Getting Started

Install iBookAuthor

iBookAuthor is a mac only application that requires OSX 10.7.2 or later. If you are not too keen of upgrading your machine just yet, you can run the OS from an external disk (more info).

The simplest way to obtain iBookAuthor is via the AppStore. Simply type iBooks Author in the search book, then follow the usual steps to download and install the free application.

Create a book

Simply select one of the existing templates. We will go for "Earth Sciences" as it provides a horizontal layout.

Add Widgets

Interactivity in iBooks is driven exclusively by widgets. To add any in your book, click on the Widgets icon in the application toolbar. At the time of writing this tutorial, 7 widgets are available: Gallery, Media, Review (aka questionnaire), Keynote, Interactive Image, 3D and HTML.

Specialist tutorials for the first 6 can easily be found via Google. For instance, best practices for 3D models. What is not that well documented yet at the moment are HTML widgets. They let you create completely custom inter actives. I will focus on this here.

HTML Widgets

HTML widgets truly open up for a world of opportunities. They let you create completely custom and possibly highly interactive activities. The limit is mostly what can be achieved with any combination of HTML, HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript.



Hands-On With iBooks Author: eBook Authoring Made Easy, Not Just for Textbooks
How To Write Your First Book In iBooks Author


iBook Widgets with D3.js
iBooks HTML Widget Boilerplate
Creating an Interactive Widget for iBooks without Dashcode – Part 1 and Part 2

Math Equations

"According to the iBooks Author help system, if you have MathType installed (3rd party application for creating mathematical expressions and equations) it can be opened within iBooks Author." (source)

"MathML is part of HTML5 and is supported by Webkit. Neither iBooks Author nor Dashcode really allow you to edit HTML code directly but if you create a Dashcode widget and then edit the code directly using your favorite text editor to include your MathML equation and then add that widget to iBook Author it will render. It's a little flakey, it sometimes won't display immediately but it does work." (source)


Interactive Physics iBook