Full instructions on generating your eBooks with CircularFLO.
Getting set up with CircularFLO
CircularFLO can be downloaded free of charge from our download page. After entering your name and email address, click ‘Download Free Trial’ to receive the download link by email. Once downloaded, if the DMG disk image does not open automatically, look for a file in your downloads folder called ‘CircularFLO_installer’ and double click to open.
Drag CircularFLO to your Mac before launching. We suggest your main Applications folder is a good place for it although CircularFLO can be run from anywhere on your Mac and can be run without the need for an admin password.
Once added to your Mac add CircularFLO to your dock and double click to launch. On launch, CircularFLO will automatically check whether you are running a current version. If there is an later version available you will be prompted to download a free update. It is possible to run CircularFLO offline but a connection to our license server must be made at least once every seven days.
Once CircularFLO has launched, the main panel is shown. This simple panel handles the running of the conversion process and the purchasing and loading of credits. Whilst processing a progress bar and status messages are shown in the main panel. We recommend you keep this panel open when processing your eBooks, if closed it can be shown again via the Window menu > CircularFLO Main Panel. On launch, your unique ID will be retrieved and shown in the main panel. This ID number identifies your Mac and is to be used when purchasing credits before making final EPUBs. Also shown are the amount of credits you available and the exact version number. To generate your fixed layout eBook directly from InDesign simply click the one ‘Create Fixed Layout eBook’ button to generate both your fixed layout EPUB3 and KF8.
Working with PDFs
Use the CircularFLO PDF Tools panel to bring PDF pages into InDesign for use in your CircularFLO eBooks. Either a single PDF containing multiple pages or multiple PDFs can be chosen and then placed into your InDesign document pages. If working with a ‘black plate change’ workflow it is possible to overlay text PDFs over base artwork PDFs on the same page. Only the trim size of the PDF page is used. Any bleed areas and trim marks will be automatically cropped off on import meaning that existing print PDFs can be quickly repurposed as eBook content. PDFs are placed onto a newly created ‘FLO_PDF’ layer. You can the manually amend the document as usual to mix more InDesign content and other CircularFLO layers containing hyperlinks, animations etc. with your PDF artworks as required.
- Place searchable PDFs – Without a document open, this button will import chosen PDFs into a newly made document. When a document is already open, this button will offer to add chosen PDFs into the existing document giving the option to add to existing pages or add to newly created pages. Any text present in the PDF pages will be searchable in the resulting ebook. See the next section for more on the differences between embedded and live text. Note: This process may make take two to three seconds per page.
- Place OCR searchable PDFs – the button largely runs the same process as the button above. This process has been optimised for working with PDFs which contain optical character recognition (OCR).
- Place non-searchable PDFs – PDFs placed using this button do not become searchable in the resulting ebook making it most suitable for graphics only PDFs typically used for base artwork PDFs when working with translations, sometimes called ‘CMYK PDFs’. This non-searchable process is quicker than the alternatives and will take around one second per page to run.
- Add Hyperlinks to PDF pages – After PDF text has been added using the previous button then the PDF text can be used to help add hyperlinks quickly. Click the button to see a prompt with any URLs or email addresses found in the PDF text for the page you are on. After a confirmation you can then draw the area on the page which his to contain the link and then repeat the process by moving on to the next link found.
- Split up long InDesign document – Separates an InDesign document into new shorter documents contained in an automatically generated InDesign book. Some slower Macs may struggle with processing long documents of over 100 pages.
Pros of working with PDF: It means a simpler operation especially for backlist, no need to find all links or to activate fonts, simple tools to quickly build pages, embedded text for search is available. Ability to use output from other layout applications such as QuarkXPress. Cons of working with PDF: Live selectable text will not be available, harder to add animation to parts of the page, text mag zones in KF8 are not available.
Working with InDesign documents
CircularFLO can process either a single open InDesign document or a single open InDesign ‘book’. Files in earlier versions of InDesign should be opened and saved in the version of InDesign to be used. The first page of your book should be a single righthand page. Some users like to add the cover file as the first page of the book so when opened the reader sees the first page cover artwork. It is important that each page of the eBook has a unique name or number. InDesign page names are used and Roman numerals or page numbering prefixes can be used if required. CircularFLO will check and warn you if the same page name has been used twice. For larger documents (over 100 pages) we recommend using an InDesign book with multiple documents. This InDesign book should contain the cover file and all the pages for the eBook. InDesign Books are fairly simple to use. The only feature which may cause problems is the Automatically Update Page & Section Numbers option in the Book Page Numbering Options. That can be switched off like this. The name of your eBook is taken from the name of your InDesign book or document unless you a different one is added in the Boilerplate. See later section on Making output choices with the Boilerplate.
