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How to Set Default Styles for Objects in iBooks Author

iBooks Author lets you insert all sorts of objects, such as charts and tables, into your text. After you format all those objects, you might wonder whether you have to re-create the same formatting for similar objects. Well, you don’t. You can create defaults.

Of course, if you format an object in a layout, all pages that use that layout have the same formatting. But that setup doesn’t help you format similar objects in other layouts, nor those created on pages.

But you can tell iBooks Author to take the formatting of a specific object and apply it to all new objects of that same type. For example, if you have a specific style for your charts that you want to make the default, you can specify that iBooks Author automatically apply the formatting of one chart to all new charts. You can do the same for all text boxes.

Here’s how to work with defaults:

  • Set a default style: To set an object’s formatting as the default style for that kind of object, select that object and then choose Format→Define Default Style for Object Type. From that point, each new object of that type that you create gets the selected object’s formatting. Of course, you can modify the formatting of any object you create, as needed; the default style becomes the starting point for each new object of that type, not a straitjacket.

    If you later change that original object’s formatting, new objects you create continue to get the formatting saved as the default for that object type when you chose Format→Define Default Style for Object Type. In other words, the object you created the default style from isn’t used as a master in which subsequent changes are automatically used to update the default style.

  • Apply the default style: You can reapply the default style to objects that either didn’t have it applied or that you changed; select the object and choose Format→Reapply Defaults to Object Type.

  • Update the default style: If you want to update the default style, select any object of the same type that has the new or updated formatting and Format→Reapply Defaults to Object Type to update existing objects’ style individually.

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