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Kindlegen far better than the InDesign kindle plugin

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Initial post: Feb 11, 2012 11:11:20 AM PST
Opally says:
I've used the Amazon InDesign Kindle export plugin, and I've used Kindlegen via the Kindle Previewer utility, and Kindlegen is far superior. I found the best results by generating an epub, making the necessary edits manually (by extracting, then re-packing the epub) and then opening the epub in Kindle Previewer to make the conversion.

1. Critical problem: the InDesign plugin failed to acknowledge the TOC in my book, created according to the Kindle guidelines. You could export the mobi file to another format using Calibre, in order to edit it, but the easier way is to work with the extracted epub file, and create and edit the guide section of content.opf to indicate the location of the TOC. Then you can easily generate your mobi file again.

2. Footnote numbers and footnote superscripts, when created with the InDesign plugin, had ugly square brackets. Generating the mobi file by converting the epub with Kindlegen produced nice, normal looking superscript footnote numbers.

Posted on Feb 13, 2012 12:38:12 AM PST
Hello from Kindle Publishing Team.

Thank you for your feedback.
We will consider your comments on Kindle plugin for Adobe InDesign to improve it further. Particularly, regarding Table of Contents, if you have already followed Table Of Contents Guidelines section of Publishing Guidelines for Kindle Plugin for Adobe InDesign available at, please let us know if you can send us the source Indesign document/book so that we can investigate the issue further.

The Kindle Publishing Team

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2012 5:30:46 AM PST
Opally says:
I can send you a copy of the inDesign book file. Where do I send it?

Posted on Feb 15, 2012 7:41:54 AM PST

We are reachable through

With Regards,
Kindle Publishing Team.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2012 3:15:03 PM PST
Timecheck says:
Are you using the most recent Indesign, I think 5.5?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2012 7:19:50 AM PST
Opally says:
Yes, InDesign 5.5; it's far better than the previous versions for creating ebooks.

Posted on Feb 29, 2012 2:22:02 PM PST
lacey_girl says:
I have the same problem with the ToC. The plug-in will not create one and it doesn't recognize my ToC styles as an option in the style dropdown list. And yes, of course, the style is loaded in the ToC that I created and placed in my book.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 29, 2012 2:36:01 PM PST
Opally says:
@lacey_girl if you have an indb book, be sure that the TOC styles are in the style source document as well. But I also had the same styles sync'ed with the style source, and the recognition of the TOC document failed. The problem can be fixed by editing content.opf in an unzipped mobi, by identifying the TOC in the guide section. When you rezip, you must use a utility that removes any .DS_Store files. You can investigate how this is done, independently. There are a number of tutorials out there, such as Anne-Marie Concepcion's excellent "InDesign CS5.5 to EPUB, Kindle, and iPad" on or Elizabeth Castro's "From InDesign CS 5.5 to EPUB and Kindle"

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 29, 2012 2:57:14 PM PST
lacey_girl says:
I have Castro's book, From InDesign CS 5.5 to EPUB and Kindle. I bought it hoping that it would talk about the plug-in which it doesn't, but since it's still in beta I can understand that.
I hadn't wanted to crack open the mobi but I guess I will have to investigate how to crack their DRM. :-p
I do have my ToC styles loaded in my ToC. I'm not sure what else you might mean by "in the style source document." I'm having the same issue with my style not being in the epub export plug-in although I got it to work once. Rats! How did I do that? I have tried closing and re-saving all docs and closing the book and reopening it. No joy.

Posted on Feb 29, 2012 3:03:39 PM PST
lacey_girl says:
Aha! I got it. I had to make the ToC document the source in the Book panel. Now my ToC styles are available in the dropdown for epub and the kindle plug-in!! Yay!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 29, 2012 4:01:07 PM PST
Opally says:
@lacey_girl you're not cracking their DRM, you're just unzipping the mobi file so you can edit it manually. Alternatively, you can export as epub, and then open the epub in Kindle Previewer to generate a mobi file. If you're not making an InDesign "book" -- you only have 1 document -- sync'ing TOC styles isn't an issue. If you do have an InDesign book -- indb file -- then do read up on sync'ing styles.

Posted on Mar 16, 2012 12:10:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 16, 2012 12:10:43 PM PDT
I just tried converting my book for the first time using the plug-in and the layout came out all wrong. The pages with images came out too narrow because the images were reduced in size, and the plug'in ignored the chapter breaks. Everything runs together continuously.

