Can software ever be perfect? Of course not. There will always be the desire for improvement and bug fixing.
Software tools that are most often never perfect are those that need to link up with each other across the vendor divide. We should not complain though. We should make the best of it, and do our best.
Apple have been generous in the latest version of iBooks Author by providing 2 ways that we can get out content from Adobe InDesign into the free 'multi-touch' authoring environment. But, neither of these 2 methods are perfect and we need to develop our skills of patience and perseverance in order to achieve our goals.
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.
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?
Martyn Daniels pointed us towards the Random House promotion of the new Dr Hannibal Lecter novel from Thomas Harris.
Random House have set up a dedicated web site for the book here and after a creeping about in a virtual space you can get a sample of the book. Don't get too excited though. We don't think this is as good as it sounds. Here is Martyn Daniels site, where we first observed this topic.