Text Not Appearing In iBooks Author? This May Be Why….
Got a great looking layout going in a book for iPad using iBooks Author only to find out once you get it over to the iPad that a portion of the text is missing and you have no idea why?
The answer may be simpler than you’d expect. In all likelihood, your iPad memory is fine. There’s nothing wrong with the .iBooks or .iba file. The answer we have found is that the text layering in iBooks Author matters when it is surrounded by lots of graphics and even other possibly overlapping text boxes.
The answer? Simple. Go back into the file, go to the page where the text is “missing” on the iPad, highlight the text box, and then right click. When the dialogue box appears, pull down to MOVE TO FRONT. Then go thru the Preview process of moving your book over to your iPad and we suspect, 95 percent of the time, this is going to solve your very perplexing and possibly embarrassing issue.
Below are two photos of a real project where this was happening to us. As you can see, on the iPad, the two sentences “Emergency Responders will practice ‘HELP.’ We’ll talk more about this in a minute,” have been mangled. When we did the steps above and moved the text box “To The Front” the problem disappeared.
Writing A Novel: A self-study? Over on DaddyClaxton.com today we’re writing about an unexpected benefit of writing a novel–doing an in-depth personal self-study of oneself in order to be able to write a novel. The logic makes perfect sense. If one is going to get into the minds of multiple fictional characters, there are many things that seemingly would need to be straight within the mind of the originating author as well, right? So today, and for several days to come actually, we’re posing a series of questions that we believe all authors, and even those not wanting to write, should ponder and do so seriously. Did you know that almost 95 percent of the population will never do such an exercise? In our mind, we’d rather be in the five percent who does. Life will seemingly make a little more sense. We hope. We encourage you to jump over to DaddyClaxton.com and read the set up and then do today’s exercise and the ones to follow in the days to come. We think you’ll be glad you did.
Writing a Novel: The project has initiated on DaddyClaxton.com
Today on my companion website, DaddyClaxton.com, I’ve begun with announcement. I’ve been working several months now to begin the process of writing a novel. Actually, it really began sometime last year when I began with a print copy of Robert McKee’s book, Story, and spending untold hours with it and an ink pen making active notes throughout the work.
And an even better discovery has happened along the way. I’ve found that in order to be a good novel writer/play write/novella writers, etc. one has to be in very good touch with himself. That has led to a massive self-study effort that you will find reflected in the posts that are to come on DaddyClaxton.com and here on ClaxtonCreative.com.
This is by no means meant to be a week or two-week series. It’s already survived longer than that pre-announcement.
I encourage you to bookmark this site and check back often for new information. Check out DaddyClaxton.com, too.
My friend, mentor and digital book colleague Ron Rose has cautioned me about the enormity of the effort I’ve begun. I’ve responded in saying that I get it, but in all likelihood, I can’t possibly “get it” until I have completely weathered the task.
If you have tips and ideas along the way, I encourage you to share them. I don’t believe for a second I will have all right answers and suggestions from those of you at various places in the process will be most helpful.
So here we go. Onward…..
Important information from Apple if you do any publishing on the iBookstore.
|We recently added the following new features and updates to iBooks, iTunes Producer, and iTunes Connect:
Textbooks Available in All Territories
Interest Age for Children and Teens
iTunes Producer 3.0
Download iTunes Producer 3.0 from Deliver Your Content in iTunes Connect.
Sizing Images in EPUB
To define a dynamic height for an element like an image, use the “viewport height unit” instead. A “viewport height unit” is equal to one percent of the height of the initial containing block and is a dynamic sizing element.
For example, to assign a dynamic height to an image, use:
Enabling Ticket Notifications
A Word About RAM MacBook Pro
I have one of the last 17-inch MacBook Pros, with 2.4 GHz, Intel Core i7. It came with 4 GBs of RAM, and for what we do making books for iPad and the videos that go into them with Adobe After Effects, Audition and Premier Pro CC, RAM is in demand.
A few months ago, I ordered an 8 GB ram card from Crucial to soup up the MBP. Installing the card was sort of easy, just undo the 10 screws on the bottom, pop out the old 2 GB cards and then pop in the Crucial card and onward. Except I actually had trouble seating the Crucial card and wound up getting a Genius at Henderson & Knox to seat it right.
Then, this summer, in discussions with Jamaal Jackson at Reel3Media.com, he said I could up the MBP up to 16 GBs. I questioned that announcement, but he said, “Google it!” I did, and yes, you can pump a MBP up to 16 GBs of RAM.
So a few weeks ago, not wanting to wait for Crucial to make a delivery and headed out of town, I stopped in at Fry’s in Dallas and bought a new 8 GB stick, but this one was made by Corsair. After seating it myself again, the MBP started beeping at me — three beeps over and over is a signal that you have a RAM issue — and I never really could get the thing to work right.
