iPads in the Classroom - Using Pages to Create ePubs

I just created a little manual (well, ok it turned out to be quite large) about managing the Moodle site for our Moodle Administrators.  We held our meeting yesterday, and I noticed that many of those that attended along iPads.  I had the brilliant idea of sharing the document out electronically, and remembered that I had been told that Apple's Pages will export to ePub.  So, of course, it gave me an excuse to play!

Wow, it worked slick!  However, I thought I'd share out some tips to make your experience more rewarding, and less of the exploration (and problem fixing) mine was.
Screenshot of the document in PagesScreenshot of the document in iTunes as ePub

 Some suggestions in Pages:
  1. If you like to customize your headers (I used a lot of Moodle orange), use the Create New Paragraph Style from Selection under the Format Menu AFTER you set the text to the size, font, color, alignment, etc that you like.

  2. Use the built in Table of Content feature in Pages if you want a table of content that translates into the ePub document.  You select which headings to use in the table of contents (see picture). This will move it into the appropriate area, re-paginate the document correctly, and make the document more usable.
  3. Make your page numbers links in your table of contents as that translates to the ePub document. (look at the bottom of the picture above)

  4. Make sure all your graphics are Inline as it will remove any floating or background images.  It might make it a little more difficult to lay it out like you want it to look, but they are the only ones that translate.
  5. Beware the use of headers and footers.  When you create an ePub some set information is set in the header and footer areas, so any of yours disappear.
So, why ePub instead of PDF?  There are several reasons:
  1. You gain the added features of the built in dictionary, highlighter, bookmarking, etc
  2. The format works with iPads, Nooks and any other e-Reader that accepts ePub.
  3. Text is re-flowable (wraps freely) and re-sizable 
What issues might users have with ePub?  There are a couple:
  1. Amazon uses a different format (.azw) that is propitiatory
  2. It is more difficult to lock image layout with the flowability of text.

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