best practices epub target

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best practices epub target

Postby Isleofgough on Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:08 pm

ePub targets from Flare have lots of issues. Flare's internal analyzer misses a lot of issues that an ePub checker will find, and some of these issues create major problems if you wish to deliver to Amazon Kindle, etc. I wanted to pass on several things that I've found helped me to reduce errors:

1. Although Flare will allow spaces in file names, epubs will give errors. I used the system of mixing small and large case letters without spaces to rename any file that had spaces and that reduced a lot of cryptic error messages appearing on epub checkers.

2. Don't use endnotes at all. Use a file with a numbered paragraph style and crossreferences to the paragraph using:
mc-format: '{paranumonly}';

3. Don't use li for endnotes, if you want the crossrefs to autonumber. However, I have not found numbered paragraphs always align correctly in print output, so I created a bibliography proxy with <li></li> that is only used in press ready pdf output (in place of the real bibliography with paragraph numbering)

4. Never use "black" or #000000 - just omit the color

5. All figures should have a figure substyle for width %, alignment, etc and should go on a paragraphy with its own style p.figure. Create a second p.imageclear style to put text below graphic:
clear: both;

6. Avoid tables where ever possible, and it absolutely necessary, use rigid table styles set with column widths to percentages.

7. Use "Brackets" (free from Adobe) or equivalent to edit the styles.css as organizing and troublshooting css issues in Flare directly is very awkward (especially if you want to copy and paste some code)

8. Turn off the option to Enable Dynamic Content in the epub target. This will fix most of the errors found in epub check.

9. Omit any font names and generally font sizing in style sheet except for print section.

10. To fix fixing the erroneously compressed mimetype, use with an external program such as Jutoh, Sigil, or Calibre or one of the online epub converters.

11. Always check the ePub or mobi version in the desired kindle or ipad, as each seems to have differences in what parts of the css they will accept.

If others have additional tips, I would love to hear them. I'm just passing on what seems to improve the ePub output.
Thanks to MadCap tech support for some of these tips.
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