The death of headers and footers… for now

Page headerIf you’ve ever tried to create custom headers and footers for your ebook, you probably realized pretty quickly that it’s a near impossible task. Although reading systems generate their own headers and footers, control over them has never been afforded to the people creating the content.

The EPUB specification has, for a long time, included the custom CSS values oeb-page-head and oeb-page-foot for the display property. Control over the headers and footers was ostensibly given to content creators by setting these values on an element containing the header or footer. I’d typically give an example of how this is done, except…

Despite the best intentions of the specification, no one’s implemented the feature in a reading system (or not very well, as Digital Editions has an awkward attempt at them). But optimism prevailed, and the functionality has persisted through revisions without any real-world application. That is, until 3.0.1.

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