CSS3’s new Paged Media spec provides us with a set of tools to craft all book formats—including print—from the same HTML source, establishing a fresh, flexible, and attainable route to single-source publishing. Framed around the research and implementation of a CSS-based workflow at O’Reilly, I’ll introduce some of the new features in the Paged Media spec that make print-book production with CSS possible, as well as discuss the prerequisites and potential pitfalls of implementing an HTML- and CSS-centric workflow.
This is particularly apropos given the recent move towards cloud-based authoring platforms. I’ll talk about some ways to get HTML source without requiring all authors to know how to code. I’ll also give some suggestions on how to standardize HTML source files for scalable publishing models, and present some additional tools you may need to create professional-quality books from HTML source.
During the technical portion of the talk, I’ll review some of the key pieces in the Paged Media spec, such as the page and box models, generated content, folios and running elements, floats, and printer elements (bleeds, crop marks), and I’ll provide some guidelines for structuring source files to achieve the best cross-platform compatibility (print, ePub, mobi, Web).
Finally, I’ll discuss the potential impact the Paged Media spec has on digital publishing, now and in the near future.
Nellie McKesson is the eBook Operations Manager at O’Reilly Media, where she focuses on ebook development and improved production processes while also overseeing continuous publishing/reprints and errata. She began as a print layout specialist with an expert knowledge of InDesign, which coupled with a background in web design segued nicely into eBook development.
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