Tips for using the IntelliPics Template for creating digital books

Choose books that lend themselves to the format
The Template

Choose books that lend themselves to the format

Think of
  1. kids who need access to an early literacy experience, much the way a 3-year-old enjoys mommy reading Clifford The Big Red Dog.
  2. kids who are just learning how to read and would use books with very few words on a page.

Not all books that fit into the above two categories are going to have pictures that children with visual disabilities can access. Since many kids with physical impairments also have some associated visual difficulties, please try to prioritize books with crisp, clear pictures. Children who are able to read longer books, or books where the picture doesn’t give support to reading the text on that page, can access books in the HTML format already on the ABC website.

The book you choose should have:
  • Clear pictures
  • Small amount of text on each page
  • Pictures support the text

Check the book out of the library to refer to as you create the book.

The Template


  • Use a dark font on a light background.
  • Try to keep the font and type size consistent on each page.
  • I make this easier for myself by copying and pasting the entire book into Word. Then I set the font size and color there. When I copy and paste from Word to IntelliPics, the formatting is retained, so I don’t need to set the formatting on each page as I am creating the book.
  • Try to keep the location of the text consistent on each page.
  • Review the entire book first to get a sense of how much text goes with each picture. Then choose one of the layouts that will best accommodate that amount of text. Even if some pages have only a few words, continue using the same layout throughout.
  • An exception to this would be if you are attempting to make the layout of your online picture book as close as possible to the hardcopy.


  • Try to keep the location of the picture consistent on each page.
  • You can use the square in the template as a placeholder.
  • Usually books have one or two general shapes for the illustrations. First look through the entire book and decide which page layout will best fit the content of the book. If necessary, modify the template to best fit the illustration. Then copy the blank template pages as you add pages to the book. That way, the square where you place your graphic and the boxes for the text will be in the same place on every page.
  • If the book has one general amount of text and one or two pages that simply have more text than you can fit, you can split the text on two pages and repeat the picture on both.
  • If the pictures are light in color, give them a dark border. On the template, there is a white square with a large dark border you can use for this purpose.
  • If pictures are dark in color, then they don’t need a dark border. However, they might need a white background depending on how they were scanned.


  • When possible, try to create a layout that closely resembles the original book. In this way, the electronic book gives students with reading and physical disabilities access to a similar literary experience that their peers enjoy complete with the beauty of the art and the interactive style that the author intended. You will need to have a copy of the original book in order to do this.
  • Features for students with visual disabilities include enlarged text, the capability of text-to-speech, and a consistent page layout or high contrast background.
  • For some books, you will need to compromise some of what the author intended in order to make it accessible to kids with visual disabilities. Try to strike a balance.
  • Some books will have pictures or a layout that does not lend itself well to children with visual disabilities (because the pictures do not have good contrast or are too busy) and accommodating for visual impairments will not be valuable. In that case, focus on making it physically accessible instead.

Physical accessibility

  • Make sure books work with both single switch and two switch scanning.
  • On all pictures: uncheck "respond to mouse clicks." You do not need to lock the picture.
  • On all text boxes: make sure they are locked. You can leave “respond to mouse clicks” on.
  • Test the scanning to make sure that only the buttons scan - you don't want a scanner to have to scan through other things unnecessarily. (Test single switch scanning using Ctrl+Enter and test two switch scanning using Ctrl+right arrow and Ctrl+down arrow)
  • Make sure your tool bars have appropriate names so that a scanner using auditory prompts can hear the right thing for each button scanned. (or use the toolbars in the template)
  • For the ebook-step scan overlay to work, the buttons need to be named "read it again" "previous" "next page" and "read" - you can make them "say" whatever you like by setting the attribute "singular name" to something else. Just make sure that the button name remains the same.


  1. Hide all the toolbars
  2. Make sure you have the eBook-step scan overlay, eBook-click to read, and the auto scan overlay attached to your book. That way, when the subscriber imports the book into Classroom Suite, it will be ready for use with either the Intellikeys, one switch, or two switches.
  3. Save “as an activity” into your Activities folder in Classroom Suite.
  4. Select the book in the Activities section of Classroom Suite and click on Properties to assign the graphic of the cover of the book to the icon.
  5. Under the properties field, write “”
  6. Now “Export” the activity to a folder
  7. Add the graphic that you used as the cover of the book into that folder
  8. Send the entire folder to Linda Wilson.


e-book click to read overlay
e-book step scan overlay
File Not Found
File Not Found
IntelliPics template for making books
Instructions for readers (this file will be included in the packet that users download from abc)