By Barbara Hewitt and Jennifer Anthony
Have you seen great templates out there in digi-land that include .page files and wondered how to use them in your Storybook Creator or Artisan software? It is very easy to do!
It doesn’t matter if you have the very first version of Storybook Creator or the latest version of Artisan, as .page files will work in all versions of Storybook Creator or Artisan.
Downloading a .page Template to Your PC
The first step to using a .page file template is to purchase the template bundle from the designer’s store. Make sure the designer specifies that they include .page as one of the included file types.
- Download the .zip file that includes the template files to your PC.
- Double-click the zip file, and then copy the .page file(s) from the zip file to a folder on your hard drive.
3. Remember where you have saved the .page file, as you will need this information in the next section.
NOTE: There’s no right or wrong place to store your .page template files on your PC. Use the file organization system that works best for you! Just remember, these templates are stored on your computer, not within Storybook Creator or Artisan.
Opening a .page Template in Artisan
This procedure assumes you are using Artisan 5. However, the instructions for earlier versions of Artisan or Storybook Creator are very similar.
1. Open a project in Artisan.
2. Click Home to open the Home ribbon.
3. In the Project group, click Add Page, and then click Using a page file from My Computer.
The Import Pages dialog box appears.
4. Browse to locate the folder where you saved the template in the previous section, and then select the .page file you want to use.
NOTE: To select multiple templates at once (to create multiple pages in your project), press CTRL while you click on each desired file.
5. Click Open.
Artisan imports the .page template into your project. Depending on the complexity of the template, this may take a few minutes, so be patient!
Once the template import is complete, the new page opens. By default, new pages are added after all existing pages, so the page thumbnail for the new page appears at the bottom of the Pages panel.
6. Move the new page to the desired location in your project via a drag-and-drop operation. For more information about how to move pages within a project, see the Artisan Help.
Getting to Know the .page Template
Before you start working with the template, there are a few things you should know.
- Each template usually includes a preview of the template (or the set of templates) in the Work Area to the right of the template. To see this preview: click View to open the View ribbon, and then in the Preview group, click All.
You will also find information about the template’s designer and the name of the template, as well as information about possible shadowing done by the designer and tips on adding your own. For more information about shadowing, see Adding Shadows.
- Sometimes there will also be special instructions in the Work Area to the left or right of the template. These are typically related to something specific about that template.
- In the Elements panel on the left, each element of the template is displayed in layer order. The background layer appears at the bottom of the list, while the topmost layer is at the beginning of the list. If desired, you can click and drag elements to change their order on the page. For more information about working with elements, see Adding Papers, Embellishments, Titles and Journaling section.
Working with the Template
Now that you’ve opened the template in Artisan, you’re ready to create your page by adding photos, papers, embellishments, title text, and journaling.
The most important thing to remember? Save your work early and often!
Live photo spots are squares (or other shapes) that indicate where the photos should go on the page. Live photo spots are indicated by the following:
- White squares at the corners and in the middle of the bounding box lines.
- A green knob at the top. Allows you to rotate the photo spot.
- A blue knob on the right side. Allows you to zoom in and out on the photo.
- A yellow cross in the center. Allows you to move the photo around within the photo spot.
You can add your photo in one of two ways. Use the method that works best for you.
Method 1: Drag-and-Drop
- Open the Photos panel on the right.
- Locate the photo you want to add to your page, and then click and drag the photo to the photo spot.
- When the photo spot turns a yellowish shade (as shown at right), drop the photo. The photo is automatically inserted in the photo spot.
- Use the photo tools described above to adjust the photo to your liking.
Method 2: Insert via Photos Panel
- Open the Photos panel on the right.
- On the page, click the photo spot to select it.
- In the Photos panel, right-click on the photo you want to add, and then select Insert photo into selected frame.
The photo is automatically inserted in the photo spot.
Use the photo tools described above to adjust the photo to your liking.
Adding Papers, Embellishments, Titles, and Journaling
Embellishments, paper mats, text boxes, and titles are added to the template as a suggestion for where you can add these items. You can remove these items and replace them with embellishments from the artwork package you are using. Text boxes and titles are seldom live (meaning you can’t edit the text) – replace these with your own text boxes or letters.
You can work in random order, or you can start at the bottom with the background paper and work your way up the Elements panel on the left. These are some tips for working with papers, embellishments, and text on the page.
To select a layer or element, click it on the page, or click the layer in the Elements panel.
Working with Papers
1. To fill an existing element with paper:
a. Select the element.
b. In the Content > Papers panel, locate the paper you want to use, right-click on it, and then select Fill selected shape. If you have Storybook Creator or Artisan 4, the upper left corner of the paper fills the shape on the page.
c. If you have Artisan 5, when the Cutting Board appears, move the shape around on the paper until the desired part of the paper fills the shape, and then click OK.
2. To add a paper to the background, in the Content > Papers panel, locate the paper you want to use, right-click on it, and then select Make background.
Depending on the way the template is set up, you may or may not see the paper in the background right away. If you don’t see the background, it may mean the template deleted the locked background layer and replaced it with a piece of paper.
In this case, do the following:
a. Scroll to the bottom of the Elements panel.
b. Look for the background paper layer, and then delete it.
Your background paper should now appear.
NOTE: If you aren’t sure which layer to delete, click the eye icon to the left of the layer in the Elements panel to toggle the visibility of the layer. If your background paper appears when you click the eye icon, then delete that layer.
3. To add a paper to the page:
a. In the Content > Papers panel, locate the paper you want to add to the page, right-click on it, and then select Add to page.
The paper is added to the page at its full 12×12 size on top of all other elements (hiding everything else on the page). It also appears at the top of the layers list in the Elements panel.
b. Click and drag the paper down to the desired location in the Elements panel.
Working with Embellishments and Text
You work with embellishments in much the same way that you work with papers. You can fill existing embellishments on the page with paper (see Working with Paper), add more embellishments to the page, or delete existing embellishments and replace them with embellishments from your content kit.
1. To add an embellishment to the page:
a. Do one of the following:
- In the Content > Embellishments panel, locate the embellishment you want to add, right-click on it, and then select Add to page.
- In the Content > Embellishments panel, locate the embellishment you want to add, and then click and drag the embellishment to the page.
The embellishment is added to the page at its full size on top of all other elements. It also appears at the top of the layers list in the Elements panel.
b. Resize the embellishment to the desired size, and then move it to the desired location on the page.
c. To change the layer order of the embellishment, in the Elements panel, click and drag the embellishment down to the desired location.
2. Finally, add text boxes for your title and journaling, if desired.
Tips for Working with Shadows
- Before you start adding shadowing, flatten any photos that are at an angle or have curved edges/corners. This ensures the shadow has a crisp edge. Right-click on the photo, and then select Flatten.
- If a designer added shadows on a separate layer (under the element or photo), you can easily delete them from the Elements panel if you want. Select each shadow layer in the Elements panel, click the drop-down arrow, and then select Delete.
- If you keep the designer’s shadowing, make sure that any shadows you add are going the same direction. For example, if the designer’s shadowing is positioned at the bottom right, don’t add your own shadowing at the top left.
Many thanks to my friend Jennifer Anthony, for editing my tutorial and taking my screen shots for me. I hope you have found this tutorial helpful! Click here to download the tutorial as a PDF and here to download the template used in this tutorial.