Last night, I went to the Apple Store at Northpark Mall in Dallas, and Taylor, one of the geniuses there took my MBP to the back after I explained the issue. For what should have taken about two minutes, it lasted for about 10-15 and apparently in that time, he did some testing for me.
What he came back and said is that he, as a Genius, recommends the Crucial cards and NOT the Corsair sticks. Of course, I could pay Apple $200 for their cards, but hey, Crucial is like $80, and Corsair was about $75. Why not the Corsairs? He says the boards on them are a “little thicker” than the Crucial cards so when you put the thicker one in the top slot, it can pop out when the bottom one is thinner. So, he said he put the Crucial card on top. He said if there are other issues, that I should scrap the Corsair and go with another Crucial card.
So, I recommend if you’re going to upgrade RAM on your MacBook Pro, it’s recommended that you use Crucial sticks, not Corsair.
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Things We’re Hoping For In iBooks Author 3.0
On Oct. 22, Tuesday of next week, fellow Auburn graduate Tim Cook is slated to take the stage to reveal all that’s new with Apple and as usual, that is primarily going to focus on new iPads, MacBook Pros, the Mac Pro and the new OS X version called Mavericks. What he also likely will do is include a reference to books for iPad and iBooks Author, but those announcements and presentations often seem like he’s either got to get to the rest room or his car is double parked out on the street and he has to leave. Sadly, we truly wish Apple was going to place more of a priority on books for iPad as they truly are the way of the future and the best digital learning tool available for kids of all ages in existence.
So in Tuesday’s announcement, we’re hoping for some announcements about improvements to the free software that can be used to make books for iPad. Ultimately, we’d like to see these three things in iBooks Author 3.0.
1. Ability to change the background color in images v. galleries-Presently, when one loads a photo image into a book for iPad and sets it so that it can be tapped and expanded to the 2048 x 1536 pixel range of the screen, depending on how large the image is, it is going to display on a white background. Apple has said over the phone that this is largely done because images can be .pdfs and they think those display better against a white background, but in a world where not everything is that simple, we really wish they’d add one more button or tick box to change this presentation feature. We have a client right now who is insistent that images in his work should appear on a black background and the only way to try to trick iBooks Author into doing that is to make all images one-image galleries, and well, that’s not working out real well because the software also names the images as galleries when there’s really only one image.
2. Ability to leave social note thread discussions within a book-Social discussions within a group project are the way of the future. Already Apple has added “share” functionality within books for iPad, but we think it should be expanded so that teachers, authors, and classmates can all leave live notes right there in a group discussion in context to the pages where they’re happening. This would open an entirely wider array of functionality and effectiveness in discussions.
3. Ability to read books for iPad on any mobile device, not just on Mavericks Macs and iPads-Think Quicktime here. It works on any computer platform. That’s what’s needed for books for iPad that presently only work on the iPad or iPad mini. At the announcement, Apple is going to say that these books for iPad now will work in the new desktop operating system Mavericks, but what is really needed is a common platform that will make them available on a Kindle, Nook, Nexus 7, Surface, PC, ANYTHING. The 3D imagery, the interactive widgets, all of the stuff that sets books for iPad apart from the horrifically limited functionality of EPUB 2.0.1 and EPUB 3.0 need to be made available in a Quicktime-type of widget/app that can be loaded onto these other platforms. Apple would significantly expand its revenue base for the sale of these books and capture a greater share of the book market. It makes absolutely no sense at all to keep this as an Apple-limited product.
Will any of this come about Tuesday? We can only hope. And Tim Cook, when you talk about books for iPad and iBooks Author, please, slow down a bit. All the other stuff is cool, but there are those of us out here in the wilderness who are forging a path to the future with these great tools and we think they deserve a lot more time and attention.
EDITORS NOTE: Last Friday in San Antonio, I gave a presentation about books for iPad that you can download for free and see some of the cool 3D images, puzzles, interactive timelines, and tools I reference above. If you need these made for your own classes, schools, or companies, please give me a call today at 214-364-7240. A copy of my presentation is available for download from a public link on Dropbox.
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Donny Claxton Speaks At Central Texas Learning and Technology Summit
The focus was on mobile learning and the technologies that make it all work.
A copy of my presentation is available for download from a public link on Dropbox. If you have an iPad, you’ll need to download the file first to your computer and then load it into iTunes before syncing it to your iPad. (And of course, you must be running at least iOS 5.1 and have iBooks 3.)
Even I was amazed at some of the presentations and developments taking place in the world of mobile apps and technologies. It’s inspiring to see some things that we only could have dreamed about a few years ago are quickly coming to fruition and even are already behind the curve, even though they’re likely still very much ahead of most.
George Saltsman from Abilene Christian University, who helped lead us into the development of books for iPad also spoke about changes that are coming in the pedagogy of education, while Dr. Robbie Melton from the University of Tennessee’s Board Regents showed off some amazing new gadgets and apps that are changing the workforce around the world.
FROM MY PRESENTATION, you will see a discussion about many of the amazing widgets and products we’ve built for books for iPad and a healthy discussion about whether or not we should even continue to call these products “books.” Also discussed are some of the variations and differences in this emerging field of technology, like the difference between EPUB 2.0.1 and EPUB 3.0 and what those two things mean to someone trying to decide on an eReader or an author trying to figure out which platform they should be publishing their materials on.
After my presentation, I was flooded with requests for more information, business cards and LinkedIn requests.
If you have any questions about how to make an eBook in EPUB or an interactive book for the iPad using 3D animations, movies, interactive timelines, puzzles and more, please reach out and let me know.
iBooks Author Full Screen Background Now Black: How’d We Do That?
As we noted before, Apple defaulted the background screen in iBooks Author to display photos on a WHITE background when an image is displayed full-screen. One of our clients didn’t like that and said it washed out the image. He was right. In Gallery in iBooks Author, full-screen display changes the background to BLACK and images punch out much better. (Look at the last two images in this post. You’ll see what we mean.)
The problem is, by Apple’s design, there’s no way to change the background from white to black or any other color. Apple has decided they shall remain on a white bg.
So how did we get around this?
In the Inspection window, the last tab to the right has a Layout/Interaction menu for working with photos. Even if you just want to display one picture, we recommend you drop the GALLERY widget onto a page, and then load in the one image. (Of course, images should be .pngs, no larger than 2048 x 1536, and have a dpi of 132). This is an important step. You cannot just change an Image over to the Photo designation we’re going to describe for this to work!
STEP 2: To create a new option under the drop down menu, highlight Gallery and hold it. You will see the “Edit Label Styles … ” dialogue area at the bottom of the menu open. Click on it.
STEP 3: A new dialogue box will open allowing you to either add (+) or delete options(-). Press + and name your new setting. We chose PHOTO since Image is already in use and we didn’t want to create confusion.
STEP 4: Go to the Inspector window after highlighting the Gallery listing for the image and change it from Gallery to Photo (or whatever designation you created.) Then add whatever titling and caption options that are necessary for the style of your project.
That’s really all you have to do. You’ve now created a Gallery widget and changed it’s designation, but it’s still technically a Gallery widget. You’re just going to display one photo in it.
What’s the difference?
Here’s the image saved as a straight up Image file in iBooks Author when the image is increased to full-screen:
This is what happens once you follow the steps outlined above–loading an image in a Gallery and then changing it’s designation to Photo or the name of your choosing.
One Small Problem: The only problem with this solution is the fact that Gallery photos are formatted in a 2:3 proportion and there’s no changing that. This will only work if you don’t care if you can’t show the entire image in the window, meaning it will have to be popped open to display in full. So, while it is a solution, it doesn’t match the power of displaying and entire image as you can with just Image.
Obviously, it’d be easier to fix this if Apple provided a setting for it, but they don’t and from conversations with them, it doesn’t sound like it’s going to happen anytime soon. So here’s the workaround and thanks, Apple.
Once you create the Photo designation, it’s just a matter then of remembering to load all images as Galleries and then just not adding more than one photo to them if you’re going to display one pic. If you’re going to do a Gallery as it was intended, you just leave the Gallery named Gallery and keep on going. If you want to display the thumbnails, that’s easy. Just check the box and they’ll pop up.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The page displayed is an example of one of the photos to be included in our ongoing Bach project. Exciting news to follow soon!
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Apple please fix iBooks Author full screen image background settings
Our Bach book client we are working with in iBooks Author has a legitimate beef with Apple and in our research, we can’t find a workable solution.
If one sets a photo to open full-screen in a book for iPad made with iBooks Author 2.0 the image presents on a screen with a white background.
If you set two photos, .PNGs, in a gallery and then open them full-screen, they present on a screen with a black background.
In the design of a book for iPad, not every book needs to go into a gallery, but in our book on Bach, which is going to be one of the most in depth pieces of work on J.S. Bach, it’s annoying to see the images against the white when they would clearly stand out better against the black.
I thought about putting all images on a screen that’s 2048 x 1536 and on a black BG and then using the Alpha to remove the black in the initial image, but that takes away the black in full-screen as well. Not a solution.
The only other option would be to put every photo into a “gallery” setting and just not add the thumbnails on images that are not multiple .PNGs, but that seems like it’d get wonky and it’d seem that a gallery, by definition, would consist of two or more images.
Apple, Please Fix This
A search of the message boards and a call to Apple Support has revealed that indeed, at this writing on July 24, 2013, there is no way to change a setting in the Inspector panel to remedy this.
