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EPUB Changes in Adobe InDesign CS6

Want to know what’s changed in EPUB-related features in InDesign CS6? Here’s the complete list…

BUG FIXES

The following are a few notable EPUB bug-fixes that are not new features:

  • Fixed inline group-ordering when using Article panel. By default, inline groups are now represented in EPUB by layer order. There is also a special case where if the ordering of the individual objects are specified in the Article panel before creating the group, the Article panel ordering is preserved in the resulting group.
  • Fixed an export issue with InDesign Object Style names when applied to frame objects. Object style names will now consistently be passed through to the EPUB export.
  • Soft-returns are now converted to a single white space when using Remove Forced Link Break option in EPUB export.
  • .XHTML file extension used in EPUB2 and EPUB3 packages.
  • Em value is correctly calculated based on parent font size.
  • Fixed sizing of superscript and subscript text when exporting to EPUB.

NEW CS6 FEATURES

EPUB 2

  • Significant reorganization of EPUB Export UI.
  • New options in Object Export dialog to float the frame Left or Right.
  • Additional inline and anchored text frame attributes captured in CSS. Example: size, border style and width, fill color, padding (inset on text frame), and margin (on text wrap).
  • Ability to set separate values for .epub margins (top, bottom, left, right).
  • Option to link to multiple custom CSS files.
  • New Paragraph Style Export Tag attribute to “split” EPUB files into smaller documents for older ebook devices and page break control.
  • New XHTML document created when linking to an external ebook cover file.
  • Added support for converting InDesign’s table cell styles to CSS in the exported EPUB.
  • EPUB table dimension now includes attributes for column width and row minimum height. [NOT IMPLEMENTED]
  • InDesign custom bullet and numbering marker strings now exported in EPUB.
  • Added support for Japanese Ruby: font, size, and color.

EPUB3

  • Support for the new EPUB3 package format.
  • CS5.5 audio and video tags moved from EPUB2 to EPUB3 export.
  • Option to link to multiple custom external javascripts.Support for vertical Japanese text.
  • Ability to export placed HTML and placed Adobe Edge HTML animations to EPUB3. NOTE: EPUB3 validators may report errors if the placed HTML or HTML animations are not fully XHTML compliant. However, some EPUB3 viewers may still function correctly. Adobe Systems cannot guarantee how placed HTML or Adobe Edge animations will be supported in third party EPUB3 viewers.

EPUB3 with Layout

  • Experimental feature that adds support for alternate and adaptive layouts to be included in the EPUB3 file. There are currently no publicly available production quality EPUB viewers that support this feature.

HTML

  • CSS is written to an external file.
  • Added fall-back support for Flash player for placed video.
  • Support for Placed HTML and placed Adobe Edge animations.
  • Option to link to multiple custom CSS files.
  • Added UI to allow linking to multiple custom external javascripts.

UPDATE (3 January 2013): Anne-Marie Concepcion pointed out some changes in the CS6.01 (8.01) update, made available in September, that bear mentioning here as well. Thanks, AM!

  • Empty returns are still exported as empty paragraph tags (new in CS6), but a non-breaking space is no longer inserted to maintain the vertical spacing. In other words, empty strings of returns are once again ignored in EPUB just as in standard HTML.
  • Removed the superfluous “ruby” tag added to every CSS class in EPUB 2 output (only applies to EPUB 3). This was a bug in CS6.
  • The automatically-generated CSS file is still named after the INDD file (this was new in CS6), but the patch truncates the name, adds “_idstyles” to the end, and removes spaces and illegal characters from the filename. All of this was done to avoid warning and errors with hyperlinks and filenames during validation.

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12 Responses to “EPUB Changes in Adobe InDesign CS6”

  1. Awesome post, thank you for keeping with us!

  2. Do you think that remove object styles in CSS in EPUBs is a “bug fix”????

    It was quite useful !! It allowed me to play with DIV objects afterwards for create other types of EPUBs.

    Now I’m screwed by this “bug fix” (!)

  3. Thanks for the list. Any chance for a follow-up post detailing how well ID CS6 works for creating no-tweaking EPUB books for the iBookstore (iPad) and B&N (Nook)? That’s where the rubber meets the road. Add a Kindle KF8 plug-in from Amazon, and ID could become a one-stop ebook publishing system.

    I heard the product manager for ID CS6 speak, and I got the impression that making it work with iPads was an important design feature. He also seemed a little ticked off that Apple had taken a proprietary tack with iBooks Author.

  4. Andrew Nash says:

    You forgot to mention the bug they created. When exporting, the CSS element of Margin-above/ space above does not stick so you have to manually insert margin-above to your CSS. On a large file with tons of CSS this is a big one. I still love all the changes they made, just not that one.

  5. Yes, Andrew. Compiling the “known” changes from 5.5 to 6 was the goal of the post. Now that the software’s out in the world being put through its paces, problems like this are becoming known. I’ve also found a few things they changed in regular (non-EPUB) HTML export that I am less than thrilled about. Thanks for contributing to the conversation.

  6. @Andrew @Michael I’ve contacted Adobe about this issue. It took 2 weeks to get in touch with one of the developers. He said that it is not a bug. It was intentionally removed because it’s causing problems on the e-readers. Though he didn’t specify why this was removed and what was the issue. But I emailed him about it and will wait for him for an answer.

  7. hi guys, I can’t seem to figure out how to create page breaks and chapter breaks in CS6 indesign to epub. Can anyone direct me to a tutorial or does anyone have any tips?

  8. FYI, one features listed in your bulleted list was never implemented: “EPUB table dimension now includes attributes for column width and row minimum height.”

    Also, the CS6.01 (8.01) patch released in September 2012 included some notable EPUB-related fixes to new EPUB features in CS6.0:

    - Empty returns are still exported as empty paragraph tags (new in CS6), but a non-breaking space is no longer inserted to maintain the vertical spacing. In other words, empty strings of returns are once again ignored in EPUB just as in standard HTML.

    - Removed the superfluous “ruby” tag added to every CSS class in EPUB 2 output (only applies to EPUB 3). This was a bug in CS6.

    - The automatically-generated CSS file is still named after the INDD file (this was new in CS6), but the patch truncates the name, adds “_idstyles” to the end, and removes spaces and illegal characters from the filename. All of this was done to avoid warning and errors with hyperlinks and filenames during validation.

    –AM

  9. Thanks for those additions, AM. I’ve updated the post to reflect the unimplemented one and to add those specific to the 6.01 update.

  10. I find it annoying that ID creates an extra CSS file even though I’ve created my own. And that bulleted span thing is just an extra headache.

    Any reasonable way to clean this up? Much appreciated!

  11. I find it annoying, too, Michael. And I’m sure many others do, too. I never do any HTML or EPUB work expecting to use InDesign’s CSS. I always point to an external CSS (and set up Export Tags for my styles based on the classes in that CSS) and immediately delete the CSS that InDesign creates. I’m largely happy with InDesign’s HTML (with some exceptions), but its CSS is really awful.

    As for cleaning up the bulleted span thing, I do that after the fact with GREP in the files output by InDesign for the EPUB. It’s simple enough, but it does make cracking open the EPUB file every time you export a necessary step.

  12. Does anybody have a problem of compatibility of styles between CS5 and CS6? I defined styles in CS5 for exporting in EPUB. Now in CS6 everything seems to be the same but when exporting in EPUB everything is out of control. Any experience on this issue?

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