InDesign CC is Released: New ePub Features

ID-CC-logoToday Adobe releases the long-awaited, subscription-only Creative Cloud version of InDesign. The good news for digital publishers is that there are many new features and changes in ePub export. Our colleague, the super-InDesign expert, Steve Werner, has outlined the new features and changes from CS6 in this post. He made invaluable contributions to the ePub chapter in our book, and we’re thrilled to have him as a guest on our blog. Steve also runs CS Magic, a great resource for Creative Suite online training.

We think you’ll find Steve’s take on these features worth reading.

Indexes Are Now Supported

If you create an index in your InDesign document using the Index panel (Window > Type & Tables > Index), InDesign CS6 would ignore it. In InDesign CC, it will now work properly in your exported ePub. The links from the page number to the index markers are now “live.”

Better TOC Support

In InDesign CS6 and earlier, if you created an internal TOC by placing a TOC on the page (referred to on page 194 in the book), and if you made any editing changes in the TOC, those changes would have been discarded. In InDesign CC, your edited TOC is now exported and properly hyperlinked. The navigational TOC is still generated from the Table of Contents Style you choose in the Export ePub dialog.

If you have a TOC story created in CS6, it will need to be re-generated: In the Table of Contents dialog, check the new option, “Make text anchor in source paragraph.” This same option also allows you to create more than one InDesign-generated TOC with proper hyperlinks.

Numbered/Bulleted List Improvements

In InDesign CS6, when you created a bulleted or numbered list, a simple list would export correctly in the ePub file. But if you placed an unnumbered paragraph between components of a list or if you had multiple levels, the result would often be unsatisfactory.

InDesign CC uses a more sophisticated algorithm for determining how to export numbered and bulleted lists. Now, for example, if you use a different paragraph style between numbered paragraphs, numbering is still preserved in the ePub file.

Object Export Options in Object Styles

As we pointed out in the book, it’s always a good idea to customize the rasterization and the layout of graphics or elements that need to be turned into graphics using the Object Export Options dialog. But in InDesign CS6, this has to be done manually object by object.

InDesign CC now includes the Object Export Options in the Object Styles dialog box (Figure 1). Now you can simply apply an object style to these graphics and format them more quickly and accurately.


Figure 1

Object Styles Can Be Mapped to Tags and Classes

When you need to modify the CSS in an ePub file, it’s a big help to apply tags and classes to paragraph and character styles. InDesign CC now allows you to also to apply export tagging to object styles as well (Figure 2).


Figure 2

 Emit CSS Controls Creates Cleaner CSS

In InDesign CS6, InDesign would create an ePub file with the same class used multiple times, and it would arbitrarily rename the extra classes. That would make editing the CSS unnecessarily difficult.

InDesign CC will only create one instance of a CSS class. But you may have multiple paragraph styles pointing to the same class. Now you can control which style the class belongs to by using the new Emit CSS option in the Export All Export Tags dialog box (Figure 3). The paragraph style with Emit CSS checked wins.


Figure 3

Choosing Not to Generate CSS Now Does That!

Designers who are familiar with creating CSS often prefer to create their own CSS file for InDesign to use. But even if you turned off Generate CSS (Figure 4), InDesign CS6 would still generate its own CSS file with some of its own entries.

Now in InDesign CSS, when you turn off Generate CSS, InDesign will not generate a CSS file of its own.

Font Embedding on iBooks Now Supported

For some complicated technical reasons, in InDesign CS6, when you chose to Include Embeddable Fonts (Figure 4), they would be included but would be in a format that the iBooks ePub reader could not use. Because of some changes in the ePubCheck specification, and a change in the way the fonts are embedded, embedded fonts will now work in iBooks.


Figure 4

All the nitty-gritty details.

There are many other minor changes, improvements to CSS creation, and bug fixes as well. Our friends at have posted a document from Adobe that lists all of them.

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