There are lots of tools that can generate an EPUB from various source formats, but often the resulting EPUB doesn’t look so hot. Things often get even worse when you view that EPUB with a desktop reader. Using the layout features in the publishing tool doesn’t seem to help much, if at all.

Fundamentally, EPUBs are just a collection of HTML files wrapped up in a ZIP archive. If you have reasonable HTML and CSS knowledge, you can make most troublesome EPUBs into clean and useful online documents. Additionally, there are often problems with EPUBs that aren’t immediately visible. Surprisingly (or not), most publishing tools do not create “valid” EPUBs in many cases. While these errors may not pose serious problems, it’s always best to fix them where possible.

This presentation discuses the basics of the inner workings and structure of an EPUB. You’ll see how to open up an EPUB, then identify and fix the problem areas.

Visiting TC Dojo Master:

Scott Prentice, Leximation. Scott has been in the technical publication field since 1991 and is the president of Leximation, Inc. He focuses on custom online help and EPUB development, FrameMaker plugin and structure application development, and custom web application development. He is involved with DITA authoring and publishing, and created the DITA-FMx plugin for FrameMaker.

In addition to all that, Scott is also the CEO of TC Camp.

Watch the Video

Recorded: April 2016

Key concepts

dita, epub, html web output

Filed under

TC Dojo

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