Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Kindle Fixed Layout Template - Advanced Version

Here at last is the complete, 18-page advanced template for creating ebooks in Kindle fixed layout format. Unlike the simple, image-only edition of the template, this one functions both as a template as well as an extended sample of what a Kindle fixed layout ebook can do, demonstrating with progressively more complex examples just what each function does. Each page is designed to illustrate a single feature of the code (though sometimes more), with each one building on what came before. Thus, any given page can provide the code required for your particular project; or you can take all the portions that appeal to you and build your own fixed layout ebook using that as the starting point.

Within the various component files (html, css, opf) are contained some interlinear notes listing the various sections of code and pointing out the relevant portions for that page. These are neither exhaustive nor explanatory, as the companion tutorials will provide the detailed commentary and analysis, but they serve to organize and clarify the use and structure of the code for ease of reference. Incidentally, I have employed a number of variant ways to reference the CSS, which I will discuss at the proper time, but be aware that this is not a lesson in HTML or CSS, and those elements are only explained insofar as they relate to creating Kindle fixed layout ebooks specifically.

As with the image-only template, this one is available for download on the "Templates" tab above, both in a compiled .mobi file format for viewing on your Kindle, as well as the .epub source file from which it was created, thus allowing you to crack it open and tear it apart to your heart's content. Both files are combined into a single zip archive so you only have to download one file.

Bear in mind that all text and image content is my own and cannot be sold or used for any commercial purposes whatsoever, and are only included to provide examples of KF8 code usage. The template itself is offered under a Creative Commons license and can be used freely as the basis of your own projects, so long as no fees of any kind are charged for the template itself or any of the content it contains when downloaded. Any work derived from it is strictly your own, provided the above stipulations are met.

Here is a rough breakdown of what is included in the template:
  • Image-only page, using self-contained CSS within the HTML file
  • Text-only pages, with or without background images
  • Thumbnail image expandable to full-page size
  • Table of Contents with active links and custom styling
  • CSS <div id=> versus HTML <img src=> image insertion methods
  • PageId Spine attribute: "page-spread" versus "facing-page"
  • Embedded text versus "live" text embedded fonts
  • MagZoom using "sourceId" for magnifying default text content, with or without additional styling
  • Alternate text placement examples using magTarget values to move zoomed content
  • Adding backgrounds to magnified regions, using images or Lightbox fills
  • Emulating word wrap around images using precise line positioning, as well as word and letter spacing
  • MagZoom using "TargetId" for creating magTargets with alternate content
  • Alternate formatting for magnified text, with either the same or different content
  • Image switching by inserting different images into the magnified window overlay
  • Region Magnification using Panel View to zoom specific sections of an image
  • Using temporary color fills to position panel MagRegions
  • Lightbox effects for dimming the surrounding background
  • Using TargetParent to create a Lightbox fill within a text box
  • Switching the entire contents of a page with one action, including images, live text, and an active hyperlink in the activated content
With the advanced template now completed, the blog portion of the tutorials will recommence on a semi-regular schedule, while the companion ebook edition should appear within a fortnight - barring unforeseen interruptions, and depending on the speed of final proofreading and corrections. Given my tendency toward methodical production, expect it to be more like a month (and then double that for good measure). But the online tutorials will continue presently.

Finally, please do not inundate me with questions about how to do things demonstrated in the template, as these will be answered in due time as the tutorial progresses. Be patient and bear with me, as I have a full time day job, am attempting to produce a 300+ page graphic novel, and have a course load of over 400 hours of video instruction to wade through in the next few months. Feel free to leave comments and questions regarding content already discussed here that you'd like more information on, but I won't respond to anything I plan to deal with in a future post or in the forthcoming ebook.

Best of luck with your own projects, and let me know how it goes. I'd love to see what you come up with!