To see how cop-e-boox is structured, first start by reading the "how to use"
instructions for an introduction to XML and to help you navigate through all the components.
In a browser, open the file start-here-for-everything.html (this automatically opens the file
how-to-use.svg of the Stylesheet Guide). Read the instructions about learning XML,
how to find typesetting features in the Stylesheet Guide and how to change features in the
Note: Create a shortcut to the "how to use" starter page
start-here-for-everything.html and move it to your desktop for quick
Structure of components
The following diagram shows the components of
cop-e-boox. The red arrows show how each component refers to other components to help you
find, then add, XML markup and apply styles. Some components are hyperlinked. When you hover
the cursor over a component, it will change colour. When you select a component it will open
in a new browser window.
Details for each of these components are:
User's Guide—you are reading the User's Guide right now. The User's Guide is located
in the directory /userguide (file "index.html"). Read all the
sections to understand the broad structure and functionality of cop-e-boox and XML
Note: Create a shortcut to the User's Guide file UsersGuide.html and
move it to your desktop for quick reference.
Book templates—the book templates are located in
the directory /xml. These are a collection of DocBook 5.0 XML files that contain
examples of XML markup with tagging that matches up with features in the stylesheets.
When you create the tagging for each new book, copy the tagging examples from these
templates into the new XML files.
Sample templates—in the directory /samples there are XML files for a complete
book, all stylesheets, and sample PDF, EPUB and web page ebooks that you can follow to
see how to edit XML and stylesheet features.
Stylesheet Guide—the Stylesheet Guide is located in the directory /gui. To find
the stylesheet features you want to change for various text, page and document styles,
in a browser open the file StylesheetGuide.html (this automatically opens the file
copeboox.svg of the Stylesheet Guide). The Stylesheet Guide comprises a series
of scalable vector graphics (SVG) files that can be viewed in a browser. These provide a
visual representation of the stylesheets for PDF, EPUB and web documents.
Note: Create a
shortcut to the Stylesheet Guide file StylesheetGuide.html and move it to your
desktop for quick reference.
EPUB stylesheets and web page stylesheets are located in the directory
/xml/stylesheets. The stylesheets comprise several customised extensible
stylesheet language transform (XSLT) stylesheets based on DocBook 5.0 XML markup
language, and two cascading stylesheets (CSS) for styling EPUB and web pages. Use both
the XSLT and CSS stylesheets together to set up features for PDF, EPUB 3.0 and HTML5
Cross-referencing between components
Contextual help. Cop-e-boox is designed with lots of cross-referencing between its
various components as listed above, so that you can gradually learn about XML markup, apply
styles and produce ebooks. You can open up any component of cop-e-boox in either a web
browser (for the User's Guide and Stylesheet Guide) or an XML editor (for the XML book
templates, XSLT stylesheets and CSS stylesheets). Each of these components has the most
relevant information about stylesheet features for context-specific help, and
cross-references to other parts of the documentation. As you look through features in each
component of cop-e-boox, follow the cross-references to other components so that you can
gradually find out more detailed information about specific stylesheet features and
The contextual help features for each component are:
User's Guide—outline of XML markup required to achieve specific styles, and
cross-references to stylesheet features and Stylesheet Guide pages
Book templates—stylesheet features and Stylesheet Guide pages for some styles are
mentioned in the templates
Stylesheet Guide—popup tooltips when you hover the cursor over features, and browser
windows for cross-referencing to specific stylesheets and features when you click on
Print ebook stylesheets—cross-references to Stylesheet Guide pages and other print
CSS stylesheets—cross-references to relevant XSLT stylesheet features to help you
understand the equivalent features for PDF output.
Technical overview of XSLT coding
For the technically minded, the customised extensible stylesheet language transform (XSLT)
stylesheets are designed to work with the standard DocBook stylesheets, which are integrated
with cop-e-boox. All styles for setting the document layout and functionality are accessed
from the text-based stylesheets. You enter values for each stylesheet feature in the
stylesheets by following the instructions at each feature, and those values are applied when
you transform (or typeset) an XML document into an ebook.
The coding that generates document and text styles that are applied to ebook formats
comprise templates, parameters, variables and attribute sets. All this coding has been put
into numerous XSLT stylesheets located in subdirectories, so that you do not need to
interact with it. The directories are:
It is strongly recommended that you do not modify any of the coding in those
directories, unless you are familiar with XSLT. You can find a brief introduction to the
concepts of XSLT stylesheet coding in the ebook Digital
publishing with XML: Concepts for editors.