Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Getting rid of faux pages and binding in iBooks

Apple's iBooks has been accepting EPUB3 documents for some time, which means they can now benefit from EPUB3 features. One of those features is whether or not the binding should be displayed, which in iBooks takes the form of a faux spine:

Faux binding in iBooks

To make the faux spine disappear, you simply have to add this line to the <meta> section of your opf file (in an EPUB 3 fixed layout file):

<meta property="ibooks:binding">false</meta>

And as long as you have version 3.1 or later of iBooks, the faux binding (and the faux pages at the edges) disappear:

No faux binding in iBooks

Note, however, that if you designed your pages to fit perfectly in a landscape-oriented iOS device, the disappearance of the faux pages will make your book slightly more narrow, and you will have some empty gray space as shown above.

(Thanks to Jean-Michel Dentand for reminder to update to new version of iBooks!)


  1. Also, if you're reading a non-fixed-layout book, you can get rid of the faux book crap by choosing the "full screen" theme. (Click on the font menu, themes, and full screen.)

  2. Somehow, this does not work for me, even though I have the latest version of iBooks.

    The epubcheck-3.0 also says that the prefix "ibooks" (as well as "rendition" that I added when following the versioning guide) in the metadata is an undeclared prefix. But it does not seem to affect the functionality of the file, unless this is what makes the binding-trick fail.

    1. Yes, I suspect the two are related. It has to do with declaring the ibooks prefix in the package element of your opf file. Mine looks like this:

      <package xmlns="http://www.idpf.org/2007/opf" xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/" xmlns:dcterms="http://purl.org/dc/terms/" prefix="ibooks: http://vocabulary.itunes.apple.com/rdf/ibooks/vocabulary-extensions-1.0/" version="3.0" xml:lang="en" unique-identifier="pub-identifier">

    2. Hi
      The above coding was not working in my device since I am using latest version of iBooks

  3. Hi Liz Castro,

    We have used the above coding was not working in my ipad-4 (ISO7) device the problem is small grey line in the middle of each double page i ipad view.

    Could you tell me if it is possible to avoid this line?

  4. Hi Liz,

    I have bought some of your ebooks , thank you, however i also cannot get rid of this faux spine with the above code. To me this is the last part of the puzzle getting rid of that annoying black line. Strangely after mastering apple author i have gone back to fixed layout but need this last part of the puzzle sorted out,

    Tks Ron Ritter


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