18 Replies Latest reply on Jun 7, 2011 10:56 AM by rvdziner

    .epub and .folio files


      I have spent all morning trying to find straightforward documentation on how to use the ePub features of Adobe CS 5.5. Installed that today.


      1. I can make an .ePub file with my content, but how in the world do you view it? If I click it on my Windows 7 64bit machine it has no idea what app to use. Do I launch it to my Web host and then download the free Adobe Viewer app from App store? Do ePubs have to be hosted on special servers like Adobe used to do with Flash streaming video?


      2. I have the desktop Adobe Content Viewer, but that wants .folio files, and I'm stumped how to create those. I tried the Folio extension panel in InDesign CS 5.5, but am wondering if that is something entirely different. I can't make .folio files for the desktop app.


      Thanks. The documentation on this is really scattered an lacking.

        • 1. Re: .epub and .folio files
          BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          You can download Adobe Digital Editions but it's a bit long in the tooth and in serious need of updating.


          Sorry, but DPS is way too involved to describe in one or two paragraphs.



          • 2. Re: .epub and .folio files
            rvdziner Level 1

            Adobe Digital Editions (and I could be wrong) doesn't seem to empower interactive contents like slideshows like the new Adobe Content Viewer desktop app that came in 5.5 is supposed to. So my point is if you are supposed to be able to preivew your ePub in ACV, how in the world do you make a .folio file to import into it?


            Also, went to try and view an ePub hosted on my Web server. When I went to get the app it said iPad only, so I guess iPhone and iPod are in the dark. So I could not verify if I can just throw an ePub file up online and view it or if it needs to be served in some special way.


            Thanks for someone filling in these blanks. Love the new features shown in Adobe TV, just want to be able to actually use them!

            • 3. Re: .epub and .folio files
              BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              EPUB itself has no support for most interactive content.



              • 4. Re: .epub and .folio files
                AllenCobb Level 2



                ePUB is a format used as a precursor (in most cases) to an eBook publishing format. That means you can export to ePUB from ID, but you'll probably need to further process the ePUB in some way to make an eBook that's fully compatible with the eReader of your choice. The ePUB output is, therefore, not part of the Digital Publishing System (DPS), which is a combination of InDesign features and various distribution, rights management, sales, and tracking services hosted by Adobe. The DPS is intended for rich, interactive "eMagazines" (my term) that go far beyond the capabilities of most current eReader devices or apps.


                For example, you would use ePUB if you wanted to convert a novel that's in print to a Kindle, iBook, or Nook edition. You'd have to use some additional tools (some automated, some (alas) involving a bit of manual hacking) to take the "reader agnostic" ePUB produced by ID to the platform-specific file required by a specific reader. Each reader has its own capabilities and limitations, so that makes the initial ePUB file just part of the process of building a final eBook of some kind.


                If, on the other hand, you're producing a rich, interactive eMagazine, like Wired or The New Yorker, for publication on iPads, you'll use additional tools and interactive features in ID5.5 to produce a .folio file. This can then be previewed with the viewer that comes with ID5.5, but it can't be published without having some distribution and sales services to handle that. So you sign up for the Adobe DPS services, and they take care of the lion's share of these publication mechanisms. If you just want to produce a .folio to see how it goes, then in theory you could let people download it (without DRM, usage tracking, sales, accounting, etc.) from your site, and view it with a copy of the Viewer.


                Of course, other rich interactive workflows are still available -- limited interactivity in PDFs, and essentially unlimited interactivity in Flash. Since ePUB itself is essentially a micro-website in HTML, you could also adapt ePUB output for use in Dreamweaver.


                I hope this helps put all this new jargon into perspective.



                • 5. Re: .epub and .folio files
                  BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                  Very good summary, but note that there are no addition features in CS5.5 for the production of .folio files.


                  For epub, however, CS5.5 is major upgrade.



                  • 6. Re: .epub and .folio files
                    Nina_Storm Level 1

                    Thank you Bob, for clarifying that there are no additional features in CS5.5 for the production of .folio files.


                    rvdziner, look in the new forum for .folios created using Digital Publishing Suite: http://forums.adobe.com/community/dps


                    They have a nice faq with links to documentation.


                    Nina Storm

                    • 7. Re: .epub and .folio files
                      AllenCobb Level 2

                      You can build a  .folio file in ID5.5 without a subscription to the DPS, using numerous  interactivity features that are germain mainly to eMag publishing. This  statement is from the ID5.5 user manual:


                      With  InDesign, you can create folios and preview them on a tablet device and  on a desktop previewer. However, a subscription to the Digital  Publishing Suite is necessary to build a custom viewer.