CircularFLO will convert any existing, or new, InDesign documents you may have. There is no limitation or restriction on the physical page size, the page proportions or the type and colour space of graphics used. The only restriction of the fixed layout standard is that all pages sizes are the same within one book. Users sometimes assume they should prepare books at a certain screen proportion and pixel size or should modify the graphics used. This is unnecessary as all this work is done automatically as part of the conversion process. If your do wish to alter the graphic file size and quality you should not amend your InDesign file or graphics but instead see the Boilerplate JPEG compression options (below).
In the same way that InDesign allows the sharing of text styling, layering information and much more when moving objects between documents so do the settings attached to objects of CircularFLO layers. Attached animations, audio links, audio play, pause and stop information and hyperlinks are stored with the object they are applied to and so can be saved as InDesign snippets, saved in in InDesign libraries and dragged between pages and documents to quickly share and reuse your created settings.
Covers and table of contents
CircularFLO will automatically add a text table of contents to your eBook, by using the InDesign Section Markers in the Numbering & Section Options. Use the ‘Quick Table of Contents’ button in the Hyperlink Tools panel to quickly add a list of table of content headings from the clipboard into InDesign as section markers. For tappable table of content hyperlinks on the ebook page use the ‘Draw Hyperlink Regions tool’ from the Hyperlinks Tools panel. Section markers for table of content links can also be added by hand by using the regular InDesign Pages panel options or by choosing the InDesign Layout menu > Numbering & Section Options…. The use of Section Markers is optional and even without them you will still see a thumbnail table of contents in most EPUB readers.
Making your ebook
Working with text
- text frame postioning
- text on a path shape and positioning
- text frame size
- text frame rotation
- text frame indents
- text frame columns
- text frame opacity
- text frame drop shadow
- text size
- font style and weight (OpenType or TrueType supported for live text)
- text fill colour
- paragraph style alignment
- paragraph style leading
- paragraph style tracking
- paragraph style word and letter spacing
- paragraph style hyphenation
- paragraph style indents and first line indent
- paragraph style capitalisation
- paragraph style hyphenation
- paragraph style ligatures (not support in iBooks currently)
- paragraph style orphans and widows (from InDesign CC only)
- paragraph style horizontal scaling
As well as picking up each live text frame’s size, position and rotation the main transparency settings applied to the text frame in InDesign will also be applied to live text.
- The overall text frame opacity will be applied.
- Drop shadow offset, blur, colour and opacity will be applied.
All InDesign styling can be used on non live text layers.
All embedded text will be shown in the exact position it is on the InDesign page but for live text there are also ways to achieve accurate text positioning and to simulate text wraps. With a live text frame selected click the ‘Accurate Text Positioning tool’ button or the ‘Auto Accurate Text Positioning’ button on the Live Text Tools panel to split each line of text into an accurately positioned text frame. The position of this newly created text frame will then be used for the live text. The original selected text frame is left behind so positions can be compared with originals with an option to delete the original text frame is given to tidy up the document. Use the ‘Add forced line breaks’ button of the Live Text Tools panel to add soft returns to line endings in selected text frames. This can be useful to better preserve positions and simulate text wraps. Use the section for info on how to view the results of your live text positioning in a browser window in seconds.
- Add Boilerplate – Place an information panel about the EPUB processed by CircularFLO. See later section.
- Preview this page as HTML – Build the current InDesign page as HTML and open in Safari. This preview helps you quickly see the page without having to build and open an entire EPUB.
- Ungroup all page items – Remove InDesign object groups to make the movement of objects and text frames more effective.
- Convert DPS to single pages – Convert an entire document from using facing pages and conventional page spreads to wider single pages. This can be useful for preparing books for single page EPUBs and in some cases for KF8 when double page spreads are not able to be viewed.
- Split up long InDesign document – Split up a single InDesign document into shorter documents contained in an automatically created and linked InDesign book. This tool has been created as some slower Macs may struggle with processing long documents of over 100 pages. Can be useful to run after building documents with the CircularFLO PDF tools.
