Adobe InDesign is a great tool to create an ePub document. The user interface of InDesign shields the user from any contact with the actual XHTML and CSS code that make up the ePub file. This is perfect for anyone who is not a skilled HTML or CSS designer.
Adobe InDesign does an excellent job when the manuscript has straight-forward formatting and therefore does not require skilled CSS code. A manuscript that is primary paragraph-formatted text with just a few images is a prime candidate for InDesign.
When I have to create an ePub document that has complicated or difficult formatting, I find an HTML editor such as DreamWeaver or Microsoft Expression Web to be a better choice than InDesign. An HTML editor allows direct access to the HTML and CSS code, which expedites implementing the difficult formatting. It is always important to keep in mind that an ePub document is actually a mini web site complete with pages of XHTML, a CSS style sheet, and a folder of images or links to images.
Having said that, InDesign provides a convenient WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interface that allows the user to make changes and view the results without ever writing code. InDesign’s ease of use and WSYWYG interface has made InDesign the most widely used ePub creation tool.
Here is a detailed, 10-minute video that provide step-by-step details about how to create an ePub document in InDesign from start to finish. This video covers a lot of material quickly. You make have to pause the video a few time to catch everything:
(Is your sound turned on?)
The next blog article will provide a number of tips to follow when using InDesign to create your ePub.