6 Replies Latest reply on Mar 29, 2012 1:33 PM by [Jongware]

    How to get numbered lists formatted columns?

    Boerenkaas

      Hi everyone, new to this forum and InDesign.

       

      I'm preparing an eBook from a document imported from Word. I'm drawing an absolute blank though on how to format numbered lists to flow into columns as screen space allows. Otherwise the lists tend to go into very long single columns. Not sure this is necessary but let's say I have three lists with headings like:

       

      List of Colors

       

       

      1. Amaranth

      2. Amber

      3. Apricot

      4. Aquamarine

      5. Azure

      6. Baby blue

      7. Beige

      8. Black

      9. Blue

      10. Blue-green

      11. Blue-violet

       

      List of Countries

       

       

      1. Afghanistan

      2. Albania

      3. Algeria

      4. Andorra

      5. Angola

      6. Antigua and Barbuda

      7. Argentina

      8. Armenia

      9. Australia

      10. Austria

      11. Azerbaijan

       

      List of Dogs

       

       

      1. Afghan Hound

      2. Aidi

      3. Airedale Terrier

      4. Akbash Dog

      5. Akita Inu

      6. Alano Español

      7. Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog

      8. Alaskan Klee Kai

      9. Alaskan Malamute

      10. Alpine Dachsbracke

      11. Alpine Spaniel

      12. American Alsatian

       

      Except in this example for the sake of brevity I've truncated the lists. Imagine them running into the hundreds as in my real-life document. I would like a method by which if the pub is on an iphone to show the lists single column but if on a tablet or computer to break them up into columns.

       

      Can this be done - and how?

       

      Many thanks for any help!

       

      Ras

        • 1. Re: How to get numbered lists formatted columns?
          PrintFusion45 Employee Moderator

          Hi Boerenkaas,

           

          This is how you can achieve it:

           

          1) Create a new document within InDesign with 3 columns in one page.

          2) Do the above by going into Margins and Columns and mention the number of columns to 3.

          3) Draw text frames on these 3 columns aligning the text frames to the column boundaries for all 3 of them.

          4) Now you've to link these text frames in order for the text to autoflow when you copy paste or Place any text within these frames.

          5) To link them click on the outport icon at the bottom right of first text frame and then hover your mouse cursor to the top left corner of the next text frame to see a chain icon appearing under your mouse cursor. Click again to link these two text frames. Repeat this step for linking the third frame. Keep in mind, this step can be useful to link any number of text frames.

          6) Keeping in mind that all the content are in your word file and already number formatted, go within Indesign and File > Place, choose the word file (must be closed before placing) and then Shift + left click into one of the text frames.

          7) You'll see that InDesign has automatically generated new pages with similar format autoflowed throughout until the end of text reached for the word file.

           

           

          Hope this helps. Good luck!

          • 2. Re: How to get numbered lists formatted columns?
            [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

             

            Boerenkaas wrote:

             

            Hi everyone, new to this forum and InDesign.

             

            I'm preparing an eBook from a document imported from Word.

             

            Did the person that sold you InDesign tell you it's "eBook designing software"? Sue him. First of all, because there is no such thing as an "eBook".

             

            From within InDesign, you can export content in no less than four possible ways, for various formats that could roughly be called "eBook" -- that is, something (anything, really) that can be viewed 'electronically'.

             

            1. PDF. The best way. You can do whatever you want with your design, and it will print exactly as you designed it. And it will look the same on all "electronic" devices as well. Note that this excludes your "one view on one device, another on another".

             

            (Don't ask me about movies or animated Flash Turning Pages or popups or game programming with a PDF. I'm a print guy, and for print, the above is absolutely true. Unless it involves drop shadow or colorful transparenksy effects or Glowing Outlines w/sparkles -- I'm a black-and-white print guy.)

             

            2. HTML. The lowest common denominator. Obviously, only things that can appear in HTML will appear in HTML. I don't think InDesign's HTML export is top-of-the-bill, but then again I also think Snath's advise above to use columns will certainly not carry over.

             

            3. ePub. Hey, that may have made you sit up and pay attention -- a word that starts with a lowercase 'e'! Sit down again, it's just HTML ... (Not even On Steroids. Perhaps you could call it "HTML on Tranquilizers".)