- Columned text frame check – This tool checks for columned text frames contained in front InDesign document and takes you to them when found. Sometimes InDesign has been found to crash when processing columned text frames. This tool is a recommended check when producing KF8 text mag zones.
- Make FLO LIVE TEXT layer – Add the optional layer named ‘FLO_LIVE_TEXT’ which is used to contain live text to be reproduced by CircularFLO.
- Move all text frames to FLT layer – Move all document text frames to the FLO_LIVE_TEXT layer. Text frames with a fill colour are not moved.
- Move this page text frames to FLT – Move text frames on the current page to the FLO_LIVE_TEXT layer. Text frames with a fill colour are not moved.
- Remove text frame linking – Unlink threaded text frames of any story on the FLO_LIVE_TEXT layer. The content will remain in position. Text links are split by the CircularFLO process so any styling based on Paragraph position can be seen.
- Set FLT text frames to rectangles – Converts all text frames shapes on the FLO_LIVE_TEXT layer to rectangles, which are the only shapes supported in EPUB.
- Accurate Text Positioning tool – split each line of text in the selected text frame into separate and accurately positioned text frame. The position of this newly created text frame will then be used for the live text. Useful for simulation of text wraps and other complex live text positioning.
- Auto Accurate Text Positioning – Click to run though an entire document to quickly prepare live text frames on pages that contain text wrap and any text on a path which has leading spaces.
- Add forced line breaks – Add soft returns to line endings in selected text frames. Useful to better preserve positions and simulate text wraps.
- Remove forced line breaks – Remove all soft returns in selected text frames.
- Set frames to ignore text wrap – Text frames on the FLO_LIVE_TEXT layer are set to ignore any text wrap which affects them, text wrap is not supported in EPUB.
- Highlight out of style text – Add a highlighting red line behind text which is currently set in an overridden style. This button will switch this feature both on and off.
- Modify Styles for EPUB – Adapt InDesign styles to more closely match those supported by the EPUB standard. Removes unsupported features such as grid alignment and tabs.
It’s easy to add tappable hyperlinks to your eBook. Here’s how to add page cross-references, web URLs, mail links for email addresses and even phone numbers or twitter messages using CircularFLO’s hyperlink tools. The Hyperlink Tools can be shown using the Window menu. The top button of the Hyperlink Tools panel simply creates a layer in your InDesign document with the required name “FLO_LINKS”. The size and position of all objects placed on this layer will be used to create the tappable hyperlinks in the final eBook. The Auto add page links tool can quickly add page reference hyperlinks to selected text frames. This tool is looking for lines of text that end or start with a number. If a number is found at either end of a line then a hyperlink to a page of that number is added above the text. This makes it particularly useful for quickly adding page reference hyperlinks to large tables of content and indexes. This tool works equally well with either live or embedded text. Adding any regular InDesign text frame to the “FLO_LINKS” layer and the contents of the text frame become the destination for the hyperlink. Be careful to add the destination exactly and avoid using spaces – we recommend pasting the entire web URLs include the http:// prefix from a browser. By using the ‘Draw Hyperlink Regions‘ tool you can quickly add hyperlinks to your pages. With this tool active, drag to add hyperlink regions on top of any areas of the page. When prompted choose the type of URL you wish to add and enter the destination. For eBook page cross references just enter the name of the InDesign you want to link to. For URLs paste full path from a browser. To add phone numbers enter the full phone number including area code and for Email addresses just add the full email address. For twitter messages enter the full tweet (a maximum of 140 characters are allowed) which can included hashtags, user names and web URLs. Hyperlink regions must be rectangular but can be rotated if required and background colours can be used to indicate these areas in InDesign, these layers will not appear in the final EPUB. Once one hyperlink has been added using the ‘Draw Hyperlink Regions’ tool simply draw another frame to repeat the process or switch tools to finish adding hyperlinks. Add Hyperlink to selected object – With a graphic object selected in InDesign, click the ‘Add Hyperlink to selected object’ button to add your hyperlink to an InDesign object. Hyperlinked objects can then be animated using the tools in the Animation Tools panel.
