I acquired a sample epub file from a client to use as a template for new epub files. When I open this file in iBooks (v 1.0.1), the paragraph text by default has the font Iowan, and the style selection menu by default looks like this:

The “Original” font option is missing, and “Iowan” is checked.

Yet when I make my own ePub file, the font used is Time New Roman, and the menu looks like this instead:

The “Original” option is checked in the font list.

Note that there is now the font option “Original”, which is checked. The sample epub file contains only one css file, and it does not refer to Iowan, or any serif font, at all. In fact, all the font-family properties in the css file have the value sans-serif – and when I open the file in Adobe Digital Editions, all text is in the default sans-serif font, as expected.

As far as I can tell there are no style instructions embedded in the xhtml. But even if there was, it would not explain why the ”Original” menu option would disappear. Is there some special setting in the ePub file that I am unable to find? Note that not all texts in the sample file has Iowan: headlines etc have a sans-serif font, as specified by the css.

  • I should add that there is no com.apple.ibooks.display-options.xml file included in the ePub.
    – mansb
    Sep 9, 2015 at 11:50
  • I am having trouble understanding your situation. Is it possible you are confusing the styles set in the css and the user setting you have picked in ibooks for this particular ebook? I'm pretty sure that ibooks will prefer a user setting over a publisher default. Could be way offbase though.I would check a neutral ebook and check its settings. "Original" in this case might refer to "publisher default." Sep 9, 2015 at 21:41
  • Also when you say, "make my own ePub file, the font used is Time New Roman," What do you mean by "make"? Are you using a tool like InDesign or Calibre? Or are you editing the css file? Sep 9, 2015 at 21:43
  • I am editing the css and xhtml files of a new epub file, which I guess is what you might refer to as a neutral ebook. I have no doubt that “Original” does refer to “publisher default”. The strange thing is that “Original” doesn’t appear as an option in the sample epub, and “Iowan” is _pre_selected – I did not choose it. I can’t for the life of me figure out how those two things are encoded in the file.
    – mansb
    Sep 10, 2015 at 7:00
  • @mansb Have you ever found the solution? I'm at the same exact place. Times New Roman is horrendous. Mar 9, 2020 at 18:50


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