Font alignment problem in epub

Community Beginner ,
May 01, 2022 May 01, 2022

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I have almost finished a 420-page book on horticulture that has over 900 photos and illustrations that I want to publish in print and electronic formats. I have tried to use the ‘export to epub’ command on the drop-down menus for the book. I used the fixed layout type of epub to keep the captions and other text in the right location relative to the pictures. Unfortunately, several of the fonts are really messed up when viewed in the epub document, even on pages without pictures. I used OpenType fonts in Adobe. I did not change any settings for the basic character formats, including leading, kerning, and tracking. In the ‘packaging for print’ menu, none of the fonts are missing, embedded, or incomplete. The ‘export to PDF’ command works fine and the words are exactly the same as seen on the screen in the InDesign document.

In the jpg example of one page, the red arrows point out a few places where the Garamond font has words that butt up to each other without the space that was there before. In the Indesign document I have selected ‘show hidden characters’ in the Type menu and I can see the little blue dots in between all of these words. I see no connection to the elimination of the blank spaces. Sometimes it is after a comma and other times not. None of the lines of text are shorter, so the same word is last on each line in the messed up epub as in the original InDesign document.

The blue arrows are pointing to Garamond Italics that have all spaces between words eliminated. There are other fonts used for captions, titles, subtitles, and other things that are also problems, but these are the easiest examples to see and I hope that clearing up these problems will fix them too.

I really don’t want to change the fonts because of how many pages of text that will shift a tiny bit and then not line up with a picture or move to the next page. I am hoping that there is a simple setting that needs to change that will solve this problem for the epub that doesn’t exist for PDF or the InDesign formats.

I tried the ‘Publish Online’ and it worked fine

Thank you very much for your help.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 01, 2022 May 01, 2022

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Whichever format you use, it sounds like a huge file size -- have you checked how you're going to distribute the document?

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Community Beginner ,
May 01, 2022 May 01, 2022

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Hi Derek, I have not completely figured that out, but I am thinking for the electronic version that I can split it into three smaller books. Although, I would like a version of the whole thing. Currently, this problem is occurring when I try to epub just one chapter of 32 pages.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 01, 2022 May 01, 2022

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FXL EPUB is very difficult to 'fix' because of the complexity of the code it generates. I'd also wonder if you're going to exceed file size and element limits with such a massive book.

 

As a first step, try exporting the book without embedded fonts and test in on a device that does not have your working fonts installed. That alone may solve a lot of your problems.

 

Also give reflowable EPUB a shot, just to see if the outcome is first-pass acceptable. You might want to explore that route if it is; it's a lot easier to tweak the output and balance out problems. Don't use embedded fonts, though, or even defined ones. E-books are not meant to be a visual representation of a printed page and you'll avoid a whole cascade of problems.

 

If what you want is an e-doc version of the printed book... stay with PDF.

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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Community Beginner ,
May 01, 2022 May 01, 2022

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Hi NitroPress, I apologize for my inexperience and new list of questions. I thank you for your effort to help me.

What file size and element limits do I need to stay under?

How do I export without embedded fonts?

I tried the reflowable epub and it put all the text at the beginning and all of the pictures at the end.

Is it possible to sell an electronic book through Amazon or Ingram Spark, etc with a PDF and not other electronic formats?

I see the professional guide information. Will that answer the questions I am asking? I will try that out too.

I had never heard of the publish online choice until today and it worked just fine for this font problem. Is that a file type that can be moved to offline? Can it be sold as a download?

Thank you again.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 01, 2022 May 01, 2022

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No problem, everyone's new to this at one time. The goal is to get old at it without wasting time on the wrong approaches.

 

Let's see... (sorry, this ran long):

 

  1. When you export to EPUB, there's a checkbox under HTML & CSS that says Include Embeddable Fonts. Uncheck it. This will keep ID from bundling the (often encrypted) fonts with the EPUB and reduce the file size quite a bit. Unless you do other things, the font definitions will still be included, so viewing the book will pull them from your installed fonts, or the fonts installed on whatever system (such as a customer's) it's viewed on. This is... cumbersome and problematic and should be avoided. E-books should use generic font definitions; Kindle in particular hates defined fonts and tries to override them with the reader system fonts.