PDF Tools are explained in the Working with PDFs section above
For audio Use the CircularFLO Audio & Video Tools panel to quickly add the layers of ‘FLO_AUDIO’ and ‘FLO_VIDEO’ as required. Either use one of the Audio & Video tools or drag audio and/or video files onto the InDesign page where they are required. Their position and size is picked up from InDesign and the tappable media is placed in this position in the EPUB.
Drag or place video files onto the InDesign page where they are required. Their position and size is picked up from InDesign and the tappable media is placed in this position in the EPUB. In the converted EPUB, video can be run in position or the reader can zoom to full screen, returning to the page when complete. To link to externally web hosted video place a text frame containing the complete URL to the video on the ‘FLO_VIDEO’ layer. The position and size of the text frame is used.
It’s easy to make and apply animations to create impact and add interactivity to any image, page object and even live text frames, with no coding required using the CircularFLO Animation Tools. The animation tools panel can be shown using the window menu or the shortcut command 6. Click the ‘Make new Animation Setting’ button to select and adapt your own animations settings. You can add up to three animations to run together, or in sequence. There are over seventy CSS animations to choose from including fades, slides, flips, bounces and zooms. Check the CircularFLO download folder for a sample ebook containing examples of all the animations available. In the top row of the Make Animation Setting panel choose the first animation style from the drop down. By changing the other values along the row you can alter the duration over which the animation is played, the delay before the animation is triggered and the amount of times the animation is repeated. Set the repeat value to 0 to constantly repeat the animation without stopping. Use the second and third rows to add more animations to your Animation Setting in the same way, if required. Multiple animations that are combined in this way will interact, for example items can fade in or out whilst also sliding. Be aware that some multiple animations can override each other and also the repeating option does not make a difference for all animations e.g. Fading out or Hinge. Note that only the first animation is applied to live text frames and all animations are activated on page turn. Once an animation setting has been made it is saved in the current document and can then be applied to selected objects using the ‘Apply Animation to selection’. Animations can be quickly previewed in Safari browser by clicking the ‘Preview this page as HTML’ button. To change the animation applied to an object, make a new Animation Setting if required, and then use the same ‘Apply Animation to selection’ button to apply a different animation setting. There is no need to remove an animation setting before applying a new one. Use the ‘Remove Animation from selection’ button to take off all animations from selected objects. Animations can be applied to any page object or image, to live text frames, to audio buttons and hyperlinks as a great way to prompt the reader to interact with the ebook page. Animations are stored with the object they are applied to and so can be saved as InDesign snippets, saved in in InDesign libraries and dragged between pages and documents to quickly share and reuse your create animations settings.
Web code and widget tools are explained in the ‘Adding web code and interactive widgets’ section below
KF8 required: By default the EPUB3 produced by CircularFLO also contains KF8 code. Enter ‘false’ to choose to make an EPUB3 only and remove unused KF8 code from the EPUB output. Useful for users wanting to make EPUBs only and who want to open the file to edit code by hand.
Lock Orientation: By default the document with display according to device orientation (which way round the reader is holding their tablet) but for some types of document you may wish to force a book to be fixed in either portrait or landscape mode here by entering the word ‘true’.
Use first page as cover: A simple choice to indicate whether the first page should be also used to generate the cover image of the eBook . The default is true and this will mean the dialog to choose (see section on adding a Cover) will be skipped when the Boilerplate has been added.
Title: The name of the InDesign book will be used as the book name stored inside your eBook unless you amend it here.
ISBN: If required, add an ISBN number to be stored inside your eBook. Note that an ISBN is not required for EPUB validity and if uploading to the iBooks Store or Amazon the ISBN inforamtion is attached at that point anyway.
Version Number: If required, add an version number to be stored inside your eBook. Having versioning inside your EPUB fro iBooks will prompt the user to update their book when an update becomes available.
Extra Metadata: For pro users only, not a requirement! Words added after the = will be add into your eBook as metadata tags. Unwanted fields can be left blank or removed. Add more metadata tags if required using the same dc:tagname=value structure. Only use the /elements/1.1/ namespace fields listed here
JPEG quality: The quality setting used for images can be chosen here by entering either low, medium, high or maximum. The default setting is high quality and this is recommended unless your file sizes become too great.
Megapixels per page: The total number of pixels used per page background. A higher number gives more potential quality for fine zoomed-in detail but also means larger file sizes. The default setting of 3.2 million is recommended for books up to one hundred pages.
