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Welcome to *Insert Literary Blog Name Here*. Half writing portfolio, half blog, ILBNH is just another cozy corner of the internet dedicated to reading, writing, and anything else that takes my fancy.
1. How To: Using iBooks Author As An Editor

iBooks Author file with editorial notes

Although Apple claims most of their products are game changers, iBooks Author actually is. Not just as a free platform to create books for the iPad, but as an editing tool.

Despite my preference for curling up in a chair with a cup of coffee and a red pen, most of my editing work is done on-screen. This way, edits are not lost, pages aren’t eaten by the cat, and it’s easy for me to share my work when it’s done. Lately, though, I’ve been making most of my notes by importing work into iBooks Author, then exporting or previewing the file in iBooks on the iPad.

Wait, can’t you do that with a PDF?

I could. And I have. But I am not a fan of PDFs in general; I’d rather use a Word doc or a rich text file. And iBooks won’t mark up PDFs; you need a third party app such as Papers.

So why go to the effort of downloading iBooks Author when I could get another free app and use a PDF?

On the iPad, iBooks has a number of useful built in options, making it possible for readers to mark up e-text the same way they’d mark up a print version. To date, you can:

  • add bookmarks
  • highlight in yellow, green, blue, pink or purple
  • add scrolling sticky notes
  • underline in red.

Can I get my notes off the iPad?

iBooks study cards for export

iBooks study cards for export

Yes. Your notes (not highlights, unfortunately), are also easily converted to study cards and exported. Within the book, tap to bring up the top nav and select the icon that looks like a study card to reveal a list of your notes. Then you can select what you want and email the notes. Each note will show your comments, a page number, a chapter, and a date.

So how do you use it?

Most of the time, I make notes on the iPad then input the changes manually–it really is like using a print version, but without the risk of losing a page. I also color code my notes, using yellow for deletions, blue for additions, pink for ideas, and red underlining for clunky wordy. When I’ve completed an edit, I mark it green, so I can see my progress at a glance.

Although iBooks doesn’t replace the track changes function in Word, it’s a useful editing tool, especially if you’re only making comments (as opposed to highlighting sections for later reading/study). So far, I’ve found it best for larger documents (in the 20-80k range), although, if the notes are complex, I often end up using my bluetooth keyboard.

iBooks notes after export and emailing

iBooks notes after export and emailing

And for less complex work? Anything under 10 pages isn’t worth the effort of setting up the file unless¬†you want to use images/view i

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