Digital Publisher Guide
Help for publishers and students of publishing

Screencasts

These screencasts are pulled in from my YouTube channel

Processing some text inside InDesign

Using GREP and a Script

We have our play (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) placed in InDesign, but we have some changes we want to make to the text.

We don’t want the character names on the same line as the first line of their speech.

We don’t want the character names all in uppercase letters.

This screen cast shows some useful ways to use GREP in the Find/Change dialogue and then how to make use of a script to change to title case.

Filed under: InDesign, GREP | Permalink to this Screencast

Using Keynote to build an interactive widget for iBooks Author

Apple’s Keynote application (on MacOS and iOS) is fabulous! Of course, it’s main purpose is a presentation tool (familiar with Powerpoint? It is similar).

Sure, we can make cool slide shows to accompany our lectures and talks, but we can also create self-running, interactive screen shows that can be added to our ‘multi-touch’ ebooks generated with Apple’s iBooks Author.

In this screencast we show how to generate an attractive and dynamic application with images and text. We can use various transitions and animations to enhance the quality and then add to the iBooks Author eBook.

Please note: The presentation in Keynote needs to be set to Links Only so that the slides don’t go forward wherever you touch. However this only works properly (in iBooks Author) if you export the Keynote for version 9.

Export as a Keynote 9 file

Filed under: iBooks Author, Keynote | Permalink to this Screencast

To iBooks Author from Keynote

We can enhance the eBook created with iBooks Author in several ways, but here follows a screencast that shows how to add a simple page-turning Keynote presentation into iBooks Author.

The Keynote is built-in to Apple iBooks Author, but in fact one you have created and saved the Keynote (it becomes a file with .key extension), you can drag and drop onto the iBooks Author page.

The images in the Keynote presentation come from the Folger picture library and are provided here for purely educational purposes.

Filed under: iBooks Author, Keynote | Permalink to this Screencast

From InDesign to iBooks Author Recipe Book

When we use iBooks Author, it is essential to consider the structure of our content.

iBooks Author has (potentially) 2 structural levels; the Chapter and –within this– the Section. We do not need to use both of these and, indeed, we do not need to refer to them with these terms.

The image here shows that the name of Chapter has been changed to Recipe.

The image here shows that the name of `Chapter` has been changed to `Recipe`.

We have seen with the creation of the Shakespeare play book (in other screencasts), that we had the Act and then the Scene within this. For that project, the Act became the iBooks Author chapter and the Scene became the Section.

Let us consider the recipe book.

In my example, I simply have one recipe for each Chapter, and so I will use a template that only needs the Chapter (recipe) title page and then further pages for the recipe details and pictures etc.

If your recipe book needs another level, then use a template that needs the Section pages also. A good example of this, would be a recipe book that has meals for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Fried Eggs and Bacon Tomato Salad Seared Tuna and Potato Salad
Porridge Fishcakes Lamb Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries
Muesli Omelette Chicken Risotto with Asparagus

In this type of recipe book, you have 3 Sections (InDesign calls them Chapters) called Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and then the recipes are inside those. For this situation you can rename the Sections as recipes.

Filed under: InDesign, iBooks Author | Permalink to this Screencast

Ambient Sound in a Fixed-Layout ePub

Just for Apple iBooks

When we place audio on the page of a fixed-layout eBook, we cannot expect it to continue to play when the page is turned. Each page is a new XHTML document, so audio (or any media) will stop on leaving that page.

If we want to get audio to continue to play as we turn the pages, we need to modify the markup inside the ePub package after we have exported from InDesign1.

Further Details

ibooks on Apple devices supports this ambient sound feature and we need to add a reference to the iBooks extensions in the HTML tag at the top of the pages that need this audio. We also need to modify the audio tag inside the HTML markup.

