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As you lay out your book in iBooks Author, a key concept that you need to grasp is the use of objects. Now, iBooks Author considers anything that you place on a layout to be an object. This include shapes, charts or graphs, photographs, tables of data, interactive widgets that include things such as movies. Even text boxes are considered to be an object when they're placed on a page inside of iBooks Author. Now, all objects have a variety of different properties associated with them that can all be controlled through the Inspector.
And there's three primary Inspectors that control nearly all objects. The first of these is the Graphics Inspector. The Graphics Inspector controls properties such as the object's fill, its stroke, any drop shadows that are applied around the object, and the opacity of the object. The next Inspector is the Metrics Inspector, and this one controls the size of the object, the position that object is placed on the page, and even the rotation and orientation of that object.
The last inspector that controls nearly all objects is the Widget Inspector. This controls the metadata associated with the object, such as titles, captions, a background image for the object, and even accessibility descriptions for the object, so the object can be identified via screen readers. The essential thing to know about objects is that they all behave differently in layouts depending on the type of object they are and there are three basic types of objects.
There are inline objects, floating objects, and anchored objects. Let's have a look at the next page so we can get a deeper understanding of these three types of objects and how they behave in a layout. On this page, we have three objects: an inline object, a floating object and an anchored object. Each of those are placed inside of a bunch of text. Let's begin by clicking on the inline object one time to select it. You'll notice that when we select an object, the Inline button in our Formatting toolbar is highlighted.
Now have a look at the handles that are located around the outside edge of the object. On an inline object, the three handles in the lower right-hand corner are all displayed in black, while the other handles are all displayed in this light-blue color. Inline objects are all embedded in the normal flow of text. So in order to move an inline object, you simply click to select and then click and drag to move that object, and as you do, you'll see the cursor insertion point highlighted behind the object, and you can simply move it to a particular location and then drop it in that location.
Wherever the insertion point is located, the inline object will embed itself within that normal flow of text. So here I dropped the object in between the word "Mississippi" and the word "You'll." As the text moves, such as what would happen if you clicked at the beginning of the first paragraph and simply hit Return on your keyboard on time to insert a new line, the inline object moves along with the text and stays placed exactly where it was located in between the two words. Now let's compare that inline to the floating object that is located over here on the right-hand side.
Go ahead and click one time on my floating object. You'll note that the floating object button has highlighted inside of our Formatting toolbar, and you'll also note that the handles all the way around the object are all displayed in black, indicating that this is a floating object. To move a floating object, I can simply click and drag that object anywhere that I want it on the page. And it doesn't drop in the middle of a line of text; it actually allows the text to flow completely around it anywhere we want it to go.
I'm going to go ahead and move my floating object back over here to the right-hand side and drop it back in place. If we click on the anchored object, we can notice that the Anchored button is highlighted in our Formatting toolbar, and the handles appear just like the floating object handles do. In fact, if I go ahead and click and drag the anchored object, it reacts very similar to how a floating object would react. And I'll go ahead and move it back down here to the bottom-right of my page and drop it back into place.
The thing that's different about an anchored object is the small blue anchor icon that's located somewhere inside of your text on that page. This icon indicates at what location in the text this object is to be anchored or tied to. We can move that anchor by simply clicking and dragging it to a new location within the text and dropping it in place, or we can click it and drag it and move it back into the location where we want it. Whatever location this anchor appears within the text, the anchored object will appear on that same page at the location that you've placed the anchored object at.
To actually see this in practice, let's go ahead and scrub over to the right-hand side and go the last paragraph of text that we have here and simply select it by triple-clicking on the paragraph and copying it to our clipboard using Command+C. We'll then go back to the previous page and in that first line where we created the empty line break, we'll go ahead and click our mouse one time and then paste in that text by pressing Command+V on our keyboard. You'll notice that the inline object continued to move along with the text and is still located in the same place in the text where we had it before.
The floating object is in the same physical location as it was before and the text has simply moved around it. The anchored object has been moved over to the next page completely, but it's in the same physical location that it was on the previous page where we had placed it. And when we click on that object, we can see that it's moved to this page because our anchor has now been moved in the text flow over to this page as well. Now there's one more thing to note about how objects react in iBooks Author, and that is that different objects react differently depending on the orientation of your document.
Currently, we're looking at this document in a landscape view. But let's go ahead and go into the portrait view by clicking on that button in orientation. Here we can see that an inline object is appearing in line in the exact same location of our text as it did inside of our landscaped orientation. However, neither the floating nor the anchored objects are appearing, and only some of the objects from the previous page are appearing. That's because only objects that have a title or a caption will appear by default in the portrait perspective.
To test this, let's go ahead and go back to our landscape perspective and we'll select our floating object by clicking on it one time. And then in the Widget Inspector, we'll simply check the box for Title and under Label, we'll go ahead and select Figure. Notice that the figure is automatically numbered to be the next figure in our list. We'll go ahead and go back to the portrait orientation and now, on the left-hand side of our text, we can see the floating object, Figure 5, is appearing in our sidebar.
Having this basic understanding about how objects work and interact inside of iBooks Author is going to be absolutely key to your success at making beautiful iBooks.
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