January 19, 2021 Digital Hub Update

By Scribe Inc.


The latest WFDW update makes several changes to improve the accessibility of ePubs produced by the Digital Hub.

Deprecation of the Mobi File Format

On March 1, the Digital Hub will no longer produce Mobi files. Amazon no longer expects these files to be provided as part of the publication and distribution process. Amazon recommends opening ePub files in Kindle Previewer to see how these e-books will appear on Kindle devices. The e-book section of the files tab within projects will continue to warn about this change until it goes into effect.

A link to Kindle Previewer has been provided on the projects page under the External Tools section.

Greater Emphasis on Accessibility

The Project Information tab has been redesigned to make the Accessibility Options permanently expanded. These discoverability settings must be accurately filled out to produce accessible e-books. E-books produced without these fields populated will result in conversion alerts under the Alerts and Updates tab.

The Accessibility Features field also has two new options: structuralNavigation and displayTransformability. As with other discoverability metadata, selecting these options communicates features of the e-book but doesn’t alter the structure of the e-book itself.

A link to Ace Checker by DAISY has been provided on the projects page under the External Tools section. The Ace Checker can be used to evaluate the accessibility of your ePub against industry standards.

Markup Improvements

A number of markup changes will improve the accessibility of e-books produced in the Hub. These changes apply to all Hub-produced e-books.

  • Table column and row head ScML styles will gain a scope attribute when converting to ePub/HTML that will indicate whether the paragraph describes a column or a row.
  • Language styles that have the lang attribute in the ScML format will have the same metadata duplicated in an xml:lang attribute in the tag when converting to ePub/HTML to match the latest accessibility specifications.
  • List head styles (nlh/blh/ulh) will now be mapped to HTML as p elements instead of as h1 elements. This prevents an accessibility warning that comes up in many e-books with these styles.

New Conversion Option: Visible Page Markers

Inserts the page numbers as live text. This should not be used for most projects, as the default self-closing metadata page numbers are the standard. This option is available when converting files to ePub or HTML.