We can use InDesign to add the audio file (we can do this on the master pages), but there are some very specific issues to be aware of:

Each HTML page will have the HTML tag thus:

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<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xmlns:epub="http://www.idpf.org/2007/ops">

we need this instead:

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<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xmlns:epub="http://www.idpf.org/2007/ops" epub:prefix="ibooks: http://vocabulary.itunes.apple.com/rdf/ibooks/vocabulary-extensions-1.0/">;

When we place audio on an InDesign page it will create HTML for audio like this:

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<audio id="_idAudio000" controls="controls">
         <source src="audio/dreamambient.mp3" type="audio/mpeg" />
</audio>

This is perfectly valid but we need this:

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<audio epub:type="ibooks:soundtrack" src="audio/dreamambient.mp3"/>

You will want to hide the audio somewhere on the InDesign page, by putting it behind an image.

I do hope the screencast explains this.

Note: iBooks on the MAC has a few anomolies; the soundtrack switch does not always display and the audio icon in the menu bar shows even if there id no audio on that page.

  1. Always remember that once we edit the HTML inside the book package then we lose the ability to go back to InDesign for further edits 

Filed under: InDesign, ePub | Permalink to this Screencast

InDesign to iBooks Author (Part 2)

Part 2 of the 2 part screencast Now we have created seperate IDML files from InDesign we need to import these into an iBooks Author template.

We need to understand something about the structure of an iBooks Author file and how this relates to the structure of the content we have in InDesign.

This screencast is almost 30 minutes long…. sorry!

Filed under: iBooks Author, InDesign | Permalink to this Screencast

InDesign to iBooks Author (Part 1)

This is a 2 part screencast

iBooks Author provides some ways to get content from InDesign. The best way is to export from InDesign to the IDML format but we need to do this section by section.

This first screencast episode shows you how to divide the InDesign file into separated files using a couple of scripts.

Further Information

The 2 InDesign scripts used are:

splitbeforehere (this is based on a script called StorySplitter with modifications by Naomi Kennedy and then myself). This script will split the threaded story before the selected text frame.

extractpagesandIDML (this is based on a script by Loïc Aigon, much simplified with additional components to export IDML). This script will extract both an InDesign file and an IDML file from the pages specified during the operation of the script.

These 2 scripts are available as Gists and the links to them can be found on this page.

Filed under: iBooks Author, InDesign | Permalink to this Screencast

Scrolling Text Frame in Fixed-Layout ePub

First things: I am not using the overlays feature of InDesign.

It is not possible to add scrolling text fields in a reflowable ePUB, but with the fixed layout format we can add a text box on a page and include (almost) as much scrolling text as you like.

Here are the instructions to create a vertical scrolling text for the ePUB(Fixed Layout).

Start a new document in InDesign with a very long vertical page size (maximum height is about 5000pixels). This really just depends on the length of your text!

Paste your long text into a text field on this page.

Make sure there is no overset text. Reduce the size of the text field so that the text just fits. Copy this this text field (not just the contents but the selected object).

In your target InDesign file create an empty text field wider that the one you created in the other temporary InDesign document.

Select the text field and ‘Paste Into’ this selected text box.You can select all of this text and style accordingly.

With the parent text box selected, create an Object Style and set the export tagging for HTML and ePUB to a <div> with a class of ‘scroller’.

Create a CSS file with the following:

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div.scroller {
position: relative;
border:1px solid silver;
}
div.scroller > div {
overflow: auto;
overflow-y:scroll;
overflow: scroll;
overflow-x:hidden;
-webkit-overflow-scrolling:touch;
}

Add this CSS file into the CSS panel when you export.

There may be other adjustments that you can make to the CSS, but essentially, this will created a scrolling text field.

You may notice that there is no scroll bar on the iPad until you actually touch the field. You may want to include an instruction above or below the text field to indicate that scroll is available.

As an alternative to using InDesign to create a nested text field, you could also consider leaving a blank page and then adding the text directly into the HTML after unpacking the ePUB package. Just create a web page and then copy the content from within the <body> tag and paste into the ePUB page. With additional styling you can then achieve the same as before.

