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Old 05-14-2016, 08:11 PM   #1
BKh
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Convert from epub3 to epub2 (yes, backwards)

I've been out of the loop for a while and I have gotten myself in a fix with this epub3 thing.

I'm creating an epub via export from InDesign. (I think that's where I went wrong by exporting as epub3) The goal is to upload it to KindleDirect. I've actually done this lots of times in the past.

Here's where I noticed I am using epub3. I spent several hour making things look right in Sigil (yay Sigil!) but then I go to delete the toc.xhtml file(whic was in the original epub exported from InDesign) and it tells me "The Nav document can not be removed". I had created an html toc using Tools>Table of Contents>Create HTML Table of Contents.

So as I understand it, epub2 is what I want for KindleDirect. And I really don't want to use that toc.xhtml file.

I unzipped my file and changed this line in the content.opf
Code:
<package prefix="ibooks: http://vocabulary.itunes.apple.com/rdf/ibooks/vocabulary-extensions-1.0/" unique-identifier="bookid" version="3.0" xmlns="http://www.idpf.org/2007/opf">
and changed the 3.0 to 2.0. I re-zipped it and opened it in Sigil. Then I was allowed to delete the toc.xhtml file no problem.

I still have a toc.ncx file.

So here are my questions

1) is there someway to convert my document back to epub2 within Sigil? Is seems like there should be a thread about this but I couldn't find it.

2) If there isn't, Is my unzip-edit-rezip method OK?

For several reasons, I really don't want to start over exporting from InDesign.

Standard apologies if this has been covered in another thread. If you could point to one I'd appreciate it.

Thanks! And Thanks to everyone who has kept up with Sigil development.

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Old 05-14-2016, 10:45 PM   #2
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I have no idea about Kindle Direct but Kindle Previewer happily accepts epub3 and can convert to mobi/KF8 for use in a Kindle.

As for converting an epub3 back to epub2, that really depends on what epub3 features you used. You had specified a nav. There might be manifest properties in the OPF you might need to delete. You might have to add the correct DOCType to each xhtml file and delete things like epub3 specific metadata and new meta tags with refines, epub3 specific attributes like epub:type, and maybe even epub3 specific html5 only tags like "section".

I think, unless you are familar with the differences between epub2 and epub3, it would be simpler to have InDesign create an epub2 instead of an epub3.

That said, if you keep using FlightCrew/epubcheck to detect and fix things not allowed in epub2, you should reach compliance at some point.

There is no plugin to go from epub3 to epub2 since epub3 can do so much more. But there are plugins like TagMechanic that can be used to cleanup many of the epub3 only attributes and tags. If your epub3 does not use smil, audio, video, mathml, etc, you should be able to successfully convert it back to epub2.

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Old 05-14-2016, 11:23 PM   #3
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There is no plugin to go from epub3 to epub2 since epub3 can do so much more. But there are plugins like TagMechanic that can be used to cleanup many of the epub3 only attributes and tags. If your epub3 does not use smil, audio, video, mathml, etc, you should be able to successfully convert it back to epub2.

KevinH
Thanks!

To be clear, I chose epub 3 by mistake, so I definitely wasn't using any of the features. Its just a plain ebook. And I really want to avoid redoing all my work. Hence the desire to make this an epub2 file.
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:16 AM   #4
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To address your point about the epub2 "still having the toc.ncx file:" it should.

As Kevin mentioned, I'd keep using the validation plugins to see what needs attention to make your epub v2-compliant. I've no idea what kind of EPUB3 InDesign creates, so I don't know how much work that will require.

Not really sure why you'd want to remove the nav.xhtml from the epub3--or the toc.ncx from the epub2, for that matter. They're both expected/used in the Kindle conversion process (as well as being required by their respective epub version specs)
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:29 AM   #5
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.Not really sure why you'd want to remove the nav.xhtml from the epub3--or the toc.ncx from the epub2, for that matter. They're both expected/used in the Kindle conversion process (as well as being required by their respective epub version specs)
Thank you. I don't want to remove those. I want to remove a file named toc.html, but as I said, it keeps giving me that error message, "The Nav document can not be removed". Strange, I know. That file has Nav tags in it.
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:36 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by BKh View Post
Thank you. I don't want to remove those. I want to remove a file named toc.html, but as I said, it keeps giving me that error message, "The Nav document can not be removed". Strange, I know. That file has Nav tags in it.
InDesign must name its nav document "toc.html." That would explain why it can't be removed. It's required. An EPUB3's nav document (which is an html file) can be named anything. It's typically named "toc.(x)html" or "nav.(x)html, but that's not a rule. Some EPUB3's combine the html toc and the nav document in the same file.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 05-15-2016 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 05-15-2016, 09:16 AM   #7
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On a related topic:
InDesign is SO about precise printed page layout that it's a less-than ideal source for an eBook. If you have the text in a simpler format, maybe as a TXT or Word document, you may want to consider using that as your eBook source.
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Old 05-15-2016, 09:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
InDesign must name its nav document "toc.html." That would explain why it can't be removed. It's required. An EPUB3's nav document (which is an html file) can be named anything. It's typically named "toc.(x)html" or "nav.(x)html, but that's not a rule. Some EPUB3's combine the html toc and the nav document in the same file.
Yes, I think that is exactly what is going on. Where I'm stumped is how to tell Sigil, "Don't worry, It's ok to delete this file because the book isn't going to be an epub3." The only way I have found to do that is using the method I explain in the OP.

