New InDesign 10.1 EPUB features

  • Sumo

InDesign was updated in early October of this year and along with it came a slew of new EPUB features.

And while the biggest update announced was the new Fixed Layout Interactivity, we’ll focus on just the myriad of small FLX and reflowable updates in this post. (Don’t worry, we’ll talk about the FXL Interactives in an upcoming post).

If you’re wondering where we got a list of these updates, Douglas Waterfall was nice enough to link to this document on twitter a while back.

Fixed Layout Updates

Adobe has included a large number of updates for their Fixed Layout file export options.

TOC/Nav

FXL files now can use the PDF Bookmarks option to generate a TOC.

Additionally, FXL files now have a page-list nav generated on export.

A landmarks element is now generated for the nav using the first instance of any epub:type element.

Hyperlinks

Additionally, FXL files now have a page-list nav generated on export. And FXL files also now support hyperlinks and cross-references.

CSS Updates on Text

Text Scaling is now supported (but you never use that, right?!?!), and a number of improvements to how text spacing is handled are also included. One thing you might notice if you crack open your FXL is that all text is now wrapped in IDs that look something like _idTextSpan000 to better manage their unique absolute positioning.

Interactivity

Far and away the largest update in the new version on InDesign, Fixed Layout files now export suite of interactive features. This will be a full post on EPUBSecrets in the near future, but if you’re interested in learning more now you should check out Anne-Marie’s InDesign CC Fixed Layout video series on Lynda.com.

Reflowable Updates

InDesign’s EPUB reflowable output is much more mature than their FXL output. Therefore most of the new updates for Reflowable titles are more along the lines of bug fixes and minor, behind-the-scenese improvements.

TOC/Nav

landmarks element is now generated for the nav using the first instance of any epub:type element.

Object CSS handling

InDesign now offers a great little UI for allowing you to control the size of objects within a Reflowable title.

Screenshot 2014-12-08 00.46.21

The Adobe team describes each option in their Document.

  • None
    No CSS width or height will be generated for the tag mapped from the Object. The size of the Object will be only determined by the internal content,if any, according to the CSS rules – in particular the aspect ratio will not be maintained.
  • Default
    The CSS Size will be determined by the settings in the Export Dialog/Object tab.
  • Fixed
    The CSS Size will be determined by the calculating the dimension of the Object in pts and emitting the same dimensions in CSS as pixels. The aspect ratio of the Object will be maintained. This is the same behavior as the Export Dialog/Object/CSS Size [Fixed] setting.
  • Relative to Text Flow
    The CSS width will be determined by taking the width of the Object and expressing it as a percentage relative to the width of the Text Frame containing the Text Flow. The aspect ratio of the Object will be maintained. This is the same behavior as the Export Dialog/Object/CSS Size [Relative to Text Flow] setting.
  • Relative to Text Size
    The CSS height will be determined by taking the height of the Object in pts and converting it to ems at 12pts per em. The aspect ratio of the Object will be maintained.
  • Custom Width/Height
    Valid CSS units are cm, mm, in, pt, %, px, vh, vw, vmin, and vmax. The aspect ratio of the Object will be maintained.

Updates with InDesign Books

InDesign now handles Books CSS in a better way. It now creates a CSS file for each InDesign file included in a book, and then attempts to combine related styles into a global CSS file. One big problem with this is that different InDesign file that use the same style names will overwrite styles when Adobe attempts to combine them, so this is still a definite work in progress.

Find More Adobe EPUB Update Docs

Lastly, if you’re looking for EPUB features available in older versions of Indesign, you can check these docs to see when features were added/updated:

Indesign CS6 to CC (pdf)
Indesign CC 9.0 to 9.2 (pdf)
InDesign CC 9.2 to 10.0 (pdf)

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