Filed under eBooks
Image for Spacing my Guillemets

Figure 1. Good spacing achieved between the word and it's Guillemets

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

Image for Roundtripping InDesign and ePub re-flowable

Figure 1

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

Image for Oh! Please Avoid Those Page Breaks After

Education at the Bottom

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

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

Figure 0

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 12pm • 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 10pm • Tagged with: eBooks | Permanent link to this article

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