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How to Create a Glossary in iBooks Author

One of the advances in e-books brought by iBooks Author is its glossary capability. A glossary is a list of terms with definitions — essentially, a custom mini-dictionary at the end of a book. iBooks Author makes it easy to create a glossary for your e-book, but it also does something nice for the readers: It lets them click glossary terms in the book’s text and jump to the definition, applying a hyperlink from the term to the glossary item.

Add terms to the glossary after you finish editing the e-book so that you don’t miss a term for use as a primary glossary link nor its later occurrences for use as index terms. You don’t need to add a glossary to your e-book. iBooks Author omits the glossary entirely if you define no glossary terms, so you don’t have to worry about a blank glossary appearing in your e-book.

The simplest way to work add glossary items is to have the Glossary bar open. Follow these steps to add items by using the Glossary bar:

1

Choose View→Show Glossary Bar.

Alternatively, you can press Shift+Command+E. The Glossary bar appears beneath the Format bar (which, if open, appears below the toolbar).

2

Go through the text and select a term you want to define in your glossary.

When you select a term, it appears in the Glossary bar’s New Glossary Term field.

3

Click the Add Glossary Term button to the right of the New Glossary Term field.

Or you can choose Format→Create Glossary Term from Selection or press Option+Command+E. The term is boldfaced in your text (meaning it’s the primary occurrence of that term) and added to the e-book’s glossary. The term also becomes tappable in the iPad and clickable in iBooks Author (like a hyperlink), and tapping or clicking it opens the glossary’s definition for the term.

You can also add terms from the glossary itself by clicking the + (plus sign) button in the glossary’s Glossary pane. However, you can’t apply such terms to text in the e-book itself as the primary term, only as index links.

4

To define your Glossary term now, click the term in the e-book’s text.

This brings you right to that term’s definition. Initially, the term has no definition; the term’s name appears at the top of the glossary’s right pane and some placeholder text appears below the term.

You don't have to define your term immediately. You can do so whenever you want after a term has been added to the glossary.

5

Double-click the placeholder text.

That text becomes editable.

6

Enter your definition.

You can provide a simple definition or an encyclopedic description, as appropriate for the term and the e-book.

7

(Optional) Add text boxes, shapes, charts, and tables to the definition by using the same methods you use to add them on your pages and layouts.

You can’t add widgets to a definition.

8

(Optional) Drag terms from the Glossary list to the Related Glossary Terms list in the e-book.

The Related Glossary Terms list, which appears below the definition, provides a handy way for readers to quickly find related terms.

After you add a term to the glossary in the e-book, you can’t remove that primary glossary link later on. For example, you can’t move the link to a different occurrence of the term. So be sure you add the primary glossary link by using the occurrence of the term that you want to highlight in boldface to indicate a glossary entry.

To get to the glossary on the iPad, the reader taps the TOC icon button (it looks like a three-line bulleted list) when reading the e-book in iBooks, and then she taps the Glossary button that appears.

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