Designing your photobooks is only limited by your imagination! Once you’ve downloaded and installed our free MYFLIPPIX! Maker software, in just a few simple steps you’re on your way to creating your first photobook. While the following quick guide is based on the Windows version of the software, the Mac OS version has exactly the same options and commands.
Starting A New Project
Each photobook compilation is called a project. Upon opening the program you will be greeted by a welcome page as shown below:
To start a new project simply click on the icon labelled “Create a New Project”. This will take you through a series of steps before you begin laying out your book.
Select The Type of Photobook
You will have a choice of the various photobook styles (softcover, debossed, fullwrap or layflat hardcover) in a range of sizes. You don’t need to worry about selecting the number of pages at this point. Photobooks always start with a minimum of 20 pages to which more can be added while you are in the design stage.
It is however, very important that you select the right book style and size for your project at the outset. Once you have started doing your design, you will not be able to change the type of photobook without starting a new project.
You will also notice a check box labelled “Use wizard to create your Project”, which is checked by default. This will automatically arrange your selected photos to fill the book. Uncheck this box to design your photobook the way you want it.
Selecting Photos Using Wizard
If you are using the wizard the next step is to select the photos for your project. The icons at the top of the screen will allow you to add folders or individual files (or remove them from the project) as well as to rotate them if necessary. You can skip the wizard at this stage if you want to create your own layout.
Confirm Your Project Name and Location
Myflippix Maker automatically creates a new folder called “Projects” in your computer’s My Documents folder. Name your project at this stage, and if you want to create a separate folder to save your project you can do that here too. Click on “Create” to continue.
The Editing Screen
You will now see the full editing screen. There are 6 key areas to this screen:
A. Page Design Window
The Page Design window is the area of the screen that allows you to lay out your photobook.
B. Page Preview
The Page Preview window shows a preview thumbnail for every page. You can jump straight to a particular page by double clicking the relevant thumbnail in this window.
The Toolbar allows quick access to common functions within the application. A description of the function will pop up as you move your mouse over it.
D. Pictures List
The Pictures List sits shows the pictures that are currently loaded within the application. These can be dragged and dropped into the Page Design Window.
The Library window sits at the bottom of the screen and contains various Page Styles, Masks, Background and Scrapbook templates that you can use to help design your photobook. Additional templates will be available from time to time as part of the updates to the myflippix Maker software.
The Inspector window provides controls that allow your images to be manipulated. The Inspector has five selectable tabs that provide you with the ability to (in order of the tabs):
- Change the shape, add borders or shadows to your images
- Edit the image properties
- Edit text box properties
- Control the image size and postion
- Change the page background colour
Each window can also be hidden (via the “View” option in the main menu bar) to increase the size of the Page Design Window.
Loading Some Pictures
Click on “+” icon from the top left corner of the Pictures List to add pictures to your project. Select an entire folder or specific picture you want to include in your photobook. The pictures will be loaded into the “Pictures” window, and are now ready to be dragged onto the pages of the photobook.
Hint: You can also drag pictures directly from other applications (like Windows Explorer) into the Page Design Window.
Create The Cover Page
Drag the pictures you want to use for your cover page from the Pictures List.
You can use page styles to help to arrange photos on a page. Page styles (or masks, backgrounds etc) can be applied to a page by simply dragging the style from the Library Window onto the relevant page. Here we will use Cover Style 4. This also inserts a text box that you can fill with a caption of your choice. If you don’t want to do anything you can leave the text box alone or select and delete it.
On the page you will also see a red outline and text labelled “Area outside red line will be trimmed”. This is called the bleed area. Because of the way all books are made, a special allowance is required around the edges for trimming of the pages. If you place any pictures that overlap this area, those parts within the bleed area will be cropped in the finished photobook.
Add a text box by clicking on the add text box icon on the Toolbar.
Double clicking on the text box brings up a text input window. Various font styles and colours as well as basic layout functions are available in this window.
You can also select page background colours by clicking on the right most tab of the Inspector window.
Cropping and resizing
In order to demonstrate these functions we will revisit our project’s cover page. You’ll notice that using any of the page styles will result in the images being automatically cropped and resized to fit the style. While most times this is fine, in our project cover the images have lost a lot of their content as a result of the style’s image height to width ratio (called the aspect ratio) being different to those of the original images.
In this case we need to stretch the images on the page horizontally in order to make the aspect ratios more suitable for our photos. An easy way to set all 3 images at once is to select them all by clicking on each of the images while holding down the shift key.
Once all the images have been selected you can then stretch them in any one of 8 directions as indicated by the blue circles. Additional functions are available by right clicking on any of the selected images, as shown below. These include:
- Align / space – allows you to align images according to the available options. Useful for centering images (either individually or as a group) on a page or to align their edges precisely
- Arrange – changes the arrangement of any overlapping images
- Group – locks the image positions relative to each other. Once a set of images is grouped the menu item changes to Ungroup. You cannot use the group function to edit a group of images, other than to move or resize them
- Lock – Locks the image in its current location
Stretch the images downward (in this case) as shown using the indicated mouse cursor below:
Now we select one of the individual images to edit its properties. Double click on the image to bring up the crop/resize window. The image as displayed on the page is shown in the window as a highlighted crop box which a can be resized by dragging on the bottom right hand handle (indicated by the white square). The crop box can also be moved around by click & dragging the box around the window.
Here is the result of resizing and cropping the image:
To re-center one or more images:
- Select some or all the images by shift + clicking each one in turn
- Group the images
- Select “align to centre of page “(you need to do this twice if you want to align the images both vertically and horizontally.
We can also align images to each other, for example, to line up the top edges of the following 2 images:
We can also add simple effects to the pictures, like adding a border:
Next we’ll add some text to some of our images.
- Click on the add text command in the Toolbar
- A text box will appear in the Page Design Window (bounded by the blue circles). This box can be moved and/or resized to suit your page
- Double clicking on the text box will being up the edit window. Text can be entered or edited here, including the type of font, size and colour. Other basic edit options are also available. You can also paste text from other sources into the edit window.
Finishing Up and Ordering
When you have finished your book design and are ready to order (making sure you always save your project as you go along), simply click on the shopping trolley icon on the far right of the Toolbar. The myflippix Maker software will take you through a number of flight check procedures to help you spot errors, for example pages with no images or where images or text boxes extend beyond the page boundaries.
The order process will then you to our secure order and payment web page where the remainder of the order will be completed.
At this stage you will be asked to register your details for order tracking purposes. Once this has occurred you will then be asked to select any additional book options (if required), including:
- Cover material and colour (if ordering a debossed book)
- Paper upgrades
- Printed sleeve box (if ordering a fullwrap image book)
You will then be taken to the checkout stage to select your payment type. Simply follow the on screen instructions to finalise your order.