iBooks3 - spotting some differences

Image for iBooks3 - spotting some differences

I have updated my eBook eBook Typography for Flowable eBooks, on the iBooks store.

The recent update to the iBooks app (this arrived the same time as the announcement for the iPad Mini), was causing a few oddities in the book. On investigating and experimenting, here is what I discovered.


Kerning and Ligatures

In order to demonstrate Kerning Pairs and Ligatures, it was possible to invoke this in iBooks, by using:

text-rendering: optimizeLegibility;

in the CSS.

At larger text sizes, this would switch on the kerning and alternate ligatures for the font being used. Great! But then, in iBooks3 this seems to switched on by default, because there was no difference noticed whether the rule was present or not.

My solution for the book was to add the following to demonstrate turning this off:

text-rendering: optimizeSpeed;


In previous versions of iBooks, having a DOCTYPE declaration in the head of the page (even HTML5), would prevent the small table being enlarged on tap. This bug has been fixed.

Images that are Hyperlinks

In previous versions of iBooks, an image that was also a link, could not be enlarged. In iBooks3 the behavior is better: tap once to invoke the link or double-tap to enlarge the image.

The new theme - Scroll

I have added a note to the book because if the user chooses the new Scroll mode, then some aspects of the eBook make no sense! I refer you to the chapters on Spacing and Controlling the Page.

When using the Scroll theme in landscape mode, the line lengths are excessive, and I would hope to find a way (through @media queries?) to adjust the styling for this mode.

Bugs in Landscape mode

I find iBooks very buggy when proofing new versions. Stray blank pages appear at the end of a chapter or chunk occasionally. It is very difficult to know if this relates to caching somewhere. Turning off the iPad and having a cup of tea, seems to cure it sometimes - but one is never sure what the final result will be up on the iBooks store!

The best potential feature of iBooks3

I have great hopes for the new feature of iBooks that informs previous purchasers of your eBook that a new version is available. This only seems to be available for eBooks created with iBooks Author at the moment; I am investigating

Posted on 26 Oct around 2pm


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