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interactive epub with indesign?

May 19, 2011 12:27 AM

Hi, I'm new here,


I got a few things I do not know how to go about to do it, hope that your guys can help me.


I want to creat an interactive epub ebook, but I do not know how.


How do I embed interaction into epub ebook? Like buttons and slide shows?


How do I embed videos into epub ebook? So that iBook for iPad will be able to play videos?


my focus is centered on iPad iBook, a ebook that is able to have interaction and videos embeded.


I've try to embed them on my own, try here and there, when I've done it, the preview of inDesign shows that my interactiona and videos will work and play, but when I export them to epub format, they've dissappeared!


What did I do wrong?


Please help!

  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2011 5:40 AM   in reply to Sam_ebook

    You need to do a bit more studying on the capability of EPUB. Most of what you want to do simply isn't supported.


    Check out Liz Castro's excellent book on the subject:



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 24, 2011 3:27 AM   in reply to Sam_ebook

    InDesign ONLY offers the ability to export basic layouts to epub.


    In the same way as it can save a page as an image. But it doesn't allow for cloning and our features that a photo editing program does like Photoshop.

    If that makes sense.


    You need to start looking at programs which are more suited to web design, which is what and epub is....a web site wrapped inside a .epub container.


    Look at Dreamweaver etc. Also take a look at the IDPF Specs on .epub

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 24, 2011 3:39 AM   in reply to Sam_ebook

    Welcome to the forum Sam!


    The thing is, InDesign (versions 5/5.5) can output (export) many kinds of content but not all devices currently available can read them.


    Some examples of the issues:


    – PDFs files can be read on most devices, and can include rich media, but the text is not reflowable, as it is with ePub and similar content produced for eReading devices.


    – Output for many eReaders currently available is in greyscale only and won't recognise video and can only have simple design values.


    – InDesign can export Flash files which can be really exciting but these aren't playable on the iPad.


    And so it goes on. A new ePub specification has recently been published, which includes many of the required updates, but it may be some time before devices are produced that can incorporate them.


    You have to decide which features are important for the kind of content you want to publish and produce version(s) for these devices: that is are you producing content for computers, the various tablets, the smart phones and eBoook Readers (and there are a number of kinds with different file formats for these: e.g. Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader)?



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 24, 2011 5:41 AM   in reply to Sam_ebook

    The only way to use video and audio in EPUB at the present time is through iBooks.



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 31, 2012 7:56 AM   in reply to Bob Levine

    I know this thread is from last spring - but hopefully someone can answer a similar question.  I have a customer who wants an Interactive Workbook prepared.  Something that would load excel files upon click, and have hyperlinks to other info (that's the easy part.) 


    As far as I can tell, this is still beyond the ePub abilities of InDesign.  Is iBooks still my best source for such an animal?


    Thanks in advance for any input!



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 31, 2012 8:34 AM   in reply to kellisswan

    iBooks is an entirely different product from Apple, and I don't think anyone on this forum would dare to tell what's possible and what's not. Best ask Apple!


    That said: I don't think so.


    iBooks is firmly and solely targeted at being viewed on an iPad, so where would the Excel documents come from? It's also just a look-and-feel thing, more like a rich Web layout -- any interactivity would have to be done through custom Javascript, if that's even possible!

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 1, 2012 7:24 AM   in reply to Sam_ebook

    Thanks Sam!  That is very helpful.


    As far as I can tell right now, Apple's iBook Author offers the most dynamic platform for an individual to self-publish an interactive ebook.  However, as is the usual with Apple, it is a closed system and their user agreement states that a book (for sale) may only be published through their own iBookstore.


    I am am currently investigating the possibility of using Apple's product to get my client's interactive version published, then creating a print version and a less interactive ePub version in InDesign CS5.5 - to be distrubuted via other markets/avenues.


    If anyone sees a flaw in my plan - please chime in LOL!  :-)


    Thanks again,


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