The Eternal Headache: On the Subject of Images and Ebooks

To piggyback onto yesterday's post, there's one thing I forgot to talk about, and that is images in your ebook. When it comes to the ePub format in particular, ebooks get touchy about embedded images. Here's what you can do about it.

The most important thing you want to remember is NO TEXTBOXES.

You never want to put your image in a textbox. Never ever. It doesn't count as embedded if you place your image inside a textbox and most ePub generators will error out if you have a textbox anywhere in your manuscript file.

How to Embed an Image in Word

It's super simple. Open up the location where you image is stored (like the Pictures folder on your hard drive) and then right-click on the image you want to embed and select Copy (or select it and then do a CTRL+C). Then, in your manuscript file, put your cursor wherever you want your image to appear and then right-click again and select Paste (or do a CTRL+V). Your image is pasted directly, and it is now embedded in your Word file. You're good to go.

How to Get Rid of Rogue Textboxes in Word

Once they're in there, textboxes can be the biggest pain to get rid of in Word. It's often not as easy as just hitting delete. If you tried to add an image a couple of times, failing a few before you got it right, chances are you have rogue textboxes floating in your Word file, and you don't know it. Until you send your Word file through an ePub generator, that is.

If you keep getting errors saying that you have textboxes which aren't supported in ePub files, but you don't know where the heck they're at, here's what you need to do:

Open up Word and navigate to the Layout ribbon. Click on the Selection Pane icon. This will bring up a new panel that lists all of the textboxes you still have floating around in your file. Click on the rogue textbox in the list and then hit Delete. No more rogue textbox. Repeat this for every rogue textbox you have and then click Save. You're good to go.


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