Export RGB images: By default we make all background pages graphics as RGB JPEG. If you are converting a black and white book however you can slim down the file sizes entering false here to force greyscale graphics. This does not affect the cover image just the inside pages.
Simulate overprinting: When working with existing print files it may be necessary to simulate the overprint settings used in order to get the same visual effects in your eBook.
View pages as double page spreads: By default the eBook is presented in double page spreads (the left and right pages viewed together like an opened book). Enter ‘false’ to show as single pages only and remove the page turning effect in iBooks. This option can also be useful to simulate double page spreads after using the Convert DPS to single pages option in the FLO Tools panel. Note: True double pages are only shown on Kindle Fire when the ‘comic’ zoom method.
Add binding to double page spreads: By default the eBook is presented in iBooks with a simulated page edges which they call ‘binding’. Enter ‘false’ to show your pages without these edges in iBooks. Note: This option is a getting a little unnecessary these days as the current versions of iBooks no longer add binding and also that binding is automatically off when pages are NOT viewed as double page spreads.
Left to right page progression: The standard setting for western books is to read from left to right. Change this value to false to present the pages to the reader in a right to left reading order. Suitable for Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Hebrew, Yiddish.
Zoom method: By default the ‘comic’ zoom is used to allow pinch and zoom on Kindle devices, alternatively change the word here to ‘text’ to switch to the text zoom method for KF8 on the Kindle Fire or ‘None’ to have no zooming method (see next section on KF8 zoom methods)
Text Size: When using the text zoom method for KF8 you can alter the size of text in the mag zones. Size is relative to the InDesign book page, so typically a point size two or three times the body text size is suitable
Text colour: When using the text zoom method for KF8 you can alter the colour of text used in the mag zones. Use any of the standard HTML colours
Panel colour: When using the text zoom method for KF8 you can alter the colour of panel used in the mag zones. Use any of the standard HTML colours
Use Font Obfuscation: For InDesign CC users there is a choice whether to ‘mangle’ the fonts used with live text so they are no use outside the EPUB package. This option is set to false by default as KF8 and Readium do not currently support font obfuscation.
Do not embed text on layers named: Enter the names of layers which you don’t want to be read and added as searchable text e.g. layers which are hidden or layers which contain running heads and page numbers
Alternative live text layer names: Enter alternative names for the live text layer here. Mulitple layers can be specific e.g. an instructions page or layers used for different languages
Page top to bottom reading order : By default the words on the page are added to the HTML using their text frame position on the page from top to bottom, this helps with auto reading of embedded text and with order of KF8 mag zones. Experienced users may prefer to set this to false whereby the stacking order of text in InDesign will be used instead or the page position, the top most frame being used first. Users updating older files first made for CircularFLO v3.5 and earlier can also enter the word “reverse” here to recreate the rather counter intuitive method that was used back then!
There are three KF8 zoom methods to choose from, either ‘comic’, ‘text’ or ‘none’. Each has benefits over the other which are described below. By default the comic zoom method is used, to switch to the text zoom method alter the zoom method information in the Boilerplate (see previous section).
The choice of KF8 zoom method does not affect the EPUB3 produced.
The ‘comic’ zoom method
- 2 portrait pages can be viewed together by turning the Kindle Fire device to landscape
- Pages can be zoomed with a double tap or pinching
- Zoomed pages can panned around by dragging
- Zoomed areas can be stepped through with a tap to the left or right of the device
- Table of content links that are present will work
- Text is not live, selectable or searchable
- Comic zoom is not supported on 2011-12 v1 Kindle Fires
- Hyperlinks may not work on v2 Kindle Fires
The ‘text’ zoom method
- Only single pages shown and turning the Kindle Fire device does not alter the view
- Pages can’t be zoomed or panned
- Double tapping text areas shows a ‘text mag zone’ which reveals live text at a larger size (see image)
- Text is searchable
- Text can have notes and highlight colours attached
- Text can be live and selectable
- Only hyperlink areas added with CircularFLO will work
The ‘none’ zoom method
- Similar to the text zoom method but double tapping text areas no longer shows the ‘text mag zone’
- All hyperlinks supported including hyperlinks on live text
- Only single pages shown and turning the Kindle Fire device does not alter the view
- Pages can’t be zoomed or panned
- Text is searchable
- Text can be live and selectable
Previewing and online publishing
With CircularFLO active, click one of the ‘Preview this page as HTML’ buttons in the Document Tools or Animation Tools panels to build and open a quick preview or the page and display this in Safari. All page graphics, live text, hyperlinks and animations are built and added to the preview. pressing this unique button to see an instant preview (OK, it might take five seconds…) of your InDesign page recreated in as HTML and CSS and opened in Safari. This can be a real time saver and is particularly recommended when creating animation settings and using live text and accurate text positioning. Audio, video is also included in the preview but read aloud text highlighting can not be added to this instant preview and can only be previewed by building an EPUB in proof mode.