Audio Page Specific
The other major complaint we are having as we build this vast work of Bach is that a reader can’t tap on the MP4 files we’re embedding and turn the page. Audio and video files are page specific, so a reader listening to the music and reading can only read the page they’re on and hear what they’re wanting to listen to….
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When God Redefines The Possible Book for iPad on iBookstore
JOHN ED MATHISON MINISTRY PUBLISHES INNOVATIVE, INTERACTIVE BOOK FOR IPAD DESIGNED TO EXPAND MINISTRY WORK WORLDWIDE
‘When God Redefines The Possible’ Now Available AT WGRTP.com
MONTGOMERY, AL—Former Senior Minister of Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery, John Ed Mathison, is making history again. This time, he’s teamed up with a former Alabama governor’s press secretary to release an innovative, interactive book exclusively for the iPad that will change how people around the world follow a daily devotional or use social media to hold “Sunday School classes worldwide.”
Mathison recently released When God Redefines The Possible on Apple’s iBookstore, a title he published in paperback in November. The new work, complete with 22 videos, interactive puzzles, quizzes and Bible references can be used on the more than 100 million iPad and iPad mini devices in use around the world.
The book can be downloaded from the iBookstore by visiting WGRTP.com.
Production began in January with Claxton Creative, LLC of Dallas, led by Donald J. Claxton, former the former press secretary of Gov. Fob James and assistant press secretary to former Gov. Guy Hunt.
“We have taken a book printed in black and white and brought it to life with short video clips in multiple chapters that are designed to help readers prepare their minds for the text that follows by asking some important questions or giving some insight about what they’re about to read,” Mathison said. “With the rapid adoption of iPads in schools all across Montgomery and around the world, this is the new type of curriculum tool that readers young and old are finding more and more engaging and enriching in their study.
“It only makes sense to apply this same technology to something like a daily devotional where people can use these technological advances to draw closer to God and use social media to draw closer to other believers and non-believers around the world,” Mathison said.
Mathison’s book, which is 109-pages in print, expanded to 192 pages on the iPad and contains more than 50 chapters of colorful and important ministry lessons and encourages readers to see that God is still doing miracles, even in today’s turbulent times.
The videos, produced by another former aide to Gov. Hunt, Stacey Rimer Stakely, and shot at Frazer by Matthew Gamble, feature Mathison talking about healthy eating, God doing things in people’s lives they could not have anticipated, and even references to his late father, Si Mathison.
“John Ed Mathison has been a leader in ministry for almost 50 years and the exciting thing about this book for iPad is that it proves he’s still a leader in ministry even though he’s been retired from Frazer for a couple of years now,” Claxton said. “We have worked with him to produce a new tool that uses the latest in technology to help spread the word of God. That, in and of itself, is an example of God redefining the possible, as the technology for this didn’t even exist 17 months ago.”
Claxton said versions for readers using Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes and Noble’s Nook are near completion as well.
“John Ed’s use of digital books will make his work available to anyone in the world with a computer, tablet or smartphone,” Claxton said.
John Ed, who served 36 years as Senior Minister of Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery, said he is excited to begin this new phase of his ministry.
“I have said before that ‘it is easy to have a Gutenberg mentality when we live in a Google reality.’ and taking converting my writings and teachings into a digital format so that people around the world can share and interact with each other through the social media tools and interactivity functions within the book is an example of where ministry must grow in order to reach those needing and yearning to hear the word of God,” Mathison said. “I’m excited for the potentials this brings for ministry. God really has redefined the possible.”
Claxton is no stranger to innovation and change. He was dubbed as the “foremost student iconoclast” in Dr. John Fair’s 1990 book about Auburn University at Montgomery’s first 20 years. In July 1994, he made candidate Fob James the first statewide candidate in Alabama to have a published email address. In March of 1995, he began writing the original pages for the state of Alabama’s website, which was launched and featured as the lead story in the Montgomery Advertiser in August 1995. In 2001 he became the communications director for the Dallas Independent School District, then the 12th largest school district in the nation and helped pass the largest education bond program in Texas history—a $1.37 billion program. In 2012, his company began producing books for the iPad, including Dr. Mark Van Stone’s interactive text 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya and There’s A Zombie In My Treehouse by Ken Plume, John Robinson and Len Peralta of Atlanta. The company also has begun production on a book for Learning Forward, one of the largest professional development organizations in the world for schoolteachers.
Claxton Creative, LLC
Claxton Creative is a Dallas-based full-service public relations firm focused on the development of interactive, multi-touch publications for mobile devices worldwide.
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries
The John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries was formed in 2008, as John Ed reached the mandatory retirement age of the United Methodist Church. The ministry is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. The mission of the ministry is to bring honor and glory to the Kingdom of God by training leaders for Kingdom work. John Ed actively speaks to churches, conferences and leadership training programs on a local, national and global scale. More information is available at www.JohnEdMathison.org.
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