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Adobe InDesign CS5: Unplugged


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A Communications App with a Vision: Print, Interactive, ePub




Eden Maxwell


Late Winter, 2011


NOTE: Please bookmark this page for future reference.

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Adobe InCopy CS5

keeping track of editorial and design changes


with tutorial recommendations from and Peachpit Press, plus indispensable related apps, plug-ins, and helpful links


CS5 Tutorials

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Adobe InDesign CS5



During the early part of the 20th century, the railroad industry had the opportunity to invest in the fledgling airline carrier business. Although it would have been both a strategic and profitable move, they didn’t.


The railroad tycoons had decided that they were in the rail business, not in the larger picture called transportation.

In a similar vein, Adobe InDesign CS5 must address conceptual issues similar to what the railroad confronted nearly 100 hundred years ago. Of course, users already know that InDesign is the tireless ironhorse of the printed page. But publishing, too, is evolving, and the one permanent thing that we can count on is this: change. To that end, InDesign CS5 successfully walks the high wire by balancing current user needs while anticipating upcoming trends, technologies, and exciting new digital markets—from dynamic onscreen content to eBooks.

Building upon a proven foundation of integrated tools and workflows for document production, InDesign CS5 lets you bring your documents to life with pages that include interactivity, motion, video, and sound, without sacrificing control over typography or design.

Adobe InDesign CS5 understands that it’s in the communication business.


InDesign CS5 is loaded with many new improvements, some major, others minor yet important. In what follows, I list my favorite new InDesign CS5 features, plus tips I learned while using InDesign to convert my most recent book, An Artist Empowered, into an ePub format for the iPad, Kindle, Nook, Adobe Digital Editions, and other digital readers. I also include a number of useful InDesign plug-ins and related apps.



Arranging and modifying layout frames is one of the most common tasks for any publication designer. With InDesign CS5, those tasks are simpler and easier than ever. The new Selection tool has evolved into a Swiss Army knife for InDesign users. You can use the revamped Selection tool to select, align, distribute, rotate, resize, reposition, crop, and scale frames and frame content.

Content Grabber is yet another new and well-conceived integrated feature. With InDesign CS5, you can adjust the position of an image within its frame without having to select it. Position your cursor over the image with the Selection tool and drag the Content Grabber in the center of the image—you'll see that the image, but not the frame, goes along for the ride. Image frames in a group each get their own Content Grabber, making it easy to reposition a particular frame’s content without having to waste time ungrouping it first.


Many page designs call for a grid arrangement. Creating these on the fly with InDesign CS5 requires a few taps on the keyboard arrow keys.

Pressing the arrow keys while dragging out any of the frame tools—including the Text frame tool—automatically splits the frame into a grid of smaller frames. Each tap of the Up or Down Arrow key adds or removes a grid column; each tap of the Right or Left Arrow key adds or removes a grid row. If the page contains column guides, the space between frames is the same as the column’s gutter width.

Wiht Live Corner Effects, you can now easily changes the shape of one or more corners of a frame. The new Gap tool lets you adjust white space—the gap between frames—while the page items maintain their design relationships.


As in earlier versions, you can still scale an image as you resize its frame with the Selection tool by holding down the Command/Ctrl key as you drag a frame handle, adding the Shift key to keep the scaling proportional.

InDesign CS5 offers an even easier way to scale frame content as you resize the frame, while also preserving the chosen Frame Fitting options assigned to the frame. It’s a new fitting option called Auto-Fit, available in the Frame Fitting Options dialog box (Object > Fitting > Frame Fitting Options) and in the Control panel (right below the Fitting Options icons that now appear when an image is selected).

When an image frame is set to Auto-Fit, as you resize the frame, the image automatically scales according to the frame’s Frame Fitting options. There is no need to hold down the Command/Ctrl or Shift keys while doing so, or to switch to the Scale or Free Transform tools. Auto-Fit greatly simplifies the task of having images fit in frames according to your needs.


Digital images have carried metadata for years, but until now it was impossible for InDesign to automatically extract it and turn it into page content. With this release of InDesign, a greatly expanded list of metadata types can be viewed in the Links panel; automatic static or live captions for images are generated from the metadata you specify; you can then leverage image metadata in InDesign to speed production and minimize data entry errors.

