When I made my first ebook last year I stumbled upon one of the weird features of the ebook world. Tables of content. We’ve grown completely accustomed to books having tables of content, but in the ebook world tables of content are not an easy thing.
The tool I used to make my first ebook took all headings and created an automatic table of content somewhere in the front matter of the ebook. But I had no control over this table of contents whatsoever. I was totally dissatisfied with the result and I ended up diving into the epub file, wrestling with the opf file, I learned about the manifest, spine and guide, learned about ncx files and I felt more like a programmer than a writer while trying to fix things.
So when I started to design Eboocz one thing was clear to me, I had to find a better way to take control over the table of contents. Here’s what I came up with.
An Eboocz document consists of sections. Every section is a possible entry into the table of contents and you can select if you want a section to be included or not. The option you can find in the context column in the first tab under the writing and content tools. It’s right at the top and by default the option is selected. So if you want a section to be excluded, for instance the copyright page, just unselect this option and it won’t be included in the final table of contents.
But there is more. Have a look at the metadata screen. You can open this screen by clicking on the open book symbol in the book column. In this screen you can not only enter all relevant metadata it’s also the screen for selecting styles and other relevant options. On the right side you’ll see the Table of contents option. What is this option? Let me explain.
When you read your ebook chances are you’re using one of the standard ereaders or ereader software on your smartphone, tablet or laptop. These days all ereader software has a table of contents button in the toolbar. So why would you want to include a table of contents in the document if you can always access it much faster via that table of contents button? I noticed that more and more ebooks are dropping the table of contents because of this. So I thought one should have a choice, while making the ebook, if the table of contents should be included in the book or not. And if you choose to include it, you can choose to include it in the beginning or at the end of the book. That’s what this option is intended for. That’s what Eboocz is all about, Eboocz, made easy.