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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜€

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 ๐Ÿ˜€

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚
  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 ๐Ÿ™‚
  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 ๐Ÿ™‚
  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 ๐Ÿ˜€

  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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 beย  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.ย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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 ๐Ÿ˜€ 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.

Fantastic Fonts

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Customising your yearbook is central to making your book unique and personal to your school or group. To help you get the most out of your designs, we now support over 600 different fonts ! That’s a huge increase from the 31 fonts we supported last year ๐Ÿ˜€ Horray! To view and apply these new fonts to your font palette, simply click on the theme icon in the toolbar and click onto a font dropdown. At the bottom of the list it will say 600+ more fonts and you can click this to see what’s new! If you’re looking for a specific style of font, chat to your coordinator and we’ll be able to suggest ones that might work well with the design and theme of your book!

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You’ll notice a font selector will now show on screen and this allows you to select fonts to use on the various elements of your book, i.e. single lines of text and body text generally as well as the individual text components of your profile template.ย  To apply your new fonts:

1: Select which area of your book you want to use the font on from the drop down at the top of the page (see red arrow)

2: View available fonts in the font selector. As there are hundreds to choose from it’s not possible to show them all on one page- you can view more by loading the next page of fonts using the page dropdown (see blue arrow)

3: Some fonts may also have their own bold or italic versions and you can select these by clicking onto the relevent example alongside the regular font (see green arrow). If you would like to use a font straight from the list, just click onto it and the font palette in the toolbar will be updated.

 

Have fun and we can’t wait to see what new designs you’ll come up with over the Christmas holidays!

Tutorial video playlist

With the addition of our new page designer, and with lots of features coming all the time, we’ve added some how-to tutorials to help you get started.

A playlist of short, easy-to-follow tutorials is now visible within your yearbook on the “Design & Manage” tab, and you can also view them on our YouTube channel.

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So far the playlist includes:

So, log into your yearbook now and check them out ๐Ÿ™‚ Let us know of any specific tutorials you’d like to see!

Getting Started: Planning

We’re so excited it’s that time of year again! ย With Halloween and Bonfire Night coming up, not to mention Thanksgiving for our US customers …why not throw a Yearbook Planning Party?

Now is the best time to think about getting started with your yearbook project. It’s early days, but you can:

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  • Choose your yearbook committee: Main editor, finance, promoters and hunter gatherers
  • Plan your pages and set a budget:ย Decide on a budget and use that to determine how many pages you’d like. Think about what you want to include on each page.
  • Plan your dates and set deadlines:ย Working backwards from your handout date is helpful way to see how much time you can allocate to planning and building your yearbook.
  • Nominate your staff proofreader:ย Your organisation needs to be aware of the project – ask them sooner rather than later!
  • Start your online yearbook:ย Free, and no obligation: Create your online yearbook now! We’re on hand if you have any questions ๐Ÿ™‚

 

An eye for design: Proofing visual elements of your yearbooks

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When most people think of proof-reading they place the emphasis on the reading part but it’s just as important to cast an eye over the design of your yearbooks! When proofing your books, look out for the 4 C’s;ย copyright; content; cropping and colour schemes:

  • Copyright– A term that’s been mentioned a lot recently but it’s important that you check you have the necessary permissions to print your images. For more info, take a read of the copyright notice on the Pics tab!
  • Content– Content ย is usually very important for staff proof-readers and they’ll look out for anything school may deem inappropriate. To avoid getting anybody into trouble, it’s best to find out what they’re happy to include and what’s considered unprintable. Images containing nudity, alcohol and swearing are usually the ones flagged by staff so be responsible and remove anything you think may be off-limits. Similarly keep an eye out for any duplicated pictures in the book. You might find someone has already used a photo on their profile so there’s no need to give up room on your collages to repeat the image.
  • Cropping– Check no-one’s been accidentally decapitated in your photos by moving your photos in their frames and ensuring everybody fits. You may need to enlarge the frame slightly to squeeze everybody in so think about how this may affect your layout and have a play around with your page in general.
  • Colour– It’s easy to go a bit wild with colour when you’re creating your pages so it’s worth taking another look at your colour scheme and try to avoid clashing colours. Whilst blocks of colour can make your content pop, you might find that bright red or luminous green is a little overpowering in hindsight. Look also at the layers of colour to ensure your text is vibrant and easy to read. A white font on a yellow background for example will be far harder for everybody to read than a black font!

Other important things to look out for are:

  • Headers and footers– check they’re visible if you’re including them and ensure they are consistent across all pages in your book
  • Snap to grid– if your collages have been made using a grid format you can easily check if your frames are aligned used the snap to grid feature. If anything is out a place, you’ll be able to spot it and correct as needed ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Font sizes– especially important if you’ve made pages offline and uploaded them as custom pages. If you’ve created your page in Word, chances are it’s set to be A4 sized as a default. When you upload this page to you’re book this is then resized to B5 and as such your fonts will be smaller! Do check you’re happy with the actual printed size and that it’s easy to read (without the aid of a magnifying glass)!
  • Fit methods– again, important if you’ve made pages offline. When you upload pages you can choose from bleed off the page, fit to the page and add a border. To help you decide which fit method is right for your pages, check out this handy guide!
  • Backgrounds-check your backgrounds don’t obscure your content! A nicely designed background should enhance your page not detract from it so avoid anything that’s overly busy.

Most importantly, ALWAYS CHECK YOUR PDF WHEN PROOFING! The preview you see online is obviously not to size and isnt full print resolution. You must check your PDF file to view the print resolution file and check all pages for errors.

Awesome new collage features :)

Our online collage tool is awesome, there’s no denying it! Not only can you make fab photo pages that fill your book with happy memories but you can also use it to make all sorts of interesting content for your books too ๐Ÿ™‚ Gone are the days of faffing with word docs and pesky PDF files!ย Intrigued? You should be! With a little creative thinking, you can make pages and pages of lovely yearbook goodness and here I am to prove it! Over the next week or so, I’ll be sharing lots of video tutorials to help you create lots of different page types using our lovely collage tool but for now I’m talking templates, text and the freedom of design ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’ve not been online for a while, ย shame on you! We’ve introduced fab new collage ย features for you to enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚ To make quick and easy pages, you can now use choose from a range of templates in our collage tool. These don’t just cover collages but also divider pages, articles and form group spreads! Everything a happy yearbook ever needs! To find these templates, simply click into the collage and onย ‘choose template’– this will give you a drop down of all sorts of layouts so be sure to check these out!

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If you’ve designed your own page layout that you’d like to apply to multiple pages in your book, just let us know. We have a nifty little button we can press to make your saved layouts available as templates too ๐Ÿ™‚ You’ll notice some template layouts have multi-line text boxes (Hooray!) which means you can now make beautiful article pages for trips, events and decorate them using our themed backgrounds and your own photos! Another new feature you may have spotted is the quick tips button in your collage tool. If you click this, a drop down will appear with lots of design tips from Lee ๐Ÿ™‚ He’s essentially the collage king here in the office so have a read before you get started and you’ll be making awesome collages in no time!

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Pop back next week ย for our short video tutorials on how to make dividers, articles, lookalikes, baby photos and other page types! Remember we’re here to offer help and advice so don’t be afraid to ask if you’d like us to double check what you’ve made or if you’re unsure on anything ๐Ÿ™‚