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Overview of the new Book module

From: Lightroom 4 New Features

Video: Overview of the new Book module

Here we're going to take a look at something, which isn't just a nice shiny new feature or tip or trick; it's much more profound than that. It's so profound that it has its own module; it's the Book module. And as the name suggests, this module allows us to design and create and order custom books. What's fascinating about this is we can do this all right within Lightroom 4. Now before we get to the module, let's go ahead and make a selection of some photographs that we want to use for our book project.

Overview of the new Book module

Here we're going to take a look at something, which isn't just a nice shiny new feature or tip or trick; it's much more profound than that. It's so profound that it has its own module; it's the Book module. And as the name suggests, this module allows us to design and create and order custom books. What's fascinating about this is we can do this all right within Lightroom 4. Now before we get to the module, let's go ahead and make a selection of some photographs that we want to use for our book project.

Here in the Library module, we could select a collection or maybe a folder of images. Here let's click on the folder Book Project. Inside of this folder, you'll see 23 photographs that were captured by Cara Robbins, a phenomenal photographer--one of my former students. And what I want to do with these images is I want to create a book that I can then order and buy, and I want to create this book as a gift for my wife and also for my parents. Now there are so many different reasons why you may want to create a book. Perhaps it's as a gift or maybe a leave behind for a particular client, or perhaps even a portfolio.

So as we dig into this Book module, we'd be thinking about what kind of book would I want to create. Well, now that we have made this selection of these images, let's go ahead and take a look at the Book module. I am going to go ahead and click on the Book module picker, which takes us to this module. Now at first glance, this looks pretty familiar, right? We have panels on the left and the right and work area in the middle. Let's deconstruct this just a little bit. On the left-hand side, you'll notice we have a few different preview options and then we have Collections.

Even if you don't use Collections anywhere else in Lightroom, in any other module, you want to do so here, because it's by way of collections that we can actually save our books and the book layouts. We'll talk a little bit more about that later, but I just wanted to highlight that here. Next below you'll notice that we have the ability to export this book to the PDF format. We could do that if we want to print the book ourselves or have a particular printing company print and bind that book. Then in the work area we have some pages, some options up top, telling us we can clear or save the book, some view option or navigational buttons down below.

Then on the right-hand side that's where the heavy lifting, so to speak, takes place. Let's start at the top, Book Settings. Well, the first thing you'll notice is that we can choose between a couple of different book options. The two options we have are either to create a Blurb book, which may be a great option for you, or PDF, and again, this just depends on how you want to have this book printed. Now one of the nice things about this new module is that it's tied in really tightly with Blurb. So you'll notice here that when I determine my size or cover or paper type, it gives me an estimated price.

If I change that book size, say to something much more small, the estimated price is than updated, and again, we have all of these options that we can then choose from, and you'll see how it changes the price of the book. I'll go ahead and remove that logo, which then also will increase the price a little bit. What's nice about this is it can help you determine how you want to design the book in a way, so that it matches your vision and also whatever type of cost you want to invest in this particular project. So that first panel up there is going to be really important.

The next panel has to deal with creating a layout. Now this Auto Layout can help give you a little bit of a jump start. Yet don't worry about the Auto Layout too much, because if you don't like it, you can always customize things much more than you can just with Auto Layout, but this is a really nice starting point. So here I have these 23 photographs. I am using a preset, which I can select here. How many images do I want per page? I'll go to one per page for now and simply click Auto Layout. Now what this will do is it will create this book for me, and here it's just kind of fun to see how it brings these images together in this particular layout.

Now I should point out one thing here with these photographs. You'll notice that they have an Exclamation Point (!) on the top right-hand corner. Now that's a warning indicator. It's telling me that my images aren't a high enough resolution in order to be printed in this particular book. But of course if you're making your own book, you want to use high-res files or the appropriate resolution for whatever size book you're working on. It is worth pointing out this little icon because what you can do is click on it. And it'll tell you this may not print well at the size; it's going print at this particular PPI; it's not recommended; and again, it's just a nice little warning indicator that can help you find the right size or create images or choose images that are appropriate for the type of book design that you want to do.

In getting familiar with the Book module, I want to do just a couple more things here first. What I want to do is look at how we can scroll through these. We see a back and front cover. If I click on this, one of things that I can do is zoom into this area. There are lots of ways to do that. We can click in the Preview panel this 1:1 view. This is giving us 100% view. We could go even further, a 4:1 view. Let's go back to Fit. Another way that we can change this view is by zooming out with shortcut keys.

On a Mac you can press Command+Plus (+) or Minus (-). On Windows that's Ctrl+Plus (+) or Minus (-). And here we can then zoom in or out. We can also scroll and make a selection of a particular page, and then click on one of these icons down here, which again take us into viewing the different pages or layouts in the appropriate way. So what's helpful about this is it gives us this ability just to really evaluate that particular design. We're not locked into this. There's much more that we can do to customize this layout or to create our own layout.

What I want to do next is take a look at how we can customize this further, and we'll do that in the next movie.

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Lightroom 4 New Features

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Chris Orwig
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