  2. Unfortunately, this is not an option for fixed layout, and becomes the point source for many formatting and font issues with that format, as well as inherently bulking up the file size. One of the many reasons FXL==PITA.

  3. The "pictures at the bottom" problem with the reflowable export is from a basic structural error: you have to anchor pictures for them to stay in place in a reflowable EPUB. Just sticking them on a page, as you can do for print layouts, will leave them (literally) unattached and included only as a pile of junk at the end. An EPUB doc (reflowable, mostly, but also applies to fixed for some things) is supposed to be one continuous text flow, not multiple flows or stories or frames, and everything like pictures, tables and graphics have to be attached to the text to stay in place. (It may help to visualize an EPUB doc as a web page, assuming you know a little about how web pages work... because that's exactly what they are, a packaged web page.)

  4. It is difficult to sell a PDF book for several reasons, the chief one being very weak DRM; you can only protect a PDF against piracy with a fairly complex, server-based distribution system. Neither Ingram nor KDP support PDF sales, as far as I know.

  5. EPUB has reasonable DRM from some sellers.

  6. Kindle has all but unbreakable DRM but has all the downsides of selling through Amazon, and for anything but simple books, needs a very clean and structured EPUB. It can use fixed-layout, though, which can be a slightly shorter route for some books.

  7. I am not a Publish Online expert; my understanding is that it's more or less public-access, with or without some password access control, but it's not a publication platform in the sense of Ingram, B&N, Kindle. I will no doubt be corrected on the details of that. 🙂

 

It sounds like you're very late in the design and publication effort, which is why it pains me to tell you that you may have to redo much of it to get to any commercially publishable options (for e-book, at least). Layout, structure, setup and all that for print is considerably different from what's needed for e-book (that is, any e-book that's more than flowing text and headings). You have to sweat all the little details that are so easy to skip for print. If you have 900 pages put together using incompatible techniques... there's no easy way to fix it. Don't feel too bad, though; you're not the first to do a print layout assuming you can get to e-book easily. It would help if there was more information out there for e-book authoring that was current and not focused on the E-Z-est methods, so that new authors and publishers could get started on the right foot, but the e-book/EPUB/Kindle community is... imperfect.

 

And yes, you'd find my book useful even if parts of it are more useful to those with some technical background (HTML/CSS mostly). It's a whopping $3 in Kindle, though, so I think you'll get value in return.

 

And happy to answer more questions here, as are many knowledgeable folks. I am honestly not sure of the path to simplifying ID files for FXL EPUB because I avoid and dis-recommend the whole direction, but who knows... it might be easier than I think.

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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Community Beginner ,
May 01, 2022 May 01, 2022

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Thank you for your help. I appreciate the length. I am close to being done with the book and originally wasn't considering any type of electronic version. The cost of printing an 8.5x11 full-color book over 400 pages long is higher than what I would like the retail to be, so that got me thinking about an electronic version. Tomorrow, I will try anchoring a few pictures in one chapter to see what happens.

Thanks again

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 02, 2022 May 02, 2022

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Yes, the costs skyrocket when you go to interior color. For an author/press, the best option may be to sell through the POD outlets such as KDP. You won't make any more — maybe even a little less — but the huge costs of printing an initial run or even moderate runs through, say, Lulu for self-distribution are avoided.

 

Going to EPUB/Kindle with such works does take effort (especially if that wasn't planned into the layout and development from the beginning) but does have the benefits of being able to both sell the book at a lower price and still making a larger royalty share.

 

I did a book last year that's everything you're encountering/expecting/attempting. Horrible broken mess of a Word file; got it to gorgeous (8.5x11) hardcover, softcover and — with some added effort — Kindle. So it can be done, and given the huge hurdles for printing, selling and distributing large, costly, color books... it was the better choice.

 

But yep, restructuring the book starting from page 1, in a single text flow, with every element anchored in place... that's the foundation for e-publishing.

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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