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Using the InDesign plug-in

From: Creating Photo Books with Blurb

Video: Using the InDesign plug-in

Blurb's InDesign plug-in, which I downloaded and installed in the last movie, adds two useful elements to InDesign. It installs a Template Creator which will generate pre-sized templates for the pages and covers of a Blurb book. It also installs a PDF Export preset with all the correct settings for the PDF that you'll export from InDesign for upload to Blurb. Before you do anything to start your Blurb book design in InDesign, open the Template Creator by going to the File menu and choosing Blurb Template Creator.

Using the InDesign plug-in

Blurb's InDesign plug-in, which I downloaded and installed in the last movie, adds two useful elements to InDesign. It installs a Template Creator which will generate pre-sized templates for the pages and covers of a Blurb book. It also installs a PDF Export preset with all the correct settings for the PDF that you'll export from InDesign for upload to Blurb. Before you do anything to start your Blurb book design in InDesign, open the Template Creator by going to the File menu and choosing Blurb Template Creator.

You won't see that menu item if you haven't yet installed the Blurb plug-in for InDesign. The Template Creator which you see here will quickly generate templates for InDesign that match the particular combination of book size, paper type, page count, and cover type that you choose in this simple form. Notice that there's a tab up here for pages and another one for cover. That's because the Template Creator is going to generate two separate InDesign files for me to work on, one with all the pages of the book and the other with the cover elements: the front and back covers, the spine, and any flaps.

That's necessary because Blurb prints the book pages and the cover separately. The Cover template is going to ask for the exact number of pages in the book. So it's best to start with the Pages template, design the pages of the book, add any pages that you might need, and then generate the Cover template. I have the Pages tab selected. I'll go down here and I'll choose my book size. I'm going to choose Standard Landscape. Notice that there really isn't any information here about what these sizes represent.

Before I begin to use the Blurb Template Creator in InDesign, I always do some research into the various book sizes in paper types and cover types on the Blurb website. So I already know what I want when I get to this stage. I'm going to choose the Standard Landscape, which is an 8x10 landscape orientation, or horizontal orientation, book. Then I'll go to the next menu where I'll choose a paper type. I'm going to go with Standard paper. If you're creating a higher-end photo portfolio, you might choose the Premium or ProLine Pearl Photo paper which are heavier photo papers.

But again, research that in advance. Here I'll enter the approximate number of pages in this book, and this is something that can change as I'm designing in InDesign. This has to be at least 20, which is the minimum page size for a Blurb book, and it has to be an even number. I'm going to have a book of 22 pages approximately. And then I'll click Create Pages Template. Here in InDesign is the first page of the Pages template that the Template Creator generated. You'll notice right away that it has some instructions printed on it.

These are instructions that will not print in the actual book. If I go over to the Layers panel, you can see that these instructions are on a separate nonprinting layer here. When you're using the Template Creator, I recommend that you read through these instructions. They tell you things like, you're going to need to export your finished document as a special PDF file. And they remind you to pay attention to the Safe Art Boundary, which is this Magenta line, and the Trim Boundary, which is this Black line, which come with the template.

Anything you place beyond the trim line, the black line, will not print in the book. It will be omitted during the manufacturing process. And text as well as critical images should be within the Safe Text Boundary. The Bleed Line is the line to which you should extend any full bleed images that you include on the pages of the book. In the Pages panel, you can see how the template is laid out. The first page is a single right-facing page. Then there are some double-page spreads, and the last page, page 22 in my case, is a single left-facing page.

Because this isn't of course in InDesign, I'm not going to walk you through placing images and text on the pages of this template. Let's just assume that I've already done that. I finished designing my Pages template and I know that I'm going to have 22 pages exactly in the book. Now I can go back and create a template for the cover. So I'll go to the File menu, I'll choose Blurb Template Creator, and I'll click on the Cover tab. Here I'll choose my book size--Standard Landscape, my paper type--Standard, and I'll choose a cover type.

These are the same cover types that I've explained in earlier movies in this course, the same kinds of covers that are available for books designed in BookSmart. In a nutshell, there are two hardcovers here, a hardcover with a Dust Jacket and a hardcover with ImageWrap. The ImageWrap cover does not have a Dust Jacket. Instead, you can print images right on the cover of an ImageWrap book. Or I could choose a Softcover book with glossy soft covers. I'll choose the Dust Jacket. Here I'll type 22 pages and I'll click Create Cover Template.

