Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Printing Notes from iBooks on iPad

One of iBooks 1.2 new features is the ability to print or email notes that you've made. There was a bit of interest in notes on Quora this morning (with which I've been experimenting) so I thought I'd talk a bit more about them here.

First, how do you insert a note? Simple. Just select some text with your finger, and then click Note in the pop-up menu that appears.

Create Note in iBooks 1.2 on iPad

If you're reading a non-DRM protected book, you'll also have the option of copying the text. I like to copy the referenced text first and copy it into the note so that when I email or print the note, I can remember where the note came from. I have found that if you first copy the highlighted text and then press very close to the beginning of the selection, you'll be offered the opportunity to create a note as well, where you can then paste the copied selection. (Click anywhere else and you'll have to select the text again.)

Creating a note in iBooks 1.2 on iPad

Click outside of the note to close it. The referenced text is highlighted and a little post-it note with the date appears in the margin. If you click the note, you can change the highlight color or delete the note entirely.

Note created in iBooks 1.2 on iPad

To email or print notes, go to the table of contents by clicking the bulleted list icon next to the Library button in the upper-left corner.

Table of Contents icon in iBooks

You can preview the notes (and bookmarks) by clicking the Bookmarks tab, but it's not required.

And then click the "Away" button in the upper-right corner. You'll have the choice to either email or print the notes.

Print Notes from iBooks on iPad

But what if you have an oldish printer like me? Can you really print? I was under the impression that you could share a printer with any computer on your network, simply by choosing the appropriate option in Print Preferences. But that doesn't work automatically from an iPad.

And Apple has released a technology called Airprint, but it only works with a select few HP printers. I talked to Epson and they just have a little app that lets you print photos from the iPad, and only if you have a wifi-enabled printer, which I don't.

Then I asked on Twitter, and within minutes, Gabriele Alese quickly pointed me to a tool called Airprint Activator. It somehow links up the printer sharing and Airprint capabilities and gave me access to my oldish Epson R200 from the iPad. Absolutely brilliant!

Printing from iPad

Thanks so much to Gabriele and to the folks at Netputing for making this possible!


  1. Hi Liz,
    tried to leave a response on Quora but couldn' the iBooks picture books-I'm pretty sure my copy of the Ad Hoc cookbook is a PDF, not ePub, based on the navigation panes below the book (it shows thumbnails across the bottom), and the fact it doesn't respect the page forward/back settings, I have left edge forward set (PDFs don't, ePubs do). It DOES, however, show up in the Books Collection, not the PDFs Collection, which seems confusing.

  2. Thanks for the Airprint Activator tip, very handy!

  3. Any word yet on how the illustrated epubs are made? I am itching to put together a full page illustrated ebook for the iPad without going through a publisher or software house. I did notice that the text does not resize when I played with the Tron ebook on an iPad. This might have been because the iPad only had iBooks 1.1 installed. I have been hounding them at Best Buy to update the software. Boo.

  4. @Please The text won't ever resize. Those fixed-width layouts have no text flow, they're just glorified PDFs, even though they are EPUBs. I'm not a fan.

  5. Hi Liz,

    I've received an email from Apple yesterday about an upcoming releases in iTunes Connect which will improve creation and delivery of iBookstore content. Anyone else received the email too?

    Below is a copy of the email...

    We want to make you aware of new and upcoming releases in iTunes Connect which will improve creation and delivery of iBookstore content.

    iBooks 1.2

    Last month we released version 1.2 of iBooks. Included in this release are several new features:

    * Fixed-layout books. You can now create fixed-layout EPUBs, with embedded fonts, absolute positioning, and full-bleed and gutter-crossing images. This feature is especially useful for children’s picture books, cookbooks, art books, and other books that include design or graphical elements.
    * Embedded font support. You can now provide fonts within the EPUB package and specify them in XHTML documents.
    * CSS-based page break support. You can now specify page breaks in XHTML documents.

    For more information about these features, see the iBooks Asset Guide 1.4.

    iBooks Asset Guide 1.4

    The iBooks Asset Guide 1.4 is now available on iTunes Connect. Completely rewritten to cover all the new functionality in iBooks 1.2, this document provides EPUB asset-related instructions and recommendations.

    iTunes Producer 2.3

    A new version of iTunes Producer will soon be available. The next version of iTunes Producer will require Mac OS X 10.5 or later. Older versions of iTunes Producer will continue to function with an older version of Mac OS X, but may not provide the latest iTunes Producer functionality. We highly recommend you ensure that you are running Mac OS X 10.5 or later so you can continue to deliver or update your content using the next version of iTunes Producer.


    The iBookstore team

  6. Thanks Anon. Yes, I got it too, but I imagine those who are not yet signed up for iTunes Connect will find it useful.

    Note that the latest version of the iBooks Asset Guide is not 1.4 but rather "4.5 Release 1". It is the Publishing Guidelines that is 1.4 (and it mostly covers iTunes Connect itself, not ebook production).


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