Combining reflowable and fixed layout

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Hi All,

I'm trying to create reflowable ePub3 with 2 pages of fixed layout and upload the same to itunes stores.

By using the instruction available in "" and also by referring "cole-voyage-of-life.epub" sample.

While validating the ePub it throws below error

WARNING (CSS-017) at xxxxxxxxx.epub/css/style.css" (line 73, col 5):
CSS selector specifies absolute position.

WARNING (CSS-017) at xxxxxxxxx.epub/css/style.css" (line 76, col 5):
CSS selector specifies absolute position.


Please suggest how to solve the issue, and also suggest whether this ePub will accepted by Apple store to publish.

Thanks in advance,

It's kind of a bogus warning as epubcheck doesn't care where the styles are used; it just checks whether a document is reflowable and whether you have any styles that make use of absolute positioning.

The easy fix is to take the positioning styles you're using for your fixed layout documents and put them in a second css file that you only import inside those two documents. I believe epubcheck is smart enough to stop caring about their presence then.

Hi matt,

Thanks for your suggestion!.

Still i,m facing the same issue.


Yes, it's a bug in epubcheck. It's just using the default global rendition:layout setting to determine whether to report a warning about the position: absolute value.

I can see the complexity of computing which styles are used where, but it should at least be able to check what context a style sheet is being used in.

I honestly don't know whether Apple will accept it with that warning or not. It's acknowledged to be heavy-handed guidance, and we've reduced the recommendation against using absolute positioning to just an authoring note in the ongoing 3.1 revision.

If they reject it, the uglier alternative hack is to declare the whole publication to be fixed layout and then use rendition:layout-reflowable to override all the spine items except the two fxl documents.

Hi matt,

Thank you for the suggestion.

I tired the last option, but i can't able to increase the font size. Is there any other option available.


The question is, why you cannot increase the font-size (CSS property).
Does it work, if you present the XHTML+CSS documents without EPUB archive around in a normal browser?

Hi OH,

Thank you.

Normally in reflowable ePub we can able to increase/decrease the font, by using the option which suggested by matt, I can't able to do the same, since the ePub became fixed layout.

In normal Browsers, its works perfectly.


I took a look at, and the spine overrides aren't very well supported:

(I've reported the mis-grouping of the tests, as they shouldn't be under orientation.)

In other words, you've bumped into the problem of hacking around the warning. Reading systems that don't support the overrides will treat the document like a fixed layout. In some cases, that includes disabling font resizing as there's still a tendency by developers to force views on readers in the name of appearance.

You're probably better off not working around the warning and contacting Apple about the erroneous report if they don't allow the book..

Hmm, from where do they get the font-size at all for a fixed layout, if not from the author? And how can fixed-layout work at all for documents containing text, if size information is ignored?
Is it expected, that fixed-layout documents embed only raster images and contain no text?
Maybe better to use SVG with presentation attributes instead of XHTML+CSS in such use cases, for this the viewBox can be scaled to the available viewport easily, no need for further information in the OPF-file or specific EPUB rules to get a good graphical presentation with a fixed arrangement of objects.

Users cannot change the visual display of the content if the reading system locks out all the controls, which is what some do when they render a fixed layout document. It's not about what is in the css.

If the reading system enables controls based on the global setting, then all reflowable documents will also lose text control.

Thank you matt, ill contact apple. for this issue

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