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Portland InDesign User Group

Meeting Summary: InD EPUB XHTML CSS *Special Meeting

Thu, Apr 14th, 2011 at 6:30 PM

PSU Market Square Building, Room 1053

Event Details

We had 24 people attend our special "IDUG EPUB XHTML CSS" meeting in April. We also used an Acrobat Connect meeting room to broadcast the meeting over the internet for the first time, with 5 people attending from their own homes. We look forward to using this in the future so that members in outlying areas can attend more easily.

The purpose of the meeting was to take a closer look at the contents of EPUB files and learn to edit them. The meeting was held 3 days after Adobe's announcement about CS 5.5 and all the new EPUB features it offers. Chapter rep Paul Erdman presented a detailed handout listing issues with InDesign CS5's EPUB export, along with current workarounds and whether or not the issue was addressed with CS 5.5.

EPUBs are basically ZIP files, and their contents can be unpacked using any standard extraction utility. Inside the file is a set of XHTML files and a corresponding CSS file, all of which . can be edited in Dreamweaver. In addition, there are several other files, notably the toc.ncx and the content.opf that you can edit in Dreamweaver if necessary.

In many cases, EPUBs must be edited after export in order for them to look their best. Adam Cottam of GoFish Creative discussed ways to clean up unnecessary code in the XHTML files. He also addressed the best way to go about writing a shorter, more efficient CSS file which defines default styling first, then defines classes that override these defaults.

In conclusion, CS 5.5 is essential for anyone serious about creating EPUBs, as it addresses many issues present in CS 5 and adds many new EPUB related features. For more information concerning new features in CS 5.5 view the following resources:

A PDF of the handout from our April meeting can be downloaded at the bottom of this web page as well as on Paul Erdman's blog (

InDesignSecrets article:

Adobe's page for InDesign CS 5.5:

Thank you

Thanks to guest presenter Adam Cottam, and again to Jane Leonard for bringing some great food! Also a big thank you to Adobe's IDUG support team for providing the Acrobat Connect online meeting room. And of course we'd like to thank our members for attending!

Next Meeting

Our next meeting is May 19, which is coming up soon! I'm sure many of you are interested about what is new in InDesign CS 5.5, so we'll be opening the meeting with a brief overview of its new features. Then we'll proceed as scheduled with our meeting on Interactive InDesign. Be sure to go to the website and register so that we can get a good idea of how many can attend.

LAST CALL FOR INTERACTIVE FILES: If you have made an interactive document in InDesign, we'd love to show it off to the group at our next meeting! Please let us know ASAP.

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