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Free Videos: EPUB Typography

At first glance, the topic of EPUB typography might seem to be the InDesign equivalent of herding cats. After all, when it comes to reflowable EPUBs, rendering varies form device to device, and users can change the fonts, size of the text, etc. But there are steps you can follow when producing ebooks that will make for better looking type. And in fact, Nigel French has put together a video series devoted to the topic of EPUB typography over at Among the free videos from the series are ones on choosing serif vs. sans serif typefaces and why you might want to avoid using drop caps in ebooks.

Deciding on Serif vs. Sans Serif

Using Drop Caps

For members, if you are currently signed in to your account, you can also check out these videos from the series:

Embedding Fonts

Controlling Page and Margin Sizes

Controlling Widows, Orphans, and Runts

Creating Indents and Paragraph Spacing

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Mike Rankin

Mike Rankin

Editor in Chief of, InDesign Magazine, and Author of LinkedIn Learning courses on InDesign, Illustrator, GIMP, Inkscape, and Adobe Dimension.
Mike Rankin

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One Comment on “Free Videos: EPUB Typography

  1. Nigel French may down on drop caps, but they’re one of the few ways to get around the chief problem with ebooks, the fact that they’re typographically dull. What else can an author or publisher do to banish the ugliness?

    There are actually several problems:

    1. The formatting abilities of epub are dreadfully limited. Far too much time has been spent adding the ability to insert other media as if a book was a blog, and far too little making anything other than crude in-line graphics possible. Quite a few books, both fiction and non-fiction, would benefit from being able to place tall, thin graphics alongside the text. Instead, we have a system so primitive, even in-line graphics force weird page breaks.

    2. Adobe’s InDesign is improving matters here, but for way too long, getting any sort of formatting beyond line after line of dull text has required hand coding. That makes no more sense in this day and age that requiring publisher to hand insert metal type characters one at a time.

    3. Ebook readers are stupid beyond belief. Why not build into them an ability to make layouts and text look good. Make them smart enough they don’t display window, orphans or runts. Design them to display graphics better. Make them adapt well to varying screen sizes. We know what makes books look good or bad. Give ebook readers the ability to make them look good.


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