Thanks for coming to, the world's #1 resource for all things InDesign!

InDesign to EPUB Text Scaling

Here’s a little tip or two about InDesign to EPUB text formatting that you might find useful if you’re dealing with scaled text.

Scaling applied to a text frame only affects EPUB text formatting if you set your scaling preferences to Apply to Content prior to scaling the frame:

and Preserve Local Overrides in the EPUB export dialog:

This holds true, whether the text was scaled by cmd/ctrl dragging a text frame, changing the scale values in the Control panel, or using the Scale tool.

All other combinations of the scaling preference and the export preference result in unscaled text in the EPUB.

If the text has been scaled unequally, the highest scaling value wins. For example, if you scale text 200% horizontally and 500% vertically, the text in the EPUB will be scaled 500% in both directions.

You can take a peek at the CSS to confirm this.

This seems like a fair compromise because I don’t think there’s a way to achieve unequal scaling of horizontal and vertical in the CSS.

It’s also interesting to note that scaling applied by a character style never makes it into EPUB. For example, if you have a character style that scales 200% H+V, that scaling is not reflected in the EPUB.

In the CSS, you can see why. The declaration for the character styled span is empty.

If you want that scaling to come out in the EPUB, you have to change the character style to apply a fixed point size to the text.

Which is reflected in the CSS.

These little scenarios might not keep you awake at night, but tuck them in the back of your mind for the day when you can’t figure out why the text in a cleanly styled InDesign document abruptly changes size when you export to EPUB.

Mike Rankin

Mike Rankin

Editor in Chief of, InDesign Magazine, and Author of courses on InDesign and Illustrator. Husband. Dad. Dog walker.
Mike Rankin

Latest posts by Mike Rankin (see all)

  • - November 30, -0001
Related Articles

6 Comments on “InDesign to EPUB Text Scaling

  1. You and me both, Bob. Then we’d really be cooking with gas. Right now, it feels like we’re being teased because in the Export Tagging options you can see all the CSS properties and values, but you can’t edit them.

  2. >>> I would love to have a CSS panel …

    … and more radically convert internal styles (char, par, obj, tab & cell) to linked external text file with css-like or JSON like syntax

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *