Filed under eBooks
Image for Small Caps in Headings, Titles and Proper Nouns.

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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

or

new york

 

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Posted on 12 Dec 2014 around 1pm • Tagged with: CSS | Design | eBooks | Ideas | Typography | Permanent link to this article

Image for Page Numbers and Progress Bar

Page Numbers and Progress Bar

We all expect page numbers in our printed publications, but what about eBooks?

Page numbers in a re-flowable eBook, are kind of odd things, because if we (as readers) increase the font size, the page numbers need to change. Page numbers in a re-flowable eBook need to be dynamic and their display is under the control of the eReader software.

iBooks on the iPad displays the page numbers in a re-flowable eBook in the centre at the bottom of the page with the total number included - like this: '9 of 14'. An indicator bar also provides a clue as to how far along in the book we have reached and this will be visible when we tap to view user-interface elements.

But, what happens in a fixed-layout eBook? Do we get an indication of the current page location? And can we control this within the markup or metadata for the ePub3 standard.

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Posted on 20 Mar 2014 around 11pm • Tagged with: eBooks | Permanent link to this article

Image for Add a unique Class Name to the Body Tag in your ePub Chapters

Dreamweaver search with regular expressions

Add a unique Class Name to the Body Tag in your ePub Chapters

Edit: InDesign CC 2014 adds an ID value to the <body> tag, so if you have the latest version you will not need to use the method described in this article. When you export to ePUB, now, InDesign will add something like the following for the <body> tag:

<body id='dream-102' lang='en-GB' xml:lang='en-GB'>

The #dream-102 in this case is unique to page 102 in this eBook. Brilliant, we can now target each page individually with our CSS!

----------------- Continue reading if you have an earlier version of InDesign ------------

This GREP will help you add a class name to the body tag – like this

<body class="page3">

You know – so you can add some special CSS styles to each chapter in the eBook you just exported from InDesign.

Or maybe for each page – if you are making a fixed layout ePub.

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Posted on 13 Mar 2014 around 10pm • Tagged with: eBooks | How I do things | Permanent link to this article

Image for InDesign CC for print and ePub from the Same File?

Master Page items are ignored in ePub. TOC is on the pasteboard. Rule is used with an offset to create the background grey on the heading (ACT I). This needs to be put back with the background-color rule in the CSS of the ePub.

InDesign CC for print and ePub from the Same File?

Is it possible to use InDesign creatively so that the same file will produce good quality print (PDF) output, and then, with no modifications export for ePub3?

Often times, book publishers will have their design studios working with InDesign to produce PDFs for print output. At the end of that workflow, comes the decision to create an eBook version.

It is sometimes the case that the book designer has used InDesign in such a way that creating the eBook by exporting from InDesign is impractical unless the file is re-worked, with changes to the styling rules; the removal of style overides, the choice of a different font, the anchoring of pictures etc etc.

Through work conducted with my students on a Masters programme in Digital Publishing (OICPS), I have been exploring this challenge, since their stepping through the sequence of assignments goes from PDF for print > to ePub3 re-flowable (and beyond to a fixed-layout version). Phew!

What are the pitfalls and can book designers change their habits so publishers will not need to outsource this work?

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Posted on 06 Mar 2014 around 12pm • Tagged with: eBooks | Education | Publishing | Permanent link to this article

Image for Skeuomorphic eBooks - do you miss them?

Skeuomorphic eBooks - do you miss them?

With the latest version of iBooks for Apple's iOS7 comes the total disappearance of the 'look of the book'. No more pseudo leather look cover or page edges; no more shaded spine, nor even the wooden bookcase for your library.

Apple's decision to do this falls in to line with the re-design of iOS - making for a much simpler (minimalist - you might say) look and feel. Much of the shine and shadows on any icons and objects has gone.

When it comes to the iBooks app, there are some issues that need addressing and I am disappointed that publishers have lost some element of control. Strange things happen when you compare re-flowable with fixed layout though!