Is there a way to ensure that all images retain their correct size, and that the page breaks happen where the chapters change?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2012 4:46:03 PM PDT
Opally says:
You need to make an InDesign book made up of separate InDesign file chapters. That's the best way to get every chapter to start on a new page, and of course, a typical way you already use InDesign (right?). As far as your image sizes, you can investigate the resulting .mobi code by changing its extension to .zip and then unzipping it and rezipping it. The point I made by starting this thread is that you may get better results by using InDesign's built-in epub generator, then opening your epub file in Kindle Previewer to get your .mobi conversion.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2012 8:57:01 AM PDT
Hello from Kindle Publishing Team,

You can ensure Chapters or any text to start in a new page by explicitly inserting "Type>Insert Break Character>Page Break" from InDesign menu. Regarding images issue, we would suggest you to try exporting by selecting "Optimized" option from Copy Images drop down menu in Images panel of Export dialog box. If you still see any issues with conversion, e-mail to us at

Kindle Publishing Tools Team

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2012 9:05:09 AM PDT
Opally says:
@Kindle Publishing Team: I didn't find using InDesign's page break method to be satisfactory. For example, I wanted chapter-end footnotes to start on a new page, and that was impossible to generate, despite my many attempts. Ultimately I chose the chapter/book method of ensuring correct page breaks. To get chapter end footnotes to start on a new page (so they could also be in the TOC) I manually cut and pasted the footnotes, then search/replaced all the links to point to the footnote document. That wasn't hard to do for someone with my experience, but it certainly didn't feel automated.

Posted on Mar 19, 2012 12:24:14 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 19, 2012 12:25:30 PM PDT
Thanks for the feedback everyone. With your suggestions I solved the page break trouble I was having. I noticed that the page breaks were being inserted correctly across chapters since I have each chapter as a separate file. Where the problem arose was with pages within a file.

However, there are still issues with the images. One, an image that I have at the beginning of each chapter, a Photoshop file, is ignored and does not show up in the exported version. Two, the size and placement of many is incorrect. Even after choosing Optimized and choosing the highest quality JPEG, they come out too small. In addition, the text that should flow around them does not do it properly.

Lastly, I have a page header on each page. Every once in a while, this header appears in the middle of a Kindle page, but not always.

Per the suggestion above, I will email this post to the Kindle team.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 7:45:53 PM PDT
Kindle Publishing Tools Team:
Can you tell me why my ID CS5.5 has lost its Kindle plugin?

Posted on May 31, 2012 2:10:24 PM PDT
Jon B Barry says:
I have used indesign CS5 with no problems at all in making Kindle docs...But now, I have updated to CS5.5 and have installed the .96 kindle plugin ...well..I can no longer make tells me that the meta data failed...I have tried it till I am stupid..never had a problem until now..I need help...please point me in the right direction.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 2:25:13 PM PDT
lacey_girl says:
You could export as epub. Open the epub, look at and edit the metadata in the opf file. Then use kindlegen to make the mobi or simply submit the epub to Amazon.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 2:32:23 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 31, 2012 2:32:52 PM PDT
Aha, Joh Barry you said it better than I did. Same problem. And why go through a bunch of extra steps to go through epub then back to kindle? Makes no sense. Sorry lacey_girl. Time is money in this biz. Extra steps when we've already paid for just one step is time, is money lost.

Posted on May 31, 2012 2:37:02 PM PDT
lacey_girl says:
Keep beating your head against the wall then. :-p Last I checked the kindle plug-in is still in beta.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 2:41:56 PM PDT
Kindle Gen works better than InDesign and the people at Adobe should be able to incorpoate KindleGen into InDeisgn without all this hoopla. Glad I am able to author html. MSWord works for Kindle but gets jumbled up a bit now and then.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 2:43:23 PM PDT
Jon B Barry says:
My editor uses cs5.5. I have it as well. But I have to then export the doc out as a 5.0. type in the name again to get it into 5.0 and I have to do this to 72 chapters. Then, if I get anything wrong..I introduce errors... The other solution..I get the chapter from the editor, select the text...and copy it and paste it into my 5.0 doc. This is insane... And Amazon wants to sell books..this is nute.

Posted on May 31, 2012 3:57:13 PM PDT
Buy Mobi Maker from Incredible software. Mobi and epub. Do files in MSWord..import, bingo. Instant files that are perfect. No other way to go. I don't trust InDesign nor do I trust the Amazon conversion over this one. KindleGen works well but way too many steps to get the job done compared to the above software. And no, I am not involved with this company at all. I suspect they are in China or Taiwan.

Posted on May 31, 2012 4:21:57 PM PDT
Jon B Barry says:
I had to go back to indesign CS5 and it worked fine...Adobe and Amazon..far as I know..are sort of at war...all of them are at war...they all want proprietary it screws us all up.
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Kindle Publishing forum
Participants:  9
Total posts:  58
Initial post:  Feb 11, 2012
Latest post:  Aug 2, 2012

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