                      The Content Viewer works with .folio files, and you can preview your  content by simply opening the Overlay Creator and clicking the Preview  button. The CV displays your content from a .folio file created at that  time. As the quote above mentions, the chrome is entirely fixed, so you  can't do anything with the outer shell of the viewer, but your content  is now inside a .folio file, and you can make as many of them as you  like without any Adobe subscriptions.


                      TIP - To make multiple .folio files:


                      You'll have to copy and rename them.  They're in  C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\<InDesignSessionID>\Local  Store\overlaypreview.folio, which is easy to find if you search for  *.folio on your system drive. This folder and file disappear when ID5.5  closes, so search while it's open! Note that you can't change the name  that appears in the Content Viewer -- it's hard-wired into the .folio  generated by the Preview button.


                      Unfortunately, the quote also (by omission) implies that a custom viewer is the main thing you might want a DPS subscription for, which of course is misleading -- the CV is just the tip of the DPS iceberg.


                      Without a DPS subscription, however, the Folio Builder works by  signing in to an existing Adobe Acrobat account -- this activates the  Folio Builder extension in ID 5.5.


                      A free account on Acrobat.com (which I believe comes with ID) entitles you to just one folio project (paid accounts with more workspaces can create more folios). However, if there's no way to get that .folio  file itself off of Acrobat.com, to use outside a hosted environment,  then I was indeed misleading the reader, and I apologise for the  inaccuracy. (Of course, a folio on Acrobat.com can be shared with guests  to that account.)


                      I believe that previewing content in the Content Viewer  is supposed to simulate all the features of a .folio file without a  custom viewer shell. (Please correct me if I'm wrong about this; I don't  yet know from experience how accurate the CV really is.) The CV works  outside of ID, and invites you do drop a .folio file onto it for  viewing. One could theoretically send a demo .folio file along with the  CV executable to someone else so they could view the content, but I  haven't tested this yet, or explored IP issues for on the CV itself. (There may be required binaries that are only available when ID has been installed, but I suspect not.)


                      The Acrobat.com subscriptions, which are very inexpensive ($149/yr  or $390/yr) compared to either of the current commercial DPS  subscriptions ($thousands), provide a way to experiment with folios and  develop the associated skills.


                      Adobe  could certainly have done a much better job presenting the DPS, and  making the vast majority of ID users more aware of what's what. The user  manual provides about 150 words on the whole concept. Many prospective  users will want to get this kind of information clearly and succinctly  without a lot of digging. Most people I talk to are still very confused  about this new direction in document creation. Myself included!




                      • 8. Re: .epub and .folio files

                        Hello everybody,


                        I am having a similar issue with. epub and .folio files. I have read all the comments, but some things are still a bit unclear (sorry if it has been mentioned)
                        I have made a magazine (in IndesignCS4) and now want to make an interactive version (on Indesign CS5) for an ipad2, and I only have 5 days to complete this (university project), therefore my questions are;


                        If I make a .folio file in Indesign, can I view this in CV on my destop or iPad. Or do I need to be a DSP client to have CV (how do i get CV)?


                        Otherwise i could make an .epub file in Indesign, download the new Ibook for Ipad2 (I believe) that now also supports .epub files. but does this have the same interactivity as a.folio file, in terms of video and audio?

                        info: Terry White's video  http://terrywhite.com/techblog/archives/5179


                        In short, what is the best way to make one magazine in an interactive version for an iPad




                        • 9. Re: .epub and .folio files
                          AllenCobb Level 2

                          To rebuild your magazine as a folio, you could start by just previewing it in the Overlay Manager and then save the generated .folio file. But this would require InDesign 5.5, and some sneaking around on your disc to get the .folio file. Also, the "player" of your folio would be the Content Viewer, and the .folio produced by Preview doesn't support custom chrome or player features. So the title would be "Canned Magazine Title 12345" (I kid you not), and the CV itself is just a simple app frame without frills. However, the interactivity you add in InDesign should all work. You'd have to find a copy of the CV on your destination platform to play it. You could also dig into the .folio file and mess with the contents (change .folio to .zip and hack away). But all this would be a very tall order in 5 days!


                          To answer your specific questions, though:


                          Yes, you can view a .folio file with CV, wherever it's installed. No, you do not need to be a DPS client -- CV comes with InDesign 5.5. I'm not sure how you might get it if you have ID5, however.


                          If you have a free account on Acrobat.com, you can build one real folio production there. I'm not sure if you can then do what you want with the resulting .folio file. For $149/year you can do several .folio projects on Acrobat.com. If you're not actually publishing (protecting, distributing, selling, tracking, etc.), then you don't need DPS.


