iBooks is not only a fantastic e-reading app on your iPhone or iPad, but it’s also a fantastic study tool. If you need to read books for class or your own learning objectives, you can use iBooks to highlight words or passages, search the text for specific words or phrases, and make notes that appear in the margins as little colored sticky notes.
Using these tools could help you become a much more organized studier, letting you go back to a passage in a book to remember the important things with a couple of taps. Here’s how, using iBooks 3.1, the latest version of iBooks.
When reading an iBook, tap and hold on any text you want to select, like you would in Safari or Pages. A pop up bar will appear, letting you Copy, Define, Highlight, make a Note, Search, or Share the text you chose. Tap on Highlight.
The pop up bar will change to give you new highlighting options, which include changing the color of the highlight or adding a note, itself in the same color as the highlight. You can also Share to Mail, Message, Twitter, or Facebook from this menu, as well. If you tap away from the selected word and lose the pop up menu, simply tap the colored highlighted area again to bring the highlight menu up again.
Tap the notecard icon, helpfully the same color as the text you just highlighted, and type in any notes you want in the resulting pop up note card. Tap away from the note card to close the text entry window, and you’ll see a little colored sticky note icon in the margin next to your highlighted text.
If you want to search for a given word in the text, tap and hold on a word in the body of the book and select Search from the pop up menu. You can also tap the magnifying glass icon in the upper right of the screen and type in a search term or text string. iBooks will look for it in the book itself. If you want to search the web, or Wikipedia, there are buttons at the bottom of the search window to send that term out to Safari.