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iBooks Author: Add and edit photos and other images

Add and edit photos and other images

You can add a photo or other image (in a supported file type) to a page in your book by dragging the photo from the Media Browser, the Finder, or another application.

After adding a photo to your book and positioning it on the page, you can use the tools in iBooks Author to mask (crop) the photo; change its brightness, contrast, and other image qualities; or erase its background.

Mask (crop) a photo

You can crop photos without changing the original image by masking the edges to hide unwanted parts.

  1. Select the photo you want to mask.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Mask the photo with a rectangular shape: Click the Mask button in the format bar. If the format bar isn’t visible, choose View > Show Format Bar.

      Photo being masked, with selection handles on mask and mask controls appearing below photo
    • Mask the photo with a shape: Choose Format > Image > Mask with Shape > Shape.

  3. Do any of the following:

    • Resize the photo: Drag the slider above the Edit Mask button.

    • Reposition the photo in the frame: Drag the photo.

    • Move the mask: Drag the dotted edge of the mask.

    • Resize the mask: Drag the selection handles on the dotted edge of the mask. To constrain the mask’s proportions, hold down the Shift key as you drag.

    • Rotate the mask: Hold down the Command key as you drag a corner selection handle on the mask.

  4. When you’re satisfied with the position and size of your photo and the mask, do one of the following to finish:

    • Double-click the mask or the photo.

    • Press Return.

    • Click outside the photo.

    • Click Edit Mask.

To remove the mask from the photo, choose Format > Image > Unmask.

Change a photo’s brightness, contrast, and other settings

Adjustments you make in iBooks Author don’t affect the original photo.

  1. Select the photo.

  2. Click the Adjust Image button in the format bar.

    If the format bar isn’t visible, choose View > Show Format Bar.

  3. Use the controls to make adjustments.

    • Brightness: Change the amount of white in the photo. Drag to the right to increase the white, making the photo appear brighter.

    • Contrast: Change the difference between the light and dark areas of the photo. If you increase contrast, the light parts get lighter and the darks get darker. If you decrease contrast, the difference between light and dark areas decreases. Dragging to the right makes the edges between light and dark areas more stark, and can make a photo appear more like an illustration.

    • Saturation: Change the richness of color in the photo. Dragging to the right makes the colors richer or more vibrant.

    • Temperature: Change the warmth or coolness of the photo by adjusting the amount of warm tones (yellow) or cold tones (blue).

    • Tint: Change the overall color cast of the photo by adjusting the amount of magenta or green tones.

    • Sharpness: Sharpen or soften (blur) the focus of the photo.

    • Exposure: Change the overall lightness or darkness of the entire photo. When you adjust exposure, every part of the photo gets lighter or darker. Increasing exposure can reduce color.

    • Histogram and Levels: The histogram shows the total color information in the photo, from the darkest shadow on the left to the brightest highlight on the right. The peak heights tell you how much color information falls in a given range.

      To set the light level, drag the right Levels slider toward the middle. Dragging the slider to the left narrows the color range and can clarify highlights. The slider position determines how much information is in the lightest part of the photo; information to the right of the slider is omitted from the photo.

      To set the dark level, drag the left slider toward the middle. Dragging the slider to the right narrows the color range and can clarify the shadows. The slider position determines how much information is in the darkest part of the photo; information to the left of the slider is omitted from the photo.

      You might want to drag the sliders just to the point where the histogram shows a noticeable bump, signifying that detail is available.

    • Enhance: Automatically adjust the photo by spreading the red, green, and blue tones evenly across the histogram.

To restore the photo’s original settings, click Reset Image.

Remove the background or unwanted elements from a photo

You use the Instant Alpha tool to make parts of a photo transparent. This feature is useful for removing an unwanted background or colors.

You’ll get the best results removing solid colors with clear boundaries. To remove areas that are less distinct, select a smaller area and repeat the process.

  1. Select the photo.

  2. Choose Format > Image > Instant Alpha.

  3. Click the color you want to make transparent, and drag slowly over it.

    As you drag, the selection grows to include the contiguous area that uses similar colors. You can control how much of the photo is selected by dragging less or more.

    To remove all instances of the color from the photo, hold down the Option key while you drag.

    Color being removed from photo using Instant Alpha tool
  4. Repeat step 3 as many times as you like.

Important:   Images can’t be larger than 25 megapixels (5000 x 5000 pixels) or 50 MB.
Last Modified: Oct 29, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Oct 29, 2014
  • Article: PH2797
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