iBooks Author: Hands On

iBooks Author

As soon as iBooks Author was introduced our minds boggled at what the possibilities were, outside of the textbooks that Apple expect you to use it for obviously.

So we set about creating some content and the result is an interactive version of our portfolio, that includes images, 3D models, Google Maps, Twitter feeds and a whole host of other cool functionality, that makes our work look pretty good!

Here’s some of the things that we found when using the tool that might be helpful for others.

  • If you want to lock the book to landscape, which is useful if you have lots of images and interactive content and not much text, then there’s the option in the document inspector.
  • It’s possible to add alpha to images, but the button is hidden from default view so you’ll need to ‘customize’ the toolbar first.
  • You can’t add hyperlinks to images, only to text. Although you can link from text to another image in the book, but only if you’ve added a title to the image.
  • HTML elements are easy to add (such as Google Maps) just grab the embed code, save to a .wdgt folder along with a .plist and a Default.png screenshot. However they only become active once made full screen in the book, until then they only show the static image that you include.
  • 3D models exported from 3DSMax only show textures is the .DAE file is placed in the images folder created on export.
  • Interactive 3D models can be locked to only interact horizontally or vertically, but the ‘auto-rotate object when idle’ doesn’t comply to this setting and rotates on its own axis.
  • Uploading to the iBook Store is easy using the iTunes Producer tool, but there is no indication of approval time…
  • To edit an existing book you need to export your book from iBooks, then re-open the itmsp file that has been published using iTunes Producer and point exported version rather than re-publishing the book, which will create another submission.
  • You will need to sign up to a new iTunes account to publish books, even if you are already a registered developer.

If you’re thinking about making a portfolio, catalog, design guide, game manual/guide, recipe book, interactive scrapbook, photo book, city guide, newsletter, personal study guide, wedding book, comic book then let us know if we can help!

One Comment

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  1. Natalya says:

    I want to try the approach of sync’ing secelted PDFs to the iPad, BUT when I select that option I get an alert box saying: Are you sure you want to sync books? All existing songs, movies and TV shows on the iPad The-iPad will be removed. What the heck is the reason why all of my other assets have to be messed with just to be able to sync books?????????? I tried adding PDFs to my iTunes library and then dragging them to the iPad and that indeed copied the PDFs to the iPad and they show up when I select the books category in the iPad; BUT when I open iBooks on the iPad there is no Books / PDF selection. The PDFs are on the iPad in the books category but they’re invisible to iBooks 1.1.BTW I’m using iTunes 92.f1 (45).At any rate yet another crock what the hell is going on with Q/A? It’s not like there’s multiple different iPad OS versions out in the field, and their’s only 6 hardware configurations!

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