With the release of Adobe InDesign CS4 you’ll find that there’s a couple of interesting new features in the Export for Digital Editions plug-in. The most noticeable are the addition of DTBook support and support for “Local Formatting”. There’s also some subtler changes, like floating anchored images and additional semantic information in the XHTML files.
So we’ll go through the major new features and what each one does:
1) DTBook DTDThe OPS spec, one of three at the heart of the ePub format, has two preferred vocabularies for textual content XHTML and DTBook. XHTML is an XML compatible vocabulary for HTML files, but what is DTBook.DTBook is a vocabulary from the Daisy Consortium. DTBook is a format intended for ebooks, and helps in making content available for people with print disabilities. The DTBook format has taken much of it’s markup from XHTML, but the DTBook format is enhanced with additional structure that better defines the parts of a book, chapter, and sections. (An h1 element in HTML identifies a title, but a ‘level1′ element in DTBook completely wraps the chapter or section so that there’s no confusion what does, and does not belong in the chapter.)For K-12 textbooks, DTBook content in an ePub should have all the elements required for a NIMAS submission. It also means that we support “Daisy XML”.2) Local Formatting supportWith InDesign CS3, the ePub export plug-in interpreted Paragraph and Character styles when generating the CSS. With InDesign CS4 we’ve added the option for generating CSS from whatever formatting is applied to the text, whether through styles or through “local” or direct formatting.Now you can apply bold to text and it will indeed be bold.3) Floating anchored imagesIf you anchor an image to the left or right in the text flow, it will retain that positioning in the ePub file, and the text will flow around the image.Images anchored in the document should look more like you intend them to when you export.4) Additional Semantic informationWhen using an InDesign TOCStyle (and only when using the TOCStyle) we now convert the levels of TOC to heading levels. (So, a second level item in the TOC becomes an H2 heading.)You actually won’t see much difference, but the XHTML files may be easier to work with if you’re post-processing them.Well, that pretty much covers the new stuff.