How to Export Adobe InDesign CS6 Documents to EPUB - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

Adobe InDesign CS6 allows you to create documents for display using iBooks, Nook devices, Kobo readers, or Sony eReaders, which all use the EPUB file format. Books displayed on the Kindle begin as EPUB files but undergo an additional conversion process into Amazon’s proprietary Kindle format.

The bottom line — if you want to create electronic books, you need to know about creating EPUB files. Here’s how to create an EPUB using InDesign:

  1. With an InDesign document open, choose File→Export.

    The Export dialog box appears.

  2. From the Save as Type (Windows) or Format (Mac) drop-down list , select EPUB and then find a location on your hard drive or network for the document to be saved. Enter a name for the EPUB file in the File Name portion of the Export dialog box.

  3. Click the Save button.

    The EPUB Export Options dialog box appears with the General options available for editing. Here is an overview of essential settings in the General tab when creating an EPUB:

    • Version: If you are exporting an EPUB that contains multimedia, choose EPUB 3.0. Otherwise, you can use the EPUB 2.0.1. Although Adobe offers a proprietary EPUB 3.0 with layout option, this isn’t compatible with most popular reading devices and should be avoided unless you have a specific need to export using this format.

    • Cover: If you want InDesign to generate the cover image displayed for the EPUB, choose whether it should use the first page of the document or choose a specific image file to use instead if the cover artwork is stored separately on your hard drive or network.

    • TOC Style: Choose Default if you want InDesign to automatically generate a table of contents that will be used by readers to more easily navigate the EPUB file.

    • Margins: Specify any padding you want between the text and the outside edge of the reading device

    • View EPUB after exporting: Causes the EPUB to open and be displayed in the default EPUB reader after InDesign generates the EPUB file.

  4. Click the Image tab in the EPUB Export Options dialog box.

    In the Image tab, specify the resolution that images should be set at when created for the EPUB. Also specify the location of images on the page, and any space that should be placed before or after images.

  5. Click the Advanced tab

    Make these adjustments as needed in the Advanced tab before creating the EPUB:

    • Split Document: If you want to split a long document into individual chapters, choose the Paragraph Style to determine where each section should be divided. Otherwise, keep this at the default option of Do Not Split.

    • EPUB Metadata: Document metadata is used by EPUB readers to describe the book title, publisher, ISBN, and other information. You can enter the Publisher here and the ISBN number for your book in the Unique ID field.

    • CSS Options: If you have created Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to control the formatting for your EPUB files, you can add a style sheet. Otherwise, you can have InDesign add style definitions and create a CSS file by selecting the Include Style Definitions check box.

      Under this same option, deselect Include Embeddable Fonts because many electronic reading devices ignore them, and some electronic book stores will reject files that contain embedded fonts.

    Additional document metadata can be entered in the Document Information field. Access this by choosing File→Document Information.

  6. Click the OK button

    The EPUB is generated. If you selected the View EPUB after Exporting check box, the EPUB file opens using your default EPUB reader.