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How to Define Colors in iBooks Author

To define a color in iBooks Author, go to any of the Color panel’s panes. All the panes have one common feature: The Sampler tool (the magnifying glass icon). Click it, then move the Sampler tool to an object in your layout that has the color you want to add. For example, you might hover the Sampler tool over a specific location in a photograph to sample its color. Click where you want the color to be sampled and note how the color now appears at the top of the pane. That color is now the active color, meaning you can apply it to an object in the layout or save it for later use.

The Colors panel’s Color Sliders, Color Palettes, Color Wheel, and RCWeb panes.
The Colors panel’s Color Sliders, Color Palettes, Color Wheel, and RCWeb panes.

To open the Color panel, click the Colors icon button in the toolbar, choose View→Show Colors, or press Shift+Command+C

To save the active color, simply click and hold that color, drag the cursor onto a blank square at the bottom of the pane, and then release the mouse button. That square now has the color applied, and you can click that square at any time to make that color active.

Otherwise, the panes work differently:

  • Color Wheel: Drag the square on the color wheel to make the active color the desired color. Increase or decrease the color’s brightness by using the slider at left.

  • Color Sliders: Choose the desired color model (CMYK, RGB, LAB, or Gray Scale) from the pop-up menu below the Sampler tool, and then use the sliders to mix the desired color to create a new active color. The CMYK color model is meant for print reproduction, so use the RGB or LAB color models for creating your e-book’s colors because those color models are optimized for onscreen display. Use the Opacity slider to lighten the color you mixed; 100-percent opacity means you get the full color, 0 percent you means it’s transparent.

  • Color Palettes: Choose an existing set of colors from the Palette pop-up menu. A set of individual colors appears. The Developer and AquaPro palettes contain the colors and shades used by Mac and iOS developers for user-interface elements, and are meant to be used for objects designed to look like controls (such as buttons). Here are some of the actions you can take in the Color Palettes pane:

    • Use the Opacity slider. Using this slider doesn’t change the swatch itself, it changes the active color.

    • Create your own palette by choosing New from the Action icon menu.

    • Use the Sampler tool, the color squares, or any of the other panes to create a new active color, and then (in the Color Palettes pane) click the + (plus sign) button to create a swatch from that color.

      Double-click a swatch’s name, and when the name becomes an editable field; type in the new name.

      Select a swatch and click the minus-sign button to delete it.

  • Image Palettes: By default, this pane has just one palette available — Spectrum, which shows a color spectrum. But you can add your own image palettes by using one of two methods:

    • In the pop-up menu below the color area, choose New from File. In the New Color Palette dialog box that appears, select a graphic and click Open; iBooks Author adds that graphic to the Image pop-up menu and displays a preview of it in the color area below the Image pop-up menu.

    • Add an image that you’ve copied from elsewhere, such as from a graphic in your e-book or from Photoshop, and then choose New from Clipboard from the unnamed pop-up menu to copy that image into the Image Palettes pane.

  • Crayons: Choose a crayon to make its color active. You can use the Opacity slider to change its level of transparency.

  • RCWeb: You can specify a color by using the standard HTML color-definition method in a couple of ways:

    • If you know the color value, enter the six-digit color value in the text field preceded by the # character to create the desired active color, such as FF0000 for pure red.

    • Adjust the sliders to create the active color. Select the Web Colors Only check box to restrict the slider to the colors that reproduce well on any browser.

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