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iBooks Author: Add placeholders to a custom template or layout

Add placeholders to a custom template or layout

All templates include placeholders that make it easy to add your own text and media. If you create or modify a template or layout, you can define your own placeholders.

You can define media or text placeholders on individual pages. If you want a placeholder to be part of a layout (so it appears whenever you use a particular layout), follow the instructions in “Add a placeholder to a template layout,” below.

To help manage placeholders in a book, you can add tags (names) to them. The media and text placeholders included in the layouts already have tags (Body, Main image, or Objectives), which you can change if you like. You can also create your own tags.

Tagging a customized placeholder enables you to use it in other layouts throughout a book and makes it easy to switch layouts. For example, suppose you create a layout with a placeholder for a graphic in the upper-left corner and another layout with the placeholder in the upper-right corner. If you tag the placeholder “Planet image” in both layouts, the graphic always appears in the correct location, no matter which of the two layouts you use.

Define a media placeholder

  1. Drag a photo or movie from the Media Browser or Finder to a book page.

    If you can’t add the item, it might not be in a supported file type.

  2. Modify the object with the properties you want the placeholder to have, and select the object.

  3. Choose Format > Advanced > Define as Media Placeholder, so that a checkmark appears.

To stop using the object as a placeholder, choose Format > Advanced > Define as Media Placeholder, so that the checkmark disappears.

Define a text placeholder

  1. Format the text the way you want it to look, and select the text.

    Don’t select the final paragraph break character, or the entire paragraph is deleted when the placeholder text is replaced. To see paragraph break characters, choose Show Invisibles from the View pop-up menu in the toolbar.

  2. Choose Format > Advanced > Define as Placeholder Text, so that a checkmark appears.

To stop using the text as a placeholder, choose Format > Advanced > Define as Placeholder Text, so that the checkmark disappears.

Change placeholder text

After you create a text placeholder, you can modify its default text. For example, you can insert “Lorem ipsum” text to make it obvious that the text is placeholder.

  1. Select the text in a text placeholder and choose Format > Advanced > Enable Placeholder Authoring.

  2. Type the text you want to appear in the text placeholder.

  3. Choose Format > Advanced > Disable Placeholder Text Authoring.

Add a placeholder to a template layout

  1. If the Layouts pane isn’t open, choose Show Layouts from the View pop-up menu in the toolbar.

  2. In the Layouts pane, select a layout.

  3. On the book page, select the object you want to make a placeholder.

  4. In the Layout inspector, select “Editable on pages using this layout.”

  5. To add a tag to the placeholder, choose an option from the Tag pop-up menu or type your own text.

  6. To make the placeholder appear in portrait orientation (if you are using a landscape template), select “Shared with portrait layout.”

To stop using an object as a placeholder, select the object and deselect “Editable on pages using this layout” in the Layout inspector.

Last Modified: Oct 29, 2014
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