Monday, February 28, 2011

COOL FEATURE #4: a huge time-saver!

This is a feature that everyone is VERY IMPRESSED with.  It is a HUGE time-saver!  Huge!  I LOVE this feature!

Okay, here you are in Studio making a Mothers Day book.

Say you want to make your picture black and white.  So you do this:

Then you want to put a white border around your picture.  So you do this:

Then you want to round the corners.  So you do this:

Then you want to put a drop shadow behind it.  So you do this:

Then you love it.  You decide you want to do that very same thing to ALL 117 pictures in your book.  Want a shortcut?  Here's what you do:

At the top left, you'll see the edit button.  Click it and this drop-down menu appears:

You'll be using the "copy" and "paste special" options.

First, go to the picture you've already finished--the one you made black and white, put a border around, rounded the corners, and added the drop shadow to.  Click on it.  Then click "copy."

If you want to paste this picture on another page, you can.  BUT if you just want to paste what you've done to the picture, here's what you do.  Click on another one of your picture--one that hasn't been touched/changed yet--one you want to change.  

Then select "paste special."  An option of "paste format" will show up.  Click that.  It will apply all the formatting from your first selection to your new selection!

EASY!!!!  And a huge time-saver!  You don't have to go and make all those same changes to each photo in your project!

Stay tuned for Cool Feature # 5 to learn how to do all those neat features I just showed you!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

COOL FEATURE #3: cropping and rotating (more impressive than you think!)

I LOVE this feature in Heritage Makers!!  It is fantastic!

Last time I showed you what "Tools" (in the "Tool Box") does if you're working with text.  "Tools" does something else entirely if you're working with pictures or creative elements (like a bow or flower, etc.).

Now I've dragged a picture onto my project.  I've clicked on it, so it has a green border around it.  (A green border means it will print at highest quality--if I enlarge that picture enough, the green will change to yellow and eventually red which means I've lost quality.  Only print with green borders.  Yellow only if you are desperate.  Never red.)

Now that my picture has been clicked on, I don't have font and color and size options under "Tools"--I have a crop button instead.  If I click that "crop" button, here's what happens:

I get a blue rectangle.  I can drag that rectangle anywhere in the picture, and I can change the size of it, too.  Then click the "done" button there at the left.  And here's what I get (after resizing the blue rectangle like I want to):

I can enlarge this more, drag it around to anywhere I want it on my page, etc.  BUT!  This is the cool part!  What if I remember, "Wait!  The heirloom gift from Grandma was in the background of this picture!  I should include it!  But I've already cropped it out!"  Heritage Makers has you covered.  All you have to do is click that button at the left (here above)  that says "adjust..."

And you get your whole picture back!!!!!!!!!  (Try doing that with a photograph and scissors!)  The place where I'd cropped it before is shaded red/pink, as you can see, but I can just readjust that blue cropping box however I'd like!  Amazing, huh?!

To rotate the picture, I simply move my cursor over that blue circle above the picture:

Can you see that my cursor has become a two-way curved arrow?  Here it is closer:
You can just rotate it now with your mouse.

One last thing about cropping a creative element.  It's the same as a picture.  Let's say I found this cute element to use on my card, but I don't want to use the whole thing.  First I select it (I click on it) so it's green, and so the "Tools" tab will bring up the crop button.

After clicking "crop," I get a blue rectangle which I can resize to the area I want to crop.  See how it's blue (below) only around the "I [heart] U"?  When I'm ready, I'll click "done."

Just drag it around until it's where I want it to be.

And those are the Cool Features of "crop," all the while keeping your original picture (or original creative element) if you ever need it back!

Stay tuned for Cool Feature #4...

Monday, February 21, 2011

COOL FEATURE #2: text (fonts, colors, spacing...)

I love all the fun stuff you can do with text in Heritage Makers Studio.  There's just so much more flexibility because it's digital.  And because Studio is fabulous!

Every time you open a project in Studio, you'll see a Tool Box on the left.

Here it is a little closer.

There are 3 tabs in Tool Box:  Tools, Effects, and Layout.  Today I want to show you what you can do with "Tools."  If you are working with a picture or a creative element (say, a flower), then the "Tools" tab will give you different options than if you are working with text.  Let's start with text.

Here (below) I have a text box.  I clicked on it, so you can see it has a green border around it.  That just shows me what I'm working on, and the fact that it's green means it will print at high quality.  Now that I've clicked the text box, I have all sorts of options available in "Tools."  I can change the font, the size, and the color of the text.  I can center it, left-justify it, etc.

Change the color of the font by clicking this box here, and a whole array of color choices appear:

What also happens is that your cursor changes into a little "dropper."  (Looks like a medicine dropper.  Can you see it on the black square above all those color choices?)  Move the dropper to change your font to whatever color you like.  I could pick one of the colors from the choices, or I could move it over to my red polka dot area so I know the red is exactly the same red.  That also means I could match it to a person's shirt or hair color (if there were a picture here).  Neat, huh?

Another thing I can do is space the letters out more by adjusting "letter spacing," like this:

See how "Letter Spacing" used to be set to zero, but above it's set to 12, and you can see how the letters are spaced out more.  I don't usually use that feature on something like this, but I've used it before for titles of words that I want to stretch across the top of the page, such as "Our Vacation."  (I usually make it a bigger font, too.)

Those are just a few neat options you have under the "Tools" tab on the Tool Box!

Stay tuned for Cool Feature #3...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

COOL FEATURE #1: making a page in 10 seconds

Whenever I sit down and show someone how Heritage Makers works, there are always 3 or 4 things that stand out to her.  Something she is IMPRESSED by.  AMAZED by.  So I thought I would bring these COOL FEATURES to the blog so that people I don't have the advantage of sitting down with can still learn and love these Cool Features!

The first feature I want to highlight in Cool Features is one of the best features of Heritage Makers, in my opinion (...although I probably say that about most features).

This is the "duplicate page" feature.  If you want to have the same background, the same frames/bows/alphabets (or other embellishments) on multiple pages, you don't have to re-create each page!!  It saves SO MUCH TIME!

I'll show you an example from a family cookbook I made last Christmas.  I did use a template (meaning somebody else went to all the work to create the pages using a lot more decorative elements than I usually use), but I wanted to make some changes to it, and I REALLY didn't want to have to go through and make those changes to EVERY page, so I used the "duplicate page" feature.  Here's how it works:

Here's the workspace in Studio.  You can see the tool box at the left (empty right's going to make its appearance in "Cool Features" soon), the cover of my book is in the center, and little thumbnails of all my pages of the book are on the right.  Right above all those thumbnails is a little button that says "manage pages."

Here it is a little closer.

If I click "manage pages," here's what happens.
This little window comes up.  It shows all the pages in my book.  This is obviously the finished product when all my pages are done, but before they were done, all I had to do was get ONE page the way I wanted it.  Then I could click those buttons at the top left:  "add page," "duplicate page," or "remove page."  A duplicate page is just that--an exact copy of the page.  It makes it SO easy to copy a page, then just remove the old pictures and text and replace it will new pictures and text--with all the decorative elements already there!!!

You can also click and drag pages around here in "manage pages" if you want to rearrange them.


Stay tuned for Cool Feature #2...