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Formatting and Editing Table Cells in iBooks Author

Once you have your table inserted into your iBooks Author pages, double-click the cell to edit its contents. Press Tab to move from left to right from cell to cell (or to the first item in the following row) and Shift+Tab to move from right to left from cell to cell (or to the last item in the preceding row). You apply formatting and styles to cell text just like you do any text.

The rest of the table tools relate to formatting cells or their contents. Most are split between the Table inspector’s Table pane and its Format pane; you have to access a few of the tools elsewhere.

The Table pane’s Edit Rows & Columns pop-up menu (as well as the submenu that appears when you choose Format→Table) has two options related to selected cells:

  • Merge Cells: Merge the currently selected cells. The contents of all the cells are retained in the merged cell; a tab is inserted for each blank cell in the selection.

  • Split Columns and Split Rows: Divide the currently selected cell into two columns or two rows, depending on your choice.

The Table inspector’s Table pane has two related controls that apply to the selected cells in the table:

  • Cell Borders: Use the eight icon buttons to apply a stroke (line) to the designated area of your selected cells. Select the stroke type (None, Thin, Medium, Dashed, or Dotted) in the unnamed pop-up menu below the buttons, enter the stroke weight in the unnamed field or use its stepper controls, and specify the color by clicking the adjacent swatch to open the Colors panel.

  • Cell Background: In this pop-up menu, the Color Fill option puts a solid color as the cell’s background, and Color Gradient puts a gradient fill as the background.

In the Table inspector’s Format pane, select the Wrap Text in Cell option to allow text to break across multiple lines to fit in the cell. If this option is deselected and Automatically Resize to Fit Contents is deselected in the Table pane, text that doesn’t fit in the cell gets cut off, so only part of it appears.

You can set the formatting for the numerals and other values in your table in the Format pane’s Cell Format pop-up menu. The default values are similar to those used in charts, with a few additions: Automatic (iBooks Author figures out the appropriate format based on the cell’s values), Number, Currency, Percentage, Date and Time, Duration, Fraction, Numeral System (which lets you set the base, such as base 8 for octal values and 16 for hexadecimal values), Scientific, and Text.

Any custom value formats defined in previous tables or charts in the current e-book also appear, as does the Custom option to create additional value formats.

Each value format has its own options to control its specific display. For example, if you choose Currency, you can select which currency symbol to use, whether to include separators in values larger than 999, how to handle negative values, how many decimal places to display, and whether to use accounting style (which places a tab between the currency symbol and the value, aligning the value on its decimal).

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