How to Use Conditional Formatting in iBooks Author Tables - dummies

How to Use Conditional Formatting in iBooks Author Tables

By Galen Gruman

Unlike most other layout programs, iBooks Author allows you to set rules for conditional formatting of table cells’ contents. (Numbers does have this capability, and Excel has a similar capability.) You add conditional formatting rules to a cell by following these steps:

  1. Click the Show Rules button in the Table inspector’s Format pane.

    The Conditional Format panel appears.

  2. Choose an option from the Choose a Rule pop-up menu.

    There are three groups of rules in the pop-up menu’s options. Based on the type of rule you choose, an additional option in which you specify the scope of the rule appears.

    You can enter a formula in the fields for any of the groups of rules. After you choose a function, click the icon that appears to the right of the field (inside the field boundaries); it looks like a cell with a + (plus sign) on its lower-right corner. You can now enter a formula, text, and cell references like you would in a spreadsheet program. To clear the formula, click the red X icon that appears.

    • If you choose one of the Boolean logical functions, enter the appropriate values in the one or two fields that appear to the right of the pop-up menu (based on the option chosen).

      The Boolean logical functions available are Equal To, Not Equal To, Greater Than, Less Than, Greater Than or Equal To, Less Than or Equal To, Between, and Not Between. If you choose Between or Not Between, two fields appear; otherwise, one field appears. For example, if you choose Greater Than, you enter the value in the field that needs to be true for the formatting to be applied, such as 10 if you want the formatting applied to all cells whose value is greater than 10.

    • If you choose one of the text-evaluation functions, enter the text to be evaluated in the field that appears to the right of the pop-up menu.

      The text-evaluation functions are Text Contains, Text Doesn’t Contain, Text Starts With, Text Ends With, and Text Is. For example, if you choose Text Doesn’t Contain and enter None in the adjacent field, the formatting is applied to all cells whose text doesn’t contain the letter sequence None (including Nonetheless, Nonentity, and so on).

    • If you choose the sole date-evaluation function, choose a date in the With Dates pop-up menu.

      The date options are words, such as Today, In the Next, and Between. Some of these options cause other options to appear. For example, if you choose In the Next, a third pop-up menu appears with the options Week, Month, and Year. And if you choose Between, two text fields appear, one for each of the dates you want the date range to be between; enter dates in mm/dd/yyyy format.

  3. If you want to add another rule, click the + (plus sign) button.

    Another Choose a Rule pop-up menu appears. Follow Step 2 to specify that rule’s conditions. You can continue to add rules by clicking the + (plus sign) button after the rule where you want to add the new rule.

  4. Click the Edit button to specify the formatting that’s applied if that condition is met.

    Clicking this button displays swatches for the text color and cell fill, and icon buttons you can use to apply boldface, italics, and strikethrough to the cell’s text.


  5. Click Done to apply the formatting.

    You can select a rule and click Edit to change its formatting.

  6. Click the Conditional Format panel’s Close box when done to set the conditions.

    In the Table inspector’s Format pane, the text X Rules Applied appears to the left of the Show Rules button so that you know rules have been applied (X is replaced by the number of rules applied).

You can edit an existing set of rules and the formatting that gets applied if the conditions are met by selecting the cells that have the rules applied and then clicking the Show Rule button in the Format pane. In that panel that appears, select the rule you want to modify and change its settings and/or click its Edit button to change its formatting.

To remove a rule in the Conditional Format panel, select a rule and click the minus-sign button to delete it. (Click Clear All Rules to delete all the rules at the same time.)