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I cannot for the life of me get linebreaks in an epub

Community Beginner ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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HELP! (sorry for bad english)
So i have been trying to export my indesign file to an epub reflowable, and it removes all blank spaces, line breaks and blank lines. I have looked up how to fix it and found a place that told me to use a paragraph style that had "space after" the places where i needed it.. so i did that... and it didnt work.. any other helpful tips? Im not good with indesign, i do not know ANYTHING about HTML or CSS so i feel very very lost. 

 

 

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Community Expert ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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Creating Reflowable ePubs is not intuative. I suggest you take a LinkedinLearning online video course on creating Reflowable ePubs. They are in English but there is transcript. You can get 30-day free access.

https://www.linkedin.com/learning/me

 

 

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Community Expert ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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If you truly know nothing about HTML or CSS you're in over your head.

What version of InDesign are you using?

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Community Beginner ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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I have some basic knowledge of CSS and HTML. Where can I find the CSS files for the style in InDesign?

I'm using version 15.0.2 on 64x

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Community Expert ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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HTML collapses white space—multiple returns and spaces get collapsed into a single space or return:

 

https://www.oreilly.com/library/view/web-programming-with/9781284091809/xhtml/11_Chapter02_08.xhtml

 

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Community Expert ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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You need to make sure everything has a paragraph style properly assigned and pay attention to what Rob already posted. If you're trying to force things with multiple line breaks, etc, stop doing that...it's futile.

I also would not overthink this. Reflowable epub is highly dependent on the settings that the reader would set in his or her own device with their own preferences for fonts, font sizes, etc.

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Community Expert ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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You can open the epub contents by changing the .epub extension to .zip and use a utility like Stuffit Expander to open the zip archive:

 

Screen Shot 18.png

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Community Expert ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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If you're on a Mac BBEdit is an excellent application for editing ePubs.

But you need to understand some concepts, such as no page size, no page numbers, no Master pages, all text to be styled (paragraph and character styles), all images to be anchored. You will be very lost until you get some training.

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Community Expert ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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told me to use a paragraph style that had "space after" the places where i needed it.. so i did that... and it didnt work.. any other helpful tips?

 

Also, space after should work, but the epub’s relative space amount will be different. It will be defined as a margin-below in device pixels, while InDesign’s space below is the print output dimensions. Here I set a space below as 150 pixels which equals 2.083" when printed. You can also see the tabs and multiple returns are collapsed:

 

Screen Shot 17.png

 

 

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LEGEND ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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Bear in mind that when you choose to make a reflowable publication you are giving up full control. You are letting the viewing software make its layout decisions for you, and these decisions will be very different on diffferent device and apps. Some may squash your content or spread it very much, so blank lines will be sacrificed. Don’t worry! Your job is to deliver what matters: the content. 

If you can explain why, in a particular case, you feel you must break the reflow with extra blanks, new lines, or blank lines, someone may have a solution, or can tell you you cannot control it. Screen shots may help. 

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Community Beginner ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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I made it work. 😄 

But im setting up a book for an author and he finds it very important that there is a line break between the chapter titles and the text. The other authors i have worked with didnt think it was important so i have never had to deal with it before. But now i found a solution that works thanks to people in here and other forums. 🙂 

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 24, 2020 Nov 24, 2020

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How did you make it work? I'm having the same issue.

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New Here ,
Jun 24, 2021 Jun 24, 2021

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Anyone, please? I understand basic HTML and I was wondering was there a code I can put in to force line breaks.

 

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Community Expert ,
Jun 24, 2021 Jun 24, 2021

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It's called a Hard Return or Carriage Return and you insert one by using the ENTER or RETURN key on your keyboard.

Yes, just like you're in word processing, it ends one paragraph and begins a new paragraph.

 

To get white space in between the paragraphs, use HTML/EPUB CSS styles (or an InDesign style that will convert to a CSS style) that programs in white space before an/or after the paragraphs (those things with the Hard Returns).

 

Dont do this!

Double-Returns.png

 

 

 

 

 

Do This Instead!

This is correct.This is correct.

In the above screen capture, there is only ONE hard return, at the end of each paragraph of text.

Edit the Basic Paragraph style or other body text style to add white space above/after the paragraphs.

 

Double-Returns-3.png

 

These instructions are basic InDesign 101 issues that are taught in elementary classes.

 

@KathrineFrich , You stated "i do not know ANYTHING about HTML or CSS so i feel very very lost."

