Create Digital Documents with InDesign

If you must adapt a print document for electronic distribution, you should save a copy of the original InDesign document and work on the copy as a dedicated electronic document. These days, however, you should intentionally design your documents for digital distribution. Creating an e-pub allows you to distribute books to e-reading devices such as the nook, Kindle, and iPad.

To convert an existing print document to a digital document layout, follow these steps:

  1. Open the existing document and choose File→Save As and name the copy of the document.

    Choose a name that relates to your intended distribution. Consider including terms such as EPUB or iPad in the filename so you can distinguish the electronic version from the print version.

    If you’re creating an e-pub document for a book that primarily uses text and that will be viewed on many readers, you can stop after Step 1, because you do not need to specify layout details or device details for specific devices. For e-pub documents that require highly formatted layouts, continue with the following steps.

  2. Choose File→Document Setup.

    In the Document Setup window, choose Digital Publishing from the Intent drop-down menu, and select the desired Page Size and orientation (vertical or horizontal).

  3. Click OK to close the Document Setup window and then choose File→Save to save these changes.

  4. Scroll through the document and make adjustments to the layout based upon the available page size.

    Use the Selection tool to move objects and use the Pages panel to add pages as needed.

  5. Choose Window→Articles to open the Articles panel. Use the Selection tool to drag items from your layout into the Articles panel, defining the order in which they will be displayed in an e-pub.

    If you have something that you don’t want to include in the digital version of the book, simply don’t drag it into the Articles panel. Save your document after dragging all elements to be exported to the Articles panel.

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