Filed under CSS

Spacing my Guillemets

What fun to get the correct spacing for this particularly French punctuation in a reflowable eBook!

« Viva la France »

The Guillemet is used in more than just the French language, but a problem arises when needing to use in an eBook, becasue it is traditional to have a space between it and the word that is being quoted. This is not the case with the curly quotes used in the English language; they, in comparison, simply surround the word with no space.

Why can't we simply have an empty space, after the word and before the word?

3 reasons actually:

  1. First of all typographic purists will know that this is no ordinary space; it is a thin space. Usually 1/8 of the normal word space.
  2. The next problem is that we do not want to allow the Guillemet and the word to be broken over a line. An ordinary space allows the line to break there if needed—don't forget this is a reflowable eBook.
  3. Finally, in a justified block of text, the spaces are fluid; the algorithm for text-align:justify will adjust the space between words, making our space inconsistent.

Is there a solution? And will it work in the ePub format for any or most devices?

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Posted on 29 Dec 2014 around 5pm • Tagged with: CSS | eBooks | Ideas | Typography | Permanent link to this article

Roundtripping InDesign and ePub re-flowable

You know an InDesign file is never finished, even if you do save it as 'Final version'!

Get real. You are going to want to go back to InDesign and re-export your ePub (reflowable), because someone noticed a typo or a badly captioned photo.

What about all those edits you made to the innards of the ePub file — you unpacked it, you fiddled with the CSS, you got it just right and you even added some fancy javascript. But now my editor wants me to go back to InDesign. It was inevitable. Didn't you know that?

Can we, save ourselves a lot of bother by grabbing all those changes and slip them into the new version?

Here's how with InDesign CC (2014) — yes you gotta get the latest version.

Frankly, I am only dealing with re-flowable ePubs from InDesign. Not fixed-layout.

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Posted on 18 Dec 2014 around 9am • Tagged with: CSS | eBooks | Ideas | Software | Permanent link to this article

Oh! Please Avoid Those Page Breaks After

The page-break-after:avoid rule just doesn't do its job! Can we fix it? Yes we can.

You all know it to be true. The one really annoying thing about the re-flowable ePub, is that you are often seeing those sub-titles all on their own at the bottom of the page. Just like a lonely orphan.

You can see an example in the first image here.

CSS has some rules for paged-media that try to prevent a page breaking before or after elements. Try as I might, I simply cannot get this do as expected.

So is there a way to sort this out while we wait for the ereader software to be updated to solve this? Or do we really have to use the fixed-layout option. No!No! Please not that.

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Posted on 17 Dec 2014 around 5pm • Tagged with: CSS | Design | eBooks | Ideas | Typography | Permanent link to this article

Small Caps in Headings, Titles and Proper Nouns.

Forgive me for not posting here for a while!

I had an interesting debate with one of my students about using Small-Caps in titles and headings, and I thought I should follow this up, with some fruitful reading, searching and experimenting!

The question is this:

If you want to use small-caps as a style in headings, titles, or proper nouns, then should the first letter be a full capital or should it be only set in the small-caps style.

Is it better to see:

New York


new york


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Posted on 12 Dec 2014 around 12pm • Tagged with: CSS | Design | eBooks | Ideas | Typography | Permanent link to this article

eBook Typography - a couple of tweaks

My eBook eBook Typography for Flowable eBooks has been in the iBooks store for a couple of weeks, but I wasn't happy with a couple of issues, so I have uploaded a new version to the store.

It occurs to me, that eBooks can be updated (to fix stylistic problems), and rather than this being an entirely new edition (as it would be in pBook), this is simply a small update and could be handled in the same way that software is updated. On my title page, I have an aside that displays the version number.

But what changes have I implemented?

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Posted on 28 Sep 2012 around 11am • Tagged with: CSS | eBooks | How I do things | Permanent link to this article

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