All this can now be achieved with the new Captions feature in InDesign CS5. Before you use it, however, your must first specify which metadata you want the Caption to generate. You can enter the metadata in the image from within Bridge, or Mini Bridge.

The top section of the Caption Setup dialog box (Choose Object > Captions > Caption Settings.) lets you choose from over 60 types of metadata to include in each caption, and preface or follow each instance with custom text.The bottom section is where you specify the formatting (position and style) of the captions when they're generated.


Here’s yet another feature that InDesign users have been requesting for years. InDesign CS5 now gives you the freedom to mix page sizes within a single InDesign file. The new Page tool and its Control panel commands allows you to change the dimensions of selected pages and specify how the change affects existing page elements.

The Page tool is a new type of selection tool specifically for resizing targeting pages. Clicking on a page selects it. Selected pages are shown with a blue overlay. When pages are selected with the Page tool, the Control panel changes to let you edit the size of the selected page(s) and customize how page elements and master page items are adjusted.

Fidelity to multiple page sizes is also maintained when printing the document or exporting it to PDF. Support for multiple page sizes in InDesign CS5 provides a whole new level of flexibility in page design.

You might want to use the Page tool to add a narrow book spine in the middle of a spread, enlarge a page for a foldout map, or keep all the elements of an identity project—letterhead, business card, and envelope—in a single INDD file.

I definitely would have loved leaving the heavy lifting to the new Page tool feature when I was designing the cover and especially the spine for my book, An Artist Empowered. The new Layers panel would have also made it much easier to work with making selections in my complex book design cover.


If you’ve ever had difficulty in selecting an object in a complex design, then you’ll welcome the new Layers panel in InDesign CS5; the Layers panel has received a welcome makeover, and now matches the organizational flexibility, power, and usefulness of the Layers panel in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

Managing elements in complex documents is now easier because every object has its own entry in the panel. Its easier and less frustrating to find, select, lock, hide, re-order, name, and change the stacking order of individual items in the panel.

You can also reveal the hierarchy of objects in a group, and move an item from one group to another simply by dragging its layer. Buttons and the new interactive multi-state objects have their own disclosure triangles that can be expanded to see their contained objects.   


The new Split Columns paragraph attribute in InDesign CS5 allows you to make one or more paragraphs flow into two or more columns within its default single column, easing the creation of complex layouts. The new Span Columns paragraph attribute lets you specify that a paragraph extend across two or more columns in a multi-column text frame, avoiding the tedious task of creating, positioning, and managing an additional frame solely for that text. 

You can also use the Span Columns dialog box (which also has the controls for Split Columns) to change the width of the inside gutter (the space between split columns), the outside gutter, and the space before or after the split.


If you’ve been creating interactive documents with previous versions of InDesign, then you already know the drill. You had to export your interactive elements to PDF, or to SWF, or to Flash to view a button rollover, a page transition, or a movie play. Now, with InDesign CS5, that labor-intensive process is a thing of the past.

With interactive elements in play, it’s often difficult to tell what is going on in normal view, or even in Print Preview. With the new Preview panel, you no longer have to export your interactive files to see them function. This new feature is an incredible timesaver, as it lets you preview and test your interactive files in your spread directly from within InDesign.

The Preview panel automatically generates a preview of the active spread and its animations using the same settings they’ll have in the final output format. Buttons at the bottom of the panel let you start and stop animations, view other spreads, preview a selected animation, or preview all the animations and interactivity in an entire document. To show a larger preview of your spread, enlarge the panel by dragging on its grow box in the lower right corner.


You can now easily animate objects on your page with no coding required. InDesign handles the coding behing the scenes. You accomplish this within InDesign CS5 using the new Animation panel and motion presets. Any object you can select with the Selection tool can be animated, and a single page can have multiple animations occurring at the same time. You can manage the order in which animations appear with the new Timing panel.


Although not nearly as robust as an InCopy CS5 editorial collaborative workflow, the new Track Changes text-editing feature can work quite well for a small team . Track Changes maintains an internal record of text edits in an InDesign document. Additions and deletions are tracked on a per-user basis and can be viewed within the Story Editor window.

