iBooks Author Full Screen Background Now Black: How’d We Do That?
As we noted before, Apple defaulted the background screen in iBooks Author to display photos on a WHITE background when an image is displayed full-screen. One of our clients didn’t like that and said it washed out the image. He was right. In Gallery in iBooks Author, full-screen display changes the background to BLACK and images punch out much better. (Look at the last two images in this post. You’ll see what we mean.)
The problem is, by Apple’s design, there’s no way to change the background from white to black or any other color. Apple has decided they shall remain on a white bg.
So how did we get around this?
In the Inspection window, the last tab to the right has a Layout/Interaction menu for working with photos. Even if you just want to display one picture, we recommend you drop the GALLERY widget onto a page, and then load in the one image. (Of course, images should be .pngs, no larger than 2048 x 1536, and have a dpi of 132). This is an important step. You cannot just change an Image over to the Photo designation we’re going to describe for this to work!
STEP 2: To create a new option under the drop down menu, highlight Gallery and hold it. You will see the “Edit Label Styles … ” dialogue area at the bottom of the menu open. Click on it.
STEP 3: A new dialogue box will open allowing you to either add (+) or delete options(-). Press + and name your new setting. We chose PHOTO since Image is already in use and we didn’t want to create confusion.
STEP 4: Go to the Inspector window after highlighting the Gallery listing for the image and change it from Gallery to Photo (or whatever designation you created.) Then add whatever titling and caption options that are necessary for the style of your project.
That’s really all you have to do. You’ve now created a Gallery widget and changed it’s designation, but it’s still technically a Gallery widget. You’re just going to display one photo in it.
What’s the difference?
Here’s the image saved as a straight up Image file in iBooks Author when the image is increased to full-screen:
This is what happens once you follow the steps outlined above–loading an image in a Gallery and then changing it’s designation to Photo or the name of your choosing.
One Small Problem: The only problem with this solution is the fact that Gallery photos are formatted in a 2:3 proportion and there’s no changing that. This will only work if you don’t care if you can’t show the entire image in the window, meaning it will have to be popped open to display in full. So, while it is a solution, it doesn’t match the power of displaying and entire image as you can with just Image.
Obviously, it’d be easier to fix this if Apple provided a setting for it, but they don’t and from conversations with them, it doesn’t sound like it’s going to happen anytime soon. So here’s the workaround and thanks, Apple.
Once you create the Photo designation, it’s just a matter then of remembering to load all images as Galleries and then just not adding more than one photo to them if you’re going to display one pic. If you’re going to do a Gallery as it was intended, you just leave the Gallery named Gallery and keep on going. If you want to display the thumbnails, that’s easy. Just check the box and they’ll pop up.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The page displayed is an example of one of the photos to be included in our ongoing Bach project. Exciting news to follow soon!