formatting and workflow options inDesign has to offer... Otherwise, sure, a simple word document and Calibre and you get a working ePub!
Actually, you can use InDesign, create an EPUB with unsplit chapters, then run the EPUB through Calibre's any2epub.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:22 AM   #27
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Actually, you can use InDesign, create an EPUB with unsplit chapters, then run the EPUB through Calibre's any2epub.
Yes, you can, of course, but isn't Indesign the most inappropriate epub designer anyway?

Face it, guys, epub will NEVER be rendered the way InDesign wants it on the existing and future reader platforms. The only way to get InDesign's "design" to work would be if all the reading platforms would have identical rendering engines with, of course, same-sized screens. Otherwise, all of InDesign's tinkering around is worth zilch.

To get the epubs "working" on most platforms in a viable way is to extremely reduce code, not to blow it up extremely. In a real world, even floating pictures are nearly impossible to realise so that they "work" everywhere.

Get a WYSIWYG HTML editor if you do not want to learn HTML code, create a HTML file and get Calibre to make a good epub out of it. That works for heavily illustrated files, too.
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:25 PM   #28
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I do plan to give Calibre a try. I don't have to use InDesgin.
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:18 PM   #29
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I'm finding the most aggravating thing to be the one-size-fits-all approach that indesign is expressing toward epub. I think there is a lot of potential in what one can do with epub (if the spec is to be believed), but a cadillac-ly-priced-piece-of-(bleep) like indesign should be able to do more than the one-trick-pony-trick(?) of converting a word document into an epub. Poorly.

Was that enough euphemisms? I think not!

If I want to use Indesign to create a newspaper, that's one thing, but the vision of having an electronic newspaper that indesign has already prototyped (into print) just doesn't seem to be there. And I kindareallysortalikeyouknow, need it to.

-bjc
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Old 01-17-2009, 06:27 PM   #30
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Speaking of the Babylonian Talmud...

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewt View Post

An yes, a large-scale project (say, the Babylonian Talmud) is impractical at best. (Funny, it was bloody easy with Isilo. And it worked properly and looked ok, too.)


-bjc
Dear Brewt,

I have been putting off buying an ereader (probably a Kindle) until the price comes down, but would spring for it now if I could get the Babylonian Talmud. I'm not a software geek, so I don't know if the formats you mentioned in your post would be compatible with an ebook model. Should I just get the http://www.amazon.com/Babylonian-Tal...2228272&sr=1-1"]Rodkinson Translation[/URL],
or are there better ones out there? I used to use the Soncino on CD-ROM; I have emailed them to ask if they're planning an ebook edition. I use a Linux computer now, so I don't think I can use their CD-ROM's anymore.
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