The editor, for example, can use the controls in the new Track Changes panel to accept or reject changes individually, or all those made by a given user, or all changes for the entire story. Using Track Changes allows designers to more easily keep track of text edits suggested by writers and editors, and avoids paper printouts that include time-consuming old school marked-up text changes.

Seeing the benefits of using the new Track Changes feature may well lead companies into working with InCopy.


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If you’re involved in a collaborative InDesign environment, then managing editorial and design changes is a day-to-day struggle—to put it mildly.

InCopy is a fantastic (and under-promoted) non-linear hub-based system for keeping track of editorial and design changes. Old habits die hard, which is probably the greatest hurdle when switching from the way we do things to a new system. In the end, water chooses the path of least resistance. Once InCopy becomes the tool of choice, users will wonder how they got along with it.


Many of the challenges faced by smaller publishing workgroups stem from the lack of an integrated workflow solution. Instead, they combine word processing, usually Microsoft Word, and page layout applications from different vendors. Because these tools and techniques are not designed for integrated collaboration, combining them in editorial workflows often leads to delays, inefficient workarounds, and compromised quality—like trying to fit the proverbial round peg into the square hole.

Having been directly involved in magazine publishing, I can vouch for the angst that traditional workflows cause for all concerned. And this was back in the day before computers took over, making the linear structure of the workflow all the more less efficient.

While word-processing and layout applications are well suited for developing copy and designing pages, they are—like the conflicting theories of the big and the very small in quantum physics—not reconciled or conducive to seamless collaboration.

A major flaw of the old linear system is this: writers and editors cannot see copy in the context of a layout until it is placed in the page layout application. Once it is, they can no longer work on it directly. Neither editorial nor design has an easy way of assessing precisely how their work will come together: how the copy will fit the layout or how images and other design elements will complement the copy.

To solve this problem, various workarounds have become standard practice. These workarounds often include numerous hard-copy proofs marked up by editors and submitted to the designer, who then makes the required changes in the layout. This editing cycle can be repeated multiple times, resulting in additional material costs, and more important, a significant decrease in efficiency and job satisfaction—which is a key to performance.


Adobe InCopy CS5 software is a professional writing and editing program that integrates tightly with Adobe InDesign CS5 software. InCopy CS5 lets writers and editors simultaneously develop their individual stories directly in the InDesign CS5 layout, even while the designers are working on the same layout in InDesign.

Because InCopy CS5 and InDesign CS5 use the same technology for composing text and displaying graphics, writers, editors, and designers can visualize exactly how copy and layout interact—throughout the workflow, rather than at the end—which can result in an unpleasant surprises.

Using InDesign CS5, the designer makes layout content editable for InCopy users by putting individual spreads or the complete document on a networked file server—the information hub in this system. Radiating out like spokes from the central hub are all the people working on the document. After the designer puts the editable layout content on the server, one or more editors, using InCopy on their local computers, can open a file from the server at the same time, editing their stories within the layout, without having to wait for a printout.

As editors save their changes to stories in the layout, the system keeps everyone else who’s working on the publication up to date with their revisions. Since InCopy users are working in the live layout file, they can “write to fit” (or edit to fit) from the start, dramatically reducing the number of proofing rounds required.

One of InCopy's great time-saving strengths is this: precise copyfitting. You can view copyfit information as you work. Constant visual feedback informs you of space remaining—or how far you've gone over—as well as story depth and line, word, and character counts. Another handy feature includes flexible page view options. You can edit in the view most suited to your current task. Galley View displays 100% accurate line breaks, Story View helps enable faster word processing, and Layout View lets you edit text in relation to design.

Another new InCopy feature handles the inconvenience of missing fonts. When you open an InCopy story, InCopy CS5 automatically looks for an associated Document fonts folder, installs the folder's fonts temporarily for use in the story, and then uninstalls the fonts when you close the story. Of course, the appropriate font licenses are still required for any party opening, editing, or printing the story.

Note: While one editor is working on an InCopy file, it is locked out to others until that file is checked back in as being editable again.



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It’s been some four years since I was deeply immersed in the InDesign CS3 production of my book, An Artist Empowered. The attention to detail of the process was both daunting and ultimately rewarding—from layout, editing, typography, to all the design elements. Fortunately, I had written the Zen of Pod Self-Publishing, an in-depth article about my experience, which I refer to from time to time, as a resource for how I did it. You can read that still relevant article here.

