How to Add Interactive Images in iBooks Author - dummies

How to Add Interactive Images in iBooks Author

By Galen Gruman

A popular way to help people understand a diagram or elements in a photo on the web is to use rollovers, where a title and description appear when the pointer rolls over a certain spot. The interactive image widget object in iBooks Author has the same goal, though it works a bit differently. In iBooks Author, you can add titles and optional descriptions (together called callouts by publishers and labels by iBooks Author) to an image or diagram. When the e-book’s reader taps the image or diagram, a detailed description is displayed, and the reader can zoom and/or move the focus of the image, such as to get a close-up view.

To add an Interactive Image widget, choose Interactive from the Widget icon menu in the toolbar or Insert→Widget→Interactive Image. After you add an interactive image object, you can add an image to it in a couple of ways:

  • Drag an image from a folder or disk in the Finder onto the interactive image object.

  • Select the image container inside the object — not the object itself — and paste a copied image into it. (To select the image container, click within its frame, not on some other part of the object.)

Either way, iBooks Author resizes the image to what it considers a good fit to the object’s current size and opens the Widget inspector’s Interaction pane. It also adds two placeholder callouts.


When you add an image to an interactive image object, or later select the image itself inside the object, the Set View panel appears. In this panel, you can

  • Adjust its slider to zoom in or out of the image.

  • Drag the image within its frame to crop it so that the desired portion appears for what the callout is describing; that crop is called the focus.

  • Be sure that the panel indicates Default View at the top of the panel, and then click Set View to save the image’s zoom level and crop to what you just specified. This is how the image will appear when the reader opens the e-book and comes to this object.

If something other than your default view is selected, click Default View in the Interaction pane’s Views list.

You can adjust the default view at any time by using the controls described in the preceding list.

You can have iBooks Author add navigation controls to all the selected interactive image object’s views, which it calls transport controls. In the Widget inspector’s Interaction pane, select the Show Transport Controls option or choose View→Interactive Image→Show Transport Controls.

On the iPad, the Back and Forward buttons (the left-pointing and right-pointing triangle icons, respectively) appear for the reader, as well as buttons for each image view that takes the reader to that specific view. (The order matches the order in the Views section of the Interaction pane.)


You can add more image views in a few ways:

  • Select the object and then click the + (plus sign) icon in the Set View panel.

  • Click the + (plus sign) icon button in the Views section of the Widget inspector’s Interaction pane.

  • Choose Format→Interactive Image→Add Label.

Delete an image view by selecting it in the Interaction pane’s Views section and clicking the minus sign icon, or by selecting its callout in the object and choosing Format→Interactive Image→Delete Label.