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The most important step in creating an iBook with iBooks Author is to constantly test your book on an actual iPad in iBooks to see if what you've built looks and functions the way that you were expecting. By constantly testing your book at every stage along the way, you can save yourself hours or even days of editing time and fixing problems that you never knew existed. In this movie, I want to give you a few of the tips and tricks that I use when I preflight my books on an iPad. My first preflight tip is to make sure that your Mac is not set to automatically open any applications when a camera is connected to your Mac.
iPhoto in particular is notorious at this. So, to change the setting, go ahead and open up iPhoto and then go up to the iPhoto menu and select Preferences. In the General tab, make sure the option for Connecting camera opens is set to No application. Then, go ahead and close the window. Now, each time you plug your iPad in, iPhoto won't attempt to open up and try and help you download your images to your device. Next, let's take care of the next major Auto Open Application Offender, and that's iTunes.
Now, iTunes is a great application. But when you're developing an iBook, and you're constantly connecting and disconnecting your iPad, you really do not need iTunes attempting to connect to your device and synchronize itself every single time you plug it in. So, open up iTunes, and with your iPad connected to your computer, select your iPad from the Sidebar and then scroll down in the Summary tab until you find the Options section. Uncheck the Option for Open iTunes when this iPad is connected.
Go down to the lower right-hand corner of the screen and click the Apply button. Now, each time you plug your iPad in, iTunes won't automatically connect to it. As you may have noticed, iBooks Author documents can get quite large very quickly, as we add lots of rich media to our books. So one way to speed up your workflow is to prototype a layout object or technique with a blank document and preview it on your iPad to see how it looks. To do this, simply choose File > Open from iBooks Author and choose a blank template.
You can then delete a section by right- clicking, or Ctrl-clicking on a section. Delete the section, delete the pages and simply add a blank layout to your document to simply test out the technique and preview it on your iPad. This way, each time you want to test out a new technique, you don't have to preview your entire book. And speaking of previewing your book on your iPad, be sure to connect your iPad to your computer, then open up your book and press the Preview button to load your entire finished book directly onto your iPad.
And be sure to look at every single page of your book in at least three ways: in Landscape view, in Portrait view, and in the Table of Contents view. First, look at your book in the standard landscape view. Look at how all of your objects align on the page. How do the images look? Do they need to be replaced with another image, that's a higher resolution image, because of pixelization? Is the image that you've used the absolute best image for what you're trying to show? Test each of the objects on the page in the Landscape Layout.
Does it function correctly within the layout? Then expand the object to Full Screen mode by using the open gesture and test it again. Here's the open gesture. And we're going to test it again. When you're satisfied with the landscape view of your page, rotate your iPad into the portrait view to see how your content looks. iBooks Author generally does a great job at having your content remain consistent in both orientations.
But there are some very minor differences that you really want to be aware of. So check your page thoroughly so you don't have any surprises. The third view that you want to pay attention to is the Table of Contents view. Rotate your iPad back to the landscape view and pinch in on the screen to jump into the chapter Level Table of Contents view. Here again, your pages may appear slightly different. Check this Table of Contents view in both the landscape and portrait orientation.
So what do you do when you find something that doesn't look quite right? Well, the easiest thing to do is to take a picture of that page with your iPad. Apple has made this extremely easy to do. Simply press the Power button and the Home button on your iPad at the same time and a picture of the iPad screen will automatically be added to your camera roll. This way you can quickly flip though your iBook and grab screenshots of any errors that you find. Download those pictures to iPhoto and use that album as your fix-it list.
My last preflight tip for you is to load your finished book on to your iPad and hand your iPad to a friend or colleague to experience your book. Yes, hand them your iPad. Let them navigate your book and explore the content on their own without you coaching them through it. Watch them, record them on a movie if you have to, but do not say anything to them. Just watch and learn how they use your book. You will learn more from watching someone else work with your content in just a couple of minutes then you can learn on your own in hours of trying what you think your users will want. Then hand your iPad to someone else.
Another student perhaps, and repeat the testing process as many times as you can. Each time making refinements and adjustments based on their feedback. With our preflight check complete, we're now ready to begin exporting our iBook for distribution.
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