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Now let's have a look at my favorite feature of iBooks Author for working with images. That's Instant Alpha. To begin, let's go ahead and open up our Media Browser, and in the Chapter 06 exercise files I've included an image called condor_face. Go ahead and grab that image and simply drag it onto Page 25 of our Explore California Travel Guide. This image once again has come in as an Anchored image, so I'll go ahead and change it to a Floating image. And what Instant Alpha is going to allow us to do is it's going to allow us to get rid of all of this extra blue around here so that it becomes completely transparent, and we can cause the head of the condor to simply float in space.
To do that, we'll use a tool that's up here in the Format menu, under Image, and it's called Instant Alpha. Now, I use this tool so much that I like to go ahead and instead of accessing it from my menu, I like to add it to my Toolbar. So I'll go up here to the View menu and come down to Customized Toolbar. You can then find the Instant Alpha tool located down here. Simply grab it and drag it and drop it right here into your Toolbar. It will be a great location, and it will be easy to access. Go ahead and click Done.
And now, let's go ahead and use the Instant Alpha tool. To begin, click one time on the image to select it, and then click on the button that says Alpha. Now, find an area in the image, such as here in the sky, and click and drag. And as you start to drag--I'm dragging in the upward direction--you'll notice that the image is starting to be selected for colors that are similar to this color that I have selected already. When the circle gets close to a portion of the image that you don't want to turn transparent, go ahead and let go on your mouse, and it will apply that Alpha channel.
Now, come down here to the bottom and find another spot and do the same thing, click and drag up. As you make the selection, you want all of the areas that are in blue to turn pink, and release. Now, there's a couple of spots that we didn't quite get, but that's all right. Now that we've got our Instant Alpha applied, go ahead and click away from the image to deselect it. Now, let's simply crop the image using the Crop tool. So click one time on the image to select it and then click on the Mask or Crop tool, which is here in your Formatting Toolbar.
You'll notice the handles that appear for the crop area. Go ahead and drag the left-side handle over to the left of the image, then the top middle handle up towards the top. Then grab the right-handle, drag it over towards the image, keep making adjustments until the cropped area is just around the condor's head. When you get it looking pretty good, go ahead and hit the Enter or Return key on your keyboard to complete the mask and then click away. Now we can take the condor's head, and we can drag it right up here to the top left of the image.
We can also now grab one of the handles with it selected, and we can adjust the size of the image ever so slightly. I like it looking like that. This way we get the text, it's hard to believe, up in the top just above the head, and then the text below wraps underneath of the condor's head. Since the beak is pushing just a little bit over into this next column, we're getting some wrapping effect of the text around that portion of the image at the same time. We can go ahead and deselect. Now we have a nice condor's head looking down on top of all the rest of the images on this page.
It produces a really nice effect. One thing to note though, once we've done this, we've pushed our text around a little bit, and it looks like The Fossil Tour, which is a Header, has been left hanging on this page, and it really should be pushed over to the next page. That's easy to remedy. Go ahead and click your mouse one time in front of the text and then go up to the Insert menu and come down to Page Break. When you select Page Break, it will force that Header to jump over to the top of the next page, and then we're ready to begin working on our next image effect.
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