With the advent and migration, more of a stampede, from print to eBooks for the iPad, Kindle, Nook, and other reading devices, publishing has dramatically changed since my foray into self-publishing a printed book. Seeing the opportunity to reach more readers with an eBook version at a price substantially less the printed work, I began doing my research.

What follows are general points to be aware of and consider before you begin your own ePub conversion with InDesign CS5. As you’ll discover, planning ahead provides the best ePub results. An excellent primer for understanding eBook basics is Elizabeth Castro’s EPUB: Straight to the Point from Peachpit Press—available as an eBook and a softcover book.


InDesign CS5 has improved upon its automated export options for converting book files into an ePub format. But, all 52 chapters in my InDesign book panel had been meticulously set up for the printed page, not digital reading devices.

For my printed book, I had spent a great deal of time typefitting to remove stacks where the same word repeats one on top of the other—as in 'the' being on top of another 'the' in the next line—which is especially noticeable when they appear on the extreme left or right of the column; while stacks aren't grammatically incorrect, they impede reading and comprehension, as the eye can easily skip over such sentences—and stacks reflect poor typography. You can't (or it can be extremely difficult) control such stack issues in your ePub (or on website page). For the sake of my ePub, I had to let stacks go, too.

If you have a simple layout, as in a novel, your task in maintaining the formatting of the printed work for export to an ePub will be much simpler.

Note: ePubs have advantages, as well as limitations. One notable advantage in my conversion to ePub was that the grayscale paintings in my book could now be in full dynamic color.

But, if your original work is a bit more complex, such as having sidebars, wrapped text, bullet points, indented quotes, images, images with captions, or anything outside the style of your normal main text, your ePub conversion won’t preserve the precise layout look of the printed work, which is the nature of the current technology.

Note: with the proper HTML and CSS styling, you can get text wrap to work; Kindle, however, doesn’t yet support text wrap.

A successful ePub conversion is all about patience and compromises coupled with many export tests (of individual chapters and the whole book) until you arrive at a well-thought out e-reading experience. Also note that compromise isn’t a synonym for shoddy work.

Note: You can test your ePub conversion using a number of free e-reader apps that are listed in the sidebar. 


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Barnes & Noble Nook



We’re familiar with the static nature of printed books. However, an ePub, short for electronic publishing, is a linear flow designed for reflowable content—meaning that the text display can be optimized for the particular screen size of the display device used by the reader of the ePub-formatted book. Also, an ePub can be edited to, for example, correct a typo, without much fuss.

An ePub file is a zipped package that consists of XML files, XHTML files, a CSS style sheet, plus other necessary files for your eBook to be accepted as valid by the various readers. It can also contain fonts and images. You can open an ePub file with a compatible reader such as Adobe Digital Editions (ADE), the Stanza application for the iPhone, and the Sony Reader, or you can convert it into a file format that can be opened on other reading devices, such as the Amazon Kindle, Apple’s iPad, various smartphones, and Palm OS devices. Each eBook reader displays content differently, sometime subtle, and other times not—that’s why testing your ePub on different eBook readers is a professional must.


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An ePub book is essentially a very long web page based on HTML and CSS styling. To edit an ePub file, it must first be unzipped. You’ll need at least some basic knowledge of HTML and CSS to tweak your ePub into an acceptable work that readers will enjoy.

If you need assistance with your coding, then I recommend Stunjelly, a website and graphics development house, and much more; they also specialize in ePub conversions; partners Ed Knowles and Nic West are extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and patient.

After working on my ePub file for over a month, I had taken it as far as I could. One of the reasons it took that long was that I had to incorporate all the sidebar quotes on each page (over 400 pages) into the main text via InDesign’s anchor object option, and then export to see if my changes were correct; ePub doesn’t support sidebars. I needed professional assistance. So, when it came to fine-tuning my ePub, Stunjelly provided the final critical hands-on coding in making it acceptable for eBook sales.

There are a number of free (or small license fee) utilities for your zipping needs. See the sidebar for links.

