I am looking for assistance in troubleshooting a problem with creating an EPUB file from InDesign.
My daughter who is a college student took an InDesign file created by the publisher for our book, saved it as a new file, edited and replaced some of the art with higher resolution art. We sent it back to the publisher and they are asking us to fix this issue, however we are novice at InDesign. This is the publishers communication back to us:
"So I have spent all day working on this one. I embedded all 42 images, re-saved them all for ebook resolution (they were too big to insert as they were) got it all finished finally and it will not export. It just shuts INDD down each time. I made sure my software was the latest version, restarted my computer multiple times - it shuts InDesign down each time. I contacted another designer here Amanda King and had her try to export it for me, it won't export for her either. I went back to the original INDD file that they submitted and it will not export even without the images embedded and fixed. There is something wrong wih the file they provided but I have no way to know what it is - something is buggy in there. We may have to have them supply their own ePub file. I have spent all this time, but I have no idea what else to try. I don't get any kind of error message, it just shuts down InDesign, and did the same thing on Amanda. Since I didn't build this last file I can't really trouble shoot it. Let me know what we need to do from here.
Hey Bryan, yes if you check my notes above I mention that I went through all 42 images as part of my process and lowered the resolution, optimized them all for web and inserted them. Definitely not the issue. I also went back to the original and tried it straight and it wouldn’t work either. The file seems to be buggy is all I can figure. I’m happy to send them the optimized images if they want to work on it from there. I have no clue what would be the issue. There is no error message it just shuts Indesign down.
Bryan Rachel also to note when we originally did this book from my files with the same number of images I did create an epub with no problems. So that also eliminates that as the root issue."
EPUB editing is... not really an advisable approach. You can "hand build" EPUBs using tools and techniques I regard as outdated, but applying these processes to EPUBs generated by InDesign or another platform is going to result in messy chaos. Things like replacing embedded images is high (or low?) on this no-no list, in my experience.
The solution is to fix the problem at the INDD level and re-export to the publisher's standards. Happy to help (along with many other experienced folks here) as much as I can. But patching the EPUB is... not a workable path.
First off, are you publishing to an e-book? Or are you (and the publisher) attempting to go ID to EPUB to print? (Horrors!)
Second, is this a reflowable EPUB or fixed (FXL)? And version - 2 or 3? Short form, if it's for e-book publication, it should be reflowable v3.
More details, please.
Thanks for your response.
As I understand the publisher was trying to fix the InDesign file and not the EPUB file. They took out the images and resized them and put them back but that did not help. Everytime they tried to export the EPUB file InDesign crashed. The publisher sent it back to me because they could not figure out what was wrong with the file since I edited it.
Today we tried to export an EPUB (Reflowable EPUB) and InDesign kept spinning. Neither us nor the publisher actually know what the problem is that needs to be fixed. Hope you can help.
Yes publishing an ebook.
Checking with the publisher for specifications.
Maybe irrelevant, but I am not sure why the publisher is dealing with both files. If you authored it in INDD, an export to EPUB using whatever specs they provide should be all they need.
If the images are linked, try this: put all of the images in a new subfolder, so that the INDD file can't find them. Then try an export, ignoring all warnings about images not being available. If this creates an EPUB without crashing, it's one or more of the images at fault, and gives a useful direction for troubleshooting.
The images are linked.
We put all of the images in a new subfolder and there were 42 errors.
We cliked export EPUB reflowable and again InDesign got stuck. It did not create the epub file and we had to use the task manager to shut down InDesign.
Are you available for hire to help resolve this problem?
To the last, yes, I do publication consulting. But let's see if we can work this through. (For one thing, I'm not sure of how the author/publisher relationship is working here; too many cooks and all that. 🙂 )
Try this: without changing anything else, leaving the image files separated, save the file to IDML. There's two paths to that and I've never been sure if there are any differences, so use Ctrl+E/Export to IDML. (You can also just Save As IDML, but never mind that for now. My feeling is that the export 'does more.')
Now open the IDML file, save it as a different name INDD, and try the export again. If it works, start looking through the new document to see if the IDML cleanup save did any irreparable damage to your content, structure, TOC, etc.
Ok we did per your instructions and the same result.
It gets stuck after we export the EPUB file.
Interesting to note out of the 42 pieces of art in the book all were missing except the new art we replaced in INDD file.
Something is wrong with the links I think
Yeah, something got broken, here.
ID will create a low-res placeholder when you place and image, and that's what will show up for most editing, even if you get a "missing link" error on open. I am not sure what has been done to this file that images were replaced and now somehow aren't properly "connected" any more. Maybe I am misreading the description of the book's history, but it sounds like some questionable steps/processes were used in the back-and-forth. For EPUB export, it is usually best to let ID handle the image reprocessing to the export-defined parameters; about the only time you fuss with the original images and have ID pass those on through is for very high resolution results, which don't matter much on a browser/EPUB reader.
Is the end goal an EPUB or variation, or Kindle?
If you want to archive just the INDD file and put it in Dropbox or Google Drive and forward me the link, I will see if any obvious problems pop out.
Ok thank you I will do that in the am.
Nailed it, finally, by deleting pages until the problem went away, then refining the process.
Bad endnote link. Deleting the contents of the endnotes text frame cures the export problem. Job now is to delete and reconstruct each end note, maybe 5 at a time, then test the export process until it works properly.