Part 2 • Class Tutorials

Tutorial 1 • ePub from InDesign

Richard Adams

In this tutorial we will be creating a reflowable ePub from InDesign and viewing it in Apple Books. When creating your ePub keep in mind the “Six Caveats of ePub”:

Six Caveats of ePub
1.     Keep it simple

2.     Maximum of one picture and one caption per page

3.     Everything must be inline

4.     Style all text

5.     Create cover as JPEG

6.     Use a Table of Contents Style

What You will Need

  1. text in .doc or .txt format, 500+ words
  2. photo for full width of page, 144 ppi
  3. photo for 1/4 page, 144 poi

Create Document

  1. Open a new InDesign document > 384×768 px portrait with Primary Text Frame. The page size does not really matter because ePubs have no pages, the “pages” are created by the eReader app. However 384×768px looks on a Mac monitor closely resembles the eBook’s appearance on an iPad.
  2. Place the tutorial text into the document.
  3. Define a picture box for the photos, then place photos on the Pasteboard, size as desired, and place inline with the text (cut and paste with the Text tool). Defining the picture box first avoids getting an unmanageably large image on the pasteboard. Object > Fitting > Fit Content Proportionally will fit the image into the picture box you defined. Then Object > Fitting > Fit Frame to Content will size the picture box to the proportionally-fit picture.
  4. On export to ePub, InDesign will shrink images to less than full width. For full-width images, select Object > Object Export Options and set for ePub > Custom Width: 100%.
Object > Object Export Options
Setting Object > Object Export Options > EPUB and HTML > Custom Width: 100% will keep images intended to be full-width at the intended size.

Set Up Paragraph Styles

Set up Paragraph Styles according to the table and apply to the respective text and photos.

Paragraph Styles for ePub
Style Used for Settings
p paragraph (body) • Palatino Regular 14/Auto

• 12pt space before

• Keep first 2 and last 2 lines together

• Export tagging: <p>

h1 heading 1 • Palatino Bold 18/Auto

• 12pt space before

• Choose colour

• Export tagging: <h1>

img images • Palatino Regular, 12/Auto

• 12pt space before, align center

• Export tagging: <p>

caption captions • Palatino Italic, 10/Auto

• Indent 24px left and right

• Keep with previous

• Export tagging: <p>

Create Table of Contents

  1. Create a Layout > Table of Contents Style > and select h1 as the style to include.
  2. Name the TOC Style something you will remember.

Export to ePub (Reflowable)

  1. File > Export > ePub (Reflowable)
  2. Choose EPUB3 format.
  3. Select the cover image provided or make your own in JPEG format.
  4. Select the TOC Style that you created.
  5. Check Split Document and set to <h1> so each heading will start on a new page.
Epub export
Split Document set to h1 starts headings on a new page.

Open in Books

  1. Open the ePub in iBooks and see how the page layout, text, and photos compares with the InDesign document.

Instructional Video


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eBook on eBooks by Richard Adams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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