BookSmart

Locked Coming soon: the next version of BookSmart

Yes, it’s true, we’re getting close to releasing the next version of BookSmart. And for the first time, we’d like to give our Forum community a preview of what’s to come. This release is completely focused on improving overall user experience and usability by addressing several pain points a lot of you have experienced. Yes, we’re throwing in a few new things, but for the most part, you’ll be seeing a more solid BookSmart, thanks to our amazing engineering team. 

So, what are *some* of the things can you expect in BookSmart 1.9.3?

• Text improvements and new features: Improved copy and paste support from Microsoft Word on Windows and OS X, Apple Pages, OpenOffice, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari, maintains more font styling information, bulleted lists, hyperlinks, and indentations; highlighting and changing font size now works as expected; text content is now preserved when switching between certain page layouts; improved container to container text flow; and more
• Flexibility: Copying and pasting multiple pages at a time now places the new pages to the right of the last selected page
• A new warning to users that formatting will be lost when changing themes in BookSmart
•  Font menu improvements include both plain-text and WYSIWYG versions of the fonts, theme colors, and recent colors used retention
•  Updates to the Backgrounds and Borders menu make them more intuitive and easier to read; can now change color of all borders
•  New baby, dog, and cat backgrounds, borders, and ornaments
•  Improved overall stability: Thanks to the crash reports you’ve sent in we’ve been able to eliminate the most common causes of BookSmart crashes

And for those of you who want to know when, all we can tell you is … very soon. The last time we released a new version, we mentioned a potential due date in the Forums, and when it slipped a few weeks, there was a lot of disappointment. This time around, we want to keep that disappointment to a minimum.

Thanks for your patience. We’ll keep you updated when we can.  

The Blurberati 

Posted by
kathybad
Mar 3, 2008 6:47pm PDT
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kathybad
 

Thanks for the update Kathy, it’s appreciated.

One quick question, will it work OK with books that are work-in-progress, or is it just for new books?

........Tony

Posted by
tfrankland
Mar 4, 2008 1:02am PDT
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tfrankland
 

Hi Tony;

I agree – good news indeed…

I suspect that the upgrade will go the way of the past…

You will be able to open any current work-in-progress in the new release, but not all features of the new release will be available to existing projects…

With that, and Bruce’s recommendation to hold-off for the moment on large format, large volume books, I’ve decided to wait patiently before starting my next project…

It’ll also give me the opportunity to work around any new bugs! (He said, tongue-in-cheek!)

Cheers;

Lee

Posted by
lkb-28
Mar 4, 2008 2:25am PDT
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lkb-28
 

Hi Kathy,

I hope that before the rollout, you implement the suggestion of mine that you liked a long while back, of placing a link on the critical need for backing up, before installing the upgrade.

Posted by
Michal
Mar 4, 2008 7:28am PDT
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Michal
 

Hmm. Second link didn’t work. Anyway, here is why it is critical to back up, and for you to make certain users are alerted:

http://forums.blurb.com/forums/1/topics/953

Posted by
Michal
Mar 4, 2008 7:29am PDT
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Michal
 

Hi Kathy,

Any chance that you guys will be implementing a way for users to use their own photos as page backgrounds? That would really put a smile on my face. :)

Teri

Posted by
hooloovoos
Mar 4, 2008 7:50am PDT
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hooloovoos
 

Until I can import from my self-hosted wordpress blog, I cant use BookSmart.

Posted by
dasmart
Mar 4, 2008 10:25am PDT
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dasmart
 

Hi Lee,

Regarding your information about using 1.9.3 to open books created in 1.9.2 and not being able to utilize some of the newer features. If I were to “save as”, would the book be saved to the newer version and then be able to take advantage of the new features?

Thanks,

Jack

Posted by
Jackc
Mar 4, 2008 11:37am PDT
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Jackc
 

Hi Jack;

I am NOT Blurb staff, merely another user, so my comments are my "best guess supposition" only, based on past Blurb performance…

However, IF I’m right, then the answer to your question will be NO.

There’s no doubt that you will be able to open your existing project in the new release, it’s just that some features MAY not be available…

If you’re a long way into a project, and the current release is doint its stuff for you, I wouldn’t worry about it… but… if you haven’t started out, then it may be worth the wait to see the new feature set!

Cheers;

Lee

Posted by
lkb-28
Mar 5, 2008 2:08am PDT
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lkb-28
 

Hi Lee,

Thanks for the feedback. My predicament is that I am well into my book, but I’m not happy with some of the problems I’m having with the current version.

Thanks again,

Jack

Posted by
Jackc
Mar 5, 2008 1:51pm PDT
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Jackc
 

I hope they include a double-truck feature, that is one photo spread across two pages, I really hate trying to do complicated things with photoshop and custom designed templates it gives me a major headache

Posted by
Vercingtorix
Mar 8, 2008 11:25pm PDT
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Vercingtorix
 

Good news! But still hope (since the early days of Booksmart!) that they will (at last!) find out a way so that you can use as default drive for saving files, anything you like and not just this ridiculous C: thing of the ‘90s.

 Let’s see now this "amazing" engineering  team ….

 

Posted by
larios
Mar 9, 2008 12:09pm PDT
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larios
 

I’m still hanging out, waiting to be able to utilize BookSmart with my self-hosted wordpress blog…..

Posted by
zollyzoo
Mar 10, 2008 8:12pm PDT
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zollyzoo
 

Why does my BookSmart app crash every single time i add another picture. Things were working fine until after page 21. Now each time i add a picture i have to dump and reload the app before i can place it … only to do it again the next time i add an image.

