Five Tips For Using iBooks in OS X Mavericks

One of the bright, main new features of Apple’s latest OS, OS X 10.9 Mavericks, is iBooks. Macs can now be used to read and annotate books, just as you can already do with your iPhone or iPad. With its physical keyboard, your Mac is better suited for office work/ school work than reading books. The presence of a physical keyboard also lets you make notes as you go, making studying more better. In addition to that, iBooks lets you open multiple books at once, which can be a very useful feature if you are preparing a research project where you need multiple sources.

With all that said, iBooks for Mac still has a few kinks that need to be properly ironed out. One example is if you have multiple books open and minimized, and you want to switch them by using the icons present in the Mac dock, you’ll need to guess because all the icons show the same title of iBooks i.e. there are no labels present on each book, all of them look alike. Not helpful at all.¬†Instead, you can use the Window menu for iBooks, where each book is listed by its title, to switch between multiple open books. Also, many menu options are available only for textbooks.


With our introduction done, we’ll narrate five tips and tricks to help you get started to using iBooks on your Mac:

1. Set up and sync

After you first launch iBooks and sign in to your Apple ID, the app starts to build your library by syncing any purchases you made with the same Apple ID on an iOS device. After that’s done, you can grab any new purchases made on another device by simply going to “Store -> Check for Available Downloads”. In the app’s Preferences menu, you can check a box so that any new purposes made on other authorized devices are automatically downloaded. This option is not checked by default, so be sure to enable it if you want to use this useful feature.


2. Add and remove highlights and notes

If you want to highlight a section of text or add a note, simply drag your cursor across an area of text, wait for a second, and a menu will appear. This menu will allow you to choose one of five highligter colors (or underline), add a note, and/or copy the text. If you choose to press “Command” while selecting a portion of text, your app will save you time by simply using the color that you previously used.

To remove a highlight from a section of text, just click within it and a “Remove Highlight” option will be offered in the menu which pops up.


3. View all of your highlights and notes

To view all of your made notes, click on the right-most button of the three buttons in the upper-left corner of iBooks (it looks like a Post-it note), or keystroke “Command + 4”. Doing this will open your Notes, showing all of your highlights and notes along a narrow left pane, along with a single page of your book on the right. Located above each highlighted portion of text in the Notes panel will be the time and place of your annotation, and its page number. Clicking on the page number will result in the page of the highlight or note shown in the right pane.


4. Get back to the two-page view

When you close the Notes pane in iBooks, your screen might revert to the standard one-page view. If you want to bring up the two-page menu option, simply navigate to “View -> Two Pages”. Some people might face a greyed out option in this case, and the keyboard shortcut might not work too. If this is the case with you, simply return to the two page view by resizing the iBooks windows until it reaches a point where it is wide enough to fit two pages.


5. Jump to the next chapter

While a two-finger swipe or the left and right arrow keys will let you turn the pages of your book, there is also a way to directly jump to the next chapter.¬†You can use the Table of Contents to select a chapter, but if you want to jump to the next chapter without leaving the book you are busy reading and highlighting, hit “Command + Shift + Right Arrow”. Press the “left-arrow” key while holding down “Command + Shift” to jump, you guessed it, to the previous chapter.

If you have any other helpful tips you want to share with us, please share it with us in the comments below.

Shujaa Imran
Shujaa Imran

Shujaa Imran is MakeTechEasier's resident Mac tutorial writer. He's currently training to follow his other passion become a commercial pilot. You can check his content out on Youtube

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox