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How to Add Special and Hidden Characters in iBooks Author

When you’re writing and editing text in iBooks Author, you use several invisible characters, such as paragraph returns and spaces. However, you may want to see them while you’re working on a book because they help you verify the text is correct. For example, displaying the symbols for these characters onscreen lets you see that you really did use a paragraph return rather than a line break to separate paragraphs. It also lets you more easily find issues such as extra spaces or see where the text includes forced page and column breaks.

To see these symbols, choose View→Show Invisibles or press Shift+Command+I; the same actions hide the invisibles. The light blue symbols for these characters (which don’t appear when you print or in the e-book viewed on the iPad) are the same as pretty much any editing software uses, such as the small dot for a space and ¶ (called a pilcrow) for a paragraph break.

Many books — especially the textbooks that Apple has suggested iBooks Author be used to create — use special characters, from accented letters to special symbols. Mac OS X has a tool called the Character Viewer that lets you find and insert any of hundreds of such characters —called glyphs —available in your Mac’s fonts. You can use the Character Viewer directly from iBooks Author by following these steps:

1

Choose Edit→Special Characters.

The Character Viewer appears.

2

Click an option in the list of glyph types at the left side of the Character Viewer to narrow down your choices.

Alternatively, you can search for a character based on a description of it in the Search field.

3

Double-click a glyph to insert it at the current text location. Click the Close box when done to close the Character Viewer.

You can see a pane of recently used glyphs in the Character Viewer by clicking the Recently Used option at left and your favorite glyphs by clicking the Favorites option below Recently Used. To add glyphs to the Favorites list, select the glyph with a single click and then click the Add to Favorites button on the right.

You can also add special characters to your text by using their keyboard shortcuts.

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