10 Replies Latest reply on Apr 22, 2014 4:59 AM by BobLevine

    epub formatting questions.

    r_tist Level 1



      I've read that the epub format does not support tabs. What should I do as a substitute? Does it support actual regular spacebar spaces instead?


      How about for paragraph returns...do I use the 'return' key to add large gaps of space between content if needed? Thinking if I have a title page with title in upper half of "page", and then author name on lower half.


      Finally, I've read there are no page breaks (for obvious reasons), but to separate out my chapters intentionally, what's the technique to use? I read somewhere that you can make a picture frame box, rasterize it, etc... Looking for best practice; what's the standard method?


      Lastly, if someone is pretty good with HTML / CSS, should one even bother using InDesign? Is it best to layout in Dreamweaver with an accompanying stylesheet?


      Thanks for your input!

        • 1. Re: epub formatting questions.
          pooja2087 Adobe Employee



          Over the past few releases, InDesign has been focussing on improving EPUB export workflow and making it easier for the users to publish an EPUB which is valid and can be directly submitted to the ebookstores without the absolute need for the users to make manual edits in the HTML/CSS mark-up unless one wants to as per his workflow.


          The following documents list the enhancements we have made in CC and 9.2 version:



          http://helpx.adobe.com/content/dam/help/en/indesign/InDesign_EPUB_Chan ges_CC_9.0_to_9.2.pdf


          Multiples pargraph returns are not honored and converted to a single paragraph return. To achieve spaces between the paragraphs, you can specify Space before/after in paragraph style options dialog. This get mapped to margin-top and margin-bottom CSS properties and could be used to achieve the same visual appearance.


          To separate out your chapters, you can opt for splitting your EPUB which you can achieve by means of paragraph styles. In paragraph styles options dialog, there is a option in export Tagging section which is named as "Split Document (EPUB only)".  If this is checked, then you can select this paragraph style in the EPUB export dialog  to split your EPUB when this paragraph style is encountered and create multiple xhtml files.


          You can also insert page breaks on objects to start your chapter on a new page but in a single xhtml file. For example, suppose you have an image at the end of the chapter, you can specify "Insert Page break after" on it so that the content after it appears on the new page.




          • 2. Re: epub formatting questions.
            Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            I highly recommend Anne-Marie Concepcion's video series on Lynda.com about creating EPUB in InDesign CC:


                    InDesign CC: EPUB Fundamentals      


            You can get a free Lynda.com trial here:



            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: epub formatting questions.
              r_tist Level 1

              OK, so I am testing as I assign styles to see how they render.


              The title has two lines of text, I assigned two different paragraph styles to the two lines. Why when I add 'space after' for the first line, it is not acknowledging when I export the ePub?  - I want there to be a set defined about of space between those two lines, and right now, it is ignoring the rule and butting up those two lines against each other.


              How do I resolve?



              • 4. Re: epub formatting questions.
                Ellis home Level 4

                Can you post a screenshot. Space After should work. See example. Top is ID doc, bottom epub in ADE.

                Space After.JPG

                • 5. Re: epub formatting questions.
                  r_tist Level 1

                  OK, I'm now seeing what a part of the problem was. When I export, and the ePub auto opens...whatever that application it "default opens in", is rendering everything completely wrong.


                  However, when I manually drag into Adobe Editions, I see the formatting as I set / intended.  - What's up with that default program that opens the EPUB file?


                  One more question. I want the first line (name of book) to come down from top edge somewhat (like a regular book). I've tried setting 'space before' and even adding an extra paragraph return + assigning that 'invisibles' symbol with the same paragraph style to include the space before. - That style is not taking at the moment.

                  I'd really like it to drop down just a bit more so it looks more appealing to the eye.  What would you suggest? Do I really need to anchor in a white rectangular box to set that distance to my liking?


                  Thank you.

                  • 6. Re: epub formatting questions.
                    Ellis home Level 4

                    Regarding the application that opens by default. Find the epub file, right click on it (if you are using Windows) and choose ADE as the "Open with" option.


                    For the top space not sure what you mean by invisible symbol. If what you mean is to create a paragraph style with the minimum size allowed 0.1 pt, no color, Space After needed (and just type say a period to apply it). That should work. Others might have different ways to achieve the same. In this example I used 0.5 in Space After.

                    Top Space.JPG

                    • 7. Re: epub formatting questions.
                      Herbert2001 Level 4

                      If you are comfortable with html and css I would not use InDesign for epub publishing - unless you happen to have an existing library of books created in InDesign and/or it is part of a publishing workflow to multiple platforms.


                      There are, btw, many free and commercial epub editing and publishing tools available:

                      Sigil, for example (which I like to use for general epub editing), has some very nice features like a code editor and wysiwyg editor combined with toc generator, index generator, validators, svg import, css editor, and so on. It is far more comfortable to be editing in Sigil than in InDesign (and faster), because it is its primary focus. And it happens to be free :-) It also works very well together with other code editors and image editors. I happen to use Netbeans in combination with Sigil for this type of work. Another drawback of InDesign CS6 is that I cannot import SVG files and have them exported in my epub files. Sigil has no such issues - I can even open the svg code for inspection and edit it if required. Arguably you also have much more control over the content and exact image quality/optimization in Sigil (since you would be working directly with these files, rather than relying on InDesign's optimization).


                      Sigil: https://code.google.com/p/sigil/


                      BookType is a collaborative e-publishing platform that goes beyond a simple editor. It allows a team of authors to work on books, and outputs to pdf, epub, mobi, odt and html, and services like Lulu.com. BookType is free (open source), though since it is "cloud" based to install it on your own machine you will have to run it in your own webserver.





                      These will probably serve as more focused epub publishing environments. Of course, you can always export epub files from InDesign, and check/clean things in Sigil, for example. Up to you.


                      No matter whether you use InDesign or not, I would invest some time to get aquainted with html and css to gain full control over epub editing and publishing.

                      • 8. Re: epub formatting questions.
                        r_tist Level 1

                        Sigil was the answer. - What a difference! As the ePub is a series of XHTML files, this made far more sense.

                        Breezed through the text without all the roadblocks InDesign caused every step of the way...

                        • 9. Re: epub formatting questions.
                          Herbert2001 Level 4

                          Good to hear it worked out for you. Oftentimes a specialized tool may present a better workflow than an all-purpose application.


                          I also prefer Sigil for this type of work.

                          • 10. Re: epub formatting questions.
                            BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                            Moved to InDesign EPUB forum.