Online publishing of your fixed layout EPUBs is easy to do with CircularFLO. The following steps are required to set-up Dropbox before using the online publishing feature. Once completed you are ready to publish first CircularFLO. Step 1 – Create a Dropbox account if you do not have one already. Step 2 – Install the Dropbox app on your Mac and sign in. Step 3 – Open the Dropbox folder in your Home folder using the Finder. A quick way to do this is to click the folder icon at the top of the Dropbox menu. Step 4 – Open the ‘Public’ folder in Dropbox. Note: If you have held a Dropbox account since before October 2012 then you already have a Public folder. If you created your Dropbox account after October 2012 then you will need a Dropbox Pro or Dropbox Business account in order to enable a public folder. See the Dropbox help page explaining this. PrepStep 5 – Within the Dropbox folder’s public folder select a file (a file, not a folder, there should be a text file named ‘How to use the Public Folder’ unless you have removed this) and ctrl click to choose the ‘Copy Public Link’. Step 6 – Launch CircularFLO and choose to ‘Prepare Dropbox for online publishing’. With these steps completed you are ready to instantly publish and manage your online EPUBs. This set-up only needs to be done once per Mac unless you wish to switch between Dropbox accounts.
Publishing your beautiful interactive fixed layout EPUB3 online is easy to do with CircularFLO. With this feature smaller and self publishers have a way distribute ebooks directly to their readers without using existing ebook retailers. Larger publishers may wish to use this feature to offer previews and samples of commercially available print and ebooks. Once you have your Dropbox account set-up (see previous step), it is easy to publish online whenever you choose. On creation of every new CircularFLO EPUB you will have the opportunity to immediately publish to an EPUB online. To publish an EPUB after it has been created, choose the ‘Publish EPUB online with Dropbox’ under the CircularFLO Publish menu. When prompted choose the EPUB file cerated with CircularFLO. This feature is only available for EPUBs created with CircularFLO. Those looking for other options should contact us. If you wish to update an existing published EPUB simply choose the ‘Publish EPUB online with Dropbox’ and select an EPUB file with the same name as the existing published EPUB. Confirm that you wish to overwrite the existing EPUB when asked. Updated EPUBs remain posted to the same URL.
Adding read-aloud highlighting
Manual timestamping video
Auto timestamping video
Bring your storybook pages to life by highlighting words in time with an audio track. CircularFLO makes it easy to add audio files to pages and then choose to highlight individual words and even images without coding and without leaving InDesign. The CircularFLO Read Aloud Tools can be found in the Window menu or using the shortcut Command R. The first time Read Aloud information is added to a page you will see a confirmation and then an InDesign table the ‘CircularFLO Read Aloud Panel’ will be added to the side of the page in the slug area. A Read Aloud panel should be added to each page which is to feature read aloud highlighting. Without a selection made in InDesign, clicking the ‘Prepare Read Aloud’ button will prompt you to choose the audio track to use. Either MP3 or M4A audio can be used. The audio track is same one used in the resulting EPUB. It is not altered or compressed in any way. All words from all text frames on the live text layer for the current page to the CircularFLO Read Aloud Panel. Select the text frames or objects on the page in the reading order you require and click the ‘Prepare Read Aloud’ button. By holding the Command (Apple) key the process is repeated and a single track can be used for all pages if required. With a selection active just the selected item will be added to the rows of the CircularFLO Read Aloud Panel. Continue to select text frames or objects to add them to the panel until all words have been added. The read aloud panel is an auto generated InDesign table and the information in the Read Aloud panel is live, if you wish to change the words, change their reading order or remove words from highlighting then just make those changes within the panel. Because the content for the read aloud panel is coming directly from the page, there is no need for guess work. Words are always spelt correctly and contain all the correct punctuation from the InDesign text frames. Once words and objects have been prepared and added to the read aloud table their order can be changed. Either drag and drop or cut and paste the table rows to change the running order. To add read aloud audio to the page but without any text highlighting simply remove all word rows from the Read Aloud panel. Once the Read Aloud panel is in place and all the words have been added, it’s time to add the audio file. If using MP3 the file is linked into InDesign, for m4a audio a link to the audio file will be stored. Audio can be split into sections per page or if preferred it is possible to use a longer audio track for