ronadaniels's Posts

From BookSmart to InDesign
PDF to Book

Hi Larry

I too created quite a few books using BookSmart/Photoshop/Lightroom, and I’m now working ona book using InDesign. What "drove" me to InDesign for this particular book is that it has a lot of text that I needed to flow from page to page among photographs, and BookSmart just doesn’t do this in any reasonable way.

I’m not a design professional, but I AM a very serious amateur and pretty good with digital media software. I found the learning curve for InDesign to be reasonably steep, but doable. I used the videos I found on the Kelby Training website to learn the program (I have a subscription) and that was very helpful. There are also training videos on the Adobe website. Now that I’ve gotten fairly comfortable with the program I am finding it fantastic in terms of the flexibility for designs. Things i love: being able to flow the text, which it excels at; being able to go back and forth from Photoshop to InDesign to tweak photos without having to go through the whole BookSmart re-importing process; more flexibility with styles for text – you can have as many styles as you want and you can have things like initial drop caps and I can use my OpenType fonts (I am on Windows and BookSmart doesn’t recognize OpenType fonts in Windows); more flexibility with the photos – you can have them in any shape and round the corners on the rectangular ones, and tilt them, etc; the ability to tweak the layout on the page itself, without going back and forth to the Edit Layout view in BookSmart; more flexibility to incorporate design elements into your master page backgrounds; the guides let you know when things are lined up on the page automatically, and you can have the space between a number of photos automatically be evenly distributed; the text wraps around any  shape of photo or other object on the page (if you want it to); …

Well, I could go on for a while like this, but it’s tremendously flexible and I find it lots of fun to work with now that I’m comfortable with the program (fully recognizing that I am only skimming the surface so far on what it’s capable of).

The downsides: It’s more complicated and you have to learn the software – it can be a bit quirky and very frustrating when you can’t get it to do what you want, and I definitely spend some time with a manual or two; there are no pre-set layouts, so every page is essentially a blank page in front of you. You can make your own "master page" layouts, of course, but sometimes that complete flexibility is a bit daunting. The fact that you CAN tweak everything so easily means that I tend to do more tweaking, and so some things will take a lot longer as I fuss with them (whichis not necessarily a downside unless you have a deadline).

 All in all if you like working with this kind of software, it’s a fabulous program and you will enjoy it, but I think for me, if I was doing a relatively simple photo book I would probably go back to using BookSmart, but for anything more complex, ESPECIALLY if there’s a significant amount of text, I would definitely use InDesign.

By the way, if you are a member of NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) you can get a 15% discount on any Adobe products,  which is > $100 off on the price of InDesign (and the cost of NAPP membership is $100 for a year, so it would pay for itself immediately).


Rona

Posted by
ronadaniels
Jul 30, 2011 10:21pm PDT
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ronadaniels
 
How to Change Opacity of picture(s)?
BookSmart

You can’t do this in the blurb software. You will need to change the opacity of the photo you want to use as a background in a photo editing program (i.e., Photoshop or Elements, etc), save it as a jpg and then import it into blurb.

Posted by
ronadaniels
Jan 26, 2011 9:33pm PDT
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ronadaniels
 
Text Backgrounds
Book Design and Imaging

You can create a solid color box in an imaging program like Photoshop (or whatever you use). Save it as a .jpg or .png. Then in Edit Layout in Blurb, create an image box in a size that would fit behind your text, just slightly larger than the text box  (and make sure the text box is in front). Then just drag your solid color box into that image container when you’re back in Edit Book mode. If you want a semi-transparent box behind your text, you can create that in your imaging program by adjusting the transparency of the layer, but you have to save it as a .png, as .jpg’s don’t support transparency.

Posted by
ronadaniels
Dec 9, 2010 10:01am PDT
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ronadaniels
 
Truetype fonts not appearing in booksmart 1.97
BookSmart

It’s still an issue for PCs, even in this version. I know I’ve seen this mentioned as a complaint in other threads, and the answer from Booksmart is that it shouldn’t be a problem because "most" of your fonts will appear. But I am in the same boat you are – I would say at least 1/3 of my fonts are PostScript fonts and while they do not show up in BookSmart. This is something that SHOULD BE FIXED ALREADYPLEASE in the next version. If PostScript works for Macs, why is it such a technical problem for them to work with PCs?

Posted by
ronadaniels
Jun 14, 2010 11:37am PDT
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ronadaniels
 
overlapping text boxes
Tips and Tricks

I’m not sure if this answers your question, but you can use different fonts and font sizes within the same text box. Just highlight the text you want to change and set the font. I would think you could then use spacing and indents to accomplish what you describe.

Posted by
ronadaniels
Feb 5, 2010 7:22am PDT
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ronadaniels
 
Adding colour to a text box
BookSmart

You don’t have to use another program for the full page. You can do this in BookSmart by editing the page layout and placing an image container about the same size of the text box (or the part of the text box that has text in it). Then, in an image editing program, create a box the size and color you want and reduce the transparency of the box to about 50%. THEN – this is the important part – save that box as a .png, NOT a jpg.  Png format allows you to have transparency (jpgs do not), and BookSmart allows you to use pngs as well as jpgs. Then import the png into BookSmart and insert in into the image container behind the text box. You may have to play around with the placement of the boxes to get the image into that container, THEN move it behind the text box. I’ve done this on a number of occasions and it works really well. You may also want to play around with the % transparency, depending on the colors and background.

Posted by
ronadaniels
Jan 13, 2010 12:02pm PDT
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ronadaniels
 
Is it safe to use PNGs with transparent background in BookSmart 2.0.2 ?
Book Design and Imaging

I just used a transparent png for the title of my book and it came out great. Looks exactly as it did in the previews.

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/834261

Posted by
ronadaniels
Sep 16, 2009 3:21pm PDT
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ronadaniels
 
Header
Book Design and Imaging

It’s best to do these header (and footer, also) changes to your book when you have finished the book and are doing final edits. If you change layouts or move pages around the header may reappear in a different layout if you do it earlier. I always check my headers and footers—to see if they are where I want them and not there if I don’t want them—as one of my last steps right before I upload the book to Blurb.

Posted by
ronadaniels
Jul 2, 2009 7:33am PDT
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ronadaniels