Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Heading-less chapters

If you are using Atlantis Word Processor to create eBooks, you certainly know that the eBooks created from Atlantis in the EPUB format customarily display with a "standalone" table of contents (or "navigation center") allowing readers to switch between chapters:

Adding items to these tables of contents is extremely easy in Atlantis. All you need to do is to format the chapter headings with the "Heading 1" style in the source document. When it creates a table of contents for an eBook, Atlantis automatically creates links (actually hyperlinks) to all the Heading style paragraphs present in the book.

This is OK for most ordinary purposes, but at times you might want a heading-less chapter from the source document to be included in the eBook table of contents. This might be the case, for example, with the copyright notice. Here is an example:

Click here to download a sample RTF document with the above copyright notice.

If you save this sample document as eBook in the current official version of Atlantis, the copyright notice will be kept in the eBook text, but the eBook table of contents itself won't include any link to the copyright notice. Because this notice is not preceded by a Heading style paragraph in the source document, Atlantis does not treat it as a separate book chapter and does not include it in the eBook TOC (Table Of Contents).

So if you wanted Atlantis to include a link to the copyright notice in the corresponding eBook TOC, you normally would have to turn the copyright notice into a separate chapter, and insert a Heading style paragraph before the notice. The text of that paragraph would automatically appear in the eBook TOC as a link to the copyright notice.

However, most authors will probably find it inappropriate to have big Heading titles heralding simple copyright notices in their eBooks. We have looked into this problem, and the next release of Atlantis Word Processor will offer a convenient and intuitive way to create TOC hyperlinks to heading-less chapters present in eBooks.

Here is how this will be done:

1) Create an ordinary Heading style paragraph right before the target text (in our example, right before the copyright notice). Type any suitable text (the text that you want included as hyperlink in the eBook TOC):

2) Select that heading text:

3) Choose the "Format | Font..." menu command, check the "Strikeout" box, and click OK:

This will apply the "strikeout" formatting to the heading:

Click here if you want to download a modified sample RTF document with the copyright notice preceded by a "struck-out" heading.

This is all you'll need to do! The "Copyright" Heading text (and corresponding hyperlink) will automatically be present in the eBook table of contents, but the Heading itself will not appear on the related eBook page:

So by formatting Headings in the source document with "strikeout" before saving it to the EPUB format, you will instruct Atlantis to exclude these "struck-out" Headings from the eBook text, but still use them to build the eBook table of contents itself.

This "strikeout" method will come in handy to include elements such as "Front Cover", "Title page", "Copyright", "Dedication" in the eBook TOCs, without promoting them to full-fledged Heading paragraphs on the eBook pages themselves.

Support for heading-less chapters in eBooks has already been included in the latest beta version of Atlantis. You can download it from the Betatesting page of the Atlantis Word Processor site.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your continuous effort to improve ePub making with Atlantis. Perhaps it could be a good idea you add gradually the information about all these new features related with ebooks to the ePub section of the "official" Atlantis help file, so as it could be permanently up-to-date... although I'm aware it entails a hard work!

Atlantis Word Processor Team said...

We are planning to create a tutorial on eBook creation, and post it to the Atlantis site in the nearest future. It will explain all the aspects of eBook creation in Atlantis in great detail.