1.3 White Space Items
Making Ebooks with InDesign: Module 1, Step 3
Making Ebooks with InDesign: Module 1, Step 2
InDesign to EPUB
Before reading this, you might want to read:
Styles are absolutely critical to any well-made InDesign file. This cannot be understated. Use styles rigorously. Use them for character, paragraph, object, table, and cell styles. Employing styles well contributes to accessibility in foundational ways. This fairly straightforward layout task contributes to the structural hierarchy and navigation in an ebook by creating headers and pulling them out into a table of contents.
Paragraph styles are used for headers and text. They impact the entire paragraph as implied in the name. Paragraph styles are a collection of rules that define the way your text behaves and looks. They contain formatting for both the characters (fonts, color, scale, etc..) and for the paragraph (Indents, align, hyphenation, etc.).
Character styles are used at the phrase, word, or letter level, applying a collection of formatting attributes to that select range of text.
Turning to our sample document, let’s have a look at what I mean in action. In this file, there are chapter numbers and a chapter title. These can be formatted in a number of ways. In general, following the principle that a well-made HTML file — that is a single chapter of a book — has one top-level header, I like to style those two lines in one paragraph style with a character style to differentiate one piece from the other. Or you can have it as two separate lines but that might create some difficulty down the road when you use paragraph styles to create a table of contents and an ebook navigation. I will talk more about this part later, but for now let’s have a look at my proposed solution.
I adapted the CN (chapter number) style to a CN character style, then put a word space and a soft line return after the chapter number, making sure to re-apply the CT paragraph style without overrides.
Sidebar: if you have the Style Override Highlighter turned on, you will get an immediate visual clue that something is off in a style. A small plus sign will also appear next to the style name — not exactly the flashing danger sign I would like for style overrides. I recommend keeping the Style Override Highlighter turned on so that you can quickly see where you’ve strayed from strictly applied styles. This button is available from either the paragraph or character styles palette and will save your bacon, I promise. This is extremely useful when inheriting other designer’s files. It’s a quick and simple way to see how well-formatted a document is — that is, how well styles are used.