17 Replies Latest reply on Feb 26, 2015 12:35 PM by Max H Herr

    How to convert an InDesign print document to EPUB?

    Dennis Whitehead Level 1

      Learning as I'm going...

       

      I produced a 6x9" format print book and now wish to publish a matching ebook. While setting up a New document allows opening for Digital Publishing, I do not see a conversion function.

       

      I tried opening a New document for Digital Publishing and Place the print book within the pages but only one page placed. I had added the full number of pages to the document, so there was room to move ahead.

       

      How can this be achieved?

        • 1. Re: How to convert an InDesign print document to EPUB?
          Derek Cross Level 6

          Hi Dennis

          Welcome to the forum.

           

          You to create a new version of your book for a reflowable text ePub, which is quite a different animal from a print version. Briefly: Create a new InDesign document with an intent of Digital Publishing. Place your text, then style it using Paragraph and Character Styles, and anchor images. Your original page size is irrelevant as the text is one continuous document and there are no page numbers.

          Subsequently you can convert your ePub into a Mobi file, which is the format used for the Kindle.

           

          It's best to use the latest version of InDesign (currently CC2014.1) to create ePubs. It's not intuitive and it's highly recommended you learn more about creating ePubs by viewing the excellent Lynda.com tutorial: http://www.lynda.com/EPUB-tutorials/InDesign-CC-EPUB-Fundamentals/143324-2.html


          And of course you can ask specific questions on here!

          Derek

          • 2. Re: How to convert an InDesign print document to EPUB?
            Dennis Whitehead Level 1

            Thanks Derek!

             

            It is a fixed fixed-layout as images are woven into the text throughout. Tried to make it reflowable but not going there again. Heck, I just resized all of the photos to reduce the document size and make each compliant with standards.

             

            I tried opening a new Digital Publishing doc with adequate pages to handle the text flow but only the first page placed, without a text link.

             

            I am using 2014 and will definitely check out the Lynda tutorial.

             

            Thanks

             

            Dennis

            • 3. Re: How to convert an InDesign print document to EPUB?
              Derek Cross Level 6

              Lynda.com also have a recently added a tutorial by AM on producing fixed layout ePubs from InDesign CC:

              Watch the Online Video Course Creating Fixed-Layout EPUBs with InDesign CC

              • 4. Re: How to convert an InDesign print document to EPUB?
                AnneMarie Concepcion Adobe Community Professional

                Thank you Derek for the referrals to my titles on lynda.com!

                 

                It is all so confusing for new users, you have my sympathy Dennis, but soon it'll get clear. I think one main thing is that you usually don't need to start over. Just do a Save As to your print doc and mess around with it there, then export to epub. Especially if you're going for fixed-layout. Keep it at 6" by 9" and export to single- or facing-pages (spreads) as an EPUB.

                 

                I have a number of titles on lynda.com about creating EPUBs, all for beginning/intermediate ebook designers. The three most current are:

                 

                Creating Fixed-Layout EPUBs with InDesign CC

                This is for InDesign CC and CC 2014, and covers how to convert an InDesign layout to a fixed-layout EPUB. It includes a full chapter on using the interactive features (animations, slideshows, cross-refs, etc.) and a full chapter on working around some problem areas. And I show how to crack it open and add some simple code to do things that InDesign can't do (yet) like embed a remotely-hosted video.

                 

                InDesign CC: EPUB Fundaments

                This covers creating the more typical reflowable EPUB 2 and EPUB 3 ebooks from InDesign, which requires a lot more prep to the InDesign file than Fixed-Layout does (but is much more widely supported than Fixed-Layout format is). This includes converting the file to a Kindle book too, which you can't quite do with a fixed-layout epub.

                 

                Creating a Fixed-Layout EPUB

                I wrote and recorded this a couple years ago before InDesign supported the export format. It shows how to create a Fixed Layout EPUB from scratch -- I show how to write the HTML files yourself, and include a template to get you started. There are chapters on converting PDFs and earlier versions of InDesign to fixed-layout too.

                 

                All of these include free sample movies, but you'll need a lynda.com subscription to see all the movies. You can usehttp://lynda.com/freepass/amconcepcion for a free trial week. You'll need to give them your credit card up front though, and remember to cancel before the week's up.  However the sub is only $25/mo and you can cancel after a month, it's a good deal.

                 

                You should check out InDesignSecrets.com, InDesign Magazine, and ePubSecrets.com for more ongoing info on InDesign and EPUBs.

                 

                Hope some of these help!

                 

                AM

                • 5. Re: How to convert an InDesign print document to EPUB?
                  Dennis Whitehead Level 1

                  Thank you! I thoroughly enjoyed your Lynda tutorials and learned a great deal. I think I finally have it down and am exporting to EPUB as I write. Next will be a live test as a Kindle and then onward and upward.

                   

                  Even before it's processed, I know that a familiar error message will appear:

                   

                  Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 10.18.44 AM.png

                  Any clue?

                   

                  Many thanks for your help!

                   

                  Dennis

                  • 6. Re: How to convert an InDesign print document to EPUB?
                    Dennis Whitehead Level 1

                    Oh well, after resizing all of the nearly-300 images and generally cleaning up the EPUB file, the book looks great on my desktop Kindle Previewer but when uploaded to Amazon, their online previewer results in a total type mash-up. It's as though .mobi can't handle 6x9 format. Very frustrating!

                    • 7. Re: How to convert an InDesign print document to EPUB?
                      AnneMarie Concepcion Adobe Community Professional

                      Are you converting a fixed layout EPUB to MOBI or a reflowable EPUB to MOBI?