Note: When I first exported my entire book to ePub (some 52 chapters), I thought InDesign had crashed, as the beachball kept spinning, and the progress bar wasn't indicating any progress. It took InDesign ten minutes on my iMac to convert my book. Given this lengthy process, I edited and exported individual chapters until I was ready to export the entire book again. Of course, your project may take less processing time.

You'll be doing much zipping and unzipping. I found ePub-Zip-and-UnZip easiest and most reliable to use on my iMac. The download includes two AppleScripts for extracting and re-archiving ePubs on a Mac. You could also make such changes using Terminal on a Mac or zip on the command line with windows—but this Mac utility is much easier, and there are similar utilities available for Windows. Link to ePub Zip for Mac OS X, and then download the ePub Zip Applescripts. To use them, click on the Applescript icon, or simpler yet, drop your ePub file onto the appropriate Applescript icon to zip or unzip.

Note: As you might be working with many open documents in InDesign, you’ll appreciate the keyboard shortcuts for save all (Command-Option-Shift-S), and for close all (Command-Option-Shift-W). 

There are two options for setting up an ePub export from InDesign: Page Layout and XML Structure (new in CS5). I chose to work with the Page Layout structure of my InDesign documents. These export options are available in the Export for Digital Editions dialog box.


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Amazon's Kindle



The ePub file format has pretty much become the industry standard. Instead of creating eBooks in a number of formats, it makes more sense to begin with a single ePub file, which you then convert into other formats as required. For example, when you’re working on your ePub (the format used by the iPad, Nook, and Adobe Digital Editions), you’ll also have to test your ePub file for the Amazon Kindle, which requires the mobi file format. This is easy to do: drop your ePub onto the Kindle Preview screen, and the file is automatically converted to mobi—after finalizing corrections on your ePub, you can then open a publisher’s account, if you are the publisher, on and submit your final mobi file directly to them for sale—after you've setup a publisher's account with them. You’ll find that each reader treats your eBook differently. So, testing on different platforms is imperative. This is worth stating again.

Note: After the Kindle Previewer had completed compiling your ePub into the mobi format, it will provide a sort of prefilght report indicating if it has found any errors that would preclude your ePub from being validated and accepted for distribution on the Kindle.


After having produced a print version of a publication with InDesign, you can then use InDesign CS5 to export and convert the same content into an ePub file by choosing File > Export for ePub. But we can’t live in a fool’s paradise. It’s simple, but not necessarily easy. InDesign is intelligent. You have to be smart to make the most the conversion process.

You must set up your InDesign documents in such a way that they can be easily and accurately translated into an ePub file. When you begin working with your InDesign files for export to ePub, there are various elements to consider as you plan your project conversion.


While InDesign has been all about the static printed work and page numbers, ePub is about flow, adjusting dynamically to the reader device at hand. So, one of the concepts I had to unlearn was page numbers, as the ePub conversion process ignores automatic page numbering. This makes sense, as ePub files are designed to adapt to various reading devices, which makes it impossible to predict where pages should begin and end. Some eBook readers add page numbers for you. They’ll even recalculate the page numbers after you’ve resized the text or chosen a different font.

Note: As I write this piece, the Amazon Kindle reader is updating its software to accommodate ‘real’ page numbering. So, eBooks are clearly a technology in transition. You already now the cliché: if you snooze, you lose.


You worked long hours on getting your document’s typography and text formatting looking great. But, you’ll have to let that effort go, as most eBook readers let viewers customize their settings, such as the font, the font’s size, and the background color. Others add formatting controls, such as alignment, line spacing, paragraph spacing, and indents. The initial formatting you’ve specified in your InDesign document can change radically, depending on the reading device at hand.

Most likely,

As suggested earlier, test your ePub files on different eBook readers so you know what to expect and can fix problematic formatting before you start distributing your eBooks. So, if you don't own an iPad, Kindle, or Nook, these e-reader utilities are very helpful in giving you an idea of how your ePub will look.


If you’ve set up your InDesign files correctly for your printed book, then, for consistency, you had applied paragraph and character styles to all the text in your document, including single words and phrases that have unique formatting applied to them, such as bold or italic. In turn, InDesign uses these applied styles for creating the CSS style sheets in the exported ePub file; and the CSS style sheets determine the formatting of the text in the ePub file.

