Table of Contents in iBook Author

In Publishing with iBooks Author, how did you get the Table of Contents to appear in a useful, scrolling form, instead of the pretty useless (for a real book) button-on-the-bottom form that is the standard in landscape templates for iBooks Author?
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  • Hey Karl,

    I'm going to let you in on a little secret: We didn't actually create that version of our book in iBooks Author. It's actually just a standard EPUB; the benefit of the plain EPUB format is that it can be read on many different devices, besides just an iPad, and if you know code then you aren't locked into those presentational requirements (like the thumbnail Table of Contents that is standard in iBooks Author). But I don't know of any good WYSIWYG tools like iBooks Author for creating EPUB files, and it's much harder to get really beautiful looking layouts in plain old EPUB.

    But to get to the root of your question: you can't suppress the thumbnail table of contents as far as I know; however, you *could* set up a manual table of contents in addition to that standard one. To do this, you'd need to insert bookmarks at each section that you wanted listed in your table of contents, then type up the list of sections (and page numbers, if you're so inclined), and then turn that typed-up text into hyperlinks that link to the appropriate bookmark. Make sense?

    Something I did for a project I worked on recently was to create a pop-up table of contents that appeared on every page. I used the new Pop-Up widget, and in the widget I did exactly what I described above: typed up a list of the sections, and turned them into hyperlinks. It worked quite well and I thought was a nice way to let users navigate without leaving the current page.

    Hope this helps!

    -Nellie
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  • Ms. McKesson (Nellie),
    Thanks to you and O'Reilly Media for the helpful reply. At least now I know for sure the limitation of iBooks Author as far as Table of Contents goes. Apple HAS to fix this if they expect book designers to use their format (I have already expressed my opinion to them).
    You may want to include more TOC information in any updates of your Publishing with iBooks Author. Your book is quite useful, by the way.
    Thanks also for the suggestions on an alternative TOC. I had thought this might be possible, and you have confirmed that idea. Though not optimal, it might help readers to navigate the book somewhat better. The pop-up widget is also an interesting idea.
    Karl
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  • How did you get iBooks Author to enable you to insert hyperlinks into the Pop-up widget (or any widget at all)? I have inserted hyperlinks into the Pop-up widget but iBA strips them out, and all the windows/pallates that have the option to add hyperlinks are greyed out. Have gone so far as to crack the iBooks exported files and try to export them manually but the Javascript still strips the hyperlinks and id's out of the HTML.
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