iBooks Author Basics plus Widgets 2015 Tutorial



in this tutorial we're going to take a look at just the basics of iBooks Author and hopefully in the future I'll have some other videos that will show some more advanced features but my goal in this presentation is just to get you started so that you can jump in and start building books with iBooks Author and that really is what iBooks Author is all about notice that here on the Apple comm website they have a page dedicated specifically to iBooks Author and iBooks Author has been made a free tool Apple offers it for free and anyone with the Mac can download it and use it now there are some basic requirements that you'll need on the Mac for it to work properly and to run we'll look at those in just a minute as you can see the purpose of iBooks Author is to help you create and publish amazing books for iPad and Mac but you can actually use it for more than that you can publish your books as PDFs and there's some other features as well so really your books could could be used on many other devices not just iPad and Mac so let's take a look here on their website I'm just going to go down and I'll click download iBooks Author free from the Mac Apple Store now that takes you here to this page that talks about the different specifications and requirements if you're going to be using iBooks Author on your Mac notice it says compatibility OS 10.9 or later now this might look to you like the Apple iPad app store but this is actually just for the Mac App Store okay so I can click here to open it up up in the Mac App Store and I will do that if you don't want to go through each of those steps I just showed if you have a Mac you could just go down and find your symbol that looks like this for App Store click it it'll open up and then you can do a search for iBooks Author alright so this is the store from which I get this free software iBooks Author and I can just click here where it says open for you it'll probably say free or download something like that but you just click it and it will install on your device now for this to work exactly as it's meant to work you need to have Yosemite like I said on the previous screen Version 10.9 or later is required but I found that it didn't work exactly the way I wanted without 10.10 point four so my best advice for you is if you really want to use this you need to update to the most recent version of OS ten and if you're going to use it with an iPad as well you should update your iPad as well so I've already downloaded and installed this so I'm going to close out of the App Store and I'm just going to click here on spotlight and I'll type in iBooks Author and load it up alright so here it is and it automatically by default it took me to the template chooser so these are some templates some layouts for books that I can just click to use and it saves me a lot of time and effort having to think through exactly the way I want it to look notice that they do have some landscape views they have some portrait views epub style views so I'm just going to go with this one here contemporary in landscape so I'm going to click double click on that I could have clicked it and then chosen choose but anyway double clicking works great it opens up and I want to start writing a book notice that the first thing you can do here in the upper left corner is book title and this is really how I like to think about iBooks Author is I like to think about just what is here at the left and that's how I work on a book okay just by going through those filling them out working on them and then also underneath that okay these are kind of like PowerPoint slides if you want to think of it that way or like keynote slides where you can work on each one one at a time but notice that they indent as you go along we'll look at that more in just a minute so first book title so let's say I want to write a book about nutrition I'm just going to click to highlight the words book title and I'll replace them with nutrition info that's going to be the title of my new bestseller notice that there's also some text up here you don't I don't really need that for for my book but if you wanted to put text there you could and then down here probably for the author you could put in your your name there as the author so that is the cover really of my book next if you look in the upper left corner it says intro media this is meant to be a movie or an image that will play kind of as a way of attracting attention or getting the reader excited about the book that they're about to read and all you have to do is drag a movie a video or an image into this box now I really like iBooks Author but one of the things that kind of bothers me just a little bit is it doesn't seem to have an easy insert option and maybe I'm just not seeing it properly but I wish that here at the top it had insert image or insert video like I say maybe I'm just missing it but I don't see an option for insert image or video here so instead you're supposed to drag and drop which is you know very much a Mac kind of thing but for me with my limited screen size it kind of bothers me to move over like this move these things over and then here on my desktop I have a folder where I put in some images and I just need to get that out of the way so here is a video that I would like to play so I just click and drag to drop it into that placeholder and it is now optimizing the movie so that it will be the intro media for my book so that's really nice I just wish that I could do all that without moving and sliding everything over and pushing things around I wish I could click insert but oh well that's okay next up I have a table of contents I'm going to click on there and you can see I've got chapter 1 it's untitled and that's all I have and I'm untitled chapter 1 and then there's a glossary and notice that you can click to add terms to your glossary so I could put in nutrition that's my term and the definition is the study of nutrients in food I've just made that up so those are the four main things that you're going to be able to do that build the structure of the book kind of okay but you also work on this table of contents as you build out the chapters the sections and the pages that make up your book alright let's start with chapter one here on chapter one I'm just going to click and I could title chapter one I'll call this food kind of general I guess but it might be a good