Copying text from iBooks
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I am still confused by what is for me a deal breaker. Is there an out-of-the-box way to copy-and-paste content (ie, whole paragraphs, not the entire book) bought from iBooks or in ePub format to a note jotting program such as DevonThink Pro. I am mainly interested in non-fiction books with factual contents that I’d like to keep gathered in a research file. I have read a lot about iPad so far, but nobody seems to mention this rather obvious function. Am I missing out something? Any third-party solution you can suggest to this copy/paste issue will do as long as it doesn’t involve jailbreaking.
A: The first challenge is actually being able to copy the content from the iBooks app. iBooks does not allow you to copy text from books that are purchased from the iBookstore, likely due to the copy-protection. Selecting text in these books will give you options to bookmark (highlight) the text, look a word up in a dictionary, or perform a search based on the selected word. You’ll notice the “Copy” option is not available here.
With unprotected ePub files you’ve imported yourself, on the other hand, the same options appear, but you’ll see a “Copy” option is also available to transfer the selected text to the iPad clipboard.
So if you’re working primarily with public domain ePub files that are obtained from sources outside of the iBookstore, you should be able to copy the content using the clipboard without any difficulty. Some DRM-free iBooks may also be available from the iBookstore that provide this capability as well.
Transferring this content to another application on the iPad is simply a matter of opening that app and pasting it in. To transfer to an app on your computer, simply paste the text into something that you can send to your computer, such as an e-mail to yourself or the built-in Notes app which can sync through iTunes. A very handy app called Pastebot can also be used to automatically sync clipboard content between your iPad and your Mac, or you can look at any of the number of third-party note-taking apps such as Evernote or SimpleNote that can wirelessly sync with a web service or a companion app on your computer.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple Music to supply content to Musical.ly
- Apple now withholding royalty payments to Qualcomm as dispute escalates
- New Puff Daddy Documentary will be another Apple Music exclusive
- Apple releases fifth beta of iOS 10.3.2
- Report: Apple’s Jimmy Iovine still has ambitious video plans for Apple Music
- Apple executive talks using AI to boost human memory
- Apple rolling out ‘Today at Apple’ educational courses starting in May
- Smart home device maker iDevices acquired by Hubbell
- Apple delays ‘Carpool Karaoke’ release to ‘later this year’
- Dutch court rules Apple can’t replace broken iPads with refurbished models
- FABRIQ AirPlay and Bluetooth Alexa-Enabled Speaker
- Advanced Evo X & M4
- Advanced Mezger aptX Bluetooth Receiver
- iDevices Wall Switch
- iDevices Wall Outlet
- Koogeek Wi-Fi SmartSocket for Apple HomeKit
- Sony MDR-1000X Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones
- FiiO i1 Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Adapter
- Blue Ella Headphones
- Apple iPad (Fifth-Generation)
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10