15 Replies Latest reply on Sep 2, 2017 7:25 PM by dvtdvt

    epub3 back button?


      I need to create an iphone fixed layout epub3 with internal hyperlinks/cross references and then a BACK BUTTON (on the master page) to return the reader to where they clicked on the cross ref. I've done this in PDFs (which works, but is problematic because few ios readers support it). This document needs to be extremely compatible since it is a schedule for a conference. I cannot figure out how to create a back button that will work in an epub3 on the iphone or android phone in a free reader like ibooks. The action that controls that states it apparently only works for PDFs.

        • 1. Re: epub3 back button?
          Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Moving to InDesign EPUB forum

          • 3. Re: epub3 back button?
            dvtdvt Level 1

            Thank you for that. Unfortunately I'm constrained to using Indesign because the document must also be laid out for print at the same time using the same text files in alternate layouts - there are numerous last minute changes that occur with this every year so having to change text in two different places would not work. Also, I will not be able to get authorization for the additional costs.


            This doesn't seem like it should be that hard!


            I've been trying work arounds, but I can't even get next page buttons to work in epub preview. Very frustrated. Hyperlinks work fine, but that is not going to be possible with hundreds of cross links.

            • 4. Re: epub3 back button?
              Derek Cross Adobe Community Professional

              You can still use InDesign with Circular Flo.

              • 5. Re: epub3 back button?
                Derek Cross Adobe Community Professional

                Also have a look at in5, although there's additional an addition cost: Ajar Productions: in5 - Home

                • 6. Re: epub3 back button?
                  Derek Cross Adobe Community Professional

                  How will you be able to use the same files for print as for the FXL ePub version if you're targeting smart phones for the digital version?

                  • 7. Re: epub3 back button?
                    dvtdvt Level 1

                    Alternate Layout.

                    • 8. Re: epub3 back button?
                      BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                      I doubt very much that’s going to work very well.


                      You’re better off finalizing the print version and then saving it as a new file for the EPUB.

                      • 9. Re: epub3 back button?
                        dvtdvt Level 1

                        well, you got me all excited about in5 - until I saw it was a subscription - not even purchase out right! I cannot get my boss to fork over any extra, let alone for a subscription for a single document we don't need until next year. I need to start learning it now and creating prototypes and workflow for review, which would mean having to pay out $hundreds for a single document. Not gonna happen.


                        I just want to create a fairly simple epub with a few navigation buttons in a program that claims to be able to do it and we're already paying hundreds of dollars for every year! why is this so hard?

                        • 10. Re: epub3 back button?
                          dvtdvt Level 1

                          You are probably right. I'm experimenting with a draft doc now. Luckily we won't need the epub until after the print version is sent to the printer, so that would work, plus the print version doesn't have some of the elements the epub will have. so it probably makes sense to do them separately. I have a year to figure this out.

                          • 11. Re: epub3 back button?
                            Derek Cross Adobe Community Professional

                            You can buy a month's worth (or more) of in5. You only need it to create your document.

                            • 12. Re: epub3 back button?
                              dvtdvt Level 1

                              I might just do that. So far I've been finding work arounds for the epub, so I'm going to keep working on that. The UI is essentially the same even if it gets output to HTML5, so I can keep working on it in indesign to the the interface and layout the way i want, and then decide on final output. thanks for the tip. I actually am using their scrolling script already, and saw the in5 but didn't really know what it was all about. The scrolling script works great in the epub luckily.

                              • 13. Re: epub3 back button?
                                dvtdvt Level 1

                                Well, after spending hours and hours experimenting and researching, I have decided to go back to plan A - use PDF and NOT epub3. I output my document in both and suddenly realized some more limitations and problems in the epub3 that simply will not be acceptable, namely:


                                1. transparent objects not transparent - the point of this was to make a cool looking "ebook" but many of the graphics I had used in the original print document had transparent backgrounds to float over a page background. For example I had a film reel, and when I thought it would be fun to animate it in the mobile version, I realized the transparency was gone. So after another 1/2 hour researching, I discovered you can't use them in epub.


