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How to Apply Colors to Objects in iBooks Author

Tables, charts, and other objects you insert in your e-book look their best if you add a little color. iBooks Author lets you add fill colors, background colors, and stroke colors to make you objects pop. It’s slightly more complicated to apply colors to objects than to text:

  1. Select the object to color.

    For charts, you can apply colors to the chart object’s container or to its bars and other data-derived portions. To apply colors to the data elements, select an element, rather than the entire chart; all elements based on that same row series have the color applied.

  2. Click the Inspector button in the toolbar.

    Alternatively, you can choose View→Show Inspector or press Option+Command+I. The Inspector opens.

  3. Go to the Graphic inspector by clicking its icon button at the top of the Inspector.

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You can apply color to three attributes: background (the fill), border (the stroke or line), and the drop shadow.

  • To color a fill, choose Color Fill from the Graphic inspector’s Fill pop-up menu and click the color swatch below the pop-up menu. Select a color from the Colors panel.

  • To color a stroke, in the Graphic inspector, choose Line from the Stroke pop-up menu. Specify a color for that stroke by clicking the color swatch below the menu and selecting a color from the Colors panel.

  • To color a drop shadow, in the Graphic inspector, be sure the Shadow check box is selected. Then click the color swatch below the option and select a color from the Colors panel.

You use a similar method to apply colors to the components of a table as you use to apply colors to objects. Select a table, or one or more cells of a table, and then click the Table inspector’s Table pane. Three swatches open the Colors panel for you to apply the desired color to the desired table element: Cell Borders, Cell Background, and Row Color (this swatch has no label in the Table pane).

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If you select a table object, the color chosen in the Cell Border swatch applies to the entire table’s cell borders. If you select specific cells, the cell border applies to just those cells; also, the Cell Background pop-up menu becomes active, from which you can choose Color Fill to display the swatch you click to open the Colors panel so that you can specify a color.

No matter whether you select the entire table or specific cells, you apply a color fill to rows by using the swatch to the left of the Alternating Row Color option at the bottom of the Table pane. You must select the Alternating Row Color option if you want to apply a color. As the name implies, the selected color applies to every other row. The rows to which the color isn’t applied are white, and you can’t change these rows’ color (such as by applying a background color to the table in the Graphic inspector) like you can with most other objects.

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