|Paragraph and Character Styles|
Another element that is a real pain to keep consistent is the styles applied to page numbers, chapter titles, subheadings and other page elements. Large publishing firms have a staff of proof readers that check for this consistency but I have only myself. InDesign has a great feature called Paragraph Styles that helped me to keep the same text color, size, style and alignment for the chapter titles, subheadings, figures and code examples throughout the ebook. All I needed to do was to set up a Paragraph Style for each. Then as I created my book, I just applied the corresponding style as necessary. Of course, half way through the ebook I wanted to change my mind about these styles. Thankfully, I only needed to change the Paragraph Style itself and the change was reflected globally throughout the ebook.
Another great feature of Paragraph Styles is that they can be used to generate a Table of Contents. In one mouse click InDesign generated a list of the chapter and subheadings along with their corresponding page numbers. In the same way, I created a list of the figures and code examples with page numbers to match. Last, I generated an Index.
Importing Microsoft Word Documents
Like most people, I like to use Word to write my articles so I needed to import those documents into InDesign for page layout. You might think that I would lose all the formatting from the Word document when I imported into InDesign but you would be wrong. With InDesign I "mapped", or associated the Word document styles with the InDesign styles. Then when I imported, all the formatting was preserved. When you are talking about hundreds of pages, this is a real blessing.
The ebook cover image was created in AdobeR PhotoshopR and has 30 layers. Once I flatten these layers into a single layer, I am committed to the placement and layer effects and I cannot make changes. If I were using Microsoft Word to create my ebook, I would need to flatten the image before importing into Word. But this is not the case with InDesign. When I imported the cover image, I maintained the layers and layer styles which gave me the option to make minor adjustments or major changes if necessary.
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