Filed under: InDesign, ePub | Permalink to this Screencast

Introducing iBooks Author (Part 2)

We look at creating the Shakespeare play with iBooks Author.

iBooks Author is Apple’s free software for creating eBooks for their own iBooks reader software for the iPad and iBooks on the MAC.

The software is very easy to use but does have some limitations and encourages you to use an existing template for your design and layout.

Once you understand how you can modify a template for your own purposes then a great deal of flexibility is available to you.

If you choose to offer both landscape and portrait modes to viewers of your eBook, then you will need to pay special attention to the layouts for both views, and the relationship between the text and the images. You can disable the portrait view and if you do, then you have more freedom to place content on the pages without limitations.

Note: Since this screencast, iBooks Author no longer refers to a Portrait View, but rather a scrolling view which can be invoked in either landscape or portrait view on the iPad with iBooks.

Filed under: iBooks Author | Permalink to this Screencast

Introducing iBooks Author (Part 1)

We look at our Shakespeare play (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), built with iBooks Author and proofed on the iPad and iBooks on the MAC.

This is a partially complete work, but gives us an opportunity to show the structure and modes of viewing the eBook. This screencast serves as an introduction to iBooks Author, the free software from Apple. The next episode shows how the Shakespeare play appears in the authoring environment, before we then explore how to build a template for a Shakespeare play.

Please note that since this Screencast iBooks Author no longer refers to a Portrait View, but rather a scrolling view which can be invoked in either landscape or portrait view on the iPad with iBooks.

Filed under: iBooks Author | Permalink to this Screencast

Making a Fixed Layout ePub from Recipes (episode 2)

This is a 2 part screencast

In this screencast we add some animation and multimedia.

We also create an image sequence.

Filed under: InDesign, ePub | Permalink to this Screencast

Making a Fixed Layout ePub from Recipes (episode 1)

This is a 2 part screencast

After making a reflowable version of the eBook, we now look at the differences with a fixed-layout version.

We also investigate using multimedia.

Filed under: InDesign, ePub | Permalink to this Screencast

Editing inside the ePub Package

Once we have exported the reflow-able ePub from InDesign, we can make changes by editing the CSS that InDesign has created. WE want to achieve a roundtrip workflow, allowing us the potential to go back to InDesign and re-export. To achieve this we must make our own version of the CSS, that will override those generated by InDesign.

The CSS file that we create can be loaded into the ePub when we export the reflow-able ePub. This screencast shows some examples of style that might need to be changed by editing the CSS.

Filed under: InDesign, ePub, CSS | Permalink to this Screencast

Adding Front matter pages to our Recipe eBook

We are using an InDesign book to build a recipe eBook. We have added our recipes, now we need the front matter pages. We will also need an introduction to our book; this will come after the table of contents.

But do we need to show the table of contents on the page?

Since this is a reflowable eBook, we need to pay special attention to the way the title page and copyright information is displayed.

Filed under: InDesign, ePub | Permalink to this Screencast

InDesign to reflowable ePub with Corrections

We look at the results of our first effort and see what needs changing to get a better looking eBook.

We will learn how the baseline grid and paragraph rules (lines under headings) are ignored. We need to pay attention to the leading for our typography.

Filed under: InDesign, ePub | Permalink to this Screencast

InDesign to ePub Reflowable

We take an existing InDesign document prepared for print and export to ePub. We then make some adjustments and do that again.

We are going to learn about the Articles panel to arrange the content flow and also the Object Export Options

Filed under: InDesign, ePub | Permalink to this Screencast

Using the Articles Panel

When we export our book to the reflowable ePub from InDesign, we have a choice about the content order. Usually we choose ‘Based on Page Layout’, but if you want to make sure that your front matter pages don’t end up at the back of the book, then you need to use the Articles Panel to organise the content.