While InDesign CS5 does have an option for using local formatting to produce a CSS style sheet, you will get better results by diligently applying both paragraph and character styles. Relying on local formatting will result in CSS overrides, plus spans and classes. The sheer number of these elements can add up, especially when working on a long document full of overrides, which may do no harm, or even serve some purpose—albeit inelegant.  

Remember, employing styles gives you better control over your typography and formatting, resulting in time saved plus a better ePub conversion.                 


Although InDesign offers an option for embedding fonts (OpenType or TrueType) into the exported ePub file, all eBook readers will ignore your embedded fonts—with the exception of Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). While these readers may not support your fonts, they do maintain font styles, such as bold or italics. If you use special characters like the extended characters in an OpenType font, be sure to test on different eBook readers. In my ePub export, no OpenType characters made it through: no small caps or Proportional Oldstyle that I used on numbers. In the end, I did the following:

Since embedding fonts adds extra file size to my ePub, and as most eBook readers will ignore my fonts, I didn’t embed any fonts. I did strip out all the fonts (mostly Adobe Caslon Pro) used in my printed work for an ePub file with the commonly used font Times New Roman, Serif, which eBook readers could use, or substitute another font. Also, using this ubiquitous font style would give me a better idea of how my eBook would look on ADE or the Kindle Previewer—both available as free downloads. See sidebar for links. If you don’t have a Kindle, then the onscreen computer Kindle Previewer is very handy.

Note: Although the iPad at this time doesn’t offer a previewer app, the Kindle Previewer does offer an iPad preview option.  


If you’ve entered paragraph returns in your InDesign files, they will be ignored when converted to an ePub. Forced line breaks (shift-enter-return) are preserved in ePub, although they will most likely produce ungainly results.

Overall, then, best practices expects that you use InDesign’s Space Before and/or Space After controls to add space between paragraphs, subheadings, chapter headings, chapter numbers, etc. With the Type tool selected, the Space After control is in the Control panel or Paragraph panel. Applying the Space controls produces predictable results when exporting to ePub.

If your book contains bulleted and/or numbered lists, apply paragraph styles formatted with automatic bullets or numbering for more precise control over how the lists are created and formatted in the ePub file.

In my ePub project, I had bullet lists that upon export from InDesign to ePub ended up with an unwanted bold face type when, for example, viewed with ADE, Sigil, and caliber. ADE is an eBook reader; Caliber is an e-Book library manager; and Sigil is a multi-platform open source WYSIWYG ebook editor designed to edit books in the ePub format.

Note: The solution to un-bold the bulleted text was this: change the ePub export option in Bullets and Numbers from Map to Unordered List to Convert to text.


When you create a book file, it opens in the Book panel. The Book panel is the working area of a book file, where you add, remove, or rearrange documents. Multiple sections or chapters (including the book cover) should be created in separate InDesign documents; then you can combine them into a book file. When you export the ePub file, InDesign creates a separate XHTML document for each section, which improves the performance of the eBook reader.


I had spent much time in creating a table of contents (TOC) for my printed book. As it turns out, I eventually learned that InDesign’s export to ePub ignores not only page numbering, but my traditional TOC file, too.

Every eBook needs a TOC, allowing readers to jump to specific chapters. There are two types of TOCs you can include in an eBook: the typical TOC that you see at the beginning of a printed book, which you could enhance with hyperlinks, a tedious process. Or you could build a TOC that also functions as a navigation map in an eBook reader.

To set up a TOC that will become a navigation map, you first need to set up a TOC style (Layout > Table of Contents Styles). The TOC style lets InDesign know what text (chapter number, chapter title) to pull as part of the TOC. When you export the ePub file, you specify the TOC style you created, and then InDesign generates the navigation map for you.


We all love a good index, as it helps us maneuver to items of interest in a non-fiction book. But, as I learned, the 30 plus page index I had so meticulously developed with the great help of Sonar Bookends Index Pro, an InDesign plug-in from Virginia Systems, isn’t relevant for my ePub. After all, as there were no ePub page numbers, my index was superfluous, and summarily ignored when exported for my eBook.

I could have included my index as an indicator of the depth and subject matter, and a reader could always use the e-reader’s search and find feature. But, in the end, I couldn’t make the index, which had three columns on each page, convert properly for my ePub. So, I let the index go, which was yet another compromise in the face of expediency.