What I think i am hearing is that it is ok to do that as long as it validates.
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:04 AM   #9
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On a related topic:
InDesign is SO about precise printed page layout that it's a less-than ideal source for an eBook. If you have the text in a simpler format, maybe as a TXT or Word document, you may want to consider using that as your eBook source.
It is true that InDesign was originally intended for fixed layout. But if you use it exactly as intended without hacking things, the fixed layout is just a "layer" of instructions on top of the content. In the latest version, for example, you can actually design an A4 version and a letter size version in the same document.

It was my mistake to select epub3 export. Otherwise a well formed in design file is now quite brilliant at creating an epub. Unlike even a very clean word file, the style assignments transfer correctly as class elements with few exceptions. Of course any method will require some work. But people should not be afraid to work with a well formed in design file. They have really done a good job at making it work.

The reason commercial publishing cant get away from exporting from inDesign is because of workflow. Although we work to have a final manuscript before taking it into layout, we always make corrections. So that would require keeping two versions up to date.

Moreover, in a document that has complex paragraph styles, I would always prefer to export from ID rather than use the Word file (that has been edited by various people and computers) or reapply all the styles in Sigil.

tldr; Don't be afraid of a well-formed, current InDesign file.
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:39 AM   #10
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To be clear, yes unzipping and changing the package version to 2.0 and recreating the epub, is the required first step, otherwise Sigil will try and prevent the user from messing up his/her own epub3 by deleting things that are needed.
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Old 05-15-2016, 12:13 PM   #11
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The reason commercial publishing cant get away from exporting from inDesign is because of workflow. Although we work to have a final manuscript before taking it into layout, we always make corrections. So that would require keeping two versions up to date.

...

tldr; Don't be afraid of a well-formed, current InDesign file.
Exactly right. Most of our books are released in e-book as well as print, and we like to have one master document, with all edits and corrections, for both. That's the ID file (albeit a few tweaks are needed to the print-ready ID file before exporting to epub).

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Old 05-15-2016, 02:09 PM   #12
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To be clear, yes unzipping and changing the package version to 2.0 and recreating the epub, is the required first step, otherwise Sigil will try and prevent the user from messing up his/her own epub3 by deleting things that are needed.
Thank you to everyone. I will proceed with caution.
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Old 05-16-2016, 05:37 AM   #13
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I must be missing something here. Why not simply go back to ID and export an epub2 file? All the work you've done ISTM is wasted work, trying to turn the silk purse into the sow's ear. Why bother to save it?

Quote:
tldr; Don't be afraid of a well-formed, current InDesign file.
Well, it doesn't seem to have done you any favors.
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:33 AM   #14
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I must be missing something here.
Yes. Please read what I wrote.

InDesign did nothing wrong. I made a mistake by choosing epub3 as the export format.

My book is done, after a couple of hours of making it look/work the way I like it. Work that would have been necessary no matter what method I used. The only problem now is that there is an unnecessary html navigation file that sigil wont let me delete as long as the file is epub3. I came here to find out a simple solurion to my problem, which thanks to the good people here, I found.
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Old 05-17-2016, 01:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BKh View Post
Yes. Please read what I wrote.

InDesign did nothing wrong. I made a mistake by choosing epub3 as the export format.

My book is done, after a couple of hours of making it look/work the way I like it. Work that would have been necessary no matter what method I used. The only problem now is that there is an unnecessary html navigation file that sigil wont let me delete as long as the file is epub3. I came here to find out a simple solurion to my problem, which thanks to the good people here, I found.
Hi:

One quick note--and I admit I skimmed the thread--you seem to have deleted the toc.html, is that right? You're aware that you'll need that at the KDP? The HTML TOC is pretty much required at Amazon now. The NCX will not suffice, as not all of the devices can use that for display purposes to the human reader. If you are not yet done, you may wish to reproduce an HTML TOC to use when you load the ePUB at the KDP or whatever process you determine to use.

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