The Template Creator made this Cover template for me with the flaps over on the right and the left, the front cover here, and the back cover here. If I zoom in, you can see that this template also has instructions that are worth reading when you use the template. And it has some lines that indicate where the dust flaps are going to fold and where the spine will be. I'm going to click back on the Pages template file. Now, let's assume that I have added images and text to every page of this Pages template as well as to all the elements of the Cover template.

To show you what comes next, I've actually got finished versions of both files which I'll open here in InDesign. Here's the finished layout that was built in the Pages template generated by the Template Creator. This is the first page of the book with text and images, followed by a number of spreads. And here is the separate InDesign cover file. This was designed into a cover template that has no flaps, so it's appropriate to be printed as an ImageWrap hardcover or a softcover book.

Now that I'm done designing the pages of the book and the cover, I'm ready to export both of these files in a format for upload to Blurb's printers. And that format is the PDF/X-3:2002 format. Getting PDF export options right can be an arduous process. But in this case, it's really just going to involve a couple of clicks. That's because the Blurb InDesign plug- in streamlines PDF export by adding a preset with all the correct options for exporting my PDFs without running into preflight problems.

To export the cover, I'll go to the File menu and I'll choose Adobe PDF Presets, and from there, I'll choose Blurb_PDF_Export. This option won't be available if you haven't already installed the Blurb InDesign plug-in. I'll export to my Desktop, I'll click Save, and that opens the Export Adobe PDF dialog box with all the settings ready to go. It's important not to make any alterations to this preset. Instead, I'll just go down and click Export.

I do the same for the pages of the book, clicking on the Pages InDesign file, going to the File menu, choosing Adobe PDF Presets, and Blurb_PDF_Export, clicking Save, and then clicking Export. And now, out on my Desktop, I have two PDF files, one for the cover and one for the pages of the book, all ready to upload to Blurb for printing, as I'll show you how to do in the next movie.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Creating Photo Books with Blurb
Creating Photo Books with Blurb

44 video lessons · 9119 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
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  1. 2m 47s
    1. Welcome
      1m 42s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 5s
  2. 12m 58s
    1. Choosing a theme
      2m 24s
    2. Planning a book
      4m 13s
    3. Organizing your assets
      6m 21s
  3. 1h 23m
    1. Preparing your photos for BookSmart
      5m 59s
    2. Color-managing your photos for BookSmart
      7m 7s
    3. Starting a new book in BookSmart
      6m 17s
    4. Importing photos from your computer
      4m 35s
    5. Importing photos from iPhoto (Mac only)
      7m 13s
    6. Importing photos from Lightroom
      6m 29s
    7. Importing photos from photo-sharing services
      2m 6s
    8. Touring the BookSmart interface
      3m 40s
    9. Laying out pages
      4m 23s
    10. Placing photos on pages
      6m 27s
    11. Troubleshooting image size issues
      4m 33s
    12. Adding text
      5m 2s
    13. Creating a cover
      7m 10s
    14. Customizing your book
      7m 52s
    15. Uploading your book to Blurb
      4m 28s
  4. 1h 12m
    1. Starting a new book in Bookify
      5m 30s
    2. Troubleshooting photo importing issues
      7m 16s
    3. Importing photos from photo-sharing services
      3m 6s
    4. Importing photos from iPhoto (Mac only)
      2m 9s
    5. Importing photos with the Lightroom plug-in
      7m 21s
    6. Completing a Lightroom book
      4m 30s
    7. Touring the editing interface
      6m 41s
    8. Placing photos on pages
      5m 10s
    9. Troubleshooting image size issues
      2m 56s
    10. Changing page layouts
      4m 17s
    11. Adding, deleting, and moving pages
      3m 3s
    12. Styling your book
      4m 18s
    13. Adding text
      5m 44s
    14. Creating a cover
      7m 43s
    15. Publishing your book to Blurb
      2m 25s
  5. 26m 46s
    1. Why use PDF to Book with Adobe InDesign?
      2m 1s
    2. Preparing your photos for InDesign
      8m 32s
    3. Downloading and installing the InDesign plug-in
      1m 45s
    4. Using the InDesign plug-in
      7m 39s
    5. Uploading your PDF to Blurb
      6m 49s
  6. 11m 46s
    1. Ordering your book
      4m 14s
    2. Selling in the Blurb bookstore
      3m 36s
    3. Marketing your book
      3m 56s
  7. 41s
    1. Goodbye
      41s

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