Archive for March, 2011

Blurb has just released an update to their Booksmart local-machine software.

There are two new features:
– ability to include a two-page spread directly
– option to create a new (second) book size (fully automatic, not by starting from the scratch)

Both new features will come very handy.
I am working presently on a new panoramic book which will be actually printed in traditional offset method, but I’m using Booksmart for the initial book mock-up and to fine-tune the page balance and flow. That compares very favourably with any other prototyping method. At this stage, I find it very helpful to be able to “turn the pages” and experiment with the image formats and move the pages around.

The 2-page spread feature works very well, especially for panoramic images, and it is really easy to use. However, you have to be careful not to change single pages into 2-page spreads. When I did my first double spread, I must have done it incorrectly by inserting a double spread layout into an existing single page layout, and even after I deleted those single/double pages, they are periodically coming back as empty pages into the book. All subsequent double spreads work fine, so it must be a software bug. If you are going to insert a double spread, use INSERT PAGE, and then immediately select 2-page spread layout.

As to the generation of a new book size, it is very simple. Just open your original book design, specify a new size and Booksmart will automatically generate a new design in the specified size.

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