Share your next big story as a digital book or magazine.
A tablet showing a page from a digital recipe book titled “Kale Pasta Salad”

Turning traditional print books and magazines into digital content that can be consumed on mobile devices is a great way to expand your reach. Using InDesign, you can start from scratch or convert existing materials to the following:

  • Fixed-layout EPUB: EPUB is an e-book format. A fixed-layout EPUB stays true to its original design, preserving live text, complex layouts, rich media, and interactivity. This format is best suited to documents with a lot of graphic, audio, and video content: children’s books, cookbooks, textbooks, comic books, and others.
  • Reflowable EPUB: A reflowable EPUB document allows readers to optimize the content for their devices. It’s a flexible, adaptive format especially useful for e-ink devices that support limited interactivity.
  • E-magazine, or “e-zine”: These are typically magazines optimized for onscreen viewing.

Let’s explore the essential features and general workflows for creating these types of documents.

Start your document the right way

The first step is to choose the most appropriate settings for your project.

  • Consider what you’ll be using the document for. Explore Adobe Stock templates to get a jump-start on your design, or start from scratch with one of the many preset sizes available.
  • In the New Document dialog, choose the Print category to start an e-magazine and Web for an EPUB. Choose the correct document size for the intended device when possible, but know you can always change it later.
Using the New Document dialog box to set up a new document

Employ features for longer documents

InDesign has powerful features tailor-made for e-book and e-magazine projects.

  • Save chapters or sections as separate InDesign files to make collaborative editing easier and speed up your workflow. And with a book file, you can easily manage these documents. Choose File > New > Book.
  • In the Pages panel, use master pages in a fixed-layout EPUB or magazine to add automatic page numbers, section headers, or other consistent content.

Optimize your content for different devices

Ensuring that your e-book or e-magazine looks its best however people are viewing it makes the difference between good and great design.

  • Save text formatting in paragraph or character styles for consistency, so it’s easy to apply and edit later.
  • For a reflowable EPUB, make sure images always appear in the correct reading order. Choose Object > Anchored Object in the menu bar or paste them inline.
  • Make sure to test interactive elements, like web links and video. Not all interactions work for all formats or devices.

Work smarter with automation

Built-in features can save you time and enhance the quality of your users’ experiences.

  • To make a table of contents from paragraph styles you create, choose Layout > Table Of Contents.
  • Need different page sizes for print and digital versions of the same document, or for the horizontal and vertical layouts of tablet devices? Create Alternate Layout has you covered.
Using Create Alternate Layout to design two versions of the layout within the same document

Share it with the world

Now that you’ve done all the hard work, it’s time to export your document in the right format.

  • Adobe PDF (Print) and Adobe PDF (Interactive): Print PDFs do not include interactivity. Interactive PDFs include most of the interactivity possible in InDesign.
  • Publish Online: Use this feature to publish any InDesign document online and share it on social networks, via email, or as a standalone URL.
  • EPUB (Fixed Layout) and EPUB (Reflowable): The fixed-layout option is best for documents with lots of formatting that needs to be preserved. The reflowable option is best for documents where changing viewing options won’t break the design.

These workflows will give you a head start on reaching a whole new audience with existing content as well as new productions.

01/20/2021
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