How to Format Fonts in iBooks Author

iBooks Author supports a variety of typefaces (popularly called fonts) for your text. iBooks Author can use only the fonts in its Fonts menu, which are the fonts available in iBooks on the iPad. (Apple periodically changes its font mix on the iPad, so you may see the font list in iBooks Author change as well over time as the software is updated.)

To apply fonts, use the Format bar’s Font pop-up menu, which shows the currently selected text’s font name. By default, it shows the font name in its actual font, but you can turn that feature off by following these steps:

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  1. Choose iBooks Author→Preferences.

    Alternatively, you can press Command+, (comma).

    The Preferences dialog box appears, displaying the General pane.

  2. Deselect the Show Font Preview in Format Bar Font Menu option.

  3. Click the Close box.

You can choose Format→Font→Show Fonts or press cmd+T to open the Fonts panel. (The Show Fonts option is also available in the contextual menu that appears if you Control-click or right-click text.)

Avoid using the Fonts panel because it displays all fonts available on your Mac, including fonts not supported on the iPad; these fonts look okay in iBooks Author on your Mac but not in the e-book in the iPad’s iBooks. Use the Format bar’s Font pop-up menu, instead.

Most fonts come with variations known as font styles, such as boldface and italics, which you can apply to text. A related set of formatting attributes is also available: underline, strikethrough, and outline.

Several font styles are available by choosing Format→Font or via the Font Styles pop-up menu in the Format bar: boldface, italics, and underlining. You can quickly apply (as well as remove) boldface, italics, or underlining in several ways:

  • Choose Format→Font, and then choose the appropriate option in the submenu that appears.

  • Click the B, I, or U icon button in the Format bar.

  • Press the keyboard shortcuts Command+B, Command+I, or Command+U.

Two types of font styles — strikethrough and outline — are available only if you choose Format→Font and then select the appropriate option from the submenu that appears.

Once you choose the perfect font, you can adjust the size. Text size helps distinguish different elements, especially in a hierarchy, such as using the largest size for your titles, the next-largest for headings, and so on. You can apply sizes in increments of a tenth of a point, though it’s rare to use anything but whole points.

To apply text size, choose one of the common sizes from the Text Size pop-up menu in the Format bar or enter a specific size in the Text Size pop-up menu’s text field. You can also make the text bigger one point at a time by choosing Format→Font→Bigger or pressing Command+= (equal sign), or make it smaller by choosing Format→Font→Smaller or pressing Command+– (hyphen).

iBooks Author displays a + (plus sign) rather than an = (equal sign) in its Bigger menu option, but you don’t need to press the Shift key to make the text bigger, which you would to get the actual + (plus sign) character.

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