                          Don't confuse folios with ePUB. ePUB is an output format that's nearly compatible with Kindle, iBooks, Nook, etc. (with a little arcane tweaking). Folio is an elaborate richly interactive publishing format designed for professional magazines in a dedicated, integrated, Adobe reader app.


                          I hope this helps,



                          • 10. Re: .epub and .folio files
                            AllenCobb Level 2

                            By the way, Bob, thanks for your kind words. Coming from someone with 16,000+ more posts than me, it's much appreciated!



                            • 11. Re: .epub and .folio files
                              dutchy01 Level 1


                              • 12. Re: .epub and .folio files
                                rvdziner Level 1

                                Wow, thanks all for the responses.


                                I'm guessing most designers don't have time to figure all this out. I  hope that this will turn out like Flash streaming video where enough  people figured a way around paying an Adobe partner to serve that  content. I'm also hoping it will be much more straightforward in  exporting and publishing.


                                Sounds like for now I can use the Preiview link in the Overlay Creator panel to see my ePub in Adobe Content Viewer on my dektop, however if I want to share it online then it has to be a .folio file an I have pay an Adobe partner to convert/serve that. Is that the jist of it?



                                • 13. Re: .epub and .folio files
                                  AllenCobb Level 2

                                  That's basically it, but I don't think you would have too much trouble locating the .folio file used by the previewer; then you could copy that somewhere else. It would still have to be viewed by a copy of the previewer, of course, but you can copy the previewer app as well.


                                  This approach would be acceptable for a limited number of other computers, but I doubt if Adobe would condone distributing the CV online. (I could be wrong about that -- they might well be OK with that.)



                                  • 14. Re: .epub and .folio files
                                    rvdziner Level 1

                                    OK, I did locate the .folio file on my computer and believe you're right. I can rename it so when I preview again it will write a new one.


                                    Is there any reason the free Adobe Content Viewer app from iTunes wouldn't work to view .folio files hosted on a Web server?


                                    I don't have an iPad to test.



                                    • 15. Re: .epub and .folio files
                                      AllenCobb Level 2

                                      I'm not sure why the iTunes viewer app isn't working. I haven't testing any of this on an iPhone or iPad yet.



                                      • 16. Re: .epub and .folio files
                                        rvdziner Level 1

                                        Sorry wasn't saying the Adobe Content Viewer app wasn't working, was asking if it would since I have no way to test for now.


                                        Was very sad to see that app only works for iPad, not iPhone or iPod touch. I realize ePubs might be intended for online magazines and eBooks, however the features would be awesome to use for smaller screens as well.

                                        • 17. Re: .epub and .folio files
                                          AllenCobb Level 2

                                          Sorry -- I misread your subjunctive as past tense!


                                          For the time being, the horsepower required to support the multimedia features of a folio, and the amount of RAM usually involved, would be a strain on most hand-held devices. But I'm sure in the near future shirt-pocket-sized devices will have more than enough power and space.


                                          FWIW, my limited use of the iPhone4/iPod4 has convinced me that a very small display like that, with pixel resolution comparable to a full-sized display, is a very practical solution if the user is willing to hold it very close, possibly with close-up reading glasses. Although this approach looks a little odd ("That that guy is really myopic!"), it isn't any worse than wearing some expensive (and unavailable) eyeglass display, and it gets you a decent view of docs and websites for $19.



                                          • 18. Re: .epub and .folio files
                                            rvdziner Level 1

                                            I chuckled when Adobe first started adding Web /  Flash export features from InDesign. Watching CS 5.5 videos about ePub  though I am starting to see the genius behind it.


                                            Apple and others are highly influencing peope towards using iDevices rather than desktops and notebooks. The problem is Web designers are not necessarily mobile designers.


                                            One day perhaps a brochure I do in InDesign can double as the Web site. Maybe additional Web navigation would only show on an iDevice or people start to use the page thumbnails and move back to a more book based table of contents navigation. Imagine all the benefits of online distribution in a much more dramatic print layout with interactive multimedia features... alll without writing one lie of code!


                                            I'd like to see it viewable on iPod touch an iPhone as well. Technology is already there to sniff if a user has such and such device so redirect them to a specific version. Think of InDesign giving you options to hide/show/reformat based on screen size or device. Designing and maintaining less pieces of collateral would be HUGE.


                                            Just has me dreaming. Will get my boss to try the .folio file on his iPad tonight.


                                            Thanks for your ideas and thoughts in the thread.