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Take Control of iBooks
Indulge your inner bibliophile with Apple's iBooks ebook reader!
On its surface, iBooks appears simple, but the more you add to your library, the more your questions will pile up. Get answers, plus learn about ebook-reading features that are not immediately obvious. If you need advice on collecting and reading ebooks iBooks for 10.9 Mavericks or want to become more adept with iBooks on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, this ebook is for you.
Whether you're catching up on your favorite authors, poring over textbooks, or perusing work-related documents, self-described readaholic and Mac expert Sharon Zardetto teaches you the ABCs of iBooks. Sharon helps you optimize your onscreen reading environment, use the navigational controls (which differ depending on which type of ebook you're reading!), manage bookmarks, highlight important passages, make notes, and more. You'll also learn about auto-downloading and re-downloading purchases from Apple's iBooks Store, and where to find ebooks outside the iBooks Store.
As you turn the virtual pages of Take Control of iBooks you'll read about:
Ebook file formats: Here at Take Control, we often hear from people who aren't sure about the differences among the major ebook file formats—PDF, EPUB, Mobipocket, and Multi-Touch. If you're struggling with these basics (the difference between a hardback and a paperback is easier to understand), Sharon sets you straight, and helps you understand how the format of an ebook affects its behavior and features in iBooks.
Mavericks mysteries: Discover what iBooks on your Mavericks Mac does with any ebooks that were previously in iTunes, where your library is located, and how to add EPUB, PDF, and Multi-Touch ebooks to iBooks.
Synchronizing details: Find directions for syncing your Books library among your Apple devices. In addition to keeping copies of your ebooks on all your devices, you can sync your custom collection names and your position within any given book, as well as your bookmarks, highlights, and notes.
Book acquisition: Whether you buy from Apple's iBooks Store, buy from a third party that sells ebooks in EPUB or PDF format (such as Take Control!), or make your own titles (such as with Apple's free iBooks Author—see Take Control of iBooks Author for help), you'll find out how to populate iBooks with your ebooks.
Collection management: If you don't have time to "shelve" your ebooks, don't worry, because Sharon teaches techniques for taking advantage of iBooks' built-in organization and search function. But, the persnickety arrangers among us will learn how to further organize an iBooks library.
Control your reading environment: Just as you may read best in the real world with the right lighting (and a bowl of grapes on hand, with a cat at your feet), you can also optimize your onscreen setup. You'll find tips for adjusting the font and type size, changing the page color, reading full-screen on the Mac, and even how to best "turn" the page.
Enjoy the "e" in ebook: All those tiny electrons running around in your device can do more than display text on a screen. Sharon describes how to highlight passages, make in-book notes, insert virtual bookmarks, look up a selection in the dictionary (or on the Web—great for looking up a historical character or event that's mentioned in passing!) and more.
A special chapter, "Explore Multi-Touch Books," guest-written by ebook expert Michael E. Cohen, helps you fully understand what's so special about Apple's Multi-Touch format and makes sure you can enjoy the special features, such as Study Cards, available in those ebooks.
iPad & Kindle
About the Author
Sharon Zardetto has been writing about the Macintosh professionally since 1984, including nearly a thousand articles in Macintosh magazines and over 20 books. She's best known for writing several editions of The Macintosh Bible, along with The Mac Almanac.
Table of Contents
Read Me First
This book tells you about iBooks on the Mac and the iPad or other Apple mobile device—everything you haven’t had time to explore or even knew was there for an explorer to find. It helps you set up an optimum reading environment, use ebook advantages such as notes and highlighting, and coordinate your books among multiple devices. It was written by Sharon Zardetto, edited by Tonya Engst and Michael E. Cohen, and published by TidBITS Publishing Inc.
My name is Sharon, and I’ve been a readaholic all my life. Being transported to a world of ideas, information, and emotion (and to other worlds, for that matter) through the simple medium of paper and ink has transformed and enriched my life. I have standard bookshelves that hold books two deep, often stacked horizontally to squeeze in a few extra; I’ve built bookshelves into walls, using the space between the studs. I love the scent of a new book, and the almost-musty smell of an old one; I love the feel of new, smooth, sharp-edged pages, and that of older, grainier, deckle-edged ones. (I sometimes think that I became a writer only because no one would pay me to read.)
But the allure of books, in the end—while psychologically associated with a book’s physical components—is not their touch-and-feel: it’s the ideas conveyed by the words. And when you can have a thousand volumes at your fingertips (literally, on an iPad), with adjustable text size and a built-in light; an integrated highlighter, note-taker, and dictionary; and a portal to the Web to look up related information… well, the absence of paper and ink is not keenly felt. And that’s before we even consider the advantage of incorporated audio, video, and study aids in some volumes.
This electronic-book experience is, of course, brought to us courtesy of Apple’s iBooks app. If you have an iPad, it’s unlikely you _haven’t_ used iBooks to some extent. And now that OS X 10.9 Mavericks includes iBooks, you can easily access your existing iBooks library on your Mac, too, or build one there.
In this book, I’ll take you on an edifying tour of how iBooks works on each platform, and how you can make it best work for you, from choosing how you flip pages to making annotations to building and organizing a library that might rival that of ancient Alexandria.
This book starts with the basic necessities of installing or updating iBooks on your Mac, iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch and getting books, then moves on to organizing those books, and finally describes reading and annotating them. But that logical progression might not be what you’re looking for so feel free to click any link below to read that information right away.
Make sure iBooks is installed and up-to-date in Get iBooks.
Learn the ebook formats in “Get” Ebooks. How you can interact with a book in iBooks often depends on what kind of book it is.
Acquire books in Build Your Library. More specifically, you can Shop in the iBooks Store or Download from the Web.
