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Rounding Corners and Adding Drop Shadows in iBooks Author

When you are creating a book in iBooks Author, you can insert boxes, charts, and graphs and then use the iBooks Author formatting tools to give them a sophisticated look with rounded corners or drop shadows. You start by inserting the object.

Create rounded corners

When you select an object with a border, note the blue circle icon near the upper-left corner. That handle lets you set the curvature of the object’s corners. Drag it to the right to increase the curvature and drag it to the left to reduce the curvature.

If your curve cuts into the contents of the object, you can create an internal margin for that object’s contents to compensate. To add a margin, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Widget inspector.

    Click the rightmost icon in the Inspector to get the Widget inspector.

  2. Go to the Layout pane by clicking its label in the Widget inspector.

  3. Select the Background check box.

  4. Use the Background option’s slider, field, or stepper controls to increase the margin so that the contents fit within the curved corners.

    Slide the blue circle handle to increase the corners’ curvature.
    Slide the blue circle handle to increase the corners’ curvature.

Create drop shadows

The Graphic inspector also contains controls for drop shadows—a simulated shadow that gives the object the illusion of floating above the other contents around it. Select the Shadow check box to add a drop shadow to an object.

If you apply a drop shadow to an object that has no fill, the shadow applies to its border (if it has one) and to its text.

Applying a drop shadow to a text box that has no fill causes the shadows to appear in the text.
Applying a drop shadow to a text box that has no fill causes the shadows to appear in the text.

You can apply these options to your drop shadow:

  • Color: Click the color swatch to open the Colors panel, and then make a selection.

  • Direction: Use the Angle wheel, its field, or its stepper controls. An angle of 0 degrees has the drop shadow appear to the right of the object or text.

  • Distance from the object: Use the Offset field or stepper controls.

  • Sharpness: Use the Blur field or stepper controls; larger values enlarge the drop shadow’s size but also blur the shadow until it looks like a glow, rather than a shadow.

  • Transparency: Use the Opacity field or stepper controls; the default is 50 percent.

    Be careful not to use the Opacity slider, field, or stepper controls at the bottom of the inspector’s Graphic pane; that sets the transparency for the entire object.

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