Copy Design tool has arrived!

A creative process usually involves exploring lots of different ideas before you settle on your final design. Now you’ve made an awesome page, you’ll probably be looking for a super quick and easy way to copy theme elements to other pages. That clever font palette you put together for your profiles would look great on your awards pages right?! You might not want to copy a page layout and every aspect of it so this handy little tool allows you to select individual components and apply them to other profile pages, collages etc. copydesign1

When viewing the homepage of your yearbook, you’ll see COPY DESIGN in the grey toolbar at the top of the screen. If you click onto this you’ll get a little pop up window for you to use to copy colour palettes, fonts, backgrounds and headers & footers. Use the tick boxes here to select which features you wish to copy πŸ™‚

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Now you need to select which spread to copy from. You can choose from any spread in the book so just click on the one you need πŸ™‚ You’ll see this spread will now be highlighted on the yearbook home with a blue box around it and you get a visual preview of the spread in the copy pop up box too.

Now you need to select the spreads you wish to copy to. Again click onto the spreads you want to copy to and these will be highlighted in green. You can also use the select all option in the copy box if you want to copy to all pages in the book. Once you’re happy with the selections you’ve made, click the green begin copy button.

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Before your settings are applied, you’ll get a final warning message. If you’re certain that you’d like to proceed with the copy, click save changes. You wont be able to undo as such once this action has taken place (hence the warning) but you can always use the tool again to copy any elements you might have missed or update individual pages πŸ˜€

Beautiful Backgrounds!

The busy season is in full swing now and thanks to your awesome organising skills and our new system, many of you are finding yourselves ready to print well ahead of schedule- Hooray! For those of you nearing the end of your project, you’ll be looking in more detail at your pages and making final decisions about designs and theming. Following high demand for the ability to have different backgrounds on each side of a spread, we’ve launched a nifty little tool that enables you to pick different backgrounds for left and right pages πŸ˜€

Here’s where to find it…

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First click onto the spread you’ve created, here you’ll see I’ve got an intro page alongside a collage and I’d love the collage to have a different background to create a little contrast and make the photos really pop! With the theme menu open, you’ll see ‘Use a different background for each side?’ under the background heading- if you click this you’ll see your background settings will look a little different….

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You’ll notice there are now options for the left and right pages and you can click onto the background icon to change it for the relevent side. What’s more, you can also change the opacity settings for each side too πŸ˜€

A new look for the AllYearbooks online system!

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If you’ve just visited your yearbook and are concerned that everything looks a little different, please don’t panic! We’ve made a few changes to the editor interface so you’ll now find all of the features of our old system nicely arranged into one interface. No more going back and forth from the page designer as you can do everything in one place!

Why now I hear you asking? As you all know, we’re constantly looking for ways to improve our products and services so we have developers working on the online system year round. From time to time, we marvel at an idea and just can’t wait another year to see it implemented. I guess it’s a little like when you try on an awesome new outfit, can’t wait to wear it and subsequently want to wear it all the time! That’s how we felt about this new layout πŸ˜€

Needless to say we’re on hand to answer any questions you might have; our chat support now comes with links to handy tutorials, FAQ, and some quick links to our facebook and twitter feeds so you can follow us and keep in the know! Whilst it can seem a little daunting to those of you already using the new system, we’re confident that you’ll be navigating your way around in no time and your books will progress in much the same way as they are now… Fabulously!

We hope you enjoy the new page designer experience and we’d be thrilled if you shared your comments and feedback with us as you continue to turn your moments into memories πŸ™‚

Happy Yearbooking!

Awards page creator now online!

By now, you probably have your awards voting underway and you might be thinking about how you want to design your pages. On Monday, we launched a shiny new awards page designer for you to play with and I’m excited to tell you more about how it works and how to get the most out of these pages in your book!

Let’s start with creating your page… If you’ve not set up an awards page as yet, click the add pages button in the top left of your screen and then select awards. If you click on the awards icon in the toolbar, you’ll see a variety of different layouts you can choose from under awards layouts or you can can create a quick awards grid in the same way as you would do for a collage.awards1

Add award to pageΒ  lets you drop individual awards onto a page so if you want to start from scratch this is the place for you. Don’t forget you can add awards to any page of your book so if you want to pop a plaque onto a profile to show they won an award, you can use this option to do so!

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Once you’ve created a layout, you’ll have a page that looks a little like this πŸ˜€ You’ll notice lots of awards styles on the page but you can always change them to all charts or plaques or remove someΒ  from the page to add in lists or photos from your award ceremony! When you’re happy with the layout, click onto awards categories in the awards toolbar. You’ll find all of your awards here and you can drag and drop them onto the spaces on your page.

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You’ll notice your award winners will appear in the spaces along with the award category. You can then drop your photos into the spaces and adjust the award options by clicking onto it in your grid. When you click onto an award, you’ll see an options box like this! Here you can change the background colour to your awards box (or make it transparent), adjust the fonts and font colours, add borders or even change the winners (if you want to fix the results!).

Unless you’ve chosen to change the winners manually, your awards page will update according to who’s winning in your online voting πŸ˜€ We hope you’ll agree that you have loads more flexibility to make your awards pages really special this year and if you have any feedback or questions, we’d love to hear them!

