Ebook formatting 1: Epub to Adobe Digital Editions

Posted: April 24, 2012 in School papers
Tags: , , ,

I’ve been taking an ebooks class this semester, and for my final project I decided to do a little formatting experiment. We learned all kinds of formatting and CSS in class, but a lot of what we learned didn’t work on every form of output. The same epub file might come out differently in Adobe Digital Editions versus iBooks. So I created a mini-ebook in both epub and mobi, with all kinds of formatting “issues” I could think of–colors, lists, images–and took screenshots of how they came out in different programs and devices.

Let’s begin with epub to Adobe Digital Editions.

For starters, you can download the epub here. But it is possible to get the gist of the experiment without downloading it.

Let’s see how the epub displayed in Adobe Digital Editions.


You can see from both the thumbnail in the upper left corner and the first page that the cover is off-center. The cover also doesn’t fit on the first page, and instead of shrinking it or splitting it in two, we get half a cover followed by a blank page. This isn’t such a huge issue with a cover image, but it might be a problem for larger images contained in the book.


The font colors, alignments, and sizes all worked. The common typefaces displayed correctly, but the uncommon ones did not.


The reason the first line came out as a link isn’t because it’s a hyperlink itself. It’s actually the anchored “ID” tag that I use to jump within the book later on. It doesn’t actually link to anything, and should not be highlighted.

The regular lists work fine, but we hit a pretty epic fail with the unordered list nested within the ordered list. As you see, the ordering continued through, leaving what should be step four as step seven. There’s no problem with the opposite, the ordered list within the unordered one.


All the alignments and borders worked! Of course, the ADE window had to be wide enough to fit the images next to the texts. Otherwise the images came out below the text, instead of aligned.


They both work. Just annoying that the second link causes the anchor to behave like hyperlink.



Next: Epub to Calibre.

  1. David Hailey says:

    This is really great. You clearly spent some time, effort, and skill on this, and the info is invaluable.

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