Learn about Library Views so you know how to look at things and learn the basics of browsing.
Create your own collections as a way to browse your Library more efficiently, plus find out how to search your Library in Organize & Search Your Library.
Set up the way your book appears, and the brightness of your screen in Customize Your Reading Environment.
Find out how to Navigate inside Books.
Get Definitions for Words & Phrases, and Head to Wikipedia or the Wider Web.
Search inside a Book to find information.
Go beyond reading. Learn to Mark Your Places with Bookmarks and Highlight Text & Make Notes.
Come to grips with a few issues in The PDF Predicament.
Add PDFs to your iBooks Library on your Mac; see Download PDFs.
Add PDFs to iBooks on your iPad with the steps in Download Books to the iPadand Handle Incoming Files on the iPad.
Work with PDFs covers how even navigating in a PDF is different from other kinds of books.
Ebooks in Apple’s Multi-Touch format have unique navigational controls and behaviors. Explore Multi-Touch Books clues you in.
Read The Ever-evolving EPUB to learn why it’s not just Multi-Touch books that can provide such an experience.
Set Up iBooks Syncing explains how to keep your iBooks information—your place, your collection names, and your bookmarks, notes, and highlights the same on multiple devices.
Use iTunes to Sync Books shows how iTunes can transfer books between devices, whether you want to synchronize entire libraries or just move a few books.
This 1.2 book update was necessitated by Apple’s updating of the iOS version of iBooks to 3.2 just days after we published the book. In addition to changing all the screenshots to match the current reality, I’ve added information about these updated features:
The Collections popover changed drastically; you can review the details of the new one in Meet the Collections Popover.
The faux book edges are gone, leading to a welcome streamlining of the Appearance popover (Set Your Reading Options).
When you remove a book from a collection, the resultant notice is much clearer about what’s going to happen (Remove Books from iPad Collections).
Updating this book to match the iBooks update also gave me a chance to tweak some other things:
The information about printing your highlighted passages and notes from the Mac has been expanded, providing choices for everything from a single note to annotations for a chapter or for a whole book. That’s in Print Highlighted Text & Notes, and it’s made easier by a new sidebar about making Selections in the Notes Panel.
I overlooked the “recent searches” option in iBooks in iOS; that’s been added to Review Recent Searches. And I mistakenly conflated some of the information about heading to the Web (Wikipedia or elsewhere) from the Mac with its iOS version; it’s now cleared up in Head to Wikipedia or the Wider Web.
Read about dealing with printed-book versus ebook page numbering for annotations in Printed vs. iBooks Page Numbers in EPUBs on the iPad.
There are lots of great ways to read our ebooks on these devices. For more details, please read our latest Device Advice.
Feel free to ask us if you have a question about this title!
How could we not publish such kind words? If you'd like to send us your comments (good or bad, though we hope they're all good), just click the Feedback link on the cover of your copy of the ebook. Be sure to let us know if we can publish your comment. Thanks!
November 15, 2013 --
Hear Sharon's take on iBooks in Sharon's recent interview with podcaster Chuck Joiner at MacVoices. Sharon and Chuck talk about why PDFs open on the Mac in Preview, the relationship between iTunes and iBooks, iBooks collections, turning "pages," and volumes more.
—Tonya J Engst
October 24, 2013 --
Here at Take Control HQ, we are often asked about how to locate a downloaded ebook, once it has been downloaded to a Macintosh. If you're stuck on this problem, here's what you need to know.
Your downloaded ebook file is likely in the Downloads folder, inside your user folder (~\Downloads\). You can open it from a Finder window’s sidebar or the Dock.
From the sidebar: The sidebar in a Finder window (choose View > Show Sidebar if it’s not showing) includes the Downloads folder by default. If the folder isn’t there, open Finder > Preferences, click the Sidebar icon at the top of the pane, and select the Downloads box. To access the folder contents, click Downloads in the sidebar.
(Don't know how to open a Finder window? To open a window, click the smiley face Finder icon found by default on the left, or top, of the Dock.)
From the Dock: The Downloads folder starts out near the right (or the bottom) of your Dock. It may appear as a stack of icons, with the most recently downloaded item on top, or it may look like a folder. The appearance is controlled by a setting available in the “Dock icon menu.” Control-click on the Downloads icon for a pop-up menu and choose Folder or Stack from the Display As section. Whatever your Downloads Dock icon looks like, open it by clicking it to open its menu and choosing Open in Finder.
With the folder open, if you can’t easily spot a downloaded file, try sorting the contents to make it easier. Start by choosing View > List, and then sort the contents by clicking on the column headers. Sort by name if you know the name of the file; or if you know it’s, say, a PDF, sort by Kind and look at the PDFs. If you have a Date Added column, you can sort with that to see the most recent downloads at the top or bottom of the list.
(To include a Date Added column, start with the Downloads folder open and choose View > Show View Options. Enable Date Added in the Options palette, and then click its Close button to put it away.)
Your Web browser may be using a different download location from the usual Downloads folder. Look in your browser’s preferences to figure out what it’s doing. For example, at the moment, in the latest versions of Safari and Firefox, you can set the Download folder in the General preferences pane. In Chrome, the option is also in the General pane, but click “Show advanced settings” in that pane to access the setting.
If you can’t find your download inside the Downloads folder because it’s so crowded, or you think it might be somewhere besides the Downloads folder but have no idea where, use the Mac’s search function. Click the Spotlight button (the magnifying glass icon at or near the right of the menu bar) and type the name of the file; any word in the filename, or even the beginning of the file name or any word in it will find it. If it appears in the results list, Command-click it and its folder will open in the Finder, with the file selected.
—Tonya J Engst
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