I use Mac OS 10.4.11 on a G4 17 inch laptop with 2 GB of RAM.

John

Posted by
johnxe22
Mar 12, 2008 11:15am PDT
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johnxe22
 

Hi johnxe22 et. al,

Sorry to hear about that. Please fill out a crash report with your email address next time BookSmart fails and prompts you with a report form.

As Kathy mentioned above, we compile and analyze those crash reports to help improve BookSmart. BookSmart 1.9.3, which is coming up, will be more stable thanks to all of you out there who have taken the few extra seconds to send in those reports.

And, as always, I’ll emphasize that writing to customer service (click here to fill out the form) is the only way to get prompt, one-one tech support. Forums are great for communicating with fellow Blurbarians, and filling out crash reports help us to fix longer-term software issues. But submitting a tech support incident is THE way to get help when you really need it. 

Cheers!
Jeremy

Posted by
jbates
Mar 13, 2008 4:25pm PDT
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jbates
 

Still see absolutely zero here about backing up before installing the new software:

http://www.blurb.com/create/book/download

Upstream I pointed out that Kathy agreed with the need for people to know the backwards path, should the upgrade not work for them.

So, for the last time I ask, please, please put up the instructions, as suggested.

Not for me, I know how to backup. For others. Thanks!!!

Posted by
Michal
Mar 14, 2008 7:23am PDT
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Michal
 

Michal,

You are right. Thanks for the reminder. We had every intention of doing this but it appears it got lost in the holiday shuffle.

I wiil see about getting this request in place before the next release. 

– Kathy 

Posted by
kathybad
Mar 14, 2008 9:44am PDT
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kathybad
 

Thanks, I’m certain it will be appreciated by many.

Best,

Michal

Posted by
Michal
Mar 14, 2008 11:35am PDT
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Michal
 

Yes..I agree with lots of what’s been said…my top list I’m hoping is in the new version:

1.  let us save to any drive.  I would love to use blurb with my students, but my computer lab is in a "frozen" state, meaning we cannot save to c: as it is deleted upon rebooting.  I can’t use it in an educational setting until I can tell it where to save.

2.  give us more flexibility to change the sizes of text and picture boxes, or add our own to a layout.  The ability to "snap" to other boxes would keep it neat and aligned for those non-designers out there.  (or use a pica grid, with a tool to snap on and off to it)

3.  have a "recently used" list of layouts and borders, etc. so it is easy to reapply to other text/picture boxes

4.  let me set a default font

5.  Blurb staff….take a look at what online yearbook publishers offer.  I am a yearbook adviser and currently use yearbookavenue through jostens.com. and they have a fantastic flexible program.  They have just launched a scrapbook/photobook area called hubbub.  If it’s anything like their flexible yearbook stuff, they are going to win over the people who want flexibility to design layouts on their own. 

6.  Once I make my own layouts within blurb….none of this importing from photoshop or indesign stuff, let me save them so I can re-use them 

 

Posted by
bizeeteach
Mar 14, 2008 10:20pm PDT
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bizeeteach
 

Fully justified text anyone? .....

Posted by
vargus
Mar 14, 2008 11:46pm PDT
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vargus
 

export book (low res) as pdf or jpgs. I want to show my friends to check it on spelling etc … I could use CutePDF … but CutePDF only allows me to print 1 page at a time … having 60 pages is not fun anymore. Also, I’ve tried selecting all the pages and then print to CutePDF ….. BookSmart crashed …

update jpgs instead of deleting current jpgs in my book and then import the new one.

build in photoeditor … for example brightness,sharpen, convert to b&w

 

Well .. I do hope the new version will come soon … anyways .. keep up the good work guys! 

Posted by
yozefff
Mar 17, 2008 7:34pm PDT
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yozefff
 

Will we have the option of ordering a different book size once the book is finished without having to recreate the entire book? It would be so nice if I could order a 10×13 version of a book that was created using the 8×10 template and vice versa. Will we have more templates to choose from? I’ve been using blurb for a month and love it. I can’t wait for the next version. Great work!

Posted by
sirach38
Mar 18, 2008 2:01pm PDT
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sirach38
 

what about adding images to the spine for a wrap around effect? (like in 1.8)

what about adding new book sizes?

what about adding sloppy and artistic borders?

what about more updated design themes? 

Posted by
sacred1201
Mar 19, 2008 11:56am PDT
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sacred1201
 

I really would like to be able to upload our own background. This would save me so much time!

Posted by
zazou
Mar 22, 2008 6:12am PDT
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zazou
 

How soon is soon for 1.9.3….?  I’m planning a new book with lots of text….my old version was tedious and frustrating….and time consuming….will this new version handle text with more alacrity?

Posted by
Katherine111
Mar 22, 2008 9:21am PDT
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Katherine111
 

The anticipation is building…

 Can we at least get a reasonable unit of measure?? :D

 Days?  Weeks?  Months?

Posted by
Fight2Fly
Mar 24, 2008 4:53pm PDT
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Fight2Fly
 

i hope the issue of it slowing to a crawl is addressed…  i’m on an almost-new mac and this software hardly functions…

Posted by
faerwear
Mar 25, 2008 9:05pm PDT
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faerwear
 

Hi everyone,

If you’re following this thread, check out this post –BookSmart 1.9.3 has been released!

Now, all you gotta do is download and give it a try. Please let us know what you think in the release post.

– Kathy 

Posted by
kathybad
Mar 26, 2008 12:16pm PDT
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kathybad