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Old 01-21-2013, 09:23 PM   #1
Lenora
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Question Struggling with InDesign CS5 to EPub conversion

Hi all. I'm a print designer trying to learn ePub production. I'm new to this forum and after searching around could not find the info I'm looking for.

I have a client who has provided me with an InDesign CS5 file that she wants converted and uploaded to Barnes&Noble. I followed the InDesign CS5 to EPub video tutorial on Lynda.com but am still having problems.

For one thing, the chapter breaks do not work when I apply TOC styles to the InDesign document. So now I'm setting up a book file with each chapter of the book as a separate file. Now the chapter breaks work but the chapter titles follow my file names exactly. Is it okay to have word spaces in the file names?

Additionally, I used a character style to apply italic formatting but the italic shows up in a very small pt. size in the ePub file.

Should I resign myself to fixing these glitches using something like Calibre or Sigil? Or will I need to fiddle with the CSS code?

Would greatly appreciate it if someone could point me in the right direction.

Thanks!
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:41 AM   #2
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breaking up the chapters into a book file i think is the usual method, and while it's better not to have spaces in filenames, it's not absolutely necessary (epubcheck will give you non-critical warnings rather than errors).

not sure about the other glitches you mention, but a great resource for creating epubs in InDesign is Liz Castro's http://www.pigsgourdsandwikis.com/. her book 'epub straight to the point' is also a well referenced resource for Indd > epub.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:40 PM   #3
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A lot of what Liz does is iBooks-centric. So take that as you will.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:42 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feed back!
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:51 AM   #5
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ID5 had lots of bugs when outputting the links between chapters if you use multiple files (book) method instead of single file for entire book. The links omit the file names. The fix is on Liz's site back around mid-late 2010.
Get used to opening and closing epubs to tweak files after export.
Necessary meta data will be missing and cover references need work to get them to appear on the shelf.
It's been a while since I used 5 but I'll dig up an old file and refresh my memory and point out the items needing to be fixed after export.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenora View Post
Additionally, I used a character style to apply italic formatting but the italic shows up in a very small pt. size in the ePub file.
The best practice in this case is to change the export tagging section in your character style to reflect the correct tag in question: "em" for italics and "strong" for bold. You should do the same for superscript (sup) and subscript (sub). This will make your code more semantic, which is considered by many a good thing.

If you leave it at "Automatic", Indesign will pick the Character Style name and insert it as a class name in a generic "span" tag.

Don't insert nothing in the "class" field if you just want to mark the text as italic or bold in the code.

Check these examples:

Character style settings: http://cl.ly/image/0a0P1i0t2D42
Exported code: http://cl.ly/image/24113O1a2u2m

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenora View Post
Should I resign myself to fixing these glitches using something like Calibre or Sigil? Or will I need to fiddle with the CSS code?
You'll probably have to deal with code very often.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PageLab View Post
The best practice in this case is to change the export tagging section in your character style to reflect the correct tag in question: "em" for italics and "strong" for bold. You should do the same for superscript (sup) and subscript (sub). This will make your code more semantic, which is considered by many a good thing.
Actually, I don't really agree. Currently <em> displays as italic and <strong> displays as bold, but that might change later. It is semantic but says nothing about layout and is not consistent. It might be better to use a <span> tag and style that as italic or bold.
As for myself, this is one of the few exceptions where I let layout markers in my XHTML file, I still use <i> and <b>... I know it is depreciated, but I feel it has a better meaning.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxaris View Post
Actually, I don't really agree. Currently <em> displays as italic and <strong> displays as bold, but that might change later. It is semantic but says nothing about layout and is not consistent. It is semantic but says nothing about layout...
They don't have to say nothing about layout, they just represent emphasis, thus, they can have any appearance. That's the idea, isn't it? Separate structure from visual interpretation.

Quote:
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...and is not consistent.
Well, using a <span> is not consistent either. These tags at least utilize fewer characters than <span class="italic|bold">, and can work even without a CSS.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabee View Post
It's been a while since I used 5 but I'll dig up an old file and refresh my memory and point out the items needing to be fixed after export.
Thanks so much for the offer. As it turns out I just won a copy of ID CS6 in a raffle at an InDesign User Group meeting. I hope the bugs in IDCS5 have been worked out.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:54 AM   #10
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Thank you for all the responses! Looks like I've got my work cut out for me. Not used to working with code at all.

Last edited by Lenora; 01-25-2013 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxaris View Post
Actually, I don't really agree. Currently <em> displays as italic and <strong> displays as bold, but that might change later. It is semantic but says nothing about layout and is not consistent. It might be better to use a <span> tag and style that as italic or bold.
As for myself, this is one of the few exceptions where I let layout markers in my XHTML file, I still use <i> and <b>... I know it is depreciated, but I feel it has a better meaning.
<b> and <i> are not deprecated in html 5 according to w3schools. For a long time I used <i> and <b> because I just couldn't see the sense of using such a long <span> to indicate a style. Then I jumped on the separation of style and structure train.

Now I use <em> and <strong> with a css style - although the css is just restating the default value of most of today's devices/apps, it specifies how I want it to look so I don't rely on browser's default values.

em {font-style:italic}
strong {font-weight:bold}

It saves a lot of space in the html document, allows easy change in the future if someone wants to change the styling, and aligns with current standard practice.

Last edited by Turtle91; 01-25-2013 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:25 PM   #12
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Note that <em> and <strong> could be read with different "accent" by a text-to-speech system (i.e., they're not just visual markup). I often resort to just using <em> for anything italic, but with some careful markup (in an ideal world) I could use:

<em>: for an emphasized word: I am not going out with you.
<span class="title">: for a title: Have you read The Hobbit already?
<span class="name">: for a ship or dog name: And then The Invincible arrived.
<span class="foreign" xml:lang="fr">: for foreign words: This is so suffissant of you.
<strong>: for strong emphasis: No, no, no, NO!

And then something like:

em, span.title, span.name, span.foreign { font-style: italic; }
strong { font-weight: normal; font-variant: smallcaps; text-transform: lowercase; }
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:47 PM   #13
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Wow! I hadn't even THOUGHT of text to speech from that viewpoint. I think of it in terms of "Shall We Play A Game...?"

Do today's devices have the ability to make those differences in inflection?
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