I've moved your question to the InDesign EPUB forum
I've mainly used iBooks (Macintosh OS X 10.9 and iPad) to test my Fixed Layout EPUBs. I haven't observed any flickering. Nor have I seen it in demos given by others such as Anne-Marie Concepcion on her presentation from MAX.
Mac Preview cannot read EPUB 3 files so that wouldn't be appropriate. What other EPUB readers have you tried?
The only workaround would be to create Reflowable EPUB which doesn't use span tags to position words.
BTW, have you considered saving a PDF file for a fixed layout instead of Fixed Layout EPUB?
The reason for going with EPUB fixed layout and not PDF is that we will need to support video and audio in the future and wanted to pick an open standard format as opposed to a closed standard like interactive PDF.
I have tried the following readers all resulting with the text flickering issue:
1.) iBooks on iOS
2.) Google Play Books on iOS
3.) SkyEpub App on Android
The only reader that seems to not flicker while selecting is Google Play Books on Android, but I don't know why the same file works in one app and not others with regards to text selection.
Would it be possible that this issue occurs because of the way the text is layout out in InDesign? since you don't have the issue with fixed layout EPUB that you created when using iBooks? or would it be possible the issue could be related to the export EPUB options? or is this issue dependent on the tablet / OS?
As last resort, would it be possible for you to provide me an example of fixed layout EPUB that does not have the text flickering problem that you created using InDesign? (my email is email@example.com).
I have posted a sample EPUB file I created using InDesign here. I created it simply by adding a text box and exporting to FXL using the default options in InDesign.
I have posted both EPUB and INDD files below.
If you download the this EPUB to the iPad and view it in iBooks or Google Play Books, you can see there is a text selection issue.
- On iBooks, if you select the text slowly, after every word the selection flickers to the beginning. This issue becomes more prevalent as you have more text, since more selected area flickers from selected to unselected.
- On Google Play Books, the selection issue is even worse, basically sometimes while selecting text the whole page is selected.
I hope somebody can try these files out and verify this issue I am seeing, or provide some light.