place to start and it gives me some gibberish basically here that I can use to just kind of visualize what this chapter is going to look like so I'm going to just double click on that and then I can replace it with basically a description of chapter one a little teaser kind of so that people are eager to read chapter one or maybe it's a quote something like that next I click on section one and I'll title this so I go in and title it if you want you can go in and say chapter highlights or section highlights and you could list those out and then just start typing up chapter 1 section 1 okay so I'm not going to make you watch while I write a book but the idea here is you simply start building your book and writing it up now you may have noticed when I deleted some of the text that was already there it took away one of my pages so I do want to show you how to add more pages and also more sections and more chapters to your book the way you do that is up here in the upper left corner you click on this plus sign and you can add pages okay one column page is two three blank column or no column I should say I'm going to go into two column and it gave me a new page I can click and once I finish the page I'm currently on it will move on to that next page you can also add another section so once this section is over I'll just create another okay and notice how it indented differently it pulled it to the left because it's a new section this is section 1 this is section 2 and notice if you don't want it to be called section 2 you could just call it by a more specific name but you can also put the name here as well when you're done with section 2 and maybe you're done with chapter 1 completely you just go up add pages click chapter you've just created the beginnings of chapter 2 and so that's the process really of building out your book using sections if you want to you don't have to using pages definitely and then chapters now as you're doing your creating of your book as you're writing and organizing what it will look like you're probably going to want to change the background image and similar to how I changed the intro media which I never did show notice that it finished loading it in if I click play it loads up my movie okay and you'll get a sense of what that looks like better a little bit later but you might decide to change some of the background images that come with the template and just like I did with the video what you have to do is pull your document to the side and find the image that you want to pull in click and drag and drop it in the right place now sometimes if you drop it in a text box it'll only put in a background in the text box so be careful where you drop your image okay so I just dropped it in a blank area the best I could and it worked okay so I've got that nice look there of some healthy foods on the second page you know the beginning of section one I'd like to do the same thing with the header you know the the galaxy looks nice there but doesn't quite fit what I'm going for here so I'm going to drag that same exact photo and drop it in and you can see it creates a nice-looking header alright and then I could do the same thing if I want with section two or I could get a different image for section two it really is up to me now I got all these images from Google Images using the search for images that are labeled for so if you want to know how to do that I have a different video that shows how to find using advanced search techniques images that can be reused and even reused for monetary gain if you'd like so I've got some nice applicable pictures now in my book and for most people really that's going to be all you really need to write a book you can just go in you can put in the pictures that you want you can put in the text that you want build out this ebook that you'll then be able to publish to the Apple iBooks store and people will be able to get this book all over the world but just for a glimpse into some more advanced features with iBooks Author I want to point out toward the top of the screen there's some nice things that you can add in to your pages and I'm going to go to this page here in order to demonstrate some of these you can click to add a text box this is just a floating text box it doesn't affect really the other text on your screen so that can be nice and it's just what you would expect with a typical text box there's also a shapes menu up here that you can use to pull in arrows which i think would be very useful in some cases in a ebook you can put in some tables and charts and I'm just going to gloss over those for now and then notice this fifth button at the top it's called widgets and this is kind of exciting so even though I could save this for another video I'd like to show it now if you click on widgets these are some cool additional features that you can pull into an e-book that wouldn't work in a traditional book physical book so for example a gallery you could click to add in a gallery widget that you could then place on the screen now notice this does take up space so with the gallery you know I'm trying to resize it and get it in a good spot but anyway now with the gallery there notice here on the right you have this floating toolbar that you can use to add gallery media so I could click Add and I could pull in some images from my computer okay so there's one but I could also go in and add another and it creates a gallery that will be able to be clicked through you'll be able to see the different pictures that are part of that gallery so that's one of the widgets that you can add that's pretty cool media you can add in a video that can be played right there inside the e-book which of course is impossible really with a traditional print book so that's nice you can pull in a keynote and that's a very advanced technique that I'm not going to show in this video but you could create a keynote that has some interaction some clickable items and things like that and then you could pull it in to your ebook I do want to look at some of these others one of the most powerful is HTML but again that's that's an advanced feature so I'm going to skip that one for this presentation but let's look at interactive image if you click on interactive image it brings in a little placeholder that you again you decide how to position that on the screen and then I'm just using these sliders to position it the way I want it to be now