 

I'm amazed you'd think that you could tackle 2 complex programming issues (InDesign and EPUB) without know anything about them, and without any training. Essentially, you are asking us to do the work for you, rather than take an introductory free class on how to use InDesign. And making EPUBs from InDesign is an advanced class.

 

We are unpaid volunteers here, not paid employees, and we are not here to do your work for you. We're here to help other users with problems...REAL problems, not someone's lack of basic knowledge of a software program.

 

I 100% back the guidance from @BobLevine and @Derek Cross. You might not like their answers, but they are truthful and accurate. Get some training. Derek suggested a free 1-month subscription to LinkedIn Learning where you could easily learn these details.

 

 

Bevi Chagnon | PubCom | Designer & Technologist for Accessible Documents
| Books & Classes | Accessible InDesign | Accessible PDFs | Accessible MS Office |

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New Here ,
Feb 20, 2023 Feb 20, 2023

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This is all from the prespective of a visual designer. Authors look at text differently. Imagine having extra white space after every single 'paragraph' on a page with dialogue! It would make the whole novel instantly unreadable.

I'm working an a solution and will post it here once found, but I do get the frustration of some people on this page. The technical solutions provided are simply not feasible for a lot of publications.

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New Here ,
Feb 20, 2023 Feb 20, 2023

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(Thinking about it, replacing double paragraph 'ends' (line breaks) with single ones whilst applying a different paragraph syle that adds white space after the paragraph should do the trick. The only ocmplication being that double line breaks should be handled differently for every paragraph style.)

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New Here ,
Feb 20, 2023 Feb 20, 2023

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Actually, this IS the solution. Just tried it and it worked. It even survived Kindle-conversion.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 20, 2023 Feb 20, 2023

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There should be no "double line breaks" — multiple paragraph returns — anywhere in any InDesign layout, nor should there be any double white spaces of any kind. This is fundamental to professional page layout, and absolutely essential for clean, controllable EPUB export.

 

Soft returns or line breaks should be avoided entirely.

 

ALL spacing in an InDesign document should be controlled with paragraph styles, and there should be no spot overrides applied. Again, this is essential for EPUB/Kindle export.

 


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

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New Here ,
Feb 20, 2023 Feb 20, 2023

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That's why you need to replace them, instead of just removing them, which would alter the flow and meaning of texts. Authors just slam the enter button, they don't care about how it would work in epubs. I just checked and to my amazement, I'm looking at Kindle books that do indeed differ substantially from their paper counterparts. 

 

EXAMPLE:

 

"Blah blah?", asked mister mister. [break]
"Blah", answered miss miss.[break]

That was the end of their conversation. [break]

[break]

Later that after he started to regret is question.[break]

 

As an author I would be livid if that double break would have been omitted in an ebook.

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New Here ,
Feb 20, 2023 Feb 20, 2023

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*later that afternoon

 

(Can't seem to find the edit function in this forum)

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Community Expert ,
Feb 20, 2023 Feb 20, 2023

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LATEST

Yes. There's a difference between a manuscript and a formatted book page.

 

If an author doesn't understand the difference/process, it's up to the designer to get the book page formatting right in both structure and visual layout.

 


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

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 07, 2022 Jul 07, 2022

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Thank you. You have saved me hours of frustration.

 

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Participant ,
Jun 23, 2021 Jun 23, 2021

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I have returned to this page several times. I would like to report both Bob Levine and Derek Cross for being very unhelpful to put it politely. Their community professional credentials should be revoked. Either answer the questions or dont say anything at all. Saying "go get training" or "you're in over your head" is just obnoxious and these guys have no business being in help forums. 

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Community Expert ,
Jun 23, 2021 Jun 23, 2021

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Telling people that they require training is sometimes the best response. InDesign has a high learning curve and if you want to use it for EPUB without any knowledge of CSS and HTML you are in over your head.

 

If you don't like it, that's just too damn bad.

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New Here ,
Jun 24, 2021 Jun 24, 2021

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Hey BobLevine,

 

Can I just check please if you have provided the answer. You mentioned before 'If you're trying to force things with multiple line breaks, etc, stop doing that...it's futile' how can you force it? I don't mind going through my both and insert something like <br> or something.

 

I just want any solution to make it work so I can put simple line breaks in between my paragraphs where it needs to be 🙂

 

Thank you for your help

Alex

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