                       

                      The former isn't supported, only the latter is. Preview will try to convert *any* EPUB you feed it (it won't error out with a "FXL not supported" error message) so your end result might be like that scene in the The Fly (with Jeff Goldblum) where the machine turns the dog inside out. Only more gory.

                       

                      Kindle does have a fixed layout format but the markup is significantly different than EPUB and it does not support any interactivity other than links, I believe.

                       

                      AM

                      • 8. Re: How to convert an InDesign print document to EPUB?
                        Dennis Whitehead Level 1

                        Hmmm... Very interesting!

                         

                        Fixed-layout. I'll give it a try tomorrow uploading the EPUB file to Amazon to see if that works.

                         

                        I only have links, no real interactivity. The primary reason for the fixed format is the wrapping of many images within the text.

                         

                        And, I'm running into another mysterious error message when trying to upload to iBook: ERROR: LOVE_AND_SACRIFICE_EPUBfinal.epub/OEBPS/toc/xhtml(10,10): element "ol" not allowed here; expected the element end-tag or element "li"

                         

                        Both Apple and EPUBCHEECK pick it up but no real clue what it means. I know the location of OEBPS but m I supposed to change every reference to "ol" to "li"?

                         

                        "Ay" "yi" "yi"!

                        • 9. Re: How to convert an InDesign print document to EPUB?
                          Dennis Whitehead Level 1

                          Same result when uploading EPUB to Amazon and viewing with their online previewer...

                           

                          Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 11.40.43 PM.png

                          • 10. Re: How to convert an InDesign print document to EPUB?
                            AnneMarie Concepcion Adobe Community Professional

                            Try exporting to reflowable EPUB and convert to MOBI.

                             

                            It looks like the text is getting messed up w/all the absolutely-positioned words that InDesign creates in an FXL.

                             

                            AM

                            • 11. Re: How to convert an InDesign print document to EPUB?
                              Dennis Whitehead Level 1

                              Can't export as reflowable since this is a tightly laid out document. Once the flows loosens, text and images go flying all over the place.

                              • 12. Re: How to convert an InDesign print document to EPUB?
                                Ellis home Level 4

                                If you can try a few pages selecting all text and un-checking ligatures and see if that improves rendering. I did a quick test using Kindle Previewer and it got rid of letters running into each other.

                                • 13. Re: How to convert an InDesign print document to EPUB?
                                  Dennis Whitehead Level 1

                                  Still crushed. Took one page and created a new file. Turned the ligature off the body text and nothing appeared to change, except that it wouldn't change from a landscape view, making the page image very small (made worse that I'm viewing without my glasses).

                                   

                                  There was a noticeable gap, a tab or two, between the opening words in set in Trajan Pro to the Minion body text.

                                  • 14. Re: How to convert an InDesign print document to EPUB?
                                    Ellis home Level 4

                                    Right. To the naked eye you don't see any difference. The trick is to turn off ligatures with all text selected. Otherwise it does not have any effect.

                                    • 15. Re: How to convert an InDesign print document to EPUB?
                                      Dennis Whitehead Level 1

                                      Update on the "Index Page entry note found : 54" message

                                       

                                      Something was corrupted in the Index, so I deleted the existing Index and created a new one, et voila!, Error 54 vanished.

                                       

                                      That said, I still can't upload to iBooks due to "OEBPS/toc.xhtml(10): element "ol" not allowed here; expected the element end-tag or element "li""

                                       

                                      I edited OEBPS and changed every <ol> to <li> - rejected for inability to read nav. Changed <ol> to <li> above, what I presume to be the nav line and back to the error message above.

                                       

                                      And, I have not tried Ellis' suggestion to turn off ligatures in all text on page. I'm afraid what the net effect could be on 350 pages, but I'll try one.

                                      • 16. Re: How to convert an InDesign print document to EPUB?
                                        Dennis Whitehead Level 1

                                        Turned off ligatures in all text on the selected page and the result was the same - mash-up

                                        • 17. Re: How to convert an InDesign print document to EPUB?
                                          Max H Herr Level 1

                                          That said, I still can't upload to iBooks due to "OEBPS/toc.xhtml(10): element "ol" not allowed here; expected the element end-tag or element "li""

                                           

                                          I was having the same problem at IngramSpark.  I discovered that it is an easy fix.  You need to install the CALIBRE ebook management program (it's free).  Then you open up the EPUB file in the EBOOK EDITOR built into Calibre.  You will see the HTML side by side with the visual book.   The error message I was getting from IngramSpark indicated that the problem was seen at "10,10" which, I discovered, was line 10 of the table of contents, and the offending HTML started at position 10 from the left margin.  Sure enough, there was an <ol> code there.  When I replaced it with <li>, it screwed up the TOC.  When I simply deleted the whole line of code, nothing happened to the TOC, and I saved the file and reuploaded to IngramSpark. 

                                           

                                          That error was not reported again, but a new error about </nav> was identified at "32,6".  Reexamining the EPUB file, on line 32 there was a </nav> end tag of some sort.  I deleted the line, nothing happened to the visual file, and I resaved the epub.  When I uploaded two minutes later to IngramSpark, voila! The file passed the validation routine.

                                           

                                          I have not found this information anywhere else on the Internet or at Adobe.com.  I did not realize that this capability was in the Calibre program I've had for a couple of years, because I had never encountered this problem before.  Hope it helps all who stumble upon it here.