This is the third posting on the new functionality coming in the M020 release of Arbortext Styler 6.0. This time I'm looking at EPUB which, over the past year or so has been an increasingly populer request to output from Styler. I guess some of this is generated by the smart phone and tablet explosion we’ve all been experiencing, but it is also generated by a desire to ship content electronically. There are a number of e-book formats but the most popular format we’ve had requests for has been EPUB.
EPUB is a standard published by the International Digital Publishing Forum which describes both the content format, which is based on XHTML, and the packaging of the content in a zipped format with stylesheets and other supporting information. You can find more information on the Wikipedia or at the IDPF.
As I've already mentioned, EPUB content is encoded using XHTML and styled using CSS - and Styler already outputs those formats. Packaging up the content for EPUB is a different matter so we've decided to use the Calibre tool to do this for us. The tool can be downloaded from the Calibre website. It is a free and open source application and often regarded as the standard in e-book conversion and creation. Instructions on how to install and how to tell Styler where your installation is will be provided with the release. Once installed, however, Calibre will be invoked by Styler to create the EPUB file automatically - no manual steps are required. If you install Calibre somewhere other than the default location, you can point Arbortext to it. A big advantage of having Calibre installed is that you can easily convert your EPUB output to one of the many other e-book formats Calibre supports, including MOBI for Kindles.
Inside Styler, you will see that EPUB is listed in the 'Outputs to Edit' drop down menu. This means that you can create specific styling for your EPUB output which overrides the base output's styling. As each EPUB reader interprets EPUB slightly differently, this will be useful to fine-tune your output for your target devices and platforms.
You will also need to make sure EPUB is selected as a Publishing Type in your stylesheet properties.
When you've created your stylesheet, you can preview (which will display the EPUB output using Calibre) or you can Publish. EPUB is provided as an output to publish to in Editor's Publish menu.
Of course, APE supports EPUB output as well as generating it in Windchill.
I have uploaded a couple of sample EPUB documents HERE and HERE.
Other than that, there isn't much more to know. I hope you enjoy using it! As ever, please let me have any feedback you have, even if you just want to tell me to write more (or less) or that you think these posts are useful...
As with all forward looking information, this is subject to change without notice.