CNET Editors' review
Apple's iBooks Author is a free tool that lets users create stunning e-books from scratch in no time.
iWork suite users will feel at home, as at first glance iBooks Author looks like a combination of Pages and Keynote. You can't change the page format, however, as it is designed specifically for the iPad.
The application's user interface is uncluttered and very nicely designed, with all the tools available at a glance. At first launch, you'll need to choose a template from the six default options, but you can also create your own. Since iBooks Author is a native Apple app, users finally have a publishing tool that supports Pages document import in addition to Microsoft Word.
As soon as you have imported the document, the fun begins. Formatting the document is very easy, as is adding media files. When you have added the content to iBooks Author, the app takes care of the rest, so you need only work on polishing it. You can preview your work, too: just connect an iPad to a Mac and click Preview, and the masterpiece will appear on there so you can check each part of it.
There are several export options available: PDF, text file, or the native iBooks format. If you choose iBooks, you can even make money by respecting the program's license agreement.
While we loved using the tool, as it is stable and gives stunning results, we found its restrictions for the H.264 video format annoying, as we couldn't put video shot on the iPhone into the document until we had converted it with Compressor. Overall, it is a great app and highly recommended for all authors who want to produce a great e-book in no time.
Create and publish amazing Multi-Touch books for iPad.
Now anyone can create stunning iBooks textbooks, cookbooks, history books, picture books, and more for iPad. All you need is an idea and a Mac. Start with one of the Apple-designed templates that feature a wide variety of page layouts. Add your own text and images with drag-and-drop ease. Use Multi-Touch widgets to include interactive photo galleries, movies, Keynote presentations, 3D objects, and more. Preview your book on your iPad at any time. Then submit your finished work to the iBookstore with a few simple steps. And before you know it, you're a published author.
What's new in this version:
- Create new gorgeous portrait-only books
- Embed custom fonts into books for complete control over text appearance
- Add even more interactivity with new Scrolling Sidebar and Pop-Over widgets
- Support for mathematical expressions with new native equation editing using both LaTeX and MathML notation
- Automatic optimization of media for iPad
- Improved support for embedded audio, including the ability to play an audio file by tapping an image See all new features
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