Previous 1 2 Next 21 Replies Latest reply: Sep 9, 2013 3:59 AM by AGYmbert
Gerben Wierda Level 1 (135 points)

I have been writing in iBooks Author for a while to produce a book. I loved what was shown by Apple as possibilities. My book contains a lot of diagrams, the source material are vector images (SVG or PDF). These images are sometimes large and are unreadable, unless the user can zoom in and pan/scroll around.


Given that iOS is PDF-based and that HTML5 has SVG I assumed (mistakenly) that iBooks and iBooks Author would support resolution-independence vector images. Indeed, it will accept PDF often, but on creation of the .ibook, it produces low resolution bitmaps. There is no decent way to create image viewing that enables a user to look at a diagram that cannot be read on page size of an iPad2. Interactive Image will allow larger images (up to 4096pixels wide in landscape mode), but to let the user zoom you need fake viewpoints that point somewhere and in all, creating something where the user can pan/scroll/zoom is ugly and a pain.


I have been looking at HTML5 widgets to see if one can get around this. But here too, iBooks Author seems not to allow SVG in those (just displays empty, so does iBooks Author kills the SVG on export from .iba to .ibooks?). SO, I hoped the standards of iOS (PDF and HTML5) woul dsolve any problem, but iBooks Author seems to make sure it does not work.


I am so frustrated that I am close to giving up. iBooks Author and Ibooks need (for me):

- handling vector-images (SVG and PDF) (come on, Apple, how can you be so slow with supporting resolution independence, especially given Retina iPads?)

- the ability to let the user pan/scroll over large  images that can be zoomed in/out


And I am not talking about stupid things like not being able to replace an image inside a picture element with a new image without losing the picture element and having to manually redo all the links to it.


It has been more than a half year since Apple released iBooks Author. Unless I find a way to let the reader investigate larger diagrams, preferably interactive ones, e.g. created as a HTML5 widget with SVG objects in it, or unless Apple delivers a product with less problems bugs and such, my project needs to move away from iBooks.

  • K T Level 7 (23,705 points)

    ....look into using Pages and kicking out a standard epub, instead. Don't fret otherwise

  • Gerben Wierda Level 1 (135 points)

    I'm not in the mood to shelve money over to Apple, spend another couple of months to find out it does not do what I need. Besides, what I really liked about the prospect of .ibooks was providing animated and interactive content in my book.


    Can't do that with ePub, can I? And can ePub books be used to let people scroll around  in images larger than the iPad display?

  • K T Level 7 (23,705 points)

    Can't help w/mood support sorry. Check FB, Twitter, etc.



  • tk0us Level 2 (265 points)

    html widgets might work, if you need help, let me know.


    have you tried Keynote slides for your images? They are saved in acceptable formats as far as I know.

  • Gerben Wierda Level 1 (135 points)

    I have tried html widgets (tried Tumult Hype). So far I haven't found a nice solution (but I'm not good at Hype, so probably that is the problem)


    What I need is something pretty simple: a basic HTML widget where I can put in a very large image and the user can zoom in/out, pan and scroll. Think of a large map. Apple's Interactive Image has a limited UI only really good for t hat specific task. I have used it now, I have created two viewpoint that have a different zoom factor. The target point lie below the 'button'. Ugly, but it sort of works.


    I would be very happy with a basic widget where I only have to replace the actual image.

  • TimCramblet Level 1 (0 points)


    I wish I knew I could trust apple to keep supporting their pro-sumer apps. Like iWeb, I am scared they are going to abadon such a potentially awesome application. It is so crippled and dumbed down.


    I also would kill to allow vector images to be importable into iBooks Author. It would even lower the load times in many cases. I wish for many more things than just this. Like Appeture to iPhoto I wish apple would make a high end version of iBooks Author (and iWeb for that matter) Let text be over image galleries, have links actually work, get it retina support, better 3D support, buttons.

    Apple give us prosumers some love on this!

  • Gerben Wierda Level 1 (135 points)

    Tim, I agree with you. I also started to do some stuff with iWeb a few years ago, only to be left in the cold.


    But I think the situation with iBooks Author is slightly different. iBooks Author is the development environment for iBooks. So, to drop iBooks Author is to drop iBooks. Given the extended possibilities of iBooks (which also means having a special offering wrt ordinary ebooks), I would be surprised if they stop with this hobby now. They have been at it for just half a year.


    The current product is poor, though. It feels like a beta. The promise is enormous, that makes it so extra frustrating.

  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 (77,130 points)

    Hopefully you are also letting Apple know you views via


  • Gerben Wierda Level 1 (135 points)

    I am giving up. I painstakingly replaced all my images in PDF by high resolution PNG. The result is even worse: iBooks Author exports these as low resolution images. They are ugly if at all readable.


    I am now looking at ways to save my project. Is there a good way from iBooks Author to another application (e.g. does copying over to Pages work?)

  • tk0us Level 2 (265 points)

    before totally giving up, try putting your pages on slides in Keynote and see if the quality is retained...

  • Gerben Wierda Level 1 (135 points)

    Thanks, but I am not going to try anything else. I have lost any trust in iBooks Author that I can get this right.


    First, it means buying Keynote just for this experiment and besides that means that my images all end up in a widget (I have many inlines now) which will also not be exported properly in PDF.


    I am unhappy enough that I have to buy Pages to save my project (if I had known this in advance, I would probably have written the book in TeX and try to find a decent paper publisher) and lose all the nice interaction ideas I had.


    If iBooks and iBooks Author still exist a year after I have finished my old fashioned book, maybe. So far, this looks like another beta-never-to-be-kept-alive-in-a-decent-way product attempt at Apple. Stuff gone like iWeb or iDVD (colleague bought his Mac, used iMove to create a Movie and wanted to create a DVD. Turns out he needs to shell out $99 for Roxio to do that. Not a happy camper).

  • Nyberg Level 1 (0 points)

    You should be able to use Zoomyfy for this. It is not vector based but you can use it for very large bitmap images to zoom and drag.

    JUst get the HTML5 version


    I have just created an iBook with panoramas and 1 zoomimage in size 3000x5000 pixels but as iPad does only support spherical images I hade to use Zoomyfy  for the still image.

    Works fine.


    You should be able to create a widget with just the Zoomyfy.



  • Gerben Wierda Level 1 (135 points)

    Thanks. It was not clear to me if this includes local images but it is also moot. I have moved away from iBooks.

  • jawsnap Level 1 (0 points)

    Hans - just to clarify, you were able to purchase Zoomify HTML5 and embed it as a widget into an iBook to have a zoomable image as Gerben was describing?

    How did you get the image into it? Did you have to copy the source file into the .wdgt folder? Did you have to edit any code to make it work?

    (I'm running into a similar problem and I really hope the next version of iBooks Author has this functionality built in)


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