Adobe engineers have improved the EPUB export set feature of InDesign lately to make it more efficient for the publishing of digital books. On the one hand, bridging the gap between print and digital form within the same program provides some welcome advantages to editors. On the other hand, an increasing number of people realize that eBooks are not just about converting a print-aimed file and polish it when the work is completed in ID. There is a need to re-factor and redesign the content in order to match capabilities offered by digital multimedia devices. For editors looking for efficient digital publishing workflow from InDesign, there are a number of tasks that can only be achieved in a specific software tool dedicated to digital publishing:
Re-adjusting and amending the reading order as visually as possible.
Avoiding interference with the underlying XHTML code, benefiting from WYSIWYG interface to apply styles and layout.
Matching the structured content with a dedicated digital style sheet which will account for an enjoyable user experience.
Controlling and managing the structure of the source file for later re-use of the content.
Editing, enriching, enhancing the content with multimedia assets and widgets.
With the aim to address the above capabilities, Publiwide has worked on the Dynamic eBook Publisher Software over the last 2 years by focusing on 2 distinctive modules:
1. The transformation of source data in pivot XML format which maintains the visual representation of the original document. For InDesign, it means working from the IDML file (instead of just the HTML) to keep a visual trace of the print representation in order to make the re-ordering of elements in the eBook much more intuitive. This valuable option is particularly beneficial when dealing with rich graphics content (textbooks, manuals, workbooks) and multi-column documents (annual reports, scientific publications, …). See a screenshot example below comparing the same file opened in ID (right hand side) and ingested as IDML in the eBook Publisher (left hand side):
2. A comprehensive software program to edit a neutral eBook project that can then be published in eBook format. The desktop software allows you to edit in-text, to layout side boxes, to apply special styling class configured in the CSS, insert images, videos and animations, … See another screenshot below displaying the source file on the left hand side along with the ability to amend the reading order. On the right hand side we find the eBook preview and the content editor.
The offering available in the market to publish EPUB 3 is balanced between InDesign software and database/ CMS eBook publishing systems. None of the 2 solutions is really doing the job. Publiwide’s Dynamic eBook Publisher is therefore a valuable alternative to consider given its advantages:
The ingestion of IDML provides a reliable visual reference to adjust the final flow of the EPUB eBook. Digital user experience is enhanced by matching content to a specific CSS 3/ responsive style sheet. Enhancement of content automatically configured to be optimally rendered in the eReader platform of your choice.