a spread, section or even the entire book. Drop highlight swatch here To change the highlighting colour for the page from the usual red, drop any InDesign swatch colour into the table where indicated. No. of intro beeps If using manual timestamping, before adding the time stamps you will hear a count down of beeps leading in. Change the number of beeps here from between 2 and 10. Playback speed If using manual timestamping, when adding timing information to fast paced dialog the playback speed can be altered. This change of speed is only for the CircularFLO user when adding the timing and not for the reader of the final book. Start page audio at The starting time for the audio track will be set to 0.00 seconds. Change the is value to start at the required position if using a longer audio track. Stop page audio at As soon as the timestamps are added the stop time for the page will be picked up from the length of the added audio track. It can be altered here if using a longer audio track. Read Aloud highlighting can also be added for embedded text or text on a path objects that are not on a live text layer. For embedded text or text on a path, each word will be separated into an individual object on the page and added to the read aloud table. To add read aloud highlighting to embedded text, first select the frame or path containing the text and then click the Prepare Read Aloud button. If required these elements can be adjusted to be sure there are no overlapping sections. To add read aloud highlighting to scanned images, first select the frame or frames containing the images and click the Prepare Read Aloud button to add them to the CircularFLO Read Aloud Panel in turn. If a single scanned image contains multiple words then by holding down the command key after the confirmation the after when promoted to draw areas within the scan to specify which parts of the frame. When not highlighted, live text can be styled with any colour but any embedded text should be black and scanned Images should be black and white bitmaps. With the audio track added and the words prepared and in place in the Read Aloud panel it’s now time to add the timings. There is a choice of either automatic or manual timestamping. Automatic timestamping The ‘Prepare Auto Timestamping’ button uses an automatic web service to quickly get accurate timings for the words in the Read Aloud Panel. We use a third party web service to achieve this and make a charge by selling access to this service by the minute. It is required to purchase enough time stamp minutes in advance before using the auto timestamping feature. Auto Time stamping is purchased via our purchasing page and a link is also available via the Credits menu in CircularFLO. With sufficient time stamp minutes available, click the ‘Prepare Auto Timestamping’ to automatically send the audio and words and receive the accurate timestamps a few seconds later. The service is over 5x the speed of the audio so for example a 10 minute audio track is back in under 2 minutes. For best result sound effects and music should be left off the track sent for auto timestmping. A track with sound effects and music added could then be switched to after the timings ahem been received. Manual timestamping First, you may wish to preview the audio by clicking the ‘Play / Stop Read Aloud audio button’ to get accustomed to the pace of the speech Tap once to play the audio and again to stop the audio. Click the ‘Create Timestamps’ button in the Read Aloud Tools panel to play the intro beeps and then start to record the timings. This is done by simply tapping the down arrow on the keyboard at the start of each new word. Continue tapping the down arrow until the end of the audio track. If you make a few small errors, don’t worry – these can be edited later. If you make a big mistake at any point tap the up arrow on the keyboard to stop the process and then click the Create Timestamps button to start again. When the last word has been timestamped, all timings, in total seconds from the start of the audio track, are added to the start column. All the stop times are set to auto. These means that each word will remain highlighted until the next word is highlighted. If necessary add in a stop time, in total seconds for the start of the audio track, to remove the highlighting earlier if there is a pause in the audio dialogue. To visualise the timings of word highlighting click the ‘Preview Read Aloud playback’ to hear the audio played back and see the panel rows selected in time. The information in the Read Aloud panel is live so it’s easy to change the timings either by editing the numbers using the InDesign Type Tool or by using the fine adjustment buttons in the Read Aloud tools panel. When you are happy with your timings for the page you are done. Everything is now ready for CircularFLO to generate fixed layout EPUB3 with read aloud text highlighting. Repeat this process for other pages containing read aloud. Publishers who generate time stamps from other applications please contact us for about an integration tool to bring in timing information from Audacity, LipSync Pro, Wave Editor and others.
