Creating e-books on the Mac
Note for Kindle users: click here for instructions for the Amazon Kindle.
What you need
- A Mac.
- The Universalis program on the Mac.
- If you are going to be using your e-book on an e-book reader, you need some way of connecting your e-book reader to your Mac. Usually this is a USB cable.
If you haven't yet got the Universalis program...
1. Set up your chosen calendar and translations
Open the Universalis program. The top of the screen will look something like this:
Click on the word "Universalis", and you'll see a menu:
Select the "Preferences" option and make sure that you have selected the local calendar and translations that you want.
2. Create the ePub e-book on your Mac
Now open the "File" menu and select the "Create ePub e-book" option. (Apart from the Amazon Kindle, every e-book reader that we know of uses the industry-standard ePub file format for e-books).
We suggest that you choose "This month" for your first experiment. Once you've chosen this, the next screen you see will be:
At the very top, the "Save As" name will be something rather unfriendly-looking. Don't worry about this, and don't change it. Universalis gives a unique filename to every e-book you create, and on your e-book reader you will be seeing the human-readable name of the e-book, and not the obscure name of the file it's in.
Just below this, you can see the location where your file is going to be saved. The location doesn't matter as long as you know where the file is going, so that you can find it later. We normally recommend saving the file to the desktop (and not to "Documents", as in the picture) because files on the desktop are always easy to find. There is nothing more frustrating than spending time creating a file and then not knowing where on your computer it has gone. To save to the desktop, scroll the list on the left-hand side of the window. After the "Devices" list you'll find a "Places" list, and in the "Places" list you'll find "Desktop": click on it.
At the bottom, you can choose which of the daily pages to include in your e-book. "About Today" is greyed out (but ticked) because it always has to be included.
When you're happy with everything, click Save. After a few moments, you will hear the same "thump" noise that you normally hear when copying files, and the ePub file will appear on your desktop:
The next step is to transfer the file to your e-book reader. Once you have done this, you can remove the file from your desktop because it's no longer needed.
Note: Creating e-books in advance
If you're going to be travelling, you may want to create e-books for future periods. Or you may find the whole e-book creation process rather tedious and prefer to create several e-books at a time.
This is very easy to do:
- Set Universalis to display a date within the e-book period you want. For instance, if you want to create an e-book for June 2011, set it to display a date in June 2011 (if you need reminding, the Instructions page is here).
- Tell Universalis to create an e-book.
Getting the e-book onto your device
Your device will have come with instructions for transferring e-book files to it from your Mac. Follow them. We can't give you specific advice because the devices vary somewhat, but the usual sequence of events is that you plug your Mac and then drag the e-book file from your desktop to a specific folder in the device — but do read the instructions because some e-book readers may require you to take additional steps after you have done this.
Please note that the e-books you create are for your private use only and must not be given or distributed to other people.