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Editing Epubs in Dreamweaver

Contributor ,
Aug 22, 2021 Aug 22, 2021

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Hi,

I created a reflowable epub file using Indesign without any difficulties. Unfortunately, InDesign generates a tremendous amount of unnecessary code that makes it very difficult to edit or compliant with Kindle specs. Using Libre Office, I can export the document as a .html file and open it in Dreamweaver. Being familiar with Dreamweaver, it would be much easier for me to edit the code, so I would prefer to proceed in this way.

Is anybody using Dreamweaver to edit/create their epub files? Any suggestions?

Thanks.

Mark

TOPICS
Code , How to , Publish

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Community Expert ,
Aug 22, 2021 Aug 22, 2021

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Export your InDesign file directly to e-Pub formatted for Kindle.  Amazon provides a free plugin specifically for this purpose:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000765271

 

Nancy O'Shea— Product User, Community Expert & Moderator
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Contributor ,
Aug 22, 2021 Aug 22, 2021

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Hi Nancy,

 

I understand it can be done. The problem is that InDesign generates a tremendous amount of unnecessary code (see below). I can eliminate most of it using Dreamweaver. As well, KDP requires/suggests particular coding in certain instances, which I’m finding difficult to accomplish using InDesign as the editor.

 

<div class="_idGenObjectLayout-1">
<div id="_idContainer000" class="imageBorder">
<img class="_idGenObjectAttribute-1" src="image/300ppi.png" alt="" />
</div>
</div>
<div id="_idContainer001" class="Basic-Text-Frame">
<p class="bodyText">Nate vella dest quides molupta sit aliquas excest volorep erspeliquia ilitius modit et, net quaepreici blam, ullestias maximus accate nobisquas reped modisit dolupis iusam, solessi taerrumet officia vitasimi</p>
</div>
<div class="_idGenObjectLayout-1">
<div id="_idContainer002" class="imageBorder">
<img class="_idGenObjectAttribute-1" src="image/300ppi.png" alt=“alt text” />
</div>
</div>
<div id="_idContainer003" class="Basic-Text-Frame">
<p class="captionText"><span class="boldText _idGenCharOverride-1">eeeeRibus molorit ianihic</span> itibust qui officii ssitemolupta ditas dolorib usandenem con comnit qui tem sed quunt, offici.</p>
</div>

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Community Expert ,
Aug 22, 2021 Aug 22, 2021

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The problem is you want a code generator in a visual layout app to produce streamlined code for you.  That will never happen.  You can manually clean it up in Dreamweaver if you want.   But if this was my project, I'd use Kindle Create which is a dedicated tool for making Kindle compliant eBooks.

https://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Create/b?ie=UTF8&node=18292298011

 

You know the old saying, "work smarter not harder."

 

Nancy O'Shea— Product User, Community Expert & Moderator
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Contributor ,
Aug 23, 2021 Aug 23, 2021

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Hi Nancy,

 

I fully understand.

 

The problem is as follows. I am trying to group elements (an image and text below it) for an epub using the following CSS rule:

 

.avoidbreak { page-break-inside: avoid; }

 

I would like to keep the image and text paired, if possible. Unforunately, I haven't had any success. I posted a question on the InDesign forums but got no response.

 

The HTML code that Indesign exported is below. I tried wrapping everything in a DIV and giving it the class “avoidbreak,” but it doesn't work. I tried everything I know of but the results were the same.

 

Do you have any idea how to do it? It seems simple enough.

 

Thanks.

 

Mark

 

<div class="avoidbreak">

<div class="_idGenObjectLayout-1">

<div id="_idContainer004" class="imageBorder">

<img class="_idGenObjectAttribute-1" src="image/300ppi.png" alt="image text" />

</div>

</div>

<div id="_idContainer005" class="Basic-Text-Frame">

<p class="captionText">Ribus molorit ianihic itibust qui officii ssitemolupta ditas dolorib usandenem con comnit qui tem sed quunt, offici ant vendus aut velessimet endant eumquunt quia in provitis ea porum nosanduntem.</p>

</div>

</div>

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Community Expert ,
Aug 23, 2021 Aug 23, 2021

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Are you certain those CSS rules will even work on Kindle?  I ask because many things you can do on the web will be ignored by Kindle and other e-Book readers.  That's just the nature of this beast.

