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Epub fonts bad kern

Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2019

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Hello,
I'm fairly new to epubs, but have created several reflowable epubs with no issues. 
Created my first 'fixed' epub from InDesign (CC19) file which uses typekit font 'Proxima Soft'. Using Kindle previewer to check file. Fonts view fine on my end, but when client uploads file & views the font kern is all messed up. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Sandy

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Epub fonts bad kern

Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2019

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Hello,
I'm fairly new to epubs, but have created several reflowable epubs with no issues. 
Created my first 'fixed' epub from InDesign (CC19) file which uses typekit font 'Proxima Soft'. Using Kindle previewer to check file. Fonts view fine on my end, but when client uploads file & views the font kern is all messed up. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Sandy

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531

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Nov 30, 2019 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Nov 30, 2019

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I think you're asking too much of the simple EPUB format. https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/indesign/using/export-content-epub-cc.html says:

Also note the following limitations when including text in your documents for export to EPUB:

  • Kerning is not supported on an individual glyph and is distributed as letter spacing across all the letters of a word

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Nov 30, 2019 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Nov 30, 2019

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Beyond Books app on iOS and Mac, fixed layout epub is kind of a crapshoot. Converting to mobi for kindle is likely to break an awful lot.

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Nov 30, 2019 0
Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2019

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Thanks for your reply Bob,

Working InDesign CC19 on PC. Export to .epub (fixed), just using Kindle preview for proof (no mobi export). 
Not making sense why my view is different than my clients.
Response to Test_Screen_Name... Don't need exact kern, but it should be readable. Clients view the kern crash is unreadable.

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Nov 30, 2019 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Nov 30, 2019

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Are you using same ePub viewer and version as them? Maybe theirs is buggy. 

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Nov 30, 2019 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Nov 30, 2019

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Nov 30, 2019 0
Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2019

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Not sure. I'll check with him. Thanks

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Nov 30, 2019 0
Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2019

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What a bummer. The book is only 70 pgs, but has a handful of images. Thinking about work around, going to try different font altogether & if that doesn't work... pdfing each pg & placing them in ID file. waawaawaa 

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Nov 30, 2019 0
Guide ,
Nov 30, 2019

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The only method to maintain absolute visual consistency with your typography in a FXL epub is to rasterize each text frame (converting to an image).

 

Select the object/frame or group, and right-mouse click the object/group. In the menu select "Object Export Options".

 

Use the following settings in the epub tab:

 

large.png

 

Notice the Rasterize Container option. This will rasterize (convert to a bitmap/image) the object. After applying this, preview the epub once more, and you will discover the effect works as required.

 

Use jpg for objects which do not require transparency to save a bit on file size, but I strongly advice PNG for text and sharp edged in any case, because PNG maintains sharpness best for these type of graphics. Generally PNG just works best in most cases where these effects or objects disappear.

 

Also notice the resolution: if you are using the ipad Retina document preset, set this resolution to 72. Do this also when exporting your epub, because InDesign exports the graphics at the native resolution of the device you selected when 72ppi is selected.

 

There is no reason to use a higher resolution, unless you happen to be working with the non-retina iPad document preset (which is 1024x768) for example, and you want to export to a retina version - in this case (only) you would choose a 72x2=144ppi resolution export to meet these requirements.

 

If you are working with the Kindle Fire/Nook document preset, again choose 72ppi for both the object export resolution as well as the epub publishing resolution, because any value over 72ppi will generate image assets which are much larger and eat up more file space then required.  Just remember that InDesign will export the images at the exact required selected device's document preset's resolution when 72ppi is used. 

 

Any more merely serves to bloat the ebook's file size and may reduce viewing performance under circumstances.

 

The text is no longer "real text", of course, if you follow these directions. Then again, converting to a FXL layout to Kindle generally just means converting the whole thing to images anyway to retain exact layout.

 

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Nov 30, 2019 0
Guide ,
Nov 30, 2019

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PS one more thing to look out for when converting a FXL epub to Kindle: transparency in PNG files is converted to white, and the transparency is discarded. (You will notice this when opening such a FXL epub with transparent PNG files in the Kindle Previewer).

 

Which is why you must convert all transparent objects which interact with background elements to flattened images that have no transparency.

 

With more complex artwork and text this generally means converting the entire page to one flattened image, unfortunately.

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Nov 30, 2019 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Dec 01, 2019

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The problem is the lack of viable reader apps. I would never even attempt a fixed layout epub out of InDesign destined for anything other than iPads or Macs. Readium is making some progress but it's not ready, yet and I don't know when it will be.

If an exact replica is a requirement then create a PDF and be done with it. 

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Dec 01, 2019 0
Explorer ,
Aug 01, 2020

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Kobo app and readers do pretty much decent EPUB3 FXL rendering...

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Aug 01, 2020 0
Guide ,
Aug 03, 2020

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So does the new Thorium reader for Windows, Linux, and Mac.

https://www.edrlab.org/software/thorium-reader/

 

Situation has improved somewhat.

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Aug 03, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Dec 01, 2019

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This suggestion to rasterise seems to be completely wrong. If the book happens to have a very complex layout where accuracy is critical (for example a maths text book) this may be the only solution. But otherwise, rasterising severely reduces usability for the reader of the file (quality may suffer, can't reflow, can't search...) So this should only be done if the designer feels esthetics are more important than usability (I wouldn't employ a designer who felt that, but your mileage may vary).  Is it really more important to keep exact font and kerning than, for example, the ability to search for the word you kerned so carefully? My tip: if you're going to epub be prepared to LET GO... learn about the medium, it's strengths and weaknesses and work with them, even if your fancy design is compromised.

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Dec 01, 2019 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Dec 01, 2019

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You're right about reflowable, but I'll disagree about fixed layout not being able to handle some kerning. If you crack one open and dive into the mark up, you'll find a complete mess which is what's needed to make it fixed so kerning shouldn't really cause a need for this unless it's dramatic.

There are very few instances where rasterizing is required and this is where I strongly agree with you. If you have conditions like that, you're designing incorrectly for the medium.

Adobe makes this all sound so simple but even their own reader app, Adobe Digital Editions, is a steaming pile of garbage. There's no excuse for it.

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Dec 01, 2019 0
Community Beginner ,
Dec 01, 2019

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In the end, I changed the font for epub & it's working. All typekit fonts will not work with fixed epubs. Big lesson learned. Thanks for all of your input. Much appreciated.
Someone noted to just pdf & be done. I didn't think kdp would accept Adobe pdf ? the kindle previewer doesn't recognize pdfs. Could the client download a pdf to kdp for a fixed ebook?

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Dec 01, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 01, 2019

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If you're not using Typekit/Adobe Fonts ensure you've licensed your fonts for ePub, which is usually a different license for fonts used for printed documents.

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Dec 01, 2019 0
Community Beginner ,
Dec 01, 2019

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Yes, always... thanks for the reminder Derek. This was the first epub I've created that didn't use a 'Pro' font for the main body. Ended up using Typekit Scala Sans 'Pro' font. So far, that's the only difference I can see from other successful epubs I've created. 

 

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Dec 01, 2019 0
Community Beginner ,
Dec 03, 2019

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Upon further review, fonts are still corrupt. Fixed epub file views fine with previewer on both mine & clients end. It's after the Amazon upload when the fonts get corrupted with terrible crashes. Any help would be appreciated. Fonts used are OpenType Type1 from Typekit.

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Dec 03, 2019 1