Apple iBooks has a neat feature to play uninterrupted audio in the background whilst a reader is moving around the EPUB. This can be on it’s own or in addition to tap audio or read aloud audio which can be played on top. Background audio will play on a loop and continues playing without stopping or restarting whilst pages are being turned. The reader has an option to start and stop the background audio in iBooks. To add a background soundtrack to your book click the ‘Add Background soundtrack’ button in the CircularFLO Read Aloud Tools panel. When prompted, select the audio file you wish to use. Either MP3 or m4a audio files can be used. Tip: Hold down the Command key when clicking the ‘Add Background soundtrack’ button to add the same background audio track to all your spreads. By adding the same soundtrack file to adjacent spreads the audio continues playing as the reader moves between spreads. It is possible to have multiple soundtracks so changing the background audio and changing the mood for different sections of your EPUB. A small CircularFLO Soundtrack Panel is then added to the pasteboard above your InDesign spread. If you wish the page to turn automatically then enter the time in seconds in the. There can be only one soundtrack file per spread. To remove the soundtrack for a spread simply remove the CircularFLO Soundtrack Panel attached to that spread. An example EPUB with background soundtracks added can be opened into iBooks on the Mac or directly into iBooks on iOS from here (the file is 34MB so may take a little while to show…)
Proofing, purchasing, samples and updating
The main CircularFLO panel has buttons to copy your unique ID (which is required when purchasing) and link to our pricing page, where book credits can be easily purchased. Alternative payment options and invoicing can be arranged for larger publishers and discounts are available when ordering more than ten book credits at once. Please contact us for more information. Once payment is processed (which is immediate with PayPal) an email containing your eBook credits is sent back to the purchaser’s email within minutes, ready for loading into CircularFLO.
Once a credit has been used, the same InDesign book and documents can be opened again and the book remade as many times as you like with no further charge. CircularFLO will recognise that the InDesign book and files have previously been processed and then offer to make another eBook without watermarks and free of charge. To prevent misuse of this feature there are some restrictions in place. A sample using only selected pages can be made after a book credit has been used. After clicking ‘Make Sample eBook’ enter a list of pages you want to add to the sample in the following dialog.
Adding web code and interactive widgets
A great variety of highly customisable and interactive widgets are now available to use within your fixed layout EPUB3 . Download the BookWidgets Mac application to quickly create and customise the widgets. There are plenty of options for design and styling. Contact us with any questions you have or alternatively more help and video tutorials are available from BookWidgets Support. See ‘Web Code and Widgets Tools’ below for instructions on placing widgets into your ebook pages.
In a similar way to CircularFLO, BookWidgets offer a free trial version of their widgets app which produces widgets which are watermarked in order to trial the process and create working proofs. BookWidgets have kindly agreed to allow CircularFLO users the ability to use as many unwatermarked widgets as you wish in your CircularFLO fixed layout books for the extra charge of one Pro credit. This means ebooks containing widgets cost 2 CircularFLO Pro credits. One credit charge for the CircularFLO and one credit charge for unrestricted use of BookWidgets within the ebook.
Create & Edit BookWidgets – will open the Mac BookWidgets app. Free to download from BookWidgets.com Place web code into InDesign – Click and choose the HTML file to place a placeholder frame on the page. HTML files should be in their own folder at the top level. The dimensions of the web code become the proportions of the web code frame on the page. When repositioning the web code frame it is advisable to preserve the proportions (using Command- Shift drag on the corner handle) to avoid stretching the content. You can stretch the content if you wish. Place widgets into InDesign – Click and choose the widget to place a placeholder frame on the page. When repositioning the widget it is advisable to preserve the proportions (using Command- Shift drag on the corner handle) to avoid stretching the content. You can stretch the content if you wish. Preview this page as HTML – use this button to quickly create a preview and show it in the Safari browser. Scaling is automatically taken taken care of and your web code will be scaled to fit the place holder frame. There is no requirement to design the web code to a specific pixel dimensions although if using pixel graphics it may be recommended. The overall pixel dimension of the page can be adjusted in the Boilerplate. Just like a regular image link you are free to edit the code files outside of InDesign. The latest up-to-date version of the linked files will be incorporated into the ebook.