Here are the steps, which were done until satisfied, in my ePub conversion process:

  1. Adjust styles in an InDesign file/chapter
  2. Export chapter to ePub
  3. Test file in different eBook readers: mostly ADE and the Kindle Previewer that could also simulate iPad
  4. If issues found, unzip ePub into a folder containing all relevant ePub files
  5. Use BBEdit to open and edit CSS template; use Dreamweaver to open text/xhtml files; make changes as required; save changes
  6. When I had a file open in Dreamweaver and made a saved change in CSS with BBEdit, the change was immediately updated in the Dreamweaver file, allowing me to see if the change was acceptable—this workflow saved me a lot of time.
  7. After making changes, zip folder back into ePub file, then retest file on different readers
  8. At appropriate intervals, export the entire book for ePub from the book panel; continue testing with eBook readers
  9. For an eBook reader to accept your ePub file, it must conform to certain standards by passing a validation test, which you can do from here.

As you can tell by now, a lot of testing and going back between InDesign and the exported ePub file is necessary until you’re satisfied with the final outcome. If you have a book with a simple layout for print, your tweaking and exporting time for ePub may require less time.


Don’t forget to fill in the basic metadata (File>File Info) from within your InDesign Style Source file. All eBook readers require this information. If you fill in the metadata without using the Style Source file, the ePub conversion will ignore the information.


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The reports of print being dead have been greatly exaggerated. When it comes to print, typography is king—separating the amateurs from the masters.

In addition to Bare Bones Software’s BBEdit 9.0, a significant upgrade to the professional strength HTML and text editor for the Macintosh, I also rely on Suitcase Fusion 3 from Extensis—which, among many useful font management tools, auto-activates the fonts I want to use with my InDesign document.

I’m also indebted to Teacup Software, especially for their TypeFitter Pro plug-in. Four years ago, when I was writing the printed version of An Artist Empowered, I had made a huge mistake. At some point, I felt that my writing and editing work was done; it was time to tackle the mind-numbing task (no offense meant to professional indexers) of an index—with substantial help from Sonar Bookends Index Pro, an InDesign plug-in, which automated a good deal of the listings in the index. Still, much more had to be done.

After spending months on an extensive index, I realized I had to make edits and changes in the main text; my blood dropped into my shoes. Changes in the main text would alter the reference pages in the index, meaning all the index work would have to be redone. I had painted myself into a corner. The object lesson here is this: the index comes last; be certain that the writing is ‘really’ done.


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Then, to the rescue, TypeFitter Pro: this awesome plug-in from Teacup Software creates a panel with tools and settings that allowed me to more precisely copy-fit the text in my paragraphs that had changes without having text reflow in the frames and onto other pages. 

With TypeFitter Pro for Adobe InDesign, fitting text has never been so quick, simple and effective. TypeFitter Pro’s sophisticated typefit rules automatically find and fix problems in your copy. With a single click, TypeFitter Pro can fix oversets, widows, imbalanced columns, and more.

TypeFitter’s algorithms search for the smallest possible change to fix your type. Additionally, every rule is fully customizable—you can adjust what text is modified, what attributes are modified, and what the limits are on how much TypeFitter can change.

As the publisher of my book, I also needed to create a barcode. The process was made easy with BarcodeMaker—another well-conceived InDesign plug-in from Teacup Software that produced a professional-looking barcode.


mindsteam logo



For years, I've been using Grammarian from Linguisoft; Grammarian is a universal interactive grammar checking, smart spelling checking, dictionary, thesaurus, AutoCorrect, and styled-text AutoType tool that works with nearly every program on your computer. I'd been very pleased with Grammarian, but had always been looking for a robust integrated InDesign spelling and grammar checker for some time.

Although InDesign’s built-in spelling checker is sophisticated and helpful, it can't help you in the grammar department. And, if you want to check your spellihg, you have to turn it on, or invoke dynamic spelling, which underlines suspected errors in your text.

But I wanted more—and the good news is that I found an excellent solution.

