Apple iBooks author is a tool for creating an publishing interactive multi-touch books for iPad. There are nine widget types for adding interactivity – Gallery, Media, Review, Keynote, Interactive Image, 3D, Scrolling Sidebar, Pop-Over and HTML. I’m interested in trying some e-Assessment by collecting responses to questions embedded in the content via a google spreadsheet. But how exactly does one go about embedding something like a google spreadsheet form in the book?
It turns out there are several ways to go about this. This post documents the simplest method I have found (so far).
- Create a folder called gForm
- Download the files main.html, Info.plist & Default.png into the folder
- Edit the ‘main.html’ file and replace the <iframe> code for my google form with the embed code for your own google form. [the iframe embed code can be copied from the Form->Embed form in a webpage menu of the google spreadsheet in your google drive]
- Rename the folder to ‘gForm.wdgt’
- Drag the ‘GoogleFormWidget.wdgt’ folder into a new HTML widget in iBooks author
For more information on this method read Creating an interactive widget without Dashcode by Jim McKeeth.
If you would like to play around with the simple e-Book I created you can download my e-Book Sampler.ibooks file and use iTunes to copy it to your iPad (with iBooks installed). If you would like to modify the e-Book Sampler.iba with iBooks Author go right ahead. For convenience I have packaged the three files into a gForm.wdgt folder that you may download and play with (if you double click it will be installed into dashboard and deleted).
It took me a very long time to get to this simple conclusion. I started by following this process by szeater on GitHub with no luck. I then registered myself as an Apple developer, found and downloaded dashCode and taught myself just enough to get a google form working in dashboard, safari and an .iBooks author file – with a little help from this excellent series of articles by Jim McKeeth (thanks Jim!). Finally I found that the whole thing can be boiled down to three stripped back files and a little trickery!