InDesignSecrets Podcast 143

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See the Show Notes for links mentioned in this episode.
Or view the transcript of this podcast.
  • Three discoveries about InDesign to eBook conversions
    • TextWrangler opens ePubs
    • Sigil’s housekeeping is a feature-not-a-but
    • Kindle Previewer runs KindleGen for your
  • Cross-references: Roll  your own formats!
    • Remove the quote marks
    • Add a delimiter (partial paragraph)
    • Change the wording
  • Print & ePublishing Conf: New schedule is up!
  • Obscure InDesign Feature of the Week: Save Count

14 Comments on “InDesignSecrets Podcast 143

  1. Yes. There is a “Load Cross-Reference Formats…” option in the hyperlink panel flyout menu…

    It would probably be possible to write a script to export and import the formats as xml…

  2. We had a little Facebook discussion earlier this week about the ability to open zipped files in BBEdit and Text Wrangler. It’s a real shame they can’t be edited.

    One way around that is to use a zip utility to unzip and rezip. One real nice thing about Text Wrangler and BBEdit is the ability to do search/replace on multiple files…

    Here’s a little discussion ob BBEdit Talk on the topic:

  3. I am surprised you didn’t mention WinZip. It allows you to open the zip and edit the files directly. We have been using it for a few months now and it really has made the process a lot easier.

  4. @Harbs: Good catch on the flyout menu. Drat! We both knew we had seen that feature somewhere, but were momentarily dazed and didn’t remember where. That’s what we get for doing these unscripted!

    As for unzipping & zipping: Unzipping on the Mac OS is no problem, but zipping is, at least when it comes to epub. EPUB files must be zipped in a very particular way. Gabriel Powell described this in detail in this informative article (PDF file) in InDesign Magazine:

    Because of that, it’s better to just not unzip at all if you can avoid it.

    @Fred: Yes, unzipping and zipping in Windows is apparently much easier. I’m sure one of the reasons we didn’t talk about that (to be candid) is that Windows is our second OS. While I say I’m bilingual, the truth is that I use Mac 98% of the time. That’s why it’s so helpful to have y’all write your suggestions and comments here!

  5. @Fred: If I neglected to mention that this is a non-issue for Windows users, my apologies! On the Mac OS, you can’t just change unzip an EPUB, edit, and then re-zip it — the Mac adds dreck to the file that prevents it from validating at ePubCheck. You have to use Terminal and run UNIX commands on it, or run an Applescript that’ll do that for you, or sneak up on it from behind with a utility that lets you browse and edit the contents of a zipped (epub) file without unzipping it first.

    Liz Castro (author of EPUB: Straight to the Point) is a Mac user and fan of the tried-and-true Terminal method, which she demo’d during the two InDesign > EPUB webinars she did for us.

  6. When prepping to teach an eBooks course, I too learned a lot. You said Sigil doesn’t harm the ePub. That’s the theory. But one of the reasons I don’t like Sigil is because once I had a working Table of Contents before editing an ePub in Sigil. After making an unrelated change in Sigil, the TOC disappeared. Not sure why it removed the TOC, but after that I couldn’t trust it anymore! I’ve also seen weird issues with search and replace that are the result of it’s “housekeeping.”

    Sigil will re-write your code when it saves. You then have to review all the code you wrote to see if Sigil changed it. This makes troubleshooting quite difficult. I don’t want to use a tool that does things for me (and doesn’t tell me about the changes). I need more control than that, I need a text editor that only does what I say. It’s metadata editor isn’t complete anyway, so I will still need to edit things outside of Sigil. I think people like Sigil mainly because they don’t have to unzip the ePub. With some handy AppleScripts that’s an easy drag and drop, then you can use any editor you want. One that doesn’t do mysterious things for you. For me that’s Dreamweaver (which has a great Find/Change) but you can use whatever you like.

    That’s why I can’t recommend using Sigil. Cool idea though.

  7. I would like to second what wrote about Sigil. It makes a lot changes to your ePub. It will put the CSS in it’s own folder and change code. It makes you worry a little.

  8. Undoubtedly there’s a market for a dedicated epub editor that opens archives, does powerful find/changes, and that puts a GUI on the icky parts of editing epubs. For example, Sigil’s Metadata and TOC editors are easier and less error-prone than hand-coding the xml files. Also love how you can right-click on assets and choose an entry from the Semantics flyout to build your Guide links and to designate a cover image.

    But we haven’t answered the main question: hard g or soft g in Sigil?

  9. Late to the PodCast…catching up at the gym :^)

    Anne-Marie, you’ve mentioned Oxygen a few times in relation to working in epub formats…are you using Oxygen Editor or Oxygen Author? I’ve been tweaking in Dreamweaver to get CSS styles just right, which feels like using a refrigerator to pound a nail in….


  10. Okay – I was SOOO excited when I listened to this podcast – because, as I wrote you a day or two ago, when I use Springy to open the epub, as Anne-Marie instructed me to do on Lynda, and then I edit in Text Wrangler as I saw her do WITH MY OWN TWO EYES, and then save the file and respond to Springy’s overwrite inquiry (YES), the epub will no longer open in Digital Editions. Which I SAW it do on Lynda. And which I was able to do with Wrangler 2.0, but cannot with the new update.

    So finding this was HEAVEN. Just use Text Wrangler.

    Then, the disclaimer on the bottom: NOT just use Text Wrangler.

    Thus, the question I asked a day or so ago is even more poignant: what am I doing wrong?

  11. WAIT! WAIT! Hold the presses. It finally occurred to me that I could go ask the BB people. So I went over there and found out that my version of TW had many, many bugs – and that there was an update. It now works. Question answered. Heart-rate lowered. Link fixed. Happy Cats!!

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