Filed under Ideas
Image for Footnotes, Endnotes, Sidenotes and Popup Notes

Here we see the example of the first footnote in the chapter and the reference number in the text.

Footnotes, Endnotes, Sidenotes and Popup Notes

I start with a quote from Robert Bringhurst in his The Elements of Typographic Style:

“...the academic habit of relegating notes to the foot of the page or the end of the book is a mirror of Victorian social and domestic practice, in which the kitchen was kept out of sight and the servants were kept below stairs. If the notes are permitted to move around in the margins – as they were in Renaissance books – they can be present where needed and at the same time enrich the life of the page.”

In The Elements of Typographic Style, the notes are held in the side margins – thus putting the information near and even alongside the reference in the text. Robert Bringhurst doesn't need to bother with those little superscript numbers because the supplementary information is very much nearby for the reader.

Still, tradition dictates that in some books, there are footnotes and some there are endnotes (either at the end of the chapter or the end of the book). Putting notes in the side margins is nice if you can afford the space. Let's face it, book design and usability does not often win-out over commercial considerations. Robert Bringhurst's book is exceptional and – it is a beautiful thing. Lots of space for the text to breath.

How I dislike some books that give me less than a centimetre of margin.

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Posted on 17 Aug 2015 around 8am • Tagged with: Books | Ideas | Typography | Permanent link to this article

Image for Footnotes in Fixed Layout ePUB

This works best for our Shakespeare Play

Footnotes in Fixed Layout ePUB

If you are an InDesign (CC 2014) user planning to export a fixed-layout ePUB and you have footnotes in your document, you might be dissapointed to notice that there is no option to make these footnotes become popup notes using the ePUB3 standard epub:type.

In the export to ePUB(reflowable) options we can select the popup type, but not for the fixed layout. Your footnotes will remain exactly where they are – on the page. Dissapointing no?

InDesign will expect the footnotes to be in the same XHTML file where they are referenced. There are some settings in InDesign, but nothing will help us convert them to invisible notes that are only seen in a popup. Is there a solution while we wait for Adobe to release another version of InDesign?

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Posted on 22 Feb 2015 around 7pm • Tagged with: eBooks | Ideas | Software | Permanent link to this article

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 eBook Typography at the London Book Fair 2013

Infographic of the Talk

eBook Typography at the London Book Fair 2013

My talk during the 'Love Learning' Seminars at the London Book Fair 2013, had a large audience. If any of you are reading this - apologies that I over-ran my time slot and skipped over a few slides towards the end!

So much to say on this topic - hard to fit into a 50 minite slot.

Note: I presented from a PDF inside the iBooks app on the iPad. Just sweeping through the slides but double-tapping to enlarge images within the pages. This seems a very visually rich way to present and being already inside the iBooks app means that we can demonstrate eBooks from the library easily. There is less control than with Keynote. I did use Keynote to create the presentation but then exported out to PDF.

I post here a PDF of the slides. Audio will be added when I can get round to editing this in a few days.

 

Posted on 17 Apr 2013 around 9am • Tagged with: Ideas | Permanent link to this article

Image for Please don’t Justify me!

The configuration setting for iBooks has Full-Justification switched on

Please don’t Justify me!

In the iBooks app on the iPad the user has control over the justification. Well, that is, by default justification is turned on. Users can turn that off - but they probably don't! ‘cos they don‘t know where to find it.

How can eBook designers get the kind of alignment they prefer, and make the eBook stay like that?

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Posted on 22 Nov 2012 around 6pm • Tagged with: eBooks | Ideas | Typography | Permanent link to this article

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