Hello and welcome. My name is Laura Brady. I have been making ebooks with InDesign for many years. I am going to guide you through creating an ebook using what is the most common starting point for ebooks — that is, the print layout file. InDesign is a terrific print layout tool but in order to get really good ebooks out of it, you need to understand how to work the gears. And even then, you will need to do some cleanup of the HTML and CSS that InDesign creates.
I will walk you through that whole process from beginning to end. I will be demonstrating my own workflows that I use with a wide variety of publisher files and content types. This workflow is idiosyncratic in that it includes hacks that I’ve developed over more than a decade of nudging InDesign politely and then not-so-politely.
We are going to start with some basic fiction to which I’ve added some more complex elements. The files will be available for you to work with if you wish as you move through the course.
I will work from InDesign 2023, version 18.1. Other software packages that will make an appearance includes:
Ace by DAISY
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A quick note about how InDesign looks: I use the dark mode with the typography settings. But I also customize the tools that are on the page so that I can see what I need quickly. I would encourage you to do the same. I generally keep paragraph and character styles popped out for the sidebar along the right. And I add scripts, conditional text, table and object styles. I prefer to work with the baseline grid turned off, but with invisibles, text frames and guides on. This is all a question of personal preference, obviously.
And a note about InDesign. It is a highly technical, almost entirely visual piece of software. While I’ve done my best to make this video series as accessible as possible, I’m afraid I’m not able to make the same statement about InDesign.