Navigating the page designer

It’s starting to get really busy now and we’ve introduced a few changes to the toolbar in your page designer to help streamline the process of adding content. Firstly you’ll see the add title text, add body text, add frame and add shape icons are now shown at the top of the toolbar. You’ll be using these pretty often so it makes sense for them to be nice and easy to find! You’ll also notice your toolbar now features icons for the different types of content you may wish to include, i.e. profiles, collages, awards and articles etc. If you click onto the profiles icon you will now be presented with all options relating to profiles, the same goes for collages and so on so nothings hidden away in another section. To help you use and understand all of the features of your shiny new toolbar, here is a quick overview of each of the features πŸ˜€

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Profiles

  1. Profile group for spread – Allows you to set which of your groups appears on the spread.
  2. Profile questions – View which profile questions have been asked and optionally add more πŸ™‚
  3. Flip/mirror profile slots – Allows you to mirror slots from the left page so you can alternate your pages.
  4. Profile Layouts – choose a template to fit your yearbook profiles, from a double page per person to 30 on a spread.

Collages

  1. Shuffle or scramble pics– shuffle to quickly switch all the photos on the page into the different frames in your collage or scramble to rotate all your images slightly for a scattered effect πŸ™‚
  2. Quick collage grid – Build your own collage layouts according to many photos you wish to use
  3. Collage layouts – Some premade templates to help you drop photos into collages in super-quick time!

Articles & Other pages

  1. Custom page uploads – all the features we discussed yesterday about custom pages tied neatly into this section πŸ™‚
  2. Article layouts – choose a template to quickly make article pages about trips and in-school events.

Actions & Options

This icon will unveil a selection of tools to help you complete more general tasks in your book. You probably wont use these very often but it’s good to have the option right?! They’ll help you to complete those tedious tasks quickly so you can get on with the fun stuff πŸ˜€

  1. Duplicate layout/theme – decided on a lovely colour palette or layout and want to use it on multiple pages? Transfer your layout and theme to your new spread using this handy little button!
  2. Delete spread – removes unwanted spreads from the book
  3. Highlight profile slots – Great for more complicated profile template designs this allows you to highlight the slots and check everyone’s entries match up with the correct person in the book.
  4. Reset defaults – restore the default palette and fonts to the spread.
  5. Snap to grid – allows you to turn off the snap to grid feature when designing your pages
  6. Keyboard shortcuts – some bonus info for the pros, use these keyboard shortcuts as an alternative to clicking buttons πŸ™‚

Custom Page Uploads

Sometimes you need real freedom to truly bring your ideas to life and a custom page often fits the bill in these circumstances. Custom pages are made entirely offline using software of your choosing, i.e. word or photoshop, and you then upload them to the book πŸ™‚ You can make all sorts of pages this way and utilize familiar software to put together pages, you can even make pages on actual paper- handwritten messages, doodles and photos cropped with scissors! Custom pages can beΒ  entirely personal designs made entirely offline that can simply be scanned and uploaded to the book.

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So once you’ve created your pages, you’ll need to upload them for use in the book.Β  To do this click into the design and manage yearbook tab and then click the custom page uploads button (see red arrow)

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Once you’ve click this you will see a screen like this one πŸ™‚ Here you can browse for files from your computer and upload them to the site. Please note you can only upload PDF, JPG or PNG files. If you have files created in word for example, click the save as button when saving your file and select one of these options! If you’re unsure on how to save as a different file type using your software, consult the help section of your software program for tips and answers πŸ™‚

Once you have chosen a file to upload, click the upload button. You page, or pages (if a multiple page document) will be uploaded to the book and a preview of each of these pages will appear at the bottom of this screen (see blue arrow). You can now click through to your page designer to start adding them to the book πŸ™‚

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Set up a section in the book if you haven’t already and click onto the actions & options icon in the toolbar. You’ll see a heading ‘custom page uploads’ here which you’ll need to click.

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When you click onto the heading, you’ll notice your custom page previews appear underneath. Clicking onto the preview will apply the page by default to the left hand side of the spread. You can easily change this to sit on the right hand side though by clicking the R icon over the page preview. If you have a page that you wish to duplicate- a message page for example- you can click ‘both’ over the page preview and it will apply to same page to both sides of the spread.

For those of you who have used our system in previous years, you’ll notice a key change to custom pages in that you can add text and photos over the top of your page this year πŸ˜€ If your teacher sends over half a page of text on a custom page, you could now fill that blank space at the bottom of the page by adding a mini collage for example. Similarly you can use fill shapes as a quick fix for blanking out inappropriate text if you’re in final proof stages and can’t get hold of the original doc! If you have any questions as you start to use this feature, please do give us a shout- Message us on chat or drop us a quick email and we can pass this onto our developer.

Custom Colour Palettes

Firstly let me just take a moment to say Happy New Year everybody! Here’s to a wonderful yearbook filled 2015 πŸ˜€ To kickstart the busy season, we’re launching more new features to help you create beautiful designs unique to your school. Just before Christmas, we launched over 600 new fonts for use on profiles, collages and any other page for that matter and now we’re talking colours. As you know, we put together some lovely complementary colour palettes which can be found by clicking the theme icon on your page designer toolbar. We know that sometimes you may want to move away from these suggested palettes and focus on your own colour selections, such as your school or team colours, so we’ve introduced a wonderful new colour picker tool to use!

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When you click on the colour palette option in your toolbar you’ll see your current selection at the top and our suggested palettes underneath. To change the colour palette to your own colours, simply click onto one of the squares and you’ll notice the colour picker will pop open. Click in the main colour picker square to select your preferred shade or move to a new colour using the slider on the right. If you need to match your school colours exactly, you’ll want to pop the hex code into the box beneath the colour picker- just delete the current code eg. #14b1e7 and enter your own!

Like the idea of complementary colours but not keen on our suggestions? We wont be offended, we cant possibly show all the variants out there and we’ve found this nifty little site Coolors which generates lovely 5 colour palettes. It also rather handily provides you with the relevant hex codes so you can incorporate them into your page designs πŸ™‚ Horray! If you’re working with a certain theme in mind, do also chat to your coordinator as they may be able to suggest colours which would work well πŸ™‚

the AYB team