             

            4. Flash. As I said above, I dunno much about that, and actually I don't think this might count as "eBook". Oh alright, it's an export format and you can see it on an electronic device.

             

            5. (I *knew* I was missing one!) Adobe's DPS = Digital Publishing System, or possibly Suite. Draw a beatiful page on your screen. Export to screen sized PNG. Pay lots of money to have it hosted by Adobe. That's DPS, a system so cunning there even is a separate forum for it.

             

             

            Take your pick: what kind of "eBook" are you talking about? Note that none of these are, by themselves, "device-aware: if you want your users to see something else depending on what device they are using, you have to do all work yourself. I.e., Javascript coding for HTML, Flash coding for Flash, uh DPS I dunno (you probably have to make PNGs for every possible screen size and orientation), PDF is a fixed page format so you have to make different sized PDFs per screen size, and with a regular ePub you are at the mercy of the software and hardware your users are using (i.e., ranging from "very bad" to "not bad" in the HTML/CSS/Javascript Support they offer).

            • 3. Re: How to get numbered lists formatted columns?
              Boerenkaas Level 1

              Thank you Shath! I'll be giving this a shot... the only problem I think I may have is that this is an easy solution if ALL I was doing were the long lists but in my document I have "normal" text sections before and after the lists so I would need to find the Word equivalent of "section break".

               

              To Jongware, sorry I said eBook rather than ePub. I actually have quite a bit of experience with print. PDFs would be wonderful if Amazon and Apple accepted them. If. ;-)

               

              Maybe I should have given a real example of what I needed to do: http://www.dirtyoldbooks.com/eric2/theodosius_i.pdf

               

              The main challenge is that saving this as HTML loses the multi-column formatting for the lists which would render this document unreadable by page 3.

               

              Thanks again for the responses. I'll go tinker now!

               

              Ras

              ps. fwiw I'm using CS5

              • 4. Re: How to get numbered lists formatted columns?
                [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

                Boerenkaas wrote:

                [..] To Jongware, sorry I said eBook rather than ePub. I actually have quite a bit of experience with print. PDFs would be wonderful if Amazon and Apple accepted them. If. ;-)

                 

                Maybe I should have given a real example of what I needed to do: http://www.dirtyoldbooks.com/eric2/theodosius_i.pdf

                 

                If that is a real example of what you need to do, you need a PDF!

                 

                First off, because that is a PDF but second, there is no way you can get that kind of complex multi-/spanning/image/text column layout in any ePub -- even then, if you could there is still your initial question of "how do you get one column on one screen size and three on another". The industry is just not that far.

                 

                The only way you would get something like this is as Fixed Format ePub, and that's "fixed" because virtually all elements get moved into a fixed pixel position through lots of div boxes, essentially nullifying the raison d'existance of ePubs (reflowable, resizable, reformattable). But if that's good enough for you, read Liz Castro's Pigs, Gourds, and Wiki's blog about this. (She also wrote a complete book, if that gets you interested.)

                • 5. Re: How to get numbered lists formatted columns?
                  Boerenkaas Level 1

                  Ah, then me fears be confirmed! Well, that's all she wrote then. Good thing I'm with a trial on InDesign and didn't spring for the whole shebang.

                   

                  My *problem* is how to reach the Kindles and Ipads out there. If ePubs just can't handle something like this then I'm thinking of a brute force solution: turning each pdf page into a high quality jpeg and making my ePub, therefore, consist of a slideshow of full page images. Not sure that Joe Customer would appreciate it. Particularly since there would be no ability to search or bookmark!

                   

                  Thanks - will go read on your link to Liz Castro now!

                   

                  Ras

                  • 6. Re: How to get numbered lists formatted columns?
                    [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

                    Boerenkaas wrote:

                     

                    [...] I'm thinking of a brute force solution: turning each pdf page into a high quality jpeg and making my ePub, therefore, consist of a slideshow of full page images. Not sure that Joe Customer would appreciate it. Particularly since there would be no ability to search or bookmark!

                     

                    Sliding Off-Topic here, but that exactly describes Adobe's expensive DPS, as I understand it. (It's PNG instead of JPEGs but the principle is the same; and your concerns about such a "brute force solution" were mine as well.)