I want to create an eBook that is easy to navigate AND that is easy to print out AND that works well for various settings of screen resolution.
Any suggestions as to how I could do this?
My plan is to go about eBook design in exacty the same way as I do web pages. That means including a navigational sidebar on every page (TOC) for easy overview and quick access to content.
Printing is not a priority for my web pages, though for the eBooks (technically oriented) it will be critical that they print well. And the navigational sidebar won't be very useful in a printed version...
Screen resolution issues - Background: I recently had problems with my monitor flickering - solution: increase resolution to max (1600*1200 which it's designed for). Result - great stable screen, but very SMALL text and most sites online just won't work. It all becomes too small at high resolution... Suppose the same goes for eBooks. Though ebookfriends.com does work OK in this resolution, even if all tables including text become a little screwy ! Clearly, there are many issues in web design that I don't grasp well. But it seems that there are plenty of others too not knowing how to handle different screen resolutions. What's the secret here? (I use frontpage for all my web-work.)
Since the format for printing is critical it sounds like the perfect job for CSS. CSS allows you to have one format for the display screen and another for printing.
CSS can be bothersome when designing for cross browsers (as on a web page) but if you are using it for ebooks only you won't need to bother with any IE hacks. Just as a heads up when you do use CSS for internet layouts design for the FireFox browser, then hack to make it work in IE. A lot of people start out doing it the other way around, but soon discover it's like nailing jelly to a tree.
If you use a program like Dreamweaver or GoLive you'll find that developing in CSS much easier. Of the two programs my favorite for CSS design is GoLive CS2. This program makes it much easier to do layout and to find any bugs. Dreamweaver 8 has just been release so I can't compare. The DW version I use is DW MX 2004.
Yes, CSS will be able to do that. A lot of people will even use CSS to control which font familiy displays, for example, they will use sans-serif fonts for screen display and serif fonts for printing.
If you've ever visited a site that lets you select from several options how a web page appears, well, that's done with CSS.
Front Page is able to handle CSS. The design application becomes important on how much of the process is automated for you. INMO at the moment GoLive CS2 is at the top of the list. You can download a 30-day trial version of both GoLive and Dreamweaver from the publishers' site.
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