Monday, April 21, 2014

Pages 5.2 update brings improvements to ePub creation

For those interested in creating ePub documents, there are some improvements to the process now available in the new Pages 5.2 update:


For example, you can now manually insert page breaks into an ebook by using Pages’s break tools, rather than having to use the template’s “Chapter Heading” template to do so.
But that’s not all: The Pages 5.2 update last week actually mentioned “improved ePub export” in its release notes, and added a few more fixes. That’s right: Not only did someone take the time to improve ePub export for Pages 5.0, but they seem to actively be working on making it better with future releases.
You (mostly) don’t need Apple’s four-year-old ebook template: Because the export recognizes page breaks and section breaks, you can use those along with custom text styles to create your ebook table of contents—you don’t have to download Apple’s template. That said, Pages takes a shortcut here with its text styling; if you look at the code of your resulting export, all text styles come out as various CSS classes for the paragraph tag.

As much as I love iBooks Author and the awesomeness of multi-touch ebooks, the ability to create a document that is "ePub 3" compliant, allows a wider audience beyond those possessing only iPad or Mavericks OS.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Paper Books vs. eBooks? Research prompts more questions...

Today's headline: "Students Reading E-Books Are Losing Out, Study Suggests" from this NYTimes article by Annie Murphy Paul, begins with the question "Could e-books actually get in the way of reading?"

One item to consider in evaluating the research presented by Schugar and Schugar at last week's American Educational Research Association's (AERA) Annual Meeting, is the definition of "e-Books." Access to digital text and e-Readers is quite varied across computing devices. For instance, some eBooks are actually "apps" — dedicated stories that often contain multi-media components, and are not viewed using an eReading device or dedicated eReader application.

Is it too soon to make judgement on the value of digital text over paper-based books? Based on the comments posted to the author in this article, I have more questions than answers — perhaps you will too.