It may depend on who your friends (or enemies) are … but at any rate, here are a few tricks and tips on using BookSmart for smoother and more powerful bookmaking.
Drag and Drop Images from Your Desktop
While it may be easier to import a whole set of images at once using the Get Photos button, you can also drag and drop images directly from your desktop or folders into BookSmart. Simply open your folder of images on your desktop, and drag it into an open book layout in BookSmart. Voila! Your image is added to the book, as well as to My Imported Photos.
Drag and Drop Images to a Page Thumbnail
Thumbnails are the tiny pages at the bottom of BookSmart that you use to navigate forward and backward in your book. You can also drag images from your library or layout directly to the thumbnails, which is really helpful when you want to move an image to a different page in the book. Give it a try.
Hide Used Images
Not sure which photos in your library you’ve already placed in your book? The “Sort By” menu at the top of My Imported Photos holds many options for viewing and sorting your photos, and the “Hide Used Images” toggle is incredibly useful since it hides all photos you’ve already placed … leaving only those that are still looking for a layout home.
Use Arrows to Nudge an Image
If you are looking for precise control over how your photo is positioned within a layout, try using the arrow keys (Up, Down, Left, Right) to nudge your photo once it has been added to a layout. Simply select the image and tap on the arrow keys.
Use Keyboard Shortcuts and Right-Click Menus
Nothing says “Power User” like keyboard shortcuts … unless it’s getting your right-click on. You can find a full list of BookSmart shortcuts in this FAQ. Looking beyond the standard Copy/Paste? You might try Image Alignment (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + C centers your image for instance), Zoom In (Cmd/Ctrl + =) and Zoom Out (Cmd/Ctrl + – ). Also, try out right-click menus when you’re selecting photos and pages — you’ll get quick access to common actions.
Turn off Text Auto-Zoom
When you insert your cursor into a text box in BookSmart it automatically zooms in so you can edit the text at an easier to read size. If you’d rather zoom on your own, just turn this feature off. Look at the bottom of the View menu and click on the “Auto-Zoom for Text Input” option to toggle this on and off.
“Copy and Paste Page Layout” is Your New Best Friend
This one may be obvious, but it’s also something I find myself using over and over again. Once you have a layout, two-page spread, or sequence of layouts that you’re happy with, it’s easy to build out a book full of those layouts — and ready for your photos or text. Simply select the layout by clicking on the page thumbnail (at the bottom of BookSmart interface) and Shift-Click to select the additional layouts. Then Copy and Paste over and over again to build out your template.
Paste Text to Match Style
Many people write and edit big chunks of text in their word processor. When you copy and paste that text into BookSmart it will, for the most part, keep the style (font, color, size) that you were using in the word processor. This can be a powerful tip in itself, but what if you’ve already defined a look and feel for your text in BookSmart? Under the “Edit” menu you’ll find an option to “Paste Plain Text.” Paste your text using that option, and it will take on the style already defined in BookSmart.
Save Headers and Footers Until Last
Headers and footers are also referred to as folios. These are the small text boxes on the top and bottom of many pages that are used for page numbers, book title, chapter title, etc. We also see the occasional Blurb book that utilizes folios for photo captions. My only tip here is to not worry about designing your folios until you’ve laid out your entire book. At that point click in, edit and style the text, and determine if you’d like to apply the style to the whole book, the chapter, or just the page.
How to be Considered for Staff Picks
OK, so this isn’t necessarily a BookSmart tip, but I wanted to let everyone know how to be considered for Staff Picks in the bookstore. We update this weekly, and one staff pick is selected as Book of the Week. To be considered you’ll need to do two things. First, make sure that your book privacy setting is set to Public. This means it is available in the Blurb Public Bookstore. Next, turn on your Book Preview, because we can’t judge the book by its cover. Not very well, anyway.
Hope these are helpful, and that you found at least one or two you didn’t already know. Have wonderful long weekend making books!
Have other tips and tricks not mentioned here? Leave us a comment with your favorite.