OS X Mavericks: Copying Quotes and Citations from iBooks

| TMO Quick Tip

Mavericks’ new iBooks app has a neat hidden ability that’ll be especially great for you students out there. This feature adds citations to copied iBooks text for pasting into the app of your choice. It’s really simple to take advantage of, too—all you’ve gotta do is select some text on a page within iBooks on your Mac, and then press Command-C, choose Edit> Copy, or select the "Copy" command right from the contextual menu that appears.

Then go where you want to put your quote and citation, and paste them in (Command-V or Edit> Paste).

Blammo! Not only do you paste the text you copied, but you also get the author’s name, the title, and a link to download the book itself (if available), all formatted and pretty and stuff. And you can paste this info into an email, a text file, or even into Pages or Word if you’re working on a research paper, for example.

Keep in mind, though, that there's a 200-word limit on how much text you can copy out of items you've purchased from the iBooks Store. If you go over that, your quote will get truncated with an ellipsis, as below:

In any case, this is so cool that it makes me wish I could go back to college! OK, that is a bald-faced dirty lie, and I apologize. I mean, the feature's cool, but it ain't THAT cool.

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Lee Dronick

A very handy tip that I have been using for quite a while. I have my recipes in an iBook and often copy then paste one into an email or Facebook comment when we are sharing such things.


Cool. But I want to do this on an iPad too.

And where’s the page number?


meh, if it did a proper citation with footnote or bibliography formatting I *might* be impressed. smile

or Auto BBCode!
[quote=Excerpt From: Philip K. Dick. β€œThe Gun.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=361490800]
β€œThe gun was huge. Stark and immense it pointed up at the sky, a mass of steel and glass, set in a huge slab of concrete. Even as they watched the gun moved on its swivel base, whirring underneath. ”


Lee Dronick

Buck it is doable on the iPad. A few versions ago Apple took the copy feature out of iBooks, but it is back in.

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