This is a continuation of Round 1, focusing on observations I made during my attempts to get InDesign to create an EPUB out of my test file.
When converting to EPUB, all the chapter drops are lost. While this is in some sense expected, I expected that I could fix this by specifying “space before” in my paragraph styles, expecting it to be translated to margin-top during the export. That did not happen—chapter drops were still lost.
I was able to re-create the chapter drops by specifying “additional CSS,” but I will need to test the resulting EPUB on a real device some time.
In fact almost all the formatting except font settings and leading have been lost during the export. A lot can probably be fixable at the CSS level, but that might be illusory as I don’t know what kind of CSS real EPUB reading devices support.
One other thing that bothered me: While the chapter drop can be restored with additional CSS, the amount of drop that I needed to specify did not seem to correlate to the leading. Since the two should be related in some way, some further investigation is needed.
One reason why people outline type is to prevent complications in production. However, this does not seem to carry over to ebooks.
The following shows a simple mock-up of my test document’s cover page, showing the fish logo that the author of the text designed. My version of the logo is completely made up of type, but on the cover page it has been outlined.
Conversion to EPUB 2.1 turned the fish logo into a complete jumble:
Not only has the first page not been rasterized (contrary to what the Export dialog would have me believe), it has incorrectly rasterized what it did actually rasterize: As you can see, not only is the horizontal alignment wrong, even the vertical spacing is wrong.
This is totally incomprehensible. Although the fish logo has been outlined and grouped, InDesign acted as if it had ungrouped the logo, centred everything, and ignored all the vertical spacing.
This suggests that InDesign is incapable of handling vector art correctly when exporting to EPUB.
After this was posted I looked at the actual XHTML generated by InDesign, and what I saw gave me some hints as to what actually went wrong:
We can make three observations here:
We can only conclude that InDesign’s EPUB support is quite buggy and we will need to “get acquainted” with it in order to work around its many problems. It will be interesting to test how QuarkXPress performs with a similar test file.