iBooks Author Simple and Frustrating

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iBooks author has some great features. 1) The interface is fairly easy to use. It looks similar to PowerPoint and employs mainly drag-n-drop for inserting media. Some of the automatic features like locking images and snaplines are surprisingly intuitive. 2) I like the formatting options available for images and shapes. Being able to change the opacity and layering is a nice option. 3) You can make a really nice looking book in a really short amount of time, no coding needed. (Although, sometimes the formatting doesn't translate as well as you think it will. . . .)

However, there are some serious drawbacks as well. 1) You can't re-order pages once you've flowed them into the text. You can re-order sections and chapters, but not pages. I feel paranoid that I'm going to forget some pages and have to start my book completely over. 2) When your iBook uses a self-made template, the portrait orientation on the iPad looks janky. I think that the more graphics you use, the worse the portrait orientation looks. I solved this problem by forcing the iBook to always use landscape. Lol. 3) Figuring out how to auto-flow the textboxes I had added to my own template was difficult. I had to troll through some Mac forums until I found the solution, which involved enabling the text to be edited, setting it as placeholder text, and tagging it. Way too complicated.



Will's picture


Thank you for writing about the problem with re-ordering pages. I didn't even think about this not being possible, it seems like it should naturally be part of the program. I'll pay close attention before I load in pages (especially in Morte D'Arthur).