 

Sometimes the only way to avoid breaking content is to use smaller fonts or combine text and image into a single JPG  -- which is not ideal for accessibility reasons. 

 

Kindle Direct has a user community you can consult about formatting issues.

https://www.kdpcommunity.com/

 

Nancy O'Shea— Product User, Community Expert & Moderator
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Contributor ,
Aug 23, 2021 Aug 23, 2021

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Thanks for the link Nancy. I'll see what I can find out.

 

It appears as though these particular rules are now recognized by Kindle.

 

https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/GH4DRT75GWWAGBTU#css_page_breaks

 

Kind regards,

 

Mark

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Guest
Apr 05, 2023 Apr 05, 2023

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Hi Mark, how do you go about learning the techincal side of ebooks?  Similar to Nancy, I am more interested in the outer design but I completely understand the issue you are talking about.  I started learning how to build websites on dreamweaver last year.  There are so many excellent resources for beginners on websites but I can't see anything for ebooks.  For example, do you know a resource where it tells you how to code the head section in the main content file and the main xhtml and css elements that used to structure the pages?  This is a really basic thing.  With websites there's lots of help but I don't see how people actually start learning how to build ebooks

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Community Expert ,
Apr 05, 2023 Apr 05, 2023

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@Deleted User 

Consult your e-book publisher's online documentation i.e. Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing, etc...

https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G202172740

 

 

Nancy O'Shea— Product User, Community Expert & Moderator
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Contributor ,
Apr 05, 2023 Apr 05, 2023

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Hi Nancy,

 

Thanks. I recently switched to Scrivener for my ebook publications. I find the entire process much easier, from preparing the draft to exporting to final product. It has its limitations, but I can work around them. It is a wonderful program, unlike anything else I've used.

 

Kind regards,

 

Mark

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Community Expert ,
Oct 17, 2023 Oct 17, 2023

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LATEST

I realize this is an older thread, and even the bump is months back. But I wanted to poke in some useful information.

 

First, the InDesign plugin for Kindle was never finished, never worked very well and is now wholly obsolete, still in a beta form. But ID's EPUB export and some added skills more than make up for its crude functionality.

 

Second, no, DW is not a good EPUB editor. You can use to edit the component files, of course, but it brings so much bulk and overhead for other purposes that I've found it just gets in the way. I much prefer using a streamlined code editor, with formatting and color-coding, like Notepad++, when I need to edit XHTML or CSS for EPUB.

 

Third, ID generates fine EPUB code, especially for Kindle, and does so in a modern, WYSI, designer environment and not the Lego/Build-a-Bear model that's both a PITA and wholly obsolete. I suspect the comment about ID generating messy code refers to FXL EPUB, which is inherently such a mess that it's next to un-editable at all. But if you're serious about doing EPUB and Kindle in the modern day, it's time to put away the hand-carved, tinker-toy, structural tools for EPUB — put 'em on the shelf with lead type and hand-pasteup on blueline board for print work — and move to a real document/page design tool as your workbench. You know, like InDesign. 🙂

 

For the areas where ID doesn't quite generate clean results, use CSS. You can tweak or completely override InDesign's defaults, some of which are clumsy to the point of being broken, with just a modicum of HTML/CSS knowledge... and the more you know, from web design etc., the more you can do, achieving things that are difficult to nearly impossible using hand-built component files.  You can even — fairly easily — maintain dual-format export from the same ID file, to clean PDF for print and optimized EPUB for EPUB or Kindle.

 

There's no reason to use obsolete methods, or hack at an exported EPUB, or put up with all the clumsy steps to get a second rate result.


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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