Filed under: InDesign, ePub | Permalink to this Screencast

More on XML from InDesign

In our InDesign document all content needs to be attached to an appropriate style element.

We can use:

  • paragraph styles
  • character styles
  • object styles
  • table styles

We then need tags that will be mapped to those elements. They can (optionally) be the same names as our InDesign styles. They may also come from a DTD uploaded to our InDesign file in the structure pane.

Filed under: InDesign, XML | Permalink to this Screencast

Structure, Tagging and Export to XML

With a Shakespeare play in mind we have a DTD that we can import into InDesign. This provides us with the TAGS. If we name our styles with those same tags, we can ‘map the styles to the tags’ very easily.

Unfortunately, InDesign does not provide us with the automation to map object styles, so we need to add those in to the structure.

Filed under: InDesign, XML | Permalink to this Screencast

Converting the reflowable ePub to a Kindle Version

Our eBook production workflow involves perfecting for the ePub3 format first by exporting from InDesign and then making minimal adjustments through our own CSS file. Once we have everything ready to go, we can then convert this ePub to the MOBI file for the Amazon Kindle.

We may learn that there are some shortcomings and we may still need to return to the ePub for some adjustments before (once again) using a conversion tool.

In this screencast we also edit the opf file to include the TOC on the page for the Kindle version.

Amazon make available the tools for the conversion on the web site here.

Filed under: InDesign, ePub, Kindle | Permalink to this Screencast

Fixed Layout eBook Part 3

This is a 3 part screencast (please view parts 1 and 2 first)

For this episode we look at adding multimedia but give the users some control over the playing of that media rather than just have it play on page load.

We also look at creating a simple pair of buttons that will play and pause the audio.

Further on we get a video and show how we can present this on the page.

Filed under: InDesign, ePub | Permalink to this Screencast

Fixed Layout eBook Part 2

This is a 3 part screencast (please see part 1 first)

In this screencast we look at building the fixed-layout eBook (ePub3) and getting objects to appear on the screen with some animation.

We also look at creating a button to make an image appear on the screen.

Filed under: InDesign, ePub | Permalink to this Screencast

Fixed Layout eBook Part 1

This is a 3 part screencast

In this first part of the 3 screencasts we look at the basic issues when creating a Fixed-layout ePub3 from an InDesign book that is already set up for print.

  • What happens to our double page spreads?
  • What shall we do with the half-title page?
  • How can we deliver a fixed landscape view?

Filed under: InDesign, ePub | Permalink to this Screencast

Anchoring Images and using the Object styles

This screencast explains how images should placed into InDesign and then anchored into the text.

If we use Object Styles then we can generate a style that provides a consistency throughout our book.

Filed under: InDesign | Permalink to this Screencast

Web First Workflow System for Publishing

This screencast demonstrates a web-first publishing system. It uses a web interface to provide an editing environment which, when ready for page layout publishing ready, can be exported to XML.

The XML can then be imported into a ready prepared InDesign template.

This screencast demonstrates the building of an international recipe book with contributions from various editors.

The final objective in this project was to create an eBook, but this system is equally appropriate for a print version.

Filed under: InDesign | Permalink to this Screencast

A Shakespeare Play eBook in 4 different ways

Here is a look at 4 different eBook versions of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, with an explanation of how they were created.

The eBooks are viewed on an iPad. Three of these eBooks are ePubs created with InDesign, but one is created with Apple’s iBooks Author software.

Filed under: InDesign, ePub, Typography | Permalink to this Screencast

eBook Typography

A presentation that cover aspects of my book I walk through the issues when creating reflowable eBooks.

  • Can you embed fonts?
  • What Space is available?
  • What is the Page?
  • Special Effects
  • and more

eBook Typography. All of this covered in the book and the presentation

Filed under: InDesign, ePub, Typography | Permalink to this Screencast