Saturday, October 14, 2006

iPhoto book tips: on-the-fly book-specific cropping

Apple's iPhoto - Books make great gifts, but they're not trivial to make. It takes me about two hours to put one together, and it's not unusual to have to start over. Here are a few tips, including one big tip. Some are from Pogue and Story, some are my own:
1. Assemble photos by attaching keywords, drag and drop to an album etc. Order photos as desired in album. Adjust descriptions and edit in the album.

2. Create the book. If you want to use the iPhoto descriptions and titles as starting points, choose the Classic layout.

3. Do your layout work. Don' t bother with autoflow, it's not worth it. Do not edit any of the titles or captions, any flow changes will delete your work. (Isn't that absolutely obnoxious?!)

4. To add pages click add, to delete pages switch the top view to book, select a page, and hit delete.

5. The photo book likes 4x3 (point and shoot, VGA) aspect ratios. If you have 4x6 it makes arbitrary crops (center). Here's how to make your own temporary crops without editing the image. Right click. Choose 'fit photo to frame size'. Then double click photo. This brings up a zoom box. Zoom in. Click on photo and hold, you can move it inside the frame. Voila, a book-specific crop, no need to do special crops on your 4x6 (dSLR) (or 16:9) aspect ratios.

6. Last of all, edit the titles and captions that were carried over from iPhoto's Library. Edits here will not affect what you have in the Library. (I think if you update the Library description, you can have that flow back to iPhoto by removing the image from the album and dropping it back in again.) You can vary fonts by using Cmd-T or fonts and styles by Control-click on strings.

7. Pogue/Story (good book) has a crazy tip. Use an image editing program to create an image of text and include that in the book as a picture (1350x1800 pixels, 150 dpi).

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