Sign Up for the ADE4 Beta

Adobe has announced it is working on a new version of the Adobe Digital Editions app. The big news is that they are now working hard to support EPUB3 in the latest version (and fixing bugs in the previous EPUB2 rendering system). They are asking for beta testers to run the app through its paces.

In order to get into the beta, email ebooks@adobe.com with your request.

If you’ve ever tried to create a beautifully designed book in ADE, you know how important this is. I’ve been on the beta for about a week now and the Adobe team has been very responsive about feedback. It’s an excellent sign of things to come.

Kobo’s New Public-facing Documentation

As any EPUB creator knows, the minefield of retailer support and requirements is a harrowing one. Kindle expects images of one size, iBooks another, and Nook yet another still. To add to that confusion is the fact that many of these retailers either don’t explicitly spell these issues out for you, or have documentation that is obviously out of date (looking at you, B&N).
Kobo, up until this week, was guilty of being pretty quiet about their requirements. But in one fell swoop they have moved from being one of the most opaque retailers to one of the most transparent. The Kobo development team has created a great document and posted it to Github. This documentation includes not just requirements, but also support guides for many of their devices, and recommendations to generate files that work across all of their devices.
A couple of highlights:
Hats off to the development team at Kobo for taking a huge leap forward in making EPUB file creation that much easier for us. Hopefully other device makers and retailers will take their lead and do the same.

Vertically Centered Text in iBooks

At WWDC this week, Apple announced a new programming language called Swift. To coincide with its release, they included an iBooks title that documents the language. The opening page looks like this:

Screenshot 2014-06-03 22.35.05

Of course, many ebook clients want to know how to vertically center text in an EPUB file. Seeing this I thought that maybe the iBooks team had solved it. But I was disappointed by the results.

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Two Default Styles to Add to Every InDesign to EPUB Conversion

InDesign’s Export to EPUB features are a huge step toward generating EPUB files without needing to hand write all of your code. Its ability to generate a CSS stylesheet from your InDesign styles is one of the major advantages, but it’s by no means perfect.

The good news is that InDesign allows you to add an additional stylesheets to your EPUB files. This allows you the opportunity to add additional styles you need without trying to muddy your print files. I’ll list two that I add to every EPUB file I create out of InDesign and explain each.

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