                                2. back button - there is just no easy built in solution in indesign for epub. And although the button doesn't work in all ios PDF readers, it works in some and will hopefully be added to others.


                                3. size - I was shocked to see how different in size the two exports were - the epub was 44 MB and the PDF was 1.2 MB!!! Maybe there is some optimization I could do with the epub, but they were both exporting at about 150 dpi. I was wondering why the epub was taking so long to load into ibooks!


                                4. Compatibility - the PDF is essentially 100% compatible with anyone's system be it phone, tablet or computer, mac/pc, ios/android. The epub is compatible on tablets/phones and only with a special download is it compatible on computers (even adobe's digital editions sucks on my windows machine).


                                5. #4 is important for this reason - I am designing this so people can print it - I know that sounds weird, but this is a program schedule, and is replacing a printed program. My surveys of participants tell me they like to print out the schedule before they come. So I am designing this so it can be opened in adobe reader and then printed multiple up - 6 on a page fit perfectly and is still quite readable (I'll just set the button menus to not print).


                                7. #4 is also important for proofing. I had included some cool scrolling frames (Ajar) and I really really liked them - until it came time to a) edit the text in them (possible, but tedious) and b) print them for me and my client to proof. Since this document will have numerous last minute changes, editability and proofing are critical. I need to avoid anything that will make that process more difficult.


                                8. And finally, I KNOW how to make a PDF - I create them all the time and have designed numerous highly interactive complex documents for large books with tons of cross references and even a back button. But knowing the problems with PDF reader limitations, and hoping to find that the epub was superior regarding interactivity, I delved into that as the format for this project, especially after seeing Terry White's video comparing them. He did not mention any of these limitations (or work arounds if there are any). So, while I feel that I didn't exactly waste time exploring this option, especially since technology is constantly changing and it's good for me to keep up with new features and formats, but I confirmed that PDF is still a superior and controllable format. Nothing is perfect, and my already knowing the limitations (and capabilities) for the PDF are the clincher here. Also, I can report that PDF Expert and GoodReader ARE compatible with nearly everything I build in, including the BACK BUTTON. We tell people who buy our interactive books to purchase those readers (they're great anyway - PDF expert is my favorite). And hopefully Adobe and Apple will finally get their apps updated (Adobe - are you listening - you need your ios reader to be compatible with the documents your program generates - if other programs can do it you can too. Shame for creating a substandard reader.)


                                Thanks for all the suggestions. If I'm missing something, I'm still open to exporting this as a EPUB - I still have a year before the conference. And of course I can output it as both and let the reader choose, and maybe something will change in the next year with export functions in indesign to allow for the back button and transparency - adobe - are you listening?

                                • 14. Re: epub3 back button?
                                  BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                  EPUB is NOT a printcentric format. It was never intended to be. For transparency to work properly you have to choose PNG for the graphic format when exporting. Editing text in scrolling frames is best done by using the story editor.


                                  Too me, what this comes down to is diving into something you didn’t understand or research properly. Sounds like PDF is a far better fit but if you’re expecting it to work on every device and browsers you’re going to be very disappointed.

                                  • 15. Re: epub3 back button?
                                    dvtdvt Level 1

                                    As for print, I was originally going to generate a separate PDF from the epub, but with the PDF as the main file, I won't have to do that. As for diving into something I didn't understand - absolutely! As I said, I spent the last few days researching and learning. I only decided to try the epub route because Terry White's video said it was better than PDF, which, once I experimented and researched and asked questions, I realized the PDF is still the best solution for my project.


                                    the scrollable frames were really cool and I was sorry to lose them for the PDF, but I had to be able to print the entire document for proofing and markup.


                                    I am very aware of the limitations of PDF which was why I was exploring other options for this project. I have extensive experience in creating interactive PDFs and will test my final file on numerous browsers before releasing of course.