Add and edit shapes

iBooks Author provides a variety of predrawn shapes you can add to books, including circles, rectangles with square or rounded corners, stars, speech bubbles, arrows, and more. You can easily add text to predrawn shapes.

You can also create your own custom shapes or alter the color, lines and contours of a predrawn shape.

You can add a shape as an inline, floating, or anchored object.

Add a predrawn shape

  1. Choose a shape from the Shapes pop-up menu in the toolbar.

    To add a shape by dragging, hold down the Option key while you choose a shape, and drag the crosshair pointer. To constrain the shape’s proportions (for example, to keep triangles equal on all sides), hold down the Shift key as you drag.

  2. To resize the shape, drag its selection handles.

    Some shapes appear with tools you can use to customize the shape:

    • Slider: Drag the slider to create more star points or change the number of sides on a polygon.

    • Circular control: Change the corners on a rounded rectangle.

    • Blue editing points: Drag to adjust a shape’s angles, corners, and relative proportions.

      • Speech bubbles: Adjust how square or rounded the corners are, as well as the thickness and length of the shape’s tail.

      • Arrows: Adjust the relative proportions of the arrow’s head and tail.

      • Stars: Change the angles between points.

      Editing point on a star shape
  3. To add text inside the shape, click the shape to make the insertion point appear, and type.

Draw a custom shape

  1. Choose the Pen tool from the Shapes pop-up menu in the toolbar (or choose Insert > Shape > Draw with Pen).

  2. Click to create the first point of the shape.

  3. Click to create more points.

    Each new point is automatically connected to the previous point. To delete a segment you just created, press the Delete key.

    Pen tool drawing a custom shape
  4. To finish the shape, do one of the following:

    • Close the shape: Click the first point.

    • Leave the shape open: Press the Esc (Escape) key, or double-click the last point you created.

Edit a shape

  1. Select the shape.

  2. To display a shape’s editing points, choose Format > Shape > Make Editable.

    The next time you want to edit the shape, you can click it twice slowly to show its editing points.

  3. To reshape the shape’s border, drag the red editing points.

    Editing points on a selected shape
  4. Do any of the following:

    • Close or add more points to an open shape: Double-click either of the endpoints; the pointer changes to the Pen tool.

    • Add another editing point to a closed shape: Option-click the shape’s border where you want to add a point.

    • Add endpoints (such as an arrow) to a line: Choose an option from the Endpoints pop-up menu in the format bar.

    • Reshape a curve: Click an editing point and move the control handles clockwise or counterclockwise. Different effects result when you move the handles together or independently of each other.

      Circle shape with editing points and handles for changing curve
    • Change the angle between two attached segments or change the length of a segment: Click an endpoint and drag it clockwise, counterclockwise, outward, or inward.

    • Change a point into a curve or vice versa: Double-click the point.

    • Change all corner points in one or more shapes into curve points: Select the shapes and choose Format > Shape > Smooth Path.

    • Change all curve points in one or more shapes into corner points: Select the shapes and choose Format > Shape > Sharpen Path.

    • Delete a point: Click it and press Delete.

Add text inside a shape

  1. Double-click the shape and type your text.

    If there is too much text to display in the shape, a clipping indicator (+) appears. To resize the shape, select it and drag the selection handles. (If the insertion point is inside the shape, press Command-Return to exit text editing and select the shape.)

    Shape with text and clipping indicator displayed
  2. Do either or both of the following:

    • Format the text inside the shape.

    • Rotate a shape but keep the text horizontal (rotate the shape and choose Format > Shape > Reset Text and Object Handles).