If you demand the best possible clarity in your text, then the MindSuite Pro plug-ins from Mindsteam Software will help tweak your writing into error-free lucid prose. MindSuite Pro is a Master Collection of five linguistic products (including all Pro versions), which are available for InDesign CS4 and CS5; MindSuite Pro contains MindSpell Pro, MindGrammar Pro, MindHyph, MindThes, and LanguageLamp Pro all in a single unified installer.

Note: These plug-ins also work with InCopy.

MindSpell Pro is a spell checker with support for over 140 languages; this versatile plug-in works with the following: all the spelling services provided by MindSpell standard, with Adobe InDesign's Proximity spelling service, and all other third-party spelling solutions.

MindGrammar is a fully integrated grammar checker for Adobe InDesign—and Adobe InCopy.

The MindGrammar Pro dynamic grammar checker provides simple yet powerful grammar checking support for the English language within Adobe InDesign—and Adobe InCopy. Working behind the scenes, MindGrammar underlines grammar errors in your text view (layout or story editor), and the context menu describes the suspected grammar error and offers suggestions.

A couple of attributes I like about these plug-ins include: You don't have to keep turning these plug-ins on or off. They operate in the background while you work. MindSpell Pro and MindGrammar Pro feature handy preflighting 'live panels' to identify all suspected spelling and grammatical errors. The panels allow me to see all the flagged text with potential errors, and the page number; clicking on the underscored page number takes me to the word, phrase or sentence in the text that might need a correction—this jump feature is especially handy when working on long documents. You can also configure the plug-ins to check for various levels of potential errors—for example, ignore caps, or words with numbers.

Note: To access the MindSuite Pro preflight features, you'll need to define a new preflight profile from the preflight panel for each plug-in: MindSpell Pro, MindGrammar Pro—and LanguageLamp Pro, which provides additional Preflight Rules support for InDesign.



Tutorial Recommendations


CS5 Tutorials



There’s nothing like one on one training videos from where you learn at your own pace. The what’s new in InDesign CS5 by Anne-Marie Concepción, and InDesign CS5 Essentials by David Blatner will provide you with a wealth of information and grounding in making the most out of InDesign CS5, and its new features.

A recent web-makover has made even easier to use.


InDesign CS5 New Features

Author Anne-Marie Concepción gives a comprehensive demonstration of the latest features in Adobe InDesign CS5, including desktop publishing tips, workarounds, and practical applications of each feature. InDesign CS5 New Features covers creating interactive documents, tracking text changes with Word, a number of object selection and transformation enhancements, and the ability to mix page sizes. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:

  1. Adding spanning heads over columns and splitting columns
  2. Using the revamped Layers panel
  3. Editing and customizing motion path presets
  4. Adding interactive features
  5. Controlling and managing multiple animations
  6. Mixing page sizes in a single document
  7. Publishing to a variety of Flash formats using the enhanced Export dialog
  8. Creating multi-state objects
  9. Using the new Gap tool and Gridify techniques

If you're an InDesign user, this course will quickly bring you up to speed on InDesign's latest features, and how to use them.


InDesign CS5 Essential Training

Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, Adobe's print and interactive page layout application. The course shows how to create new documents with strong and flexible master pages, precisely position text and graphics, prepare documents for print, and export designs as interactive PDF or Flash SWF files. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:

  1. Navigating and customizing the workspace
  2. Managing documents and pages
  3. Rotating pages and spreads
  4. Adjusting and mixing page sizes
  5. Overriding master page items
  6. Putting text on a path
  7. Threading text frames
  8. Applying strokes, fills, and other formatting effects
  9. Nesting, grouping, and locking objects
  10. Formatting: character-level and paragraph-level
  11. Packaging, printing, and exporting

If you're new to InDesigh or even if you've been using it for some time, this course provides an excellent grounding in how best to use the many feature of InDesign CS5.


peachpit press log



No matter how adept you are with InDesign, there is always more to learn about this fascinating and complex page design software. When you need a book for reference, I highly recommend the Peachpit Press titles listed below. I’m always referring to them, and the training videos complete the picture.

You can link to these titles below or on their book covers in the sidebar.



You can find another convenient and affordable solution for accessing books online from Creative Edge; this content feature service from Safari Online offers unlimited access to thousands of resources for creative people. Choose from books (Peachpit, Adobe Press, New Riders, Apple Pro Series), videos, and tutorials. Pricing is $24.99 per month.




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