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Posted on 03 Jan 2014 around 1pm • Tagged with: Design | eBooks | Permanent link to this article

Image for Non-Linear Content in Fixed-Layout ePub

Here is a scrollable page linked from within the fixed-layout ePub.

Non-Linear Content in Fixed-Layout ePub

Being able to link to content within an eBook package but not have that content navigable by any other means is a very useful feature supported in re-flowable eBooks within the iBooks app on Apple iOS devices.

In my book on eBook Typography for Flowable eBooks, I demonstrate this feature for tables, scrolling text and even PDFs. Unfortunately, it was not possible to use this feature in fixed-layout ePub eBooks destined for the iBooks app.

Or so I thought! I have recently discovered that the latest version of the iBooks app on iOS7 does support it even though, Apple's own documentation says that it does not!

Edit: See below - it does work on earlier versions of iBooks /iOS

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Posted on 01 Jan 2014 around 4pm • Tagged with: eBooks | Permanent link to this article

Image for Balancing Long Lines in Headings

Here we see a page from a new edition of 'eBook Typography' - yet to be released.

Balancing Long Lines in Headings

InDesign has a feature for paragraph styles; Balance Ragged Lines.

This is a very useful style attribute, because text in headings can look very uncomfortable if left to break naturally.

Unfortunatately there is nothing currently in CSS that gives us the power to balance our lines of text. I was always dissapointed to find that my eBooks did not mirror the settings in InDesign, and I was always resigned to the fact that text would break in a heading and then leave, possibly just one word on the following line.

But then I came across a post on the Adobe Web Platform blog.

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Posted on 30 Dec 2013 around 12pm • Tagged with: eBooks | Typography | Permanent link to this article

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Original font selected

Embedding Fonts in eBooks

Edit: This article has been updated to take account of Indesign CC.

Note: The information provided here applies to eBooks created with the ePub3 standard. The font embedding techniques herein will only work properly if the ePub validates to the ePub3 standard.

Different devices offer different fonts, which may not be under the control of the book designer.

The iPad is the most sophisticated tablet that has a lot of built-in fonts, and these are available to the ebook designer.

When exporting to ePub from InDesign you can specify that the fonts are embedded.

InDesign CS6 CreativeCloud will encrypt the fonts using a method acceptable for the ePUB3 standard recognised by the International Digital Publishers Forum(IDPF). Unfortunately, the font files are also obvuscated and this is not acceptable to some eReaders.

Naturally enough, fonts embedded from the InDesign export to ePub3, will display correctly in Adobe Digital Editions. But what about getting these fonts to display on the Apple iOS devices, such as the iPad?

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Posted on 23 Mar 2013 around 7pm • Tagged with: eBooks | Typography | Permanent link to this article

Image for High Five for Hyphens

iPad users can turn on hyphenation and full justification

High Five for Hyphens

When it comes to the display of text in your re-flowable eBook, you have a some choices about hyphens.

Some general points

Hyphens can be useful to break up long words across the line break. This is particularly appropriate if you want to justify your text, since the renderer will need to space words out, and this can lead to uncomfortable spacing! But you need to adhere to the following rules:

  1. Don't justify headings. This is because they may not span the line, and so you are going to get horrid space between the words.
  2. Don't hyphenate the headings
  3. Don't justify your verse
  4. Only hyphenate if you are justifying the text and the line width (measure) is relatively short.

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Posted on 21 Mar 2013 around 1pm • Tagged with: eBooks | Permanent link to this article

Image for Character names in a re-fowable Shakespeare Play

A Midsummer Night's Dream first folio

Character names in a re-fowable Shakespeare Play

When building a Shakespeare play as a re-flowable ePUB3, one important design choice will be the display of the character names in relation to the words they speak.

In published works of the play this varies a lot and you can see here how the play was presented in the first folio.

The real issue for us is to try to achieve the arrangment of elements using InDesign, so that a print version may be possible as well as an eBook version from the same file. So what are the options?

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Posted on 14 Mar 2013 around 10am • Tagged with: eBooks | Software | Permanent link to this article

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