How to Add Captions and Titles in iBooks Author - dummies

How to Add Captions and Titles in iBooks Author

By Galen Gruman

A fundamental aspect of objects in iBooks Author is the caption and its associated title. A caption is the text that describes an object, to give readers context for its content. Because the reference to a figure or other object in text can be separated from where the figure actually appears, a caption is useful to remind the reader of the figure’s relevance to the topic at hand.

A title is the label for the caption. iBooks Author automatically numbers objects with captions in the order they appear. For example, if you have two images with captions in Chapter 3, iBooks Author labels them Image 3.1 and Image 3.2, and if you also have a table with a caption in the same chapter, iBooks Author labels it Table 3.1.

You can also insert cross-references to figures in your text that iBooks Author uses to keep the in-text reference updated to the current label. In other words, while your figure labels are renumbered when you move, delete, and add them, the references to them in the text are kept up to date.

Many programs treat captions as independent text boxes that you then group with an image to keep them together. You can do that in iBooks Author, but you don’t need to. And there’s a strong reason you shouldn’t: Only floating and anchored objects that have a caption applied are visible to the e-book’s readers in portrait orientation.

  1. Select the object and click the Inspector icon in the toolbar.

    Alternatively, you can choose View→Show Inspector or press Option+Command+I.

  2. Click the Widget button (the rightmost one at the top of the Inspector) to open the Widget inspector.

  3. If the Widget inspector’s Layout pane isn’t visible, click the Layout label to switch to it.

  4. Select the Caption option to create a caption for the object.

  5. (Optional) Select the Title option if you want to give the caption a title.

  6. Double-click the placeholder caption to select it, and then type (or paste) your own caption.

  7. (Optional) If you enabled a title for the object, double-click the placeholder title to select it, and then type (or paste) your own title.

Adding captions and titles is even easier for widgets: iBooks Author automatically applies a caption and title to all widgets when you add them, whether it’s a movie (video and audio), image gallery, Keynote presentation, interactive image, 3D image, review, or HTML snippet. It doesn’t apply captions and titles automatically to charts, tables, shapes, or images, but you can apply captions to these elements, as needed, by following the preceding steps.

An image with a caption and title applied (center) and the Widget inspector’s Layout pane (ri
An image with a caption and title applied (center) and the Widget inspector’s Layout pane (right).

You have several options in the Widget inspector’s Layout pane when working with captions and titles:

  • Label pop-up menu: Change the label used in the title. Your options are None, Diagram, Figure, Gallery, Illustration, Image, Interactive, Movie, and Review. Choosing the Edit Label Styles menu option opens the Edit Label Styles settings sheet.


  • Background option: Place a colored background behind the object, its caption, and its title. Select this option to display the background. Adjust the Margin slider to specify the margin between the object’s boundary and its contents; the default is 10 points.

  • Layout icon menu: Rearrange the layout of the object’s elements. You can change the placement of the object’s title, caption, and contents by choosing a different arrangement from the Layout icon menu.

You can set one more option for figures in the Interactive pane of the Widget inspector: the Full-Screen Only option. Selecting this option has two effects:


  • The contents appear in full screen on the iPad when tapped by the reader.

  • The size of the object is reduced in iBooks Author to a preview size that the reader will see in iBooks before tapping the object. You can change that preview size by dragging the object’s selection handles; click the Edit Frame button when you finish.