there's no real image there yet and you can probably guess how to get that image there I'm just going to pull this to the side I'm going to go to my folder where I have some images and then I'm going to bring in the MyPlate image and I'll drop that right in the box and then exit out of that pull this back over and you can see now that what makes this an interactive image is that you can put little targets basically on the screen on the image and then you can have a pop-up or a label really that explains more about that and it will kind of zoom in on that portion of the screen at the appropriate time now the trick here is making sure that everything is readable and that you're going to be able to you know see what you want to see at the right time and I'm still learning myself the best ways to do that but I'm just going to go in and change what that's called so I've typed in some information there and I've moved this bubble so that it's going to be within view okay now I'll move this one over for vegetables and again I'll scoot this over and then all name them okay now notice that when you click on let's say grains it zooms in if that's too far of a zoom then adjust it and then click set view and it should remember that that's the view that you want for grains let's try it now with veggies so I'm going to click on veggies and that's pretty good but I just want to scoot it over a little bit I'll click set view and we'll see later if that worked hopefully it did so I'm done with that interactive image but the idea is pull in an image that's kind of big and then can be zoomed in on and more information is available through these bubbles all right I need a new page because that's filling up with the widgets that I'm adding so I just clicked over here on to page 5 and I'll click on widgets and next up I want to quickly show you that you can put in a scrolling sidebar and this is really quite simple it's just text that you can put in a lot of information maybe it's a side story that's related to what you're writing the book about but see what happens it can roll a big story into just a small little spot and then this slide bar allows the viewer to access more information so it's really nice you can fit a lot of info in a small little box ok so that is the scrolling sidebar widget next there's a popover widget and this one is really nice and quite easy it just gives you a really small image that you can put where you want it to be and then just like before we're going to scoot over we're going to get images from the internet download them to your computer or whatever you need to do and then you are going to click and drag and drop that image where it needs to be and then what you can do is double click on it if you have to you may you might not have to it might automatically do this but I had to double click on it and it says click to add text you can also drag in images if you want so I'll just put in the new my plate ok so now when this is a finished ebook this will be clickable if a viewer if a reader taps on it the pop-up will come up and it will save a new my plate ok so that's a simple but very useful and easy to use widget next up for teachers and for students I would say this is one of the most valuable and useful of the widgets for iBooks Author and that is review you can click to add in a review question for the reader so you can type in which of these is a fruit for example and put in the answers okay so those are the answers I'm putting in possible answers right now this is marked as the correct answer I want to switch that to be grapes and this is all set now to be an interactive question that the viewer will be able to answer and they'll get feedback as they're reading the book they'll be able to get feedback as to their understanding now I could go in and I could name this something else you know question number one or chapter one question review or whatever you want to say but I think it's good the way it is okay now I'm going to move that to the side just so that I don't have too many of the widgets kind of covering up each other I want you to be able to see how they work when we look at the actual eBook all right so I'm going to go up and add yet another page toward the bottom and looks like I didn't quite do that there's another page now that I can click to access okay on this last page I want to add one other kind of widget and this is going to be a 3d image so I'm going to click on 3d and notice that there's an option that pops up in this floating toolbar I can do free rotate if I want or just horizontal or just horizontal and vertical or you can make it auto rotate when idle and that's what I want to try now the trick here is where do I go to get 3d images I don't know where to get 3d files okay well one of the best places to go for that is Google Sketchup and I do have Google Sketchup on this computer so I've just clicked to activate Google Sketchup and I'm going to go up to the top where it says file 3d warehouse get models so if you go into Sketchup even the free version which is what I have you can go to the 3d warehouse and then do a search for whatever and earlier I did a search for banana wanted a picture of a banana but a 3d image and this is the one I found that I'd like to use I clicked download model okay now that loaded it in to my Sketchup file that I was working on let me pull that up here it is so there's the banana cluster that was pulled in and then I just went up to file export 3d model now it's important if you want to be able to use these 3d images in your iBooks Author books you're going to have to make sure it's downloading as a Coolatta file that's the file type that it uses so you can't use any of these others it's got to be Coolatta click export and then you're ready to go okay so I did all that earlier I'm going to close out of Sketchup for now and so earlier I did that and here in my folder on my desktop I'm just going to pull in the banana dot Dae which is the Coolatta file type and it brings in the 3d bananas of course I can change the text that's on the screen that goes with it alright so this is an amazing book that I've put together let's take a look now at how do I know what the readers experience is going to be I feel like this is going well but how do I know on an e-reader especially on an iPad in iBooks how is this going to look how is it going to behave fortunately iBooks Author comes with an option called preview and you can click on that and it allows you to preview on a computer or if I plug in my iPad it will allow me to test it also on an iPad now if these options are greyed out for you in this case there's only one option but again with my iPad plugged in there would be another if they're grayed out it just means that you either need to upgrade to Yosemite or a newer system or you need to update your computer or iPad and for me I had to update both really in order for this to work fully the way I wanted it to so I'm going to click preview and I'll just preview it on this computer now it says some instructions and you click OK and then it's going to open up iBooks so we have iBooks Author is what I've been showing you that's for creating IB books or iBooks in this case but then we also have iBooks that's for reading the books now I'm going to jump back it's you know skip to the end there I'm going to skip back to the beginning and you can see this is page one now when you test it out on an iPad it's even a little better because you really get a feel for okay I'm turning a page here okay and you can use your fingers to do it instead of the mouse but anyway that's all right so I'm just using this button here to advance there's page three here's page four and this is where we get to some of those widgets that I put on there so here's here's one that I put in if you remember and I'm going to go view enter full screen and iBook so you can see this a little better but this is the one that I made that was a gallery image so we've got one image and then you click and another image so imagine imagine having even more than that having like ten or twelve or fifteen different images all embedded right there into one half of the page it's really nice and then we have the interactive widget here remember this so if you click on one of the labels it zooms in you get to see it better and you still can see the view now if you remember I wasn't totally confident that it would zoom in and remember the view that I chose but it did now I just clicked to back up again and I can click on grains and it zooms in and it remembered all of that so that looks great I'm going to move on to my next screen you can see here's the sidebar widget with the scrolling text it's working great this one if you remember is a clickable item where you can click and a pop-up appears it's working well which of these is a fruit is it lettuce check my answer nope that's wrong I can try again grapes that's right so what a great way for students or anyone any reader to be able to test what they're learning or what they're reading and to see if they understand I'm going to advance to the last page this is my clump of bananas and remember I set it to auto-rotate but I can also click and drag to get a good view of this now this may not be the best example but let's say you have a 3d image of a human heart or a 3d image of how proteins are made up and you you or the students could click and drag to really get an understanding and a view of what they that looks like in real life what a useful little widget that would work in iBooks on the computer or iBooks on the iPad so I'm going to exit out just by tapping escape so I'm going to get out of iBooks remember I was just previewing that in iBooks I'm backing out in iBooks Author and I want you to see when you're done with your book you just need to click publish and this brings up some information about publishing to the iBooks store now my understanding is that I can publish this book and if I'm not charging money for it it's completely free it will be in the iBooks store and anyone would be able to download my book and I would be able to see I'm sure how many downloads I have and all that kind of stuff but what a great way to get out information for your students or in a business you could publish a book of instructions or whatever it might be or publish information for the public to see so if you want to learn more about that you can click this link here to learn more about publishing to the iBooks store you can also just click continue and it goes through the steps of what you'll need to do in order to publish to the iBooks store so I'm going to actually back out of that I'm not ready to publish this work of art yet but back here in iBooks Author there is another option if you don't want to publish to the Apple iBook store quite yet you can go up to file export and click that and then you can choose instead of iBooks maybe maybe I'll just save this as a PDF and I want better quality maybe not best quality just because it might be too big you could also publish just as plain text but I'm going to go with this PDF better quality there are some security options if you want like password protect and then just click Next I'm going to title this and I'm going to save this one just to my desktop just to make it real easy to find I click export takes a little while but now I should have on my desktop there it is a book that I have created this is a PDF and so the nice thing about PDFs is they should be usable on just about any ereader i know there are some that don't really use PDF format very much but or very well but you can see it's all there but the widgets don't function because this is a PDF and not an interactive ebook those widgets don't function at least you can see them but they they are not interactive but that is another great option especially while you're working on perfecting the book for the iBooks store so one other word about this iBooks option here and remember I got this by going to file export and choosing iBooks if you do choose this option you should be able to save it to your desktop as an iBook without publishing it to the iBooks store so it won't be public for anyone to be able to get to but at least you could open it up and it's a book right there it's a book in your iBooks and you could also send that to other people you could send that to your students and so it is possible to make an iBook with that and share it with people without making it publicly available in the iBooks store so that's iBooks Author in a nutshell I hope that you found that useful you'll be able to jump in and start writing books or articles or interactive activities and be able to publish those for use on your other devices or for your students or for the public and please subscribe to my youtube channel for more videos about technology for teachers and students

23 thoughts on “iBooks Author Basics plus Widgets 2015 Tutorial

  1. Excellent step by step tut!! Thank you!! Is it possible to link my iBook to my site for interaction and feedback ? As in add a link or better still from a widget with an invite to chat about the book on my site?

  2. Is there for students to collaboratively create an iBook together? I have a zoology class and I want each student to do a section on a given animal. Is there a way for them to create their individual sections and then somehow share them with me so I can put them all together in one iBook?

  3. To add a glossary entry, highlight a word in your text, right-click, from the drop-down menu choose "Create Glossary Term from Selection". The word will then be added to your glossary and a new window will appear. Here you may edit the definition. Now the glossary term will appear as a pop-up that includes a dictionary definition on your iPad's iBook when you Preview and when it's published. (The way shown will not create the pop-up)

  4. My iBooks Author is NOT working at all. I updated my OS X to Sierra 10.12.4 the other day to run the LogicX update as suggested by a LogicPro help team. Could that be the issue? Your video says Yosemite. I did your video first, then tried a test book, and I click on the landscape template with the planet, 'Contemporary,' as you did, and nothing comes up. There's nothing but white space in the work area. There are no guidelines, title doesn't come up, picture doesn't come up, intro media won't load… text won't type. NOTHING. ? Thanks…

  5. not that helpful to me , a technology misfit ..
    would like to upload a book i have written in PDF format , or in word doc .but i find it difficult to find a tutorial which shows that basic steps
    i believe that PDF is not accepted , so i have tried with word : it worked but the whole formatting is up the creek (where as on word a text would take one page , when uplaoded on ibook author it takes sometimes 2 or 3 pages , disturbing all the sequence , which to me is crucial because each left page isa drawing with a caption , with a corresponding text on the right page , split in 2 halves , in different languages .
    If the order is disturbed i end up with the wrong text against the drawing

    Does anyone know how to solve my problem and if such tutorial exist ?
    thanks in advance

  6. not really helpful to me, a technology misfit
    i wish the tutorial showed how to simply upload a book i have written , preferably in PDF format , or as PDF does not appearnto be compatible, in word format .
    i did manage to upload the word document , but the result is all other the place: some text straddling over 2 pages when it takes only one page in word ,, thereby disturbing everything else thereafter
    do i have to re-write everything ?

  7. Great tutorial. Thank you very much.
    I am brand new with this, and needed to get an overview, and your tutorial certainly did that.

  8. If you click the media button in the top right corner, it will insert an image, video, or audio clip.

  9. You can probably drop in your images and media file via the icon at the top right hand side, at the top, where it says 'media'. The interface is very similar to pages and that is how it would work there.

  10. How to customize the page numbering such that in a landscape layout with two column, each column will have individual page number?

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