Yesterday we updated our iBook demo to include an example of how slideshows can be easily integrated into books produced with iBooks Author. If you have an iPad, you can download the latest version of our demo here.

While iBooks can be put to use for many different types of projects, the most common scenario in which slideshows are used is when organizations and companies want to add some existing presentations they have as supporting material. The catch is that iBooks Author can only embed presentations created in Apple’s own slideshow-creating software, Keynote. Since the vast majority of presentations are created using PowerPoint, these would need to first be converted to Keynote before they could be added into an iBooks project (fortunately, Keynote will open and covert PowerPoint files for you). Once you’ve got your presentation in Keynote, it’s worth taking the time to carefully review it, to make sure there were no glitches in the conversion.

You could also take the opportunity to make some changes. You might want to update the aesthetic to better match the overall design you’ve established for your iBook, and I’d recommend reviewing the copy and animations to make sure that the presentation is clear and flows smoothly for someone who’s running it themselves. For example, if you’ve built sequenced animations of elements within a slide, and the timing was controlled by the person giving the presentation, you may want to change it so that elements animate automatically, or appear altogether. Essentially, if a pause in the presentation was there so that the presenter could say something, it’s of no use when someone’s running it themselves.

If you’re a pro at Keynote, and love using the great variety of animations and transitions available, note that not all of these are supported once it’s brought in to an iBook. The reason is that when a Keynote file is added to iBooks Author, it actually gets converted into an HTML widget. There’s a support page on Apple’s site that provides details on supported animations.

iBooks are a great new way to deliver content on the iPad, and being able to add existing presentations to the original content you’ve created for an iBook is a terrific feature. Taking some time to revise slideshows for someone